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ICBA Backs Call for Clarity on Holder’s Too-Big-To-Jail Comments


March 13 - Camden R. Fine, president and CEO of the Independent Community Bankers of America, released this statement following the release of a letter from Sens. Mark Warner, D-Va., and Bob Corker, R-Tenn., seeking clarification from U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder of his statement that the size of too-big-to-fail financial firms inhibits Justice Department prosecutions on Wall Street.

“Like Sens. Warner and Corker, ICBA and the nation’s community banks want answers on why Wall Street financial institutions should be allowed to operate above the law. Holder’s statement that the size of these too-big-to-fail institutions has prevented the Justice Department from enforcing the law shows that these systemically dangerous megabanks receive favorable treatment from both regulators and law enforcers.

“While community banks are accountable to regulators, market forces and the law, the megabanks apparently are held to a different standard. Their too-big-to-fail status provides them a taxpayer-funded guarantee against failure, while their interconnectedness in the financial system appears to ensure that they are also considered too big to jail.

“While the nation’s community banks have helped communities across the nation begin to recover from the Wall Street financial crisis of 2008-10, the megabanks are allowed to continue operating as if the crisis they caused never happened. Not only should they be held accountable, they should also be downsized and split up to help restore sanity to our financial system. Only then can we ensure that all financial institutions are held to the same legal and regulatory standards.”

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