WASHINGTON — Senate Banking Committee members questioned key aspectsof the administration's plan to create a consumer financial protectionagency at a hearing Tuesday, but failed to pin down answers from thestar witness: Michael Barr, the Treasury's point man on the proposal.

Senatorswanted to know why consumer protection should be separated fromprudential regulation; how the new agency would ensure uniformenforcement among bank and nonbank lenders; and whether a requirementthat plain-vanilla products be offered first would hamstring marketinnovation.

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