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ICBA/Community Banks Boost Nation’s Communities

Orlando, Fla. (March 4, 2008)—The Independent Community Bankers of America (ICBA) and community banks nationwide are making a difference in the lives of Americans and America's communities by keeping the country strong and vibrant by promoting and actively working for economic and financial diversity.

"ICBA has made a difference! And we continue to make a difference for community banks, and in the lives of the people you serve everyday," said Camden R. Fine, ICBA president and CEO, in addressing the nearly 3,000 attendees gathered for the 2008 ICBA National Convention and Techworld in Orlando, Fla. "Our nation, and particularly our smaller towns, cities and rural areas are stronger, more vibrant, and better served today because community banks and ICBA exist!"

In pledging to continue ICBA's singular focus on representing community banking, Fine noted several significant policy issues that are top priorities for the association in the year ahead. "ICBA will continue to fight hard to promote and protect the Federal Home Loan Bank System for community banks, and we will continue fighting for meaningful Estate Tax relief," Fine said.

Fine went on to outline several ICBA priority issues such as maintaining the separation of banking and commerce by closing the industrial loan company loophole, fighting for additional regulatory and tax relief for community banks through provisions in the ICBA-initiated Communities First Act, continuing to advocate to ensure community banks don't face additional legislative and regulatory burden from the fallout caused by the current subprime mortgage crisis, and fighting to stop credit union industry and Farm Credit system expansion plans.

"I cannot imagine where our nation would be without community banks and ICBA," said Fine. "If you remember anything from today, remember this — community banks matter! And community banks need and deserve their own voice in Washington, D.C."

Find the text of Fine's speech at www.icba.org.