May 12 – The Independent Community Bankers of America (ICBA) has delivered to the Treasury Department a comprehensive white paper to bolster economic and job growth through tiered and proportionate community banking regulations. “Community Bank Regulatory Relief: A Roadmap to Economic Growth and Prosperity” outlines ICBA’s plan to modernize regulations on community banks so they can continue fostering economic recovery in communities of all sizes across the country.
“Community banks operate in a suffocating regulatory environment that prevents them from reaching their full potential as catalysts for local economic growth and job creation,” ICBA wrote in the white paper. “ICBA urges the Department of the Treasury and Congress to champion and enact meaningful regulatory relief that will allow community banks to do what they do best — serve the unique borrowing needs of their customers.”
ICBA’s white paper, which complements its Plan for Prosperity regulatory relief platform, lays out the economic benefits of community banks and the challenge of overregulation that exacerbates industry consolidation and limits access to critical banking services for many consumers. The paper offers solutions to the following policy areas to spur community-based growth and investment:
- Strengthening community bank mortgage lending by reforming the “qualified mortgage” rule, unnecessary escrow requirements, costly appraisal and application mandates, and more,
- Easing commercial lending rules, such as data-collection and rural-credit mandates, to mitigate the negative impact on small businesses and farms,
- Reforming punitive Basel III capital rules and refocusing them on the largest financial firms,
- Addressing growth-inhibiting burdens stemming from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, Bank Secrecy Act, quarterly call report and examination environment, and
- Reviewing the credit union industry’s tax and regulatory exemptions to promote a level playing field in the financial services industry.
ICBA community bankers from around the country met with Treasury officials on April 5 to detail many of these recommendations in response to President Trump’s recent executive order to review financial regulations. ICBA’s “Community Bank Regulatory Relief: A Roadmap to Economic Growth and Prosperity” white paper is available on the ICBA website.
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.