U.S. representatives of foreign banks have been whining lately about the chilling effect on regulators of the BCCI scandal, which they say is delaying approval for various projects they are planning.

The latest victim: a consortium of Venezuelan banks and holding companies that withdrew an application in late November from the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta to acquire Eagle National Bank of Miami.

The Venezuelans were discouraged by their inability to get a quick response from their government about acting as the primary regulator for the Florida bank, said Joan Papadakis, Eagle's chief financial officer.

The U.S. government's insistence on tighter supervision by a primary overseas regulator is driven by concern over the Bank of Credit and Commerce International, which managed to conduct illegal activities across the globe becausae it lacked a single, primary regulator.

The recently passed banking bill tightens regulations regarding foreign ownership of U.S. banks.

The Venezuelan investors - Consorcio Inversionista Bancaracas, Banco Caracas SACA and NV and Seguros Avila CA - had been waiting for more than a year for approval to buy Eagle, which has $180 million in assets and is currently controlled by Banco de Colombia.

Ms. Papadakis said they gave up because of slow response from the Venezuelan government and some tax complications.

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