Nebraska's banking commissioner may be the next state regulator to win "wild card" authority from his state Legislature.

So-called wild cards let state regulators change the state banking charter to match federal charters' powers without approval from lawmakers. This regulatory authority has become popular among states working to keep their charters competitive with federal ones.

Forty-one banking commissioners already have such authority. Illinois is the most recent state to approve it.

Nebraska's banking trade groups support a wild card measure, which is expected to be introduced when state lawmakers meet in January.

"It makes life easier for the state's banks," said Kurt T. Yost, executive vice president of the Nebraska Independent Bankers Association.

Mr. Yost said he does not expect the legislation to be controversial, especially since Nebraska-chartered banks would not immediately win any new power under it. "It's just a process that streamlines things," he said

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