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ICBA Applauds Bush Budget for Promoting Individual Savings Options

Washington, D.C. (Feb. 8, 2005) - The Independent Community Bankers of America (ICBA), the nation's largest banking trade organization, applauded the savings recommendations in President Bush's new budget that will help everyday Americans to better save for their futures.

The 2006 fiscal year budget promotes many ICBA-backed savings options that would allow more Americans to save and invest. "We were pleased to see the Bush budget reflect solid proposals to boost personal savings," said Camden R. Fine, ICBA president and CEO. "It's no secret that Americans need to save more, and the FY 2006 Budget launches much-needed savings incentives, including Lifetime Savings Accounts, Retirement Savings Accounts and Individual Development Accounts enthusiastically supported and promoted by ICBA."

"The current array of complex, restrictive and fragmented savings plans prevents Americans from having a simple and flexible account to meet their savings needs," said Paul Merski, ICBA chief economist and director of federal tax policy. "Millions of Americans often cannot qualify for today's savings plans because of complex restrictions."

Merski added, "Saving and investing is the fuel of economic growth, and ICBA applauds the administration for promoting expanded savings options. LSAs, RSAs and IDAs would greatly help simplify and expand the availability of saving products for all Americans."

ICBA commends the president's recent appointment of a bipartisan Advisory Panel on Fundamental Tax Reform and looks forward to working on tax reforms that will help induce Americans to increase their personal savings.