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Obama says NO to banks practicing real estate

March 16, 2009

001On March 11 of 2009, President Barack Obama signed into law the FY2009 Omnibus Appropriations Act permanently prohibiting banks from entering the real estate brokerage and management businesses. This is a tremendous victory for The National Association of Realtors (NAR), who fought hard since 2001 to keep banks out of the real estate business.

What harm would come of banks being involved in real estate brokerage and management?

Had banks been allowed to practice real estate, an area in which they lack expertise, consumers would have been financially harmed. Any time competition is limited, such as through the merger or fusion of the banking and real estate industries, consumers are given less options and subsequently less power and control over their own finances. NAR deserves credit for keeping pressure on the government and educating the relevant decision makers.

Congress could change the law, but the odds are slim this will ever happen. Good work, NAR.

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