Lobby groups tackle reform head on

Dec. 29, 2009 at 8:01 AM

WASHINGTON, Dec. 29 (UPI) -- President Barack Obama's attempt to overhaul the U.S. financial service sector is cause for all-out resistance, bank lobbying groups said.

The bill that would create a consumer protection agency to oversee financial products resulted in a "call for action" from the American Bankers Association, USA Today reported Tuesday. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, meanwhile, has spent $2 million on advertisements opposing the agency.

"This bill is a sea change ... in the way the financial services industry is regulated. It's all hands on deck," said Scott Talbott, senior vice president of the Financial Services Roundtable, a bank lobbying group.

The lobbying has already resulted in new lines being drawn in the House version of the bill by allowing retailers, including automobile dealers, to be exempted from the new agency's oversight, the newspaper said.

Rep. John Campbell, R-Calif., a former auto dealer, helped pull automobile dealerships out of the bill.

"A needless second set of regulatory costs for an industry that everyone knows is completely on its back right now," Campbell said.

But Consumers for Auto Reliability and Safety, a consumer watchdog group, said otherwise.

"You can't police auto lending without policing auto dealers," Rosemary Shahan said.

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