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ICBA Pleased with President Obama’s Remarks Regarding Need for Prefunded Systemic Risk Fund

Fund would protect nation’s financial system and taxpayers from over-concentration of systemic risk institutions

Washington, D.C. (July 23, 2009)—The Independent Community Bankers of America (ICBA) released this statement following President Obama’s White House news conference, during which he said that he supports a prefunded systemic-risk fund—a key ICBA policy priority. Such a fund would ultimately protect our nation’s financial system and America’s taxpayers from the over-concentration of systemic-risk institutions that led us to this economic crisis.

“ICBA is pleased that President Obama voiced his support for a prefunded systemic-risk fund, which is in line with what ICBA has been calling for all along. Our nation’s more than 8,000 Main Street community banks, their communities and their customers should not bear the burden for a financial and economic crisis that they did not create. Instead, the systemic-risk institutions, which are too big and interconnected to manage, regulate or fail, should be forced to pay up for the risk and dangers that they pose to the financial system, and ultimately America’s taxpayers. This prefunded systemic-risk fund would serve as a barrier to protect taxpayers from future loss.

“Additionally, to reduce the risk that taxpayers will be called upon to prop up mega institutions, too-big-to-fail systemic risk institutions should be either downsized or required to divest sufficient assets so they no longer pose a risk to the entire financial system. The question really should be how, not whether, to downsize them.

“ICBA looks forward to working with the Obama administration and Congress on behalf of America’s community banks and the communities they proudly serve to ensure that regulatory reforms make our nation’s financial system stronger than before the current economic crisis began.”