Pennsylvania Bankers Association Will Push Interstate Bill

Article excerpt

PHILADELPHIA -- The drive for reciprocal interstate banking in Pennsylvania is picking up steam.

The Pennsylvania Bankers Association, which actively supports it, is hoping to prefile proposed legislation in the Senate banking and insurance committee before the full Legislature returns from recess after Labor Day. This would give the measure a head start in the legislative process.

Thomas B. Shriber, executive vice president of the association, said he would seek the prefiling after the bill gets final clearance from the Pennsylvania Department of Banking. The department favors the concept.

Mr. Shriber said that while he never forecasts how the Legislature will vote, he sees no reason why "the Legislature would want to isolate Pennsylvania," given the fact that other states nearby either have voted for reciprocity or are close to it.

Under the Pennsylvania Bankers Association plan, the region includes Delaware, Kentucky, Maryland, New Jersey, Ohio, Virginia, West Virginia, and the District of Columbia, each of which is either adjacent to the other or adjacent to a state that's adjacent to the other. New York, which is contiguous with Pennsylvania, is not included. Ohio now offers reciprocity with Pennsylvania, among other states. A bill in the New Jersey Legislature includes Pennsylvania. The District of Columbia is considering reciprocity with 11 southern states, not Pennsylvania. Maryland offers reciprocity to Pennsylvania and other states after two years. Delaware allows out-of-staters to set up limited operations under certain conditions, and several Pennsylvania banks already have presences there. West Virginia has not taken any action. Kentucky drops a contiguous-state-only rule next July, when it will offer national reciprocity. Virginia offers reciprocity to 13 southeastern states, not including Pennsylvania.

The Pennsylvania Bankers Association proposal includes a three-year trigger opening the state to banks in all states that offer reciprocity to Pennsylvania.

Mr. Shriber said that interstate reciprocity would benefit the state's economy because Pennsylvania banks, some of which are among the largest in the entire region, would tend to be the acquires rather than the acquired. …