FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
ICBA Statement on FDIC/OCC Small Bank CRA Proposal
Washington, D.C. (Feb. 23, 2005) - Independent Community Bankers of America (ICBA) President and CEO Camden R. Fine issued the following statement regarding the FDIC/OCC CRA small bank proposal:
"The ICBA is encouraged by the action the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency took in proposing to increase the asset-size limit for designation as a 'small bank' under Community Reinvestment Act rules.
"Having the FDIC and OCC propose a CRA break point at $1 billion is important and significant. It indicates that they recognize that the current CRA large bank exam is not a good fit for large community banks and consumes resources that could be better used to benefit local communities.
"Relieving larger community banks of unnecessarily burdensome data collection, and expanding the definition of community development to foster needed rural economic and infrastructure development, will allow community banks to refocus their efforts on meeting local needs.
"The proposal would also replace the overly restrictive 'investment test,' which forces some banks to make investments that do not benefit their own communities, with a more flexible community development test for 'intermediate small banks' between $250 million and $1 billion. That test would consider a combination of lending, investment and services to allow individual banks to play to their strengths and tailor activities to their local communities.
"The ICBA plans to take a close look at the new community development test, particularly the separate weighting of the test and the definition of underserved rural areas, to analyze whether the proposal meets the goals of providing meaningful regulatory burden relief while allowing community banks to better meet local needs."