WASHINGTON - Siding with the banking industry on Monday, Chairman Phil Gramm and fellow Republicans on the Senate Banking Committee urged the Federal Reserve Board to withdraw its plan to let lenders record the race and gender of all potential borrowers.

"We strongly urge the board not to adopt that proposal and instead to preserve the current ban on creditors collecting such data," said a letter to Fed Chairman Alan Greenspan that was signed by all 10 GOP committee members. "There is simply no justification for removing the existing prohibition," which is contained in Regulation B.

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