Industry News

Congress to probe federal banking rule

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A backlash from consumer advocates and growing concern among state regulators over new federal banking rules that would void numerous state consumer lending laws for national banks prompted a Congressional committee to schedule a hearing that will examine the rules further. The House Financial Services Subcommittee hearing to be held on Wednesday will require the Office of the Comptroller of Currency to justify publicly its decision to finalize the new rules prior to congressional review. The OCC this month announced rules that exempt national banks from state lending laws, including laws that curb abusive practices known as "predatory" lending. "I am disappointed in the manner in which these rules were finalized," Rep. Sue Kelly (R-N.Y.) said in a statement announcing the hearing. "Comptroller (John) Hawke has personally promised me that he will visit the subcommittee in late March as part of the subcommittee's continuing oversight of the agencies within its jurisdiction." The he...