FDIC vice chairman targets big banks Eliminated in 1999, Glass-Steagall separated commercial banks, with their traditional focus on taking deposits and making loans, from the investment banks that specialize in proprietary trading and other casino-like activities. Democrats and Republicans in Congress have made noises about cutting the biggest banks down to size, as have Federal Reserve bank governors, former Citigroup CEO Sandy Weill and conservative columnist George Will. Another potential abuse that has come to light involves the relationship of major banks with online payday lenders who charge extortionate interest rates. A number of federal and state agencies - including the FDIC, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and New York's Department of Financial Services - are said to be investigating the practice. Wells Fargo, which has taken some flak for its own high-interest Direct Deposit Advance program, said it honors payments that have been pre-authorized in good faith by customers - whether it is a gym membership, a utility payment, or a newspaper subscription. In August, California's Department of Corporations sent out an "Internet Payday Lending Alert," urging potential borrowers, in a state where payday lending is legal, "to be wary of these types of loans."