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NJBA CHAIRMAN FURTHERS THE CALL FOR REGULATORY REFORM

 NJBA CHAIRMAN FURTHERS THE CALL FOR REGULATORY REFORM
 ATLANTIC CITY, N.J., Oct. 29 /PRNewswire/ -- The chairman of the New


Jersey Bankers Association furthered his organization's demand for federal level bank regulatory reform that he said is turning banks into "record keepers and report writers for the government," and bank officers into "robots."
 "Serving the customer is being supplanted by serving the ever- growing burden of regulatory overkill."
 Addressing the annual NJBA Consumer Credit Conference, NJBA chairman Robert G. Cox, who is also president of the Summit Trust Company, Summit, N.J., singled out the FDIC Improvement Act of 1991 as a target of the NJBA's reform campaign, and reminded the 120 bankers in attendance that the act was approved by Congress before it was even printed.
 "The FDIC Improvement Act of 1991 was aptly described by James Watt of the Conference of State Bank Supervisors and many regulators as the worst piece of banking legislation ever to come out of Washington," said the NJBA chairman.
 Among the provisions of FDICIA are new filings which banks have to make documenting loans made to small businesses.
 "I can't vouch for everyone here, but I doubt that many of us are actively lending to the Fortune 100, or even the Fortune 500," remarked Cox. "It's a fact that banking's core market is the consumer and small to medium sized businesses -- they're our bread and butter! Washington should spend more time focused on improving the economy and less time tabulating which banks made fewer loans." "It would seem to me that searching for solutions would be far more preferable to searching for scapegoats."
 Cox was also critical of the FDICIA's intent to impose standardized operational and compensatory limits on all banks and not just on troubled institutions.
 "By turning directors, officers and employees into preprogrammed robots, bright and capable people will be discouraged from entering the banking business, and encourage those that we already have to leave," he said. "They'll go off into other fields where their creativity and problem solving abilities will be appreciated and rewarded. The effect on banks could well be a brain drain that can't possibly improve efficiencies, income, customer service or safety."
 He added that an act to repeal the standardization provisions is now on President Bush's desk, and the NJBA has encouraged its approval.
 Cox said that the NJBA is nearing the end of its process to assemble a special Task Force on Regulatory Reform, which will, by NJBA standards, be representative of institutions of all sizes and from all parts of the state.
 Part of the problem that contributed to the enactment of legislation such as FDICIA, he said, is that banking's national trade organizations disagree on the future direction for the industry. The NJBA's goal is to empower its member banks to push the American Bankers Association, Independent Bankers Association of America, the Association of Bank Holding Companies and the Association of Reserve City Bankers to unify on the singular issue of regulatory reform.
 "The annual cost of compliance with the massive number of federal laws and regulations has been estimated at more than $10 billion, or more than half the industry's profits for 1991," said Cox, adding that with laws like FDICIA, those costs are sure to climb.
 The NJBA Consumer Credit Conference concludes tomorrow.
 -0- 10/29/92
 /CONTACT: Kurt E. Schaub, director of communications of the New Jersey Bankers Association, 609-924-5550/ CO: New Jersey Bankers Association ST: New Jersey IN: FIN SU:


MJ-JS -- PH012 -- 6493 10/29/92 10:37 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Oct 29, 1992
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