|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:||CONTACT: CHRISTI HARLAN|
|Thursday, November 4, 1999||202-224-0894|
VOTE PAVES WAY FOR FINANCIAL SERVICES MODERNIZATION
The U.S. Senate voted 90-8 today to approve S. 900, the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act, which will repeal the Depression-era barriers that separate banking, insurance and securities. Sen. Phil Gramm, chairman of the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs, issued the following statement:
"I believe we have passed what will prove to be the most important banking bill in 60 years. It overturns the key provision of the Glass-Steagall act that divided the American financial system.
"Over time, the market and the regulators have used a variety of innovations to try to undo this separation. As a result, we have substantial competition occurring, but it is competition that is largely inefficient and costly, it is unstable, and it is not in the public interest for this situation to continue.
"The Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act strikes down these walls and opens up new competition. It will create wholly new financial services organizations in America. It will literally bring to every city and town in America the financial services supermarket.
"Americans today spend about $350 billion on financial services – on fees and charges and interest. Most people who have looked at the potential for providing financial services under a more rational system believe, as I believe, that there are tens of billions of dollars of savings for the American consumer that will be produced by the reforms of this bill."