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Bank branching bill passes

PROSPECTS for nationwide banking got a boost Wednesday after a House panel easily approved a bill to overhaul decades-old regulations that curb the ability of banks to run branches coast to coast.

The banking committee approved the bill 50-1 and sent it to the full House. Interstate branching would allow consumers to deposit checks or obtain a loan anywhere in the nation where their home-town bank has a branch. Bankers say the bill would save them millions of dollars by allowing them to consolidate banking units.

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