Federal Reserve Board Chairman Ben Bernanke has told three senators that a provision in the regulatory reform bill that would force banks to spin off their swaps trading desks would be "counterproductive."

"Forcing these activities out of insured depository institutions would weaken both financial stability and strong prudential regulation of derivative activities," Bernanke wrote Wednesday in a letter to Sens. Chris Dodd, D-Conn.; Richard Shelby, R-Ala., and Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y. Bernanke said the provision would make the U.S. financial system "less resilient and more susceptible to systemic risk."

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