WASHINGTON -- The banking industry beat back an effort by a group of influential lawmakers that would have required appraisals on loans that regulators deemed too small for formal valuations.

"It would have cost a lot of money," said John Shivers, chairman of Southwest Bank, Fort Worth Tex., and president of the Independent Bankers Association of America.

Most often, consumers and businesses would have paid for the appraisal, he said.

Regulators had decided to require valuations by state-certified or licensed appraisers only for loans of $250,000 and more.

However, House Banking Committee chairman Henry B. Gonzalez, D-Tex., joined by Rep. Charles E. Schumer, D-N.Y., and Rep. Floyd Flake, D-N.Y., tried to add a measure to a housing authorization bill that bankers say would have effectively overruled the regulators.

The House Banking Committee rejected it late Wednesday night on a voice vote.

"The committee recognized that this amendment would have put the appraisers' hands in the consumers' pockets," said Donald G. Ogilvie, executive vice president of the American Bankers Association.

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