The House Rules Committee has scheduled a vote Wednesday on financial reform, teeing it up for a vote on the House floor Thursday.
The chairmen and chief executives of three of the nation's largest financial companies urged Speaker J. Dennis Hastert and Minority Leader Richard A. Gephardt to take "swift" action.
"We are united in our view that legislation to modernize our financial services laws is critically needed," David H. Komansky of Merrill Lynch & Co., Philip J. Purcell of Morgan Stanley Dean Witter & Co., and Sanford I. Weill of Citigroup Inc. wrote in a letter released Monday.
"We urge all parties to work together to resolve the few remaining differences," they said. "In particular, we urge you to support a workable privacy compromise which addresses the concerns of American consumers without preventing them from getting the financial services they want."
But consumer activist Ralph Nader warned in a letter last Friday to Rep. Gephardt that privacy protections were being "bargained away" to appease the conglomerates. He demanded that consumers should have the right to block companies from sharing their financial information with affiliates or third parties.
"If the industry's lobbyists want HR 10, they should be willing to accept personal privacy as a right of consumers," Mr. Nader wrote.