Seeking to pressure banks into accepting a financial reform compromise, the American Insurance Association is urging its 300 members to apply for federal thrift charters.

AIA president Robert E. Vagley said Monday that he hopes banks will see the new thrift charters as a competitive threat and agree to a bill that gives states the dominate role in regulating insurance. In return, the group will support eliminating many of the barriers between the banking, insurance, and securities industries.

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