FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
ICBA Applauds Senate Introduction of Communities First Act
Proposal Offers Community Banks Regulatory and Tax Relief
Washington, D.C. (July 29, 2005) - The Independent Community Bankers of America (ICBA) commends Sen. Sam Brownback (R-KS) for introducing the "Community Banks Serving Their Communities First Act". Sens. James Inhofe (R-OK) and Pat Roberts (R-KS), are cosponsoring the ICBA-backed federal legislation which is designed to help communities by providing badly needed regulatory relief and tax reform for community financial institutions and their customers.
"Community bankers are excited about the momentum growing for the Communities First Act and thanks these lawmakers for sponsoring this initiative in the Senate," said David E. Hayes, ICBA Chairman and president of Security Bank in Dyersburg, Tenn. "Community banks everywhere are struggling with a disproportionate and overwhelming regulatory and tax burden. By lightening this burden, this proposal will benefit consumers, small businesses and our local economies by allowing community banks to focus their resources on serving their customers."
"The regulatory and tax burden placed on our nation's community banks doesn't just affect the bank's bottom line. It negatively impacts consumers and small businesses in our communities," said Camden R. Fine, ICBA president and CEO. "Community banks are out there every day helping people build businesses, buy homes and improve their finances. If they must divert limited resources to comply with an overwhelming number of regulations, they can't help grow and improve their communities. This legislation is an important step toward leveling the playing field with tax-exempt credit unions and farm credit agencies."
In May, Rep. Jim Ryun (R-KS) introduced the "Community Banks Serving Their Communities First Act" (H.R. 2061) in the House. The House bill currently has 65 sponsors and has been endorsed by more than 40 bank trade associations throughout the country. ICBA was instrumental in the introduction of both House and Senate bills and in garnering support for the bills.
For more information on the Communities First Act, visit www.icba.org.