NEW YORK - Gov. Mario M. Cuomo signed New York's reciprocal interstate branching bill on June 23.

The law opens New York to state-chartered banks from any states that enact similar statutes. New York Banking Superintendent Derrick D. Cephas and other states' regulators have pushed the reciprocal approach as an alternative to more complex federal laws and pending proposals.

State reciprocity "bypasses the current geographical constraints in federal law and encourages expansion of medium-size and regional banks that are not members of the Federal Reserve System," Mr. Cephas said.

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