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Big Business Wants Out of Banking Overhaul

As negotiations continue in the Senate over the financial services regulatory overhaul, non-banking entities are pressing Congress to leave them out of the final package.

Just days after sending a letter to Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Chairman Chris Dodd (D-Conn.) and ranking member Richard Shelby (R-Ala.), the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the National Association of Manufacturers, the Industrial Energy Consumers of America, the National Petrochemical & Refiners Association and the Fertilizer Institute have formed the Main Street Industry Alliance.

“Our organizations are extremely concerned that financial regulatory reform efforts could extend banking‐style regulation to manufacturers and other non‐financial U.S. companies,” the coalition members wrote. “Such a sweeping measure could create unintended consequences that could have devastating ramifications on job creation, innovation and U.S. competitiveness, adversely impacting economic growth for years to come.”

“Accordingly, we respectfully request your support for efforts to ensure that any systemic risk provisions of financial services reform legislation are appropriately tailored to exclude companies that are not predominantly engaged in financial activity,” they added.

The group was formed to lobby Congress to avoid including non-banking companies in financial regulatory reform legislation.

This coalition comes on the heels of another recently formed coalition of insurance industry executives. State Farm Insurance, Allstate Corp., Travelers Companies Inc., Chubb Corp. and Zurich Financial Services were among the insurers that formed the Property & Casualty Leaders Coalition. The Property & Casualty Leaders Coalition also called on Dodd to leave them out of the financial services regulatory overhaul.

“There is no public policy justification for taking funds from companies in our industry, especially on a pre-event basis, to bail out other financial institutions deemed to be overexposed to failing ‘systemic’ companies,” wrote CEOs from the coalition companies, including the ACE Group, Nationwide Insurance and Liberty Mutual. “Recoupment payments made to companies should come from the benefitting companies.”

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