A month after announcing it would accept banks as members, the National Alliance of Life Companies has still not heard from any, a spokesman said.

And that's just as well because the Rosemont, Ill., trade group, which made its announcement after Congress passed financial modernization legislation, is still working on the details of how to enroll banks.

"We don't have the actual mechanism to do that yet," said the spokesman, Scott Cipinko.

He said the association of more than 200 small and midsize life and health insurance companies faces the challenge of delivering a unified, meaningful message on topics such as compliance that could apply to both insurers and banks.

When the association announced it would welcome bank members, it said banks could gain access to an array of products, expertise, and support. For banks, that would "greatly enhance the opportunity for a successful insurance operation," the announcement said.

The group expects to hammer out bank membership details during the next few months, Mr. Cipinko said.

- Michael O'D. Moore

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