Breaking ranks with other die-hard opponents of House Banking Committee Chairman Jim Leach's Glass-Steagall reform bill, Banc One Corp. gave the legislation a "wholehearted" endorsement this week.

Many bank lobbyists said the Iowa Republican jumped the gun on May 3 by proclaiming a deal was sealed between bank and insurance industry groups that have spent months fighting over his bill. But Banc One lobbyist Annie Hall said the latest version of Rep. Leach's bill gives banks what they need: new securities underwriting powers and the right to link up with an insurance affiliate.

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