New bank-friendly regulatory bill passed in Washington

29 September 2006

A bill set to reduce the amount of legislation currently stifling US banks was passed on Wednesday in a unanimous vote in the House of Representatives.

According to financial service chairman Michael Oxley, the new proposals aim to free up financial businesses considerably.

The new bill will: "allow banks, thrifts, and credit unions to devote more resources to the business of providing financial services and less to compliance with outdated and unneeded regulations," Mr Oxley said, according to the Dow Jones newswire.

A fight lasting almost seven years between the exchange commission, securities and the bank regulators will hopefully be resolved by the decision.

The new bill calls for the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Federal Reserve System to suggest rules on how to regulate bank brokerage activities meaning that some key businesses will not be "pushed out" as suggested by proposed legislation in 2001 and 2004.

Protecting investors and maintaining fair and efficient markets is the core aim of the SEC, officials said.

The SEC aims to cooperate with The Federal Reserve System, or 'Fed' which is the central bank of the United States and was created by congress to assure the US had a more flexible and stable financial system.

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