Kenneth Guenther, executive vice president of the Independent Bankers Association of America, blamed pressure from "libertarian Republicans" for Rep. Jim Leach's decision to accept mergers between banks and nonfinancial companies.

But Mr. Guenther isn't giving in. In a rare meeting with Newt Gingrich last week, he and Rossville (Ga.) Bank president Charles R. Lusk urged the House speaker to block legislation that allows banks and commercial firms to affiliate.

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