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WASHINGTON-In a letter to several trade associations, including CUNA and NAFCU, lawmakers warned financial services providers that “holding a deposit to ensure its safety and soundness is reasonable, but holding a deposit in order to profit from the interest is completely unacceptable.” With the enactment of the Check Clearing for the 21st Century Act, check clearing has occurred with greater efficiency, the lawmakers-including House Financial Services Committee Chairman Mike Oxley (R-Ohio), Financial Institutions and Consumer Credit Subcommittee Chairman Spencer Bachus (R-Ala.), and House Financial Services Committee Members Patrick Tiberi (R-Ohio) and Melissa Hart (R-Penn.)-expect financial institutions not to take advantage of the new system for greater profits. “As the time period for the transportation of checks is reduced by greater electronic processing, simple fairness would seem to dictate that consumers should also realize the benefits of quicker access to their deposited funds,” the letter read. A similar letter was also sent to Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan noting the possibility of institutions taking advantage of the changes to expand profits. The Fed’s Regulation CC covers timeframes for holding checks.

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