Recapping his year as chairman of the Senate Banking Committee, Sen. Alfonse M. D'Amato this week called 1995 "productive and successful." But for banks, the committee's work was underwhelming.

The banking committee spent much of last year investigating Whitewater, the Mexican peso crisis, and the downfall of Daiwa Bank, leaving little time for banking legislation.

The one new law for which Sen. D'Amato's panel can claim partial credit - securities litigation reform - affects only banks whose stock is publicly traded.

The committee did approve legislation granting banks regulatory relief, but that never made it to the Senate floor. Sen. D'Amato introduced a bill repealing the Glass-Steagall Act, but never put much effort into it.

His committee did pass legislation replenishing the Savings Association Insurance Fund, but that bill faces a grim prognosis because it is tucked into the balanced budget bill now mired in increasingly bitter negotiations between lawmakers and the White House.

The panel also passed the Credit Union Reform and Enhancement Act, public housing reform, and sanctions against countries that assist Iran's oil production.

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