The National Association of Realtors is worried that a new federal banking rule that allows national banks to skirt state banking laws might also enable banks to ignore state real estate licensing laws if they are allowed to enter the brokerage business. But NAR's concern is misplaced, according to the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, the federal agency that regulates national banks. The agency's preemption rule, which took effect this month, has nothing to do with real estate brokerage. The OCC's final preemption rule says national banks and their operating subsidiaries must follow national banking laws and operate under the regulatory authority of the OCC and are exempt from state banking laws. "Under existing regulations that were not changed in today's rulemakings, both the visitorial powers rule and the preemption regulation apply to operating subsidiaries of national banks. They do not apply to financial subsidiaries, nor do they authorize any new powers or activit...
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