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Baking Conglomerates Permanently Barred from Real Estate Activities

On March 11, 2009, President Obama signed into law the FY2009 Omnibus Appropriations Act that permanently prohibits banks from entering the real estate brokerage and management businesses.
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Frequently Asked Questions>

Protect long-standing national policy
The U.S. economy depends on a strong real estate market and a healthy banking industry. Therefore, REALTORS® are concerned about market disruptions, especially those that would affect both banking and real estate.

Real estate is a commercial enterprise
Banking is financial in nature. Real estate is commercial. Throughout the years Congress has defended its Depression-era policy that the two should not be mixed.

Most recently, in the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act, Congress explicitly declared what functions were financial in nature and therefore permissible for banks. Real estate was not one of them. While debating this legislation, Congress repeatedly voted to uphold our national policy against mixing banking and commerce.

Banks are trying to change the definition of real estate
Despite Congressional policy, regulators are slowly blurring the line separating banking and commerce:
Why should REALTORS® care?
Banks should be impartial providers of credit, not powerful, concentrated conglomerates that grow bigger to the detriment of small businesses and consumers. The success of real estate agents is determined by how well he or she meets consumers' needs.

If banks had been allowed to engage in real estate brokerage, it would have created anti-competitive and anti-consumer concentrations of power within the financial services sector, which would have ultimately increased costs for homebuyers.

The latest news
Realtors® Recognize Importance of Keeping Big Banks Out of Real Estate

Letter to the U.S. Senate Urging Members to cosponsor S. 356 - the Community Choice in Real Estate Act

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