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ICBA Statement on Recent Financial-Sector Events

Washington, D.C. (July 14, 2008)Camden R. Fine, president and CEO of the Independent Community Bankers of America (ICBA), issued the following statement:

“ICBA commends the Federal Reserve and the Treasury Department for their swift actions to restore public confidence by taking measures regarding the federal government sponsored enterprises (GSEs) Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. The two mortgage giants are critical to the recovery and viability of the nation’s mortgage marketplace. ICBA is confident that today’s actions will help restore confidence in the housing sector. As with financial market disruptions in the past, our nation will weather the current market instability and our housing markets will emerge stronger and more resilient.

“Congress has already taken an important step. Just last week, Senate lawmakers passed a comprehensive housing bill that will help families throughout the country keep their homes rather than lose them to foreclosure. ICBA asks that Congress pass and the president quickly sign this legislation.

“ICBA also understands that during these difficult economic times some people are concerned about the safety of the money they have in their bank savings or retirement accounts, but they shouldn’t be.

“The federal government has insured depositor funds held in FDIC-insured banks for up to $100,000 per depositor and $250,000 for certain retirement accounts. The FDIC insures deposits and protects depositors' funds in community banks, mutual savings banks and other savings associations as well as in large and money center banks. FDIC deposit insurance covers each depositor, dollar-for-dollar, up to the insurance limit, including principal and any accrued interest.* And during the 75 years since the FDIC was chartered, depositors have not lost a single penny of FDIC-insured deposits.”

“Even in these challenging times, the overwhelming majority of our nation's more than 8,000 community banks are stable, safe and strong. Community banks are highly capitalized and well-regulated institutions, helping Americans finance a home or refinance their mortgage. Each day, millions of people and small businesses count on community banks – as common sense lenders – to help build their financial future.”

* Notably, bank depositors can also have FDIC insurance coverage well in excess of the basic $100,000 limit in their financial institution. For instance, coverage up to $250,000 for IRAs, and subject to certain conditions, single accounts and joint accounts are separately insured, and revocable trusts generally can provide $100,000 of FDIC coverage per beneficiary.