FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
ICBA Supports Oxley-Frank Real Estate Powers Bill
Community Banks Could Better Serve their Communities
Washington, D.C. (June 14, 2005) - The Independent Community Bankers of America (ICBA) supports the bi-partisan effort by Reps. Michael Oxley (R-OH) and Barney Frank (D-MA) to clarify the role of banks in real estate transactions through The Fair Choice and Competition in Real Estate Act of 2005 (H.R. 2660). In a letter, ICBA praised the proposed amendment to the Bank Holding Company Act that would give banks real estate brokerage and management authority.
"For most consumers the purchase and financing of a home is the largest financial transaction in which they will engage," said Camden R. Fine, ICBA president and CEO. "Allowing community banks to offer real estate brokerage and management services will enhance their ability to serve their customers and their communities. ICBA is pleased Reps. Oxley and Frank have introduced this bill."
ICBA supports permitting financial services holding companies and the financial subsidiaries of national banks to offer real estate services. Permitting community banks to offer these additional financial services would benefit consumers through greater competition, improved product availability, improved quality of service and lower costs.
In December 2000, the Federal Reserve and the Treasury defined these real estate activities as "financial in nature" under the authority granted to them by the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act. That rule has been blocked by appropriations bill riders and stalled by pending legislation blocking banks from engaging in real estate activities.
Oxley is chairman of the House Financial Services Committee and Frank is its ranking minority member.
View the entire letter at www.icba.org/pressroom.