Chairman Henry B. Gonzalez of the House Banking Committee on Monday blasted the Federal Reserve for failing to charge foreign banks for examinations, as required by law.

He asked Fed Chairman Alan Greenspan in a letter to begin charging for exams immediately.

"I am outraged that while preaching deficit reduction to Americans, the Federal Reserve has chosen to advocate for foreign banks instead of looking out for the public purse," Mr. Gonzalez said.

Cost To New York Fed Said $5 Million

The Fed, although it receives no federal funds, forwards its profits to the Treasury.

According to the General Accounting Office, the Fed has not charges fees for any exams of foreign banks. The agency estimates that this cost the New York Fed -- which conducts most of the foreign-bank exams -- $5 million in 1992 and could cost more than $10 million by 1994.

"To disregard a provision of the law because of opposition within the Federal Reserve is an affront to the legislative process," Mr. Gonzalez said.

Fed officials declined to comment.

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