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Opening Up California to Interstate Banking

August 16, 1986

In reference to your article (July 28) on interstate banking legislation: Interstate banking is already here, despite what California laws say. Efforts to stall legislation opening up California's borders simply ignore this reality.

The California Bankers Assn., representing virtually 100% of California's banks, supports legislation that sets a timetable for transition to national reciprocal interstate banking.

We believe--and studies conducted prove--that interstate banking presents opportunities, both for California banks wishing to expand out of state, and for consumers who benefit from competitive prices and new products and services. Consumer organizations agreed. They have noted the consumer benefits in testimony in favor of interstate banking--and for the entrance of New York banks--on numerous occasions before the state Legislature.

Opponents have suggested that allowing New York banks to compete in California will affect the safety of California's independent banks, and that deposits will be taken out of California to underwrite troubled foreign loans. The overwhelming majority of our members don't think so. A consensus of our members--including more than 400 independent banks--has voiced support as far back as 1979.

National and state banking regulators, who are responsible for overseeing the safety and soundness of the industry, also support this type of legislation.

Opponents who raise these concerns in order to stall interstate banking are ignoring what should be the key issue--interstate banking is good for consumers of banking services and good for a thriving, competitive banking industry. We welcome the competition, and we welcome the opportunities.

MARK E. BUCHMAN

President

California Bankers Assn.

San Francisco

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