For the third straight year, the U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee has approved a permanent prohibition on the entry of federally chartered banking entities into the business of real estate brokerage. The committee approved the ban as a part of an appropriations bill for the departments of transportation, treasury, and housing and urban development. The National Association of Realtors trade group for several years has aggressively lobbied to block federally chartered financial institutions from engaging in real estate activities, charging that these large companies would have an unfair advantage in the marketplace. Meanwhile, banking industry supporters have countered that new competition would be good for the real estate brokerage industry. "Last year, House and Senate appropriation...
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