WASHINGTON -- The California Assembly's banking committee approved a bill on an 8-to-2 vote Monday that would require financial institutions to get customer explicit permission before sharing confidential information with third parties.

The bill has been referred to the Judiciary Committee, and if passed there, would be sent to the Appropriations Committee before going on to the full chamber. The state Senate passed the bill on June 4. Gov. Gray Davis has indicated he would support it.

Community bank representatives said they successfully attached some amendments to the bill that would create certain exemptions from the law for banks under $1 billion of assets. However, industry representatives still oppose the bill and are worried that if the state enacts it, other states might follow suit, or it could be used as a blueprint for more national legislation.

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