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ICBA Urges Passage of Bill to Maintain Separation of Banking and Commerce

House Financial Services Panel Asked to Resist Weakening Amendments

Washington, D.C. (May 1, 2007)—The Independent Community Bankers of America (ICBA) urged the House Financial Services Committee to quickly send the Industrial Bank Holding Company Act of 2007 (H.R. 698) to the full House without amendments that would weaken the measure. The committee is scheduled to markup the bill today.

"This bill would maintain the historic separation of banking and commerce, thereby preventing conflicts of interest that could harm both consumers and the safety and soundness of the nation's financial system," said ICBA in a letter to House Financial Services Committee Chairman Barney Frank (D-Mass.) and Ranking Member Spencer Bachus (R-Ala.). "The current proposal as advanced by Rep. Frank and Rep. Gillmor [Paul Gillmor (R-Ohio)] strengthens the bill by enhancing the federal financial agencies' authority to regulate and supervise industrial bank holding companies."

ICBA opposes exempting automobile and similar companies from the legislation, saying, "This would open a major loophole and undermine the fundamental purpose of the legislation."

Read the complete letter at www.icba.org.

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