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ICBA Community Bankers Meet with the President To Discuss Key Community Bank Issues

Washington, D.C. (December 22, 2009)—The Independent Community Bankers of America (ICBA) announced that eight of its member community bankers attended a meeting with President Barack Obama at the White House today to discuss key community bank issues and additional ways community banks can help both their local economies and the nation recover from the economic crisis. The ICBA community bank members also voiced concerns that community banks continue to face overly aggressive examinations that can hinder small-business lending.

“Our nation’s more than 8,000 Main Street community banks continue to serve the needs of their local customers and are critical to our nation’s economic recovery,” said Camden R. Fine, ICBA president and CEO. “ICBA is pleased the President chose to meet with community bankers to discuss ways the administration can help community banks enhance their lending. We thank the President for hosting this meeting and for listening to the needs of local community banks.”

ICBA community bank members who attended the White House meeting are ICBA Chairman-Elect Jim MacPhee, CEO of Kalamazoo County State Bank in Schoolcraft, Mich.; Larry Bauer, president of Planters & Merchants Bank in Gillet, Ark.; Mathew Gambs, CEO of Diamond Bancorp in Schaumburg, Ill.; Paul Mello, president and CEO of Solvay Bank in Solvay, N.Y.; William Pierce, president and CEO of Monadnock Community Bank in Petersborough, N.H.; Rebeca Romero Rainey, chairman and CEO of Centinel Bank of Taos, N.M.; Mark Schroeder, president and CEO of German American Bancorp in Jasper, Ind.; and Deloris Sims, chairman and CEO of Legacy Bank in Milwaukee.

ICBA has worked closely with the administration and Congress over the past year to ensure that community banks, which never participated in the risky lending practices that led to the financial crisis, can continue to lend to their local customers, especially small businesses. In fact, while community banks with $1 billion in assets or less represent about 12 percent of all bank assets, they support 31 percent of all small business loans that are less than $1 million. ICBA hopes that today’s White House meeting will help community banks continue to serve this vital segment of the marketplace, which drives job creation and our economy. ICBA looks forward to continuing its work with the administration and Congress to ensure that community banks can continue to serve the needs of their local communities for generations to come.

For more information, visit www.icba.org.