WASHINGTON - Key senators introduced a bill this week to consolidate the four federal banking and thrift agencies.

Sen. Donald W. Riegle Jr.. D-Mich., chairman of the Senate Banking Committee, and Sen. Alfonse D'Amato. R-N.Y., want to create a five-member Federal Banking Commission to oversee banks and thrifts.

Seats for Treasury, Fed

The commission would be independent of the executive branch, but the Treasury secretary and a Federal Reserve Board member would gets seats on the board. Three independent commissioners would be appointed to staggered six-year terms.

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. would retain its backup enforcement authority. The Fed. as central bank, would keep its responsibilities or monetary policy and the payments system and would remain lender of last resort.

Rep. Henry B. Gonzalez. D-Tex., chairman of the House Banking Committee, joined the two senators in a Nov. 8 letter to President Clinton.

|Issue Must Be Addressed Immediately'

The lawmakers wrote: "We believe this issue must be addressed immediately and call upon you to exert bold leadership in this area as part of the administration's ongoing effort to reinvent government."

The administration has come out in favor of regulatory consolidation, but wants the resulting agency to be part of the executive branch.

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