Magazine article American Banker

House Braces for Round 6 in Charter Fees Conflict

Magazine article American Banker

House Braces for Round 6 in Charter Fees Conflict

Article excerpt

Renewing an annual battle, leaders of the House Banking Committee last week urged President Clinton not to impose new federal exam fees on state- chartered banks.

The money-raising proposal has appeared in five previous White House budgets but was dropped each time under industry and congressional pressure. It is expected to be included again in the president's budget, due today.

Chairman Jim Leach and ranking Democrat John J. LaFalce called the plan "an assault on the nation's historical dual banking system" because banks already pay their state examiners and could switch to federal charters to avoid double charges.

"The imposition of new federal fees on state-chartered banks would be redundant," the lawmakers wrote in a Jan. 26 letter. "Proposals to raise exam fees would also mean new costs to customers by increasing the cost of credit."

The 28 Democrats on the House Banking Committee have elected their ranking subcommittee members.

They tapped Rep. Barney Frank of Massachusetts as the top Democrat for the housing subcommittee. He succeeds former Rep. Joseph P. Kennedy 2d, who did not seek reelection last fall.

Rep. Frank signaled at the full committee's Jan. 20 organizational meeting that he plans to be as sharp a liberal thorn as ever in the side of Republicans.

After Rep. Marge Roukema, chairwoman of the financial institutions subcommittee, said she would hold a hearing on the Community Reinvestment Act in connection with regulatory relief, Rep. Frank said: "The notion that that should be approached primarily from the perspective of regulatory relief will not be a unanimous one."

Ranking Democrats on the other subcommittees will remain the same: Reps. Bruce F. Vento of Minnesota, financial institutions; Paul E. Kanjorski of Pennsylvania, capital markets; and Maxine Waters of California, international monetary policy. …

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