House Banking Committee Chairman Jim Leach on Monday accused Comptroller of the Currency Eugene A. Ludwig of "unseemly" and "self-aggrandizing" efforts to grant national banks new powers by ignoring laws.

In remarks before the Institute of International Bankers, Rep. Leach blasted the comptroller for a ruling allowing a Missouri bank to retain its network of insurance agencies after converting to a national bank. The Iowa Republican also criticized an OCC plan to let national banks engage directly in activities that currently are only permissible for their parent companies.

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