Talks on merging two major bank insurance trade organizations were broken off after stalling on philosophical differences.

The attempt to merge the Washington-based Association of Banks-in- Insurance and the Corte Madera, Calif.-based Financial Institutions Insurance Association was the second such effort in three years.

One point of contention was the apparent bid by powerful megabank members to maintain control of any combined organization, a source said. Divergent views on industry issues like HR 10 legislation also helped sour the talks and led to the decision not to merge, the source said.

The Association of Banks-in-Insurance was founded by large banks with grandfathered insurance powers. The group is traditionally seen as representing the biggest banks, according to members of both organizations. And while the group maintains that its membership is broad, sources said, the most active members and leaders continue to represent big-bank interests.

In a formal, joint statement last week, the two organizations acknowledged they could not overcome differences but did pledge to work together when possible.

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