WASHINGTON- Senator Mike Crapo (R-Idaho), who has been charged with writing financial services regulatory relief legislation on the Senate side, recently released a matrix of all the proposals he has received for the package. The move demonstrated at least some forward progress on the legislation, on which the House passed its own package March 18 by a vote of 392-25. The Senate Banking Committee Leadership determined it would come up with its own language rather than taking up H.R. 1375, the Financial Services Regulatory Relief Act. The subject of interstate branching for industrial loan companies has been a problem in gaining consensus for the bill, as well as the bankers’ opposition to the credit union provisions. While NAFCU Communications Manager John Zimmerman said he expects a bill to be introduced sometime this month, it is unlikely to get much beyond that point. He added that this “concrete” evidence that the matter is being reviewed encouraged him. “You’ve got to get all the cards on the table before you can deal them out,” Zimmerman commented. Over 130 proposals are included in the matrix compiled from the June 2004 Senate Banking Committee hearing on the potential legislation. During the hearing, Crapo has also agreed to try to coordinate the effort to cultivate consensus on the bill’s provisions. The matrix includes where support or opposition lies on the various provisions. Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation Vice Chairman John Reich put together the matrix, which the lawmaker asked him to do at a hearing earlier this year. In releasing the matrix, Crapo pointed out that studies show banking regulator requirements cost between $26 and $40 billion a year. “Too many of those regulations are outdated, ineffective, or unduly burdensome and therefore no longer justified in today’s market. Consumers no doubt bear additional costs from these regulations,” he stated. Crapo added, “While finding a consensus on these issues may be difficult, I look forward to continuing that process and working with interested parties to put together a regulatory relief proposal before Congress adjourns for the year.” [email protected]

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