Regional Plans Set Back by Missouri Legislature

Article excerpt

CHICAGO -- A plan to form a regional interstate banking compact in the Midwest may have been dealt its first setback in Missouri.

Missouri bankers trying to push a regional pact are reeling from blows to their efforts. A regional interstate banking provision was recently deleted from a bill being considered by Missouri's House banking committee. That bill was sponsored by the Missouri Bankers Association and would have allowed regional interstate banking with the eight states bordering Missouri.

two other interstate banking bills before the House committee "will not be heard," said Fred "Gene" Copeland, the committee's chairman.

When asked if regional interstate banking was dead for this session of the Missouri legislature, Rep. Copeland said: "I think so."

The bankers association had made passage of the bill its top legislative priority for 1985. In addition to allowing regional interstate banking, it gave banks broad new powers and liberalized bank branching in the state.

Instead of approving the association's bill, the House banking committee overwhelmingly approved a substitute bill introduced by Rep. Copeland. That bill removed some of the new powers authorized in the association's bill, added several new provisions, and deleted entirely the regional interstate banking provision.

That change was a blow to the association. About 500 banks in the state supported their bill, according to Richard H. Mason, director of governmental affairs for the association.

Mr. Mason said that the association was talking over what its next move should be but had no plans to introduce new legislation.

He said he was uncertain about the future of regional interstate banking in Missouri this year. "anything can happen in the legislative process, but we've got a real serious problem," he said. …