Industry News

Realtors upset about banks’ real estate development plans

Trade group will seek details through Freedom of Information Act

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Watchful of efforts to expand banks' presence into real estate brokerage services, the National Association of Realtors today announced that it is questioning bank-related real estate development projects approved in December by the U.S. Office of the Comptroller of the Currency. This latest saber-rattling focuses on real estate development projects by Bank of America and PNC Financial Services Group Inc. The Realtor trade group plans to file a Freedom of Information Act request "to determine whether the OCC has quietly authorized other banks to engage in real estate activities that may violate the letter or spirit of (the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act), as well as the National Bank Act, and bring banks one step closer to engaging in commercial real estate brokerage," according to the announcement today. Realtors have been lobbying aggressively for several years to block Congress from allowing federally chartered financial institutions from engaging in real estate brokerage services. Meanwh...