Magazine article American Banker

Senate Banking Panel, Treasury Start Interstate-Branching Talks

Magazine article American Banker

Senate Banking Panel, Treasury Start Interstate-Branching Talks

Article excerpt

WASHINGTON - An impatient Senate Banking Committee on Wednesday prodded the Clinton administration into beginning negotiations on legislation that would authorize interstate branching but probably limit bank insurance powers.

Committee Chairman Donald W. Riegle Jr., D-Mich., said he wants his panel to vote on the bill Nov. 18 and the Senate to act next year. In a session shortened by elections and filled with major legislative issues, floor time will be tight next year, and delays could prove fatal, Sen. Riegle said.

"I know we can't get to the floor this year," he said, "but we can get it into the queue for the early part of next year."

Positions Seen as Close

Treasury Under Secretary Frank N. Newman said the administration and the Senate are very close in their positions on interstate branching. However, he added, the administration will oppose the bill if insurance restrictions are included.

Edward L. Yingling, chief lobbyist for the American Bankers Association, echoed Mr. Newman's comment, warning that the banking industry would strongly, oppose any legislation that rolls back insurance powers.

The Treasury endorsed interstate branching last month but disappointed the multistate banking companies by making it clear the administration has little enthusiasm for an immediate legislative battle.

Close to the Vest

As a result, the Treasury has given few details of its position, angering lawmakers on both sides of Capitol Hill.

"We need a little more candor," said an obviously riled Sen. …

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