Better line up to get your toasters, electric blankets, china, Cuisinart food processor or other fine gift from your friendly bank or savings and loan for opening an account. Federal banking regulators want to prohibit them.
At the first meeting of the Depository Institutions Deregulation Committee yesterday, the regulators comprising the group voted to issue a proposed rule to prohibit such gifts or premiums when a new account is opened or when an addition is made to an existing account.
The public, and the institutions, will have 30 days in which to comment before the rule would go into effect.
The committee was created by the banking reform law passed earlier this year to oversee the six-year phase-out of regulation, (which limits interest rates institutions can pay. The committee also proposed requiring that finders fees be paid in cash and be regarded as interest to depositors.
Finders fees, not common in the Washington area, are paid by some financial institutions to people who persuade others to make large deposits. One financial institution in the New York area recently ran ads promising to give a Mercedes automobile to anyone who could find $1 million to be invested in a 26-week certificate of deposit, a committee source said.