WASHINGTON -- When he signed the 1991 banking bill into law late last Thursday, President Bush expressed disappointment that Congress did nothing to increase the banking industry's competitiveness.

"Unfortunately, the narrow legislation produced by the Congress does little more than provide critical funding to the Bank Insurance Fund," the President said in a statement issued by the White House.

"While it demands that banks increase capital and pay higher deposit insurance premiums, it gives no additional tools to banks to meet these demands."

He urged Congress to reconsider comprehensive reform legislation in 1992.

Mr. Bush also took exception to two provisions that he said raised "constitutional difficulties."

One would require Cabinet-level agencies that participate in studies of foreign banks and bank reserve requirements to submit dissenting views to Congress. The President said he has the right to resolve disputes among his subordinates before their views go to Congress.

The second would require U.S. regulators to consult with the Bank for International Settlements in Basel, Switzerland, in revising risk-based capital standards. Currently, U.S. agencies work voluntarily with the so-called Basel Committee on Bank Supervision.

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