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ICBA Leaders Meet with Top Federal Banking Regulators

ICBA Reaffirms Community Banks' Unique Role in Banking System

Washington, D.C. (July 24, 2008)—In private meetings held over two days, leaders of the Independent Community Bankers of America (ICBA) met with the nation's top federal banking regulators including Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, Chairman of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation Sheila Bair, Comptroller of the Currency John Dugan and Director of the Office of Thrift Supervision John Reich.

"ICBA is grateful to have the chance to carry the message directly to our country's chief banking regulators that even in the midst of these difficult times, the vast majority of our nation's community banks are strong, safe and stable," said Cynthia L. Blankenship, ICBA chairman and vice chairman and chief operating officer of Bank of the West, Grapevine, Texas. "ICBA reaffirmed that community banks have been the foundation of American communities for well over a 150 years, and they will continue to play that role for generations to come."

Meeting with the chief federal banking regulators were Blankenship; Mike Menzies, ICBA chairman-elect and president and CEO of Easton Bank and Trust, Easton, Md.; Camden Fine, ICBA president and CEO; and Karen Thomas, ICBA executive vice president and director of government relations.

"We appreciate the regulators taking time out of their busy schedules to meet with ICBA," Blankenship said. "We took the opportunity to express our concerns about the challenges community banks face. We raised numerous issues ranging from the disproportionate regulatory burden to examination pressures to concerns about regulatory restructuring. We encouraged agency leaders to address these concerns so that community banks can continue to provide the services their customers need and want."