The public will have an extra 60 days to comment on whether the Comptroller's Office should preempt a Rhode Island law restricting bank insurance sales.

In an order to be published in Tuesday's Federal Register, the agency said an extra comment period was necessary because the state's insurance regulators are expected to finalize a rule implementing the controversial statute in early April. The deadline for the first comment period was Feb. 13.

In comment letters filed in February, bankers argued that the Rhode Island statute significantly interferes with the sale of insurance by national banks and is therefore preempted by the National Bank Act. The law, enacted Aug. 8, bars most bank employees from selling insurance, among other provisions.

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