FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
ICBA Leaders Meet with President Bush
Also Meet with Treasury Secretary Regarding Stabilization Efforts
Washington, D.C. (Oct. 17, 2008)—Independent Community Bankers of America (ICBA) leadership met privately with President George Bush this morning following his remarks before the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. ICBA also met with Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson today to discuss the role of community banks in the federal government’s economic stabilization efforts and express support for Treasury’s voluntary program to purchase financial institutions’ preferred stock.
“ICBA was honored that President Bush took time from his busy schedule to personally meet with us and discuss the efforts the administration is taking to restore confidence in our nation’s banking system,” Cynthia L. Blankenship, ICBA chairman and vice chairman and chief operating officer of Bank of the West, Grapevine, Texas. “We reassured him that community banks have been and will continue to do everything they can to help restore stability to our economy.”
ICBA Chairman Cynthia Blankenship, Chairman-Elect R. Michael Menzies, Vice Chairman James MacPhee, President and CEO Camden Fine and Executive Vice President for Government Relations Karen Thomas participated in the meetings.
In the late-morning meeting with Secretary Paulson, the ICBA leaders discussed community bank concerns and their participation in the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act’s (EESA) Capital Purchase Program. ICBA encouraged Treasury officials to release further details on how mutual, Subchapter S corporation, privately held and non-publicly traded community banks can participate as soon as possible.
“ICBA was pleased to meet personally with both the President and Secretary Paulson to discuss federal efforts to help stabilize and restore confidence in our nation’s financial system,” said Camden R. Fine, ICBA president and CEO. “Community banks are stable, well-capitalized institutions that engage in common-sense lending and business practices. ICBA’s top priority during the current crisis is ensuring parity for community banks as federal stabilization efforts are undertaken, to ensure community banks are able to continue serving Main Street America as they have for more than 150 years.”
ICBA and Treasury officials also discussed community bank participation in the new TARP program and the role community banks can continue to play in keeping Main Street America vibrant and growing. The association thanked Paulson for supporting EESA provisions allowing community banks to participate in the Troubled Asset Relief Program and providing tax fairness for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac preferred share losses.