WASHINGTON — Top Obama administration officials are close to recommending that Congress create a single regulator to oversee the entire banking sector, people familiar with the matter said, a departure from the hodgepodge of federal agencies that failed to contain the financial crisis as it ballooned out of control last year.

The new agency is expected to be a major plank in a proposal that Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner and White House officials send Capitol Hill in a few weeks with the goal of overhauling supervision of financial markets.

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