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ICBA Speaks Out on Data Security

Washington, D.C. (July 5, 2005) - In the wake of recent highly publicized data breaches involving consumer financial information, the Independent Community Bankers of America (ICBA) supports Congress' efforts to consider legislation that would establish uniform data security requirements on financial services companies, data brokers, merchants, and service providers to protect consumer data.

"Community banks are strong guardians of the security and confidentiality of their customers' financial information," said David Hayes, ICBA chairman and president and CEO of Security Bank. "Safeguarding customer information is central to our banks maintaining the trust of our customers. Because of this and the bank customer data security requirements of the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act, community banks have security measures in place to ensure our customers' information is properly protected."

"But banks are just one of the parties that handle sensitive customer data, and unlike banks, not all companies are subject to current regulations and oversight. Community banks, as well as their customers, are put at risk when security breaches and fraud occur," Hayes continued. "ICBA is pleased that Congress is looking into establishing uniform requirements that would apply to all companies that are part of the transaction. We look forward to working with members of Congress to ensure any legislation that is enacted serves the best interests of community banks and our customers."