After much public dissent, the Farm Credit System's regulator this year shelved a controversial proposal that would have allowed Farm Credit lenders to expand geographically and to add new products.

Now a similar measure is back, only with a different name: National Chartering. This time, banks say, the Farm Credit Administration, which regulates the nation's roughly 200 Farm Credit lenders, is not interested in hearing what they have to say. "They're trying to slip this past with no debate," said Robert J. Nall, president and chief executive officer of $39 million-asset First American Bank in Woodward, Okla. "They act like they're able to do whatever they want to without answering to anyone."

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