A law meant to keep Illinois-chartered banks and thrifts up to speed with those chartered in other states is close to adoption.

Gov. George Ryan is expected to sign a bill the General Assembly passed that would authorize the banking commissioner to match powers granted by other states.

Only Washington and Maine now have such laws, though Illinois and most other states have already given their commissioners such "wild card" authority to match the powers of national banks and thrifts.

Jeffrey J. Rodman, executive director of the Illinois Bankers Association, said he knew of no powers that Illinois banks would gain immediately. However, he said, the legislation "is very progressive, and our members will benefit over the long run."

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