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SIA CANVASSING MEMBERS TO UNCOVER BANK VIOLATION OF ANTI-TYING REGULATIONS

 WASHINGTON, Nov. 17 ~PRNewswire~ -- The Securities Industry Association has begun canvassing members to uncover specific instances by banks of violation of "anti-tying" laws and rules which result in "unfair competition" with securities firms, Austin Koenen, chairman SIA investment banking committee, said Tuesday.
 Various regulators, in response to complaints, earlier have also publicly announced investigations into anti-tying activities, but can't take action without specific details, or without an issuer's statement that it was coerced.
 Securities firms and securities issuers have been reluctant to identify the instances because of the need for continued access to credit from these same banks which may be violating the law, Mr. Koenen said in a letter to senior executives of SIA's more than 600 member firms.
 To alleviate these concerns, Mr. Koenen told the Securities executives to contact selected SIA staff, who would channel the necessary information to appropriate federal regulators without securities firm names.
 Until recently, the anti-tying problem seemed restricted to the municipal securities markets. But, with the advent of bank securities affiliates, called "Section 20" affiliates, and the increased presence in the market for underwriting, allegations of "tying" have risen steadily and will become more common in corporate finance, he said.
 Tying is an arrangement in which a bank conditions the availability of credit or a credit product on the purchase of other services or products from the bank or its affiliates. Such practices are illegal under the Bank Holding Company Act.
 These tying activities "offer enormous competitive advantages for commercial banking organization engaging in investment banking services. Only banks can fund their credit operations with federally insured deposits and only banks (the most important source of credit in the economy) can threaten an issuer's traditional source of credit," he said in the letter.
 Securities and Exchange commissioner Richard Roberts has told the securities industry it "has a window of opportunity to, in effect, put up or shut up," Mr. Koenen said.
 "We should take advantage of this unique opportunity to promote fair competition in the U.S. capital markets."
 SIA is the securities industry's trade association, representing the business interests of more than 600 securities brokerage and investment banking firms in the U.S. and Canada. Collectively, they account for more than 90 percent of securities activity in North America.
 -0- 11~17~92
 ~CONTACT: Art Samansky or Karen San Antonio of Securities Industry Association, 202-296-9410 or 212-608-1500~


CO: Securities Industry Association ST: District of Columbia IN: FIN SU:

LR-OS -- NY025 -- 1754 11~17~92 10:37 EST
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Date:Nov 17, 1992
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