Bank trade groups want lawmakers to delete parts of a bill that would let a for-profit subsidiary of the U.S. Postal Service offer financial services.

In a letter last Wednesday to the bill's sponsor, Rep. John M. McHugh, R-N.Y., three trade associations argued that the proposed postal service subsidiary would enjoy an "unfair competitive advantage" over banks and other businesses.

"This is true of other government-related institutions that, in spite of legal realities and disclaimers, enjoy a market view of them as government- favored or -subsidized entities," wrote the Independent Community Bankers of America, the American Bankers Association, and the Bankers Roundtable.

The Postal Modernization Act cleared a House Government Reform subcommittee last year and was reintroduced in January by Rep. McHugh. Copies of the trade groups' letter were sent to parent committee Chairman Dan Burton, R-Ind., and ranking Democrat Henry A. Waxman of California.

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