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WASHINGTON – House Financial Services Committee Chairman Michael Oxley (R-Ohio), speaking at the opening of the hearing held by the House Subcommittee on Financial Institutions on the “Check Clearing for the 21st Century Act,” also known as “Check 21,” recognized the measure as implementing “the technological advancements made in the field of payment systems to provide customers with expedited access to capital and credit, while ensuring that they are protected from fraud.” Oxley said when he became Committee chairman, one of his primary goals was to make sure U.S. financial institutions had the tools to operate efficiently while maintaining the safety and soundness of the financial system. “The `Check 21′ legislation achieves this goal,” he said. He also noted the cost savings to customers and financial institutions that will result from increased electronic check presentment. Lastly, said Oxley, “the terror attacks of last year forced us to reexamine how our country operates under adverse circumstances.the days following Sept. 11, 2001 placed the U.S. payments system in crisis.With the enactment of `Check 21′ the need for the physical transportation of checks between financial institutions will be reduced and any threat to the transportation system will not affect the presentment of checks in the payments system.”

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