March 20 – The Independent Community Bankers of America has announced its top legislative and regulatory priorities for 2017. ICBA made the announcement at its ICBA Community Banking LIVE national convention in San Antonio.
“ICBA remains as focused as ever on advancing common-sense policies to ensure our nation’s community banks can continue helping local communities thrive,” said ICBA Incoming Chairman R. Scott Heitkamp, president and CEO of ValueBank Texas in Corpus Christi, Texas. “By advocating tiered regulations that are tailored to the size and risk profile of community banks, Congress and the Trump administration can support stronger economic and job growth nationwide.”
ICBA’s top priorities for 2017 include:
Relief From Crushing Regulatory Burden: Enacting targeted regulatory relief from ICBA’s Plan for Prosperity platform to help community banks support the credit needs of their customers, continue serving their communities, and accelerate local economic growth.
Consumer Financial Protection Bureau: Supporting legislation that ensures accountability at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau by replacing single-director governance with a five-member commission and promoting greater participation by the prudential banking regulators.
Cybersecurity: Maintaining community banks’ existing flexibility to use the cybersecurity framework that best fits their size and complexity while ensuring federal cybersecurity policies recognize existing community bank mandates.
Data Security and Fraud: Ensuring all participants in the payments system, including merchants and entities with access to customer financial information, are subject to Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act-like data-security standards.
Tax Policy: Advocating tax laws that promote robust economic activity, a vibrant community banking sector, and saving and investment.
Payments Systems Access and Governance: Supporting payment systems that are competitive, progressive and secure and that offer fair and open access to all community banks so they can meet the existing and evolving global payment needs of their customers.
Tax-Exempt Credit Unions: Urging Congress to end the credit union industry’s unwarranted federal tax subsidy and opposing expanded powers for the industry as long as it remains exempt from taxation and the Community Reinvestment Act.
Enacting A New Farm Bill and Reforming The Farm Credit System: Calling on Congress to pass a strong farm bill that provides stability to the volatile farm sector and to prevent the Farm Credit System from abusing its tax-advantaged status.
Mortgage Lending Reform: Reforming CFPB mortgage rules to protect responsible loan products that meet consumers’ diverse needs and provide “qualified mortgage” safe harbor status to all loans originated and held in portfolio.
Fintech Bank Charters: Continue raising concerns with the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency’s proposed special-purpose national bank charter for fintech companies, such as risks to taxpayers and the financial system and whether the OCC is legally authorized to proceed.
Community Bank Access to Capital: Supporting legislative and regulatory changes that would improve the ability of community banks to raise capital to meet the credit and banking needs of their local communities.
Housing-Finance Reform and the Government-Sponsored Enterprises: Supporting housing-finance reform that preserves market liquidity and stability for all stakeholders while allowing Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to develop and implement a capital-restoration plan that protects U.S. taxpayers from future bailouts.
Current Expected Credit Loss Model: Opposing any implementation of the Current Expected Credit Loss model that contradicts the Financial Accounting Standards Board’s view that smaller community financial institutions should utilize existing processes to project future credit losses.
Ending Too-Big-To-Fail: Curbing or ending the advantages enjoyed by too-big-to-fail banks that have resulted in a financial system plagued by excessive concentration, systemic risk, moral hazard and distorted free markets.
The Independent Community Bankers of America®, the nation’s voice for more than 5,800 community banks of all sizes and charter types, is dedicated exclusively to representing the interests of the community banking industry and its membership through effective advocacy, best-in-class education and high-quality products and services. For more information, visit ICBA’s website at http://www.icba.org.