Industry News

Realtor group protests rulings by bank regulator

Builders support regulatory changes for banks' lending activities

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The National Association of Realtors is protesting rulings by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency that the trade group says "will inevitably lead to national banks becoming actively involved in real estate development and brokerage." The OCC regulates banking activities. The Realtor group has fought for years to block federally chartered financial services companies from participating in the business of real estate brokerage. Meanwhile, some real estate brokerage companies offer financial services such as mortgage and insurance related to real estate transactions. In a letter to the Comptroller of the Currency, NAR president Tom Stevens charges that by approving three recent bank-related real estate deals – the regulator is violating the National Bank Act and the regulator's own past rulings and regulations. Stevens urged Comptroller John C. Dugan to reconsider the rulings that allowed the banks to proceed with real estate-related projects and asked to meet with him. A...