WASHINGTON - The Senate Banking Committee is planning hearings for July 26 and 27 on abusive lending practices, industry sources said.

Addressing the hot-button issue is a top priority of the new Senate Banking chairman, Paul Sarbanes, and the Maryland Democrat's interest in the subject and plans for hearings are in large part credited as the impetus for Citigroup Inc. and Household International Inc.'s recent decisions to discontinue the sale of single-premium credit insurance. Consumer advocates have long associated single-premium credit insurance with predatory lending.

Separately, Senate Banking is scheduled to vote today on the nominations of New York Stock Exchange executive Sheila C. Bair to be assistant Treasury secretary for financial institutions and on Stanford University economics and medicine professor Mark B. McClellan to serve on the President's Council of Economic Advisors.

A confirmation hearing is scheduled for Thursday on Harvey L. Pitt, a veteran securities lawyer, to be chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission.

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