Add the American Financial Services Association to the list of groups calling for a reduction in the regulatory burden imposed on commercial banks and savings and loan associations, even though those institutions often compete directly with the group's members.

The association, a collection of consumer finance and diversified financial firms that provide credit to consumers and small businesses, said banks are being saddled with costly regulations that do nothing to benefit consumers.

"The enormous cost of regulations imposed on our nation's financial institutions has meant that huge sums of money are going into nonproductive uses," Lana R. Batts, president of the association, said in a recent statement.

Bankers, complaining that Congress has overreacted to problems in the financial industry, have sought President-elect Bill Clinton's help in eliminating regulations imposed by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. Improvement Act of 1991.

Among other things, the law imposed elaborate record-keeping requirements that created "unnecessary regulatory burdens and paperwork that impede economic growth." a number of bank trade groups wrote in a Dec. 7 letter to Clinton.

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