White House plans to introduce bill to ease bank regulations


WASHINGTON -- Offering an election-year gift to the banking industry, the Bush administration will introduce legislation to repeal provisions of last year's banking law that the banks say are too onerous.

Administration officials are packaging the legislation, which is expected to be sent to Capitol Hill next week, as a measure that would make credit more easily available. Some banking groups have said it would result in more jobs.

But the bill faces long odds, with little time left in the legislative session and many members of Congress wary of identifying themselves withthe Bush campaign's promotion of the president deregulator.

The proposed legislation is a response to the industry's claims that it is over-regulated.

Mr. Bush said last year that he had agreed reluctantly to the new jTC banking law because it contained a taxpayer loan to rescue the insolvent bank insurance fund.

This year's administration proposal would loosen standards for lending to bank executives, ease appraisal standards and drop the requirement that regulators set reasonable levels of executive pay to bankers.

:. It would reduce the role of bank auditors.

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