WASHINGTON -- The Securities Industry Association said it had begun canvassing members for information about bank violations of rules against "tying."

Tying is requiring customers to buy one service, such as underwriting, in order to have access to another, such as credit enhancement.

As commercial banks have become more active in the securities business, the association, which represents 600 investment banks and brokers, has called for a regulatory crack-down on tying arrangements. Regulators, who are looking into the matter, have said they need evidence of coercion before taking action.

Austin Koenen, chairman of trade group's investment banking committee, sent a letter to members seeking details of tying cases. Staff members are to channel the data to regulators without divulging the identities of securities firms fearful of losing access to bank credit.

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