Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Ohio House Passes Bill Aimed At Retaining Ohio Banking Institutions, Preserving Jobs

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COLUMBUS—Continuing a focus on jobs and the economy, the Ohio House of Representatives today passed House Bill 322, which would bolster Ohio’s banking industry and ensure that Ohio chartered banks are able to fairly compete with other banks from out-of-state.
House Bill 322 strives to avoid a loss of employers and jobs as a result of disadvantages in Ohio law by creating a “bank parity” statute in Ohio. This proposal would help to bridge the regulatory gap between Ohio’s homegrown banks and Ohio branches of out-of-state banks, allowing Ohio’s banks to adjust their rates to compete with the rates authorized by other banks.
“This legislation will help to build Ohio’s economy and create jobs by supporting local businesses,” said Speaker of the Ohio House William G. Batchelder (R-Medina). “At a time when many other states allow the market to control interest rates, Ohio is one step closer to being better able to attract, create and retain jobs within the banking industry.”
Under current law, Ohio is unable to limit interest rates that out-of-state credit card providers charge Ohio consumers. Proponent testimony during Financial Institutions, Housing and Urban Development Committee indicated that Ohio’s current “rate cap” has contributed to some of Ohio’s banks’ decisions to move credit card operations to other states, which have cost the state vital jobs and revenue.
According to House Bill 322, Ohio-based banks will be permitted to issue credit cards at interest rates that are allowed in other states.
House Bill 322 passed with bipartisan support and now awaits Governor Kasich’s signature.