Magazine article American Banker

House Panel Approves Branching

Magazine article American Banker

House Panel Approves Branching

Article excerpt

WASHINGTON -- Interstate branching legislation continued to advance Wednesday, as the House Banking Committee approved the bill while rejecting consumer amendments that might have jeopardized industry support for the measure.

On a 34-to-16 vote, the panel defeated an amendment that would have required banks to commit to specific lending goals before being permitted to move into new states. In addition, the amendment would have barred institutions exhibiting a "pattern" of closing banks in low-income neighborhoods from moving across state lines.

The committee also voted 34 to 16 against an amendment that would have required interstate organizations to offer low-cost accounts to the poor and cash government checks for non-customers.

Kennedy to Try Again

Rep. Joseph P. Kennedy 2d, D-Mass., a sponsor of the amendment requiring lending commitments, said the expected to try again when the bill reaches the House floor. And lobbyists representing low-income consumers said the 16 votes they received were enough to give the measure respectability on the floor.

Still, the vote was a setback for Rep. Kennedy and his allies, and most observers doubt his amendment can pass on the floor. A similar amendment passed the committee two years ago, and Wednesday's vote was marked by the defection of several committee liberals who voted for it in 1991.

Bth the Kennedy provision and the basic-banking measure were viewed as "killer amendments" by interstate proponents. …

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