WASHINGTON -- The House Banking Committee's chairman and ranking Republican introduced legislation Thursday that would require the federal banking agencies to establish capital, accounting, disclosure, and other standards for institutions that use derivatives.
The legislation, introduced by Rep. Henry B. Gonzalez, D-Tex., and Rep. Jim Leach, R-Iowa, automatically becomes one of the major legislative contenders in the derivatives area.
Rep. Edward J. Markey, DMass., chairman of the House Energy and Commerce subcommittee on telecommunications and finance, also plans to introduce a bill.
The Gonzalez-Leach bill would:
* Prohibit financial institutions from engaging in derivatives activities unless conducted under a written management plan containing standards approved by the institution's board. No insured institution would be permitted to act as a dealer or active user of derivatives unless a majority of its board is familiar with their risks.
* Require the banking agencies to consider requiring additional disclosures in an institution's call report.
* Require the secretary of the Treasury to seek meetings with other industrial countries to coordinate regulation.