WASHINGTON - House Financial Services Committee Chairman Michael G. Oxley may introduce legislation to create a centralized database for federal and state regulators to share information about industry professionals with a record of fraud, his spokeswoman said Tuesday.

"We need a coordinated anti-fraud computer system that establishes an automated information connection among regulators," Rep. Oxley said at a subcommittee hearing on ways regulators can protect consumers and financial companies themselves from financial criminals.

Steve Barlett, president of the Financial Services Roundtable, said financial services companies lose $100 billion each year because of insurance, check, identity, and other types of fraud.

Rep. Oxley said such a network would not impose additional reporting requirements on financial institutions, nor create new agencies or rules. Only financial regulators would have access to the database, which would include information solely about financial professionals charged or convicted of fraud, not individual consumers, he said.

Federal bank and thrift regulators endorsed the Oxley proposal at the hearing.

"We welcome well-founded information from other regulators about wrongdoers and we stand ready to explore sharing such information, provided that appropriate safeguards are established and maintained to protect privacy rights and the confidentiality inherent in law enforcement investigations," Scott Albinson, managing director of supervision at the Office of Thrift Supervision, said in testimony.

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