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Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release October 22, 1999


Early this morning, my administration reached a tentative agreement with Congress that will modernize the Depression-era laws that govern our financial system. While we are still reviewing the language, this tentative agreement will bring lower costs, more choices, and better protections for consumers. At the same time, it will promote continued investment in America's communities and new opportunities for our financial institutions to compete in the global marketplace. When this potentially historic agreement is finalized, it will strengthen the economy and help consumers, communities, and businesses across America.

As important as it is to modernize our nation's banking laws, I cannot accept any bill that would weaken the Community Reinvestment Act and undermine our commitment to promoting more investments in underserved communities. That is why I insisted that no bank that fails to meet the needs of our communities should be able to profit from the new insurance and securities powers that this legislation provides. This tentative agreement includes provisions that meet this test and provide for a strong and relevant Community Reinvestment Act.