Texas Banking Commissioner Now Seeks Interstate Banking

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AUSTIN (Bloomberg) -- Texas Banking Commissioner Catherine Ghiglieri wants Texas banks to be allowed to branch into other states, a reversal after she spent three years trying to keep banks from violating the state's ban on interstate banking.

Ghiglieri issued her proclamation after a federal judge in Dallas ruled May 7 that NationsBank could merge its Texas subsidiary into its Charlotte, N.C.-based holding company. The ruling cleared the way for federally chartered banks to branch into Texas, and Ghiglieri said she wanted to extend the same right to state banks.

"Some of our banks around the borders of Texas are interested in serving their natural markets," Ghiglieri said. "I will entertain any applications for interstate branching by state banks." So far, no banks have applied. "It seemed inevitable," said Dawn Duplantier, a spokeswoman for the Texas Bankers Association. "I don't think it's a real shock to the bankers." The commissioner sued NationsBank last year after the U. …