WASHINGTON -- Rep. John Dingell told the comptroller of the currency this week that recently proposed rule changes that would expand national banks' securities powers "raise significant questions of fact and law with troubling practical and public policy implications."

The Michigan congressman, who will relinquish the chairmanship of the House Energy and Commerce Committee to become the panel's ranking Democrat next year, said in a letter released yesterday to comptroller of the currency Eugene Ludwig that the proposed rule change would conflict with federal securities and banking laws and improperly shelter the banking agency from public and congressional scrutiny.

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