Financial reform has become entangled in the fight over confidentiality of patient medical records, adding a new obstacle to the long-sought legislation at its most critical moment.

Negotiators are expected to be named this week to hammer out a compromise between the House and Senate reform bills, and they already face tough calls on privacy protections for financial records as well as nitty- gritty banking issues such as community reinvestment requirements and powers for direct bank subsidiaries.

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