The chairman of the Senate Banking Committee warned yesterday that unless banks, savings institutions and real estate brokers reach a general consensus on the need for government action to allow them to compete more effectively with money market funds, retailers and other nonbanks, the comprehensive banking bill now before Congress will not pass this year.
Speaking at a meeting of the National Association of Federal Credit Unions, Sen. Jake Garn (R-Utah) said the financial market "is changing so rapidly that we don't have a great deal of time. I would hope for some action this spring. But, if the traditional depository institutions don't get their act together and stop their intramural warfare, there won't be any legislation."
Later, however, Garn said "I think the parties are much closer together in private than they are willing to admit publicly."
Garn was preceded at the speaker's platform by Treasury Secretary Donald Regan, who described the "financial supermarkets" of today and the administration's approach to the "free-market mold" for financial institutions.
Credit unions are about to plunge into the free-market mold by deregulating deposits. Interest rates, maturities, penalties for early withdrawal and other terms would be left up to the individual credit union to decide. The National Credit Union Administration intends to propose all-out share (account) deregulation next month if its members want it.