WASHINGTON — The push to create a single bank regulator is driving a growing debate over whether consolidated supervision threatens the dual banking system.

On one side are community bankers and Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. Chairman Sheila Bair, who argue that a single regulator would focus all of its attention on the largest institutions, leading to policies that disadvantage smaller, state banks. Eventually, there would be little to no reason for banks to opt for a state charter, as they would face an additional regulator but receive none of the benefits of a national charter.

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