Securities Industry Leader Assails Congress

BOCA RATON, Fla. -- Thomas James, the incoming chairman of the Securities Industry Association, said the U.S. government has not been aggressive enough in handling the crisis in the banking and savings and loan industries.

Mr. James told the SIA annual conference that Congress has to do more in the near term than provide additional funding for deposit insurance.

Lobbying Plans

"By failing to adopt restructuring legislation, Congress lost a golden opportunity to assure global competitiveness, guarantee equal treatment of industry participants, and provide access to new funding sources which could revitalize the availability of adequate, reasonably priced capital for industry and other consumers," said Mr. James, who will lead the group in 1992.

Mr. James, also chairman of Raymond James & Associates Inc. in St. Petersburg, Fla., said the SIA would try to meet with Bush administration, Federal Reserve, and Treasury Department officials to design a restructuring plan.

Raymond O'Brien, the SIA's president, called on Congress to develop a "clear blueprint" next year for the future relationships among banks, insurance companies, securities dealers, and commercial interests.

"Unmistakably clear guidelines and goals are needed if financial intermediaries are to properly plan and compete with giants from around the world," he told the conference.

He also said Congress should create incentives to encourage savings.

Mr. James said the securities trade group must play a role in establishing a series of stable private retirement funds.

He said previous legislation affecting private retirement plans has been too frequent, making it difficult for businesses to plan retirement programs and and for individuals to plan for their retirement.

He said increases in maintenance costs are leading business leaders to question the value of such plans.

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