You are here:HomeNews CenterInsurance News2005Rep. Oxley Introduces Bill to Allow Some Banks to Engage in Real Estate Brokerage

Rep. Oxley Introduces Bill to Allow Some Banks to Engage in Real Estate Brokerage

For years, there was a rallying cry to keep banks out of insurance. Now, the rallying cry is coming from real estate brokers wanting to...
June 1, 2005

For years, there was a rallying cry to keep banks out of insurance. Now, the rallying cry is coming from real estate brokers wanting to keep banks out of their business.

House Financial Services Committee Chairman Michael Oxley (R-Ohio) and ranking member Barney Frank (D-Massachusetts) have introduced legislation (H.R. 2660) that would allow certain financial firms to engage in real estate brokerage activities. The bill would amend the Bank Holding Company Act to clarify that real estate brokerage and real estate management activities are authorized financial activities for financial holding companies and financial subsidiaries of national banks. The legislation would allow those firms to act as agents for buyers and sellers of property and to list property for sale.

But despite the leadership backing the bill, support for a competing measure banning banks from real estate activities is extensive. In January, Rep. Ken Calvert (R-California) introduced H.R. 111, the Community Choice in Real Estate Act, which would bar real estate activities for financial holding companies and national banks. The measure has 223 cosponsors. Legislation identical to H.R. 111 is pending in the Senate (S. 98), introduced in January by Sen. Wayne Allard (R-Colorado). That measure has 22 cosponsors, including the powerful Senate Banking Committee Chairman Richard Shelby (R-Alabama).

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