Congressman Threatens OTS Over an Exam

WASHINGTON - A Missouri congressman has threatened thrift regulators for cracking down on his hometown savings and loan.

A July 16 letter by Rep. Harold L. Volkmer, D-Mo., blasted the Office of Thrift Supervision for giving a lackluster examination grade to American Loan and Savings Association, which has $6.9 million in assets and is based in Hannibal, Mo.

The letter was sent to an OTS office in Missouri.

"I certainly find it troubling to appropriate additional funding for OTS if this is an example of your judgment," he wrote in a one-page letter, which was obtained by the American Banker under the Freedom of Information Act.

News of the letter comes at a time when the Senate Ethics Committee is weighing action against five senators accused to interfering with regulators on behalf of S&L owner Charles Keating in 1987.

OTS Replies in Writing

Mr. Volkmer is on vacation and could not be reached for comment. The OTS had no response. A spokesman said the agency has sent a reply to the congressman, but that it contains confidential examination data and can't be released publicly.

"American Loan and Savings has an adequate capital position, high asset quality, and a low level of rate-risk exposure," the seven-term congressman wrote. "Despite this, they have been given a low composite rating and have been requested to sign a supervisory agreement." He concludes that the S&L got a low grade because it paid out a $4,000 bonus to two employees.

"Nothing in [the examination] report warrants the action of calling for a supervisory agreement," he wrote.

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