It's anybody's bet whether Congress will overhaul the Glass-Steagall Act this year. But no matter what happens on Capitol Hill, Comptroller of the Currency Eugene A. Ludwig is charging ahead with a proposal of his own that could pave the way for a significant expansion of national bank powers.

Mr. Ludwig is undertaking a broad rewrite of rules on corporate applications and notices. For national banks, the regulations promise a reduction in paperwork and streamlined procedures for applications.

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