SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — Illinois bankers are waiting to see whether Gov. George H. Ryan will sign a bill that would increase the limit on loans to a single borrower from 20% of capital to 25%.

The Community Bankers Association of Illinois proposed the bill at the beginning of the year. Shortly afterward, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency announced a pilot program to increase lending limits for some national banks.

The OCC’s program did not prompt the bill’s introduction but did help move it through the state’s General Assembly, according to David E. Manning, director of governmental relations for the Illinois community bankers group.

Though any increase in national-bank lending limits would give Illinois-chartered banks an increase under the “wild card provision” in the state bank charter, Mr. Manning said that the state bill is superior because it increases lending limits without any restrictions while the OCC’s program is a qualified increase.

He added that a higher limit would make Illinois’ charter more attractive than national charters.

As has happened in many states recently, several nationally chartered banks have converted to the state charter in Illinois. Last Monday the state announced that two Chicago-area banks had converted to state charters.

Scott D. Clarke, assistant commissioner of the Illinois Office of Banks and Real Estate, said a third bank has begun the conversion process. He added that, in addition to higher lending limits, banks typically convert for lower fees and better access to regulators.

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