Annunzio to Submit a Bill Curbing Banks in Insurance

WASHINGTON -- Rep. Frank Annunzio, D-Ill., an influential member of the House Banking Committee, intends to propose legislation to overturn a recent federal court decision permitting banks to underwrite and market insurance nationwide from Delaware.

In effect, the measure would sharply reduce banks' insurance powers.

New Powers

Rep. Annunzio hopes to attach the proposal to the Bush administration's banking reform package this week. If he succeeds, a number of large, retail-oriented banks may rethink their support for the package, which is billed as granting them new powers.

Philip Corwin, who follows insurance issues for the American Bankers Association, said the trade group would oppose the amendment. The administration package "would be much less attractive to the industry" if the Annuzio measure were approved, he added.

The Independent Bankers Association of America endorsed the measure.

"Banks should not be able to use one state to branch nationwide," said Kenneth Guenther, executive vice president of the trade group.

Robert Rusbuldt, a lobbyist for the Independent Insurance Agents of America, said prospects for the amendment are good.

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