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ICBA President Speaks on Community Banking Issues

Washington, D.C. (April 29, 2004) - Community banking was the topic of discussion on morning rush hour shows at radio stations across the country, as the Independent Community Bankers of America President and CEO Camden R. Fine talked with radio hosts about Community Bank Month and the issues facing community banks.

"It was a wonderful opportunity to inform consumers about the many great things community banks do for their customers and for their towns every day, all over the country," said Fine.

Fine spoke with 12 radio stations and radio networks nationwide on issues such as deposit insurance, privacy, and financial literacy. Larger banking issues discussed include the separation of banking and commerce, and how the weight of regulatory burden designed to keep larger banks in check is burying smaller community banks.

"Banks are required to adhere to over 160 regulations," Fine said. "Most of those regulations were designed specifically to address problems identified in the very largest banks in the nation and were not targeted at community banks. Unfortunately however, more often than not community banks are the institutions that suffer most under many of these regulations. Meeting the requirements of these regulations stretches the financial and human resources of most community banks to the limit, and takes away from customer service and community service work these banks provide for their regions."

The role of community banks in their local markets was discussed. "Community banks do more than just provide quality financial services to their customers," said Fine. "They are an integral part of the fabric of thousands of towns and cities across America. Community banks work hard to improve the quality of life in their communities. That's what makes community banks special."