WASHINGTON - The Democratic Party's draft platform for 1992 calls for an emphasis on fair lending and a new type of savings account to help low-income families build wealth.

A statement of principles that is devoid of detail and gives little mention to banking industry issues, the draft platform approved this past weekend suggests that the Democrats want to use the banking system to help rebuild U.S. cities.

Financial institutions involvement could be particularly important given the reluctance of the apparent presidential nominee, Gov. Bill Clinton of Arkansas, to back large spending programs.

Urban Plan Turned Down

Responding to Gov. Clinton's concerns, the platform committee refused to endorse a $35 billion urban spending package proposed by Mayor David N. Dinkins of New York. The panel said only that the plan should be considered.

The platform provides no details about the banking programs it advocates, but Gov. Clinton advocates beefed-up community reinvestment laws.

That issue is likely to get some attention in this year's campaign, particularly since data released by the Fed last fall showed that minorities have considerable difficulty in obtaining mortgage loans.

Housing for Middle Class

The Democratic platform draft also reiterates the party's commitment to middle-class housing programs.

"Safe, secure housing is essential to the institutions of community and family," the document states. "We support that commitment through policies to encourage affordable mortgage credit."

While the party's platform committee signed off on a draft of the document over the weekends, it still must be approved at the Democratic National Convention, which begins July 13 in New York.

Subscribe Now

Access to authoritative analysis and perspective and our data-driven report series.

14-Day Free Trial

No credit card required. Complete access to articles, breaking news and industry data.