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ICBA Statement on Senate Passage of JOBS Act

Legislation Includes ICBA-Advocated Provision to Raise SEC Registration Threshold

Washington, D.C. (March 22, 2012)—Jeff Gerhart, chairman of the Independent Community Bankers of America (ICBA) and chairman of Bank of Newman Grove, Newman Grove, Neb., released this statement following Senate passage of the Jumpstart Our Business Startups (JOBS) Act.

“ICBA sincerely thanks the senators who voted for passage of the JOBS Act, important legislation that includes a key ICBA-backed Communities First Act provision that raises the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) registration threshold for financial institutions from 500 shareholders to 2,000. This reform will make it easier for community banks to raise capital without tripping costly registration requirements—enhancing their ability to serve their customers and communities. It would also permit some community banks that are already registered with the SEC to deregister and thus significantly reduce their overall regulatory burden, freeing them up to make more small business and consumer loans in the communities they serve.
ICBA fought off the threat of several controversial and damaging amendments that were in play to be added to the JOBS bill. Notably, the legislation leaves out a highly controversial amendment to increase credit unions’ business-lending authority, which ICBA vigorously opposes and will continue to fight. Until tax-exempt credit unions are forced to pay taxes and comply with the Community Reinvestment Act like tax-paying community banks, they should not be allowed further mission creep into the business-lending sector.

ICBA has been the leading advocate for raising the SEC-registration threshold for many years. The association has fought for the provision in various regulatory-relief measures and has made it a top priority in the Communities First Act (S. 1600/H.R. 1697)—another ICBA policy priority for 2012. ICBA is pleased that this important SEC reform has passed in the Senate and will continue working to get it across the finish line and signed by the president.

For more information, visit www.icba.org.