2003-08-07 / Business & Finance

Pataki Signs "Wild Card"

Banking Legislation
Pataki Signs "Wild Card"

Pataki Signs "Wild Card"

Banking Legislation

Governor George E. Pataki has sign-ed legislation providing a four-year extension of New York State’s "Wild Card" Banking Law. The extension of the law will help provide stability to New York’s vital banking industry by ensuring a level playing field between State-chartered banks and federal banks.

"The financial services industry is one of New York’s largest employers, and we must do everything we can to ensure that banks remain headquartered right here in the Empire State," Governor Pataki said. "This four-year extension of the ‘Wild Card’ banking law will continue to provide a strong measure of stability within New York’s banking system, and will help ensure that our State-chartered banks can com-pete effectively with their federal coun-terparts."

The new law will maintain the State Banking Department’s ability to extend the same powers to State-chartered banks as those currently enjoyed by national banks. It also continues the Depart-ment’s existing authority to grant State- chartered savings banks and savings and loans insurance powers that are conferred upon State-chartered banks pursuant to the "Wild Card" law. In addition, full "Wild Card" authority will be created to cover State-chartered sav-ings banks and saving and loans, al-lowing these State-chartered institutions to enjoy the same banking powers as their federal counterparts.

Since New York State’s "Wild Card Law" was first enacted in 1997, the law has allowed the State’s Banking Board to ensure that State and national banks compete on a level playing field by authorizing the Board to provide State- chartered institutions with the same bank-ing powers that national banks are given at the federal level. Under the law, any amendments to state regulations can only match, not exceed changes that are authorized at the federal level.

As part of the new four-year extension, the State Banking Board’s powers will now be expanded to help State- chartered savings banks and savings and loans compete on a level playing field with their federal counterparts. The Board will now be authorized to extend the same powers to State-charted savings banks and savings and loans as those currently enjoyed by federal savings banks. This will help ensure that banking powers for State-chartered institutions keep up with any changes that occur at the federal level.

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