House Financial Services Committee Chairman Mike Oxley (R-OH) said the rulemaking process on bank real estate powers should be allowed to proceed, and he reproached members of the real estate industry who are trying to block the Treasury Department from issuing a rule allowing banks to engage in certain real estate activities.
"Legislative attempts to stymie the rulemaking process are counterproductive and undermine the future of any legislation that relies on the expert judgment of regulators," Oxley said. "Until the Fed and Treasury complete their work, legislation seeking to prevent them from acting is contrary to the intent of the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act."
Last March, the Treasury announced that it would postpone issuing a final rule on this matter until 2003. It is likely to be further delayed pending a review by Treasury Secretary-designate John Snow. We urge the Fed and Treasury to follow Chairman Oxley's lead and issue a final rule as soon as possible.