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LAFLACE BILL WOULD HOLD BANKS TO THEIR PROMISES

Rep. John J. LaFalce, D-Town of Tonawanda, has introduced a bill that aims to make sure that banks involved in mega-mergers continue to invest in all the communities they serve.

LaFalce noted that big banks often make public commitments to make such investments, but said there is currently no way to make sure that they live up to their public pledges.

Under LaFalce's bill, federal regulators would have to notify financial institutions that are not keeping those promises, and let the public know that the promises are being broken, too.

In addition, the bill authorizes the regulators to take a bank's community investment compliance record into account in any future decisions about the bnak.

Currently, federal regulators only check on whether banks are meeting minimum Community Reinvestment Act commitments on a year-by-year basis, and never check to see if the banks keep their long-term pledges, which are usually made over 10 years.

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