WASHINGTON - Key Democrats on the House Banking Committee introduced legislation this week to improve the disclosure of uninsured investment products sold in banks.
The measure, introduced by Rep. Henry B. Gonzalez, the panel's senior Democratic member, the measure is similar to one the Texan sponsored during the last Congress.
"It is essentially the same bill we introduced last year, since we feel the issue still needs to be addressed," said a spokesman for the measure's co-sponsor, New York Democrat Charles E. Schumer.
The measure would require banks to provide potential customers with written disclosures of the uninsured nature of products such as mutual funds and annuities. A signed declaration acknowledging disclosure would have to be obtained from a customer upon the purchase of any nondeposit investment product.
The bill that surfaced during the last Congress was the subject of hearings in the House Banking Committee, but was never voted on.
Legislative sources said the measure is even less likely to succeed this year. The new atmosphere on Capitol Hill is certain to seriously dampen any chances for passage, according to Karen Shaw, president of ISD/Shaw Inc., a consulting firm here that tracks bank regulation and legislation..
"I don't think that a Republican Congress will favor this intensely regulatory approach to sales practices," said Ms. Shaw, who doesn't believe there is a need for the mutual fund bill.