WASHINGTON - The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. is expected to approve consumer protection rules today that banks have complained would hinder their insurance sales activities.

The Federal Reserve Board approved its version of the joint regulation last week, but a spokeswoman declined to share details before the FDIC vote. The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and the Office of Thrift Supervision are expected to sign off on the regulation this week.

The Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act of 1999 mandated that the agencies write rules to require banks and thrifts that advertise, solicit, or sell insurance to warn consumers that, unlike their bank accounts, the insurance products are not federally insured.

The rules - which were due Nov. 12 - also are supposed to bar banks and their affiliates from requiring loan applicants to buy other products as a condition for approval, and to require physical separation of banking and nonbanking activities.

Industry officials told regulators in comment letters last month that the initial proposal would go beyond the law's intent and require disclosures for transactions where no consumer confusion exists, such as credit and mortgage insurance purchases. The officials complained that the plan would discourage cross-marketing programs between banks and insurance companies.

It was unclear whether regulators made any changes.

Gilbert T. Schwartz, a partner in the Washington law firm of Schwartz & Ballen, predicted that the industry's concerns would prompt the agencies to apply the consumer protections more narrowly than in the original proposal.

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