Lawmakers Halt Reg ReliefVote

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WASHINGTON - (10/27/05) -- The House Financial ServicesCommittee agreed Wednesday to postpone Thursday's vote on thecredit union-backed regulatory relief bill, as skirmishing betweenthe credit unions and banks heated up. Capitol Hill sources saidthe bill was pulled from consideration because of continueddisagreement over key elements, including treatment of theindustrial loan companies, so-called back-door banks, which allownon-financial companies to offer banking services. But the abruptpostponement of the bill also came just hours after the bankingtrade groups--American Bankers Association, America's CommunityBankers Independent Community Bankers of America, and FinancialServices Roundtable--joined together to ask the committee to ignorecredit unions' efforts to get favored provisions inserted into thebill, creation of a risk-based capital system and an increase onthe statutory limits on member business loans. The presence of thebanker's Roundtable is significant because the group, whichrepresents the nation's biggest banks, has remained outside thebankers' fight with credit unions until now. The risk-based capitaland business loan provisions are currently included in a separatebill known as the CU Regulatory Improvements Act, or CURIA, but thecredit union lobby has been working to get the measures included inthe broader regulatory relief package that has a greater chance offinal passage.

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