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ICBA Endorses Hurricane Check Cashing Indemnification

ICBA Urges Quick Passage of Measure That Gets Cash to Customers in Hurricane Areas

Washington, D.C. (Oct. 5, 2005) - The Independent Community Bankers of American (ICBA) endorsed the Hurricane Check Cashing Relief Act of 2005, introduced by Rep. Ginny Brown-Waite, (R-Fla.). The bill would provide up to $2,000 in reimbursement to a financial institution that has cashed a check for someone from an area affected by Hurricane Katrina if the check is uncollectible.

"This measure will help community bank customers who had to flee from the hurricane without their identification and other personal papers or who later lost them during evacuation," said Camden R. Fine, ICBA president and CEO. "The bill appropriately rewards those banks that, in the early days after the disaster, did the right thing and provided cash when ATMs were not working."

Financial institutions will be more likely to cash checks for people in the need because this legislation offers compensation in cases where, even when making their best efforts, a check is returned without payment.

About 120 ICBA-member banks were affected by Hurricane Katrina. In addition to the check indemnification measure, ICBA and member banks identified 50 recommendations that help banks assist their customers, including thousands of small businesses, stabilize and rebound financially as quickly as possible from the devastating damage Hurricane Katrina caused to New Orleans and the Gulf Coast region.

A complete list of ICBA Katrina recommendations can be found at www.icba.org.