Industrial Loan Corporations: Recent Asset Growth and Commercial Interest Highlight Differences in Regulatory Authority

GAO-06-961T Published: Jul 12, 2006. Publicly Released: Jul 12, 2006.
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Since their origin in the early 1900s, industrial loan corporations (ILCs) have grown significantly in size, and some have expressed concern that ILCs may have expanded beyond the original scope and purpose intended by Congress. Others have questioned whether the current regulatory structure for overseeing ILCs is adequate. This testimony is based on our September 2005 report that, among other things, (1) described the growth and permissible activities of the ILC industry, (2) compared the supervisory authority of the FDI--the current federal regulator for ILCs--with consolidated supervisors, and (3) described the extent to which ILC parents could mix banking and commerce. In this testimony GAO is reiterating that Congress should (1) consider options for strengthening the regulatory oversight of ILCs and (2) more broadly consider whether allowing ILCs a greater degree of mixing banking and commerce is warranted or whether other entities should be permitted to engage in this level of activity.

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