Academic journal article ABA Banking Journal

Is 101st Congress Ready for Another Marathon?

Academic journal article ABA Banking Journal

Is 101st Congress Ready for Another Marathon?

Article excerpt

Bankers at this month's ABA-sponsored Banking Leadership Conference may find themselves with some breathing room. For the first time in a year, there's a good possibility that issues other than the thrift crisis will occupy center stage

That means bankers can again focus on some of the most important and unsettled issues that affect their industry. These include new products and services, credit-union competition, and banking's compliance burden.

That's not to say these issues have been very far from the minds of bankers and ABA. Considerable efforts have been expended on all three over the past 12 months.

For example, a major ABA study of banks' compliance burdens has been under way and should be completed soon, An intensive ABA research effort on credit unions will soon become public. And the goal of new products and services for banks remains at the top of ABA's priority list.

FSLIC revisited. Still, FSLIC has taken the major share of banker and ABA time. But the time wasn't wasted. The final FSLIC package included a tightened regulatory structure for thrifts and more stringent capital standards. Without banker input-including such ABA efforts as its FSLIC Oversight Committee white papers and an aggressive media education campaignwho knows what the final legislation might have looked like?

If the new law does what it is called on to do-reverse thrifts' steady slide into insolvency and restore regulatory soundness to the industry-then congressional attention can focus again on the other important financial issues.

And to a considerable extent, that's the job of the ABA-sponsored Banking Leadership Conference. The conference is a representative body of about 400 bankers and national and state trade-association leaders that sets ABA positions through a consensus building process. …

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