Commercial firms such as Wal-Mart Stores Inc. would be blocked from controlling so-called industrial banks under a bill introduced as congressional auditors asked whether such banks had enough oversight.
Industrial banks make loans to consumers and small businesses and accept deposits but don’t offer checking accounts.
A Government Accountability Office report says Congress should consider boosting the regulatory oversight of industrial banks, said Rep. Jim Leach (R-Iowa), who released excerpts from an advance copy.
Wal-Mart has applied to open a bank in Utah, one of just five states where commercial firms may own such companies.
Under Leach’s bill, any firm controlling an industrial bank would become subject to the Bank Holding Company Act.