WASHINGTON - House Banking Committee Chairman Jim Leach lashed out Friday at the comptroller of the currency for allowing national banks to hold commercial stock for hedging equity derivative swaps.

In a scathing letter to Comptroller John D. Hawke Jr., Rep. Leach criticized "secret verbal approvals … communicated by bank examiners [that] are blatant attempts of the OCC to change the regulatory framework of Gramm-Leach-Bliley and more importantly represent a usurpation of the Congress' lawmaking powers."

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