House Banking Committee Chairman Jim Leach will hold a hearing this morning on legislation that would make it a federal crime to fraudulently obtain customer financial information.

Introduced last week, the bill seeks to crack down on the shady practices of some so-called "information brokers." The plan would make it a crime to deceive-or attempt to deceive-a bank into divulging a customer's personal account balances, stock holdings, or other private data. People who knowingly receive such information also would be guilty of a crime.

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