New Mexico Lawmakers Consider Bill to Allow Interstate Mergers of Thrifts
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. -- Although action on an interstate banking measure was put off until next year, the state legislature is considering a proposal that would allow the acquisition or merger of thrifts in the region.
Under the bill, acquisitions or mergers involving savings and loan associations in five nearby states would be permitted until mid-1989 if those states have reciprocal interstate laws. The affected states are Arizona, Colorado, Oklahoma, Texas, and Utah.
For the following two years, until July 1991, acquisitions and mergers would be permitted by any state with reciprocal laws. After that, New Mexico would allow any interestate acquisitions or mergers, and any out-of-state institution could start a new thrift in the state.
The bill also provides for supervision by the state financial institutions division, which could waive the legal requirements if a thrift failed.
The bill, called the Interstate Thrift Institutions Act, has the near-unanimous support of the New Mexico League of Financial Institutions, but the Independent Bankers Association is opposed. The New Mexico Banker Association, for the second year, has not taken a position because of the deep division among its members.
The president of the independent bankers group, Richard I. Ledbetter, said the association is opposed to the bill because "the interstate savings and loan issue and the interstate banking issue are one and the same. …