WASHINGTON - Treasury Secretary Nicholas Brady urged quick action on James E. Gilleran's nomination to be comptroller of the currency, warning that delay "has helped create an environment of intimidation and fear" among examiners.

In a letter Wednesday, Mr. Brady told Senate Banking Committee Chairman Donald W. Riegle, D-Mich., that "it is incomprehensible that you are willing to allow the OCC to be without a confirmed leader for 20 months."

At a hearing Aug. 5, Sen. Riegle said he required more information. However, Mr. Brady wrote that he has yet to get a request for information.

A spokeswoman said Mr. Brady has called Sen. Riegle twice since then but that his calls went unreturned.

With Democrats increasingly confident of winning the presidential election, it is widely assumed that Sen. Riegle will not act on any more major nominations this year. The senator was unavailable to comment.

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