It looks like community bankers' complaints about excessive regulatory burden haven't completely fallen on deaf ears. True, lawmakers seem almost certain to pass new laws mandating more consumer protections, but in recent weeks they have also convinced regulators to delay implementation of several rules that were approved long before the financial crisis struck, and two could be legislated out of existence before they ever take effect.

The first reprieve came when the Federal Trade Commission, "at the request of members of Congress" gave banks until June 1 to comply with "Red Flag Rules" requiring them to put in place comprehensive identity theft prevention programs.

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