WASHINGTON - The American Bankers Association took sharp issue with Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. chairman Ricki Tigert Helfer for saying that banks may be drawn into the debate over the thrift insurance fund.

"We strongly believe that there is no reason why thrifts should be permitted to pass their obligations on to taxpayers, banks, and bank customers," said ABA president Howard L. McMillan Jr., in a letter to Ms. Helfer.

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