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ICBA Supports Conrad/Crapo Amendment

Amendment Allows Community Banks to Continue Serving Their Customers

Washington, D.C. (May 10, 2010)—The Independent Community Bankers of America (ICBA) today thanked Sens. Kent Conrad (D-N.D.) and Mike Crapo (R-Idaho) for introducing a bipartisan amendment to the Senate’s Wall Street reform bill that would allow community banks to continue lending to their customers in cities and towns throughout America.

“Our nation’s nearly 8,000 community banks are responsible, common-sense lenders who know their local community and their customers,” said Camden R. Fine, ICBA president and CEO.  “ICBA thanks Sens. Conrad and Crapo for introducing this amendment that would allow community banks to continue to lend to these creditworthy customers, including small businesses who drive their local economies through reinvestment and job creation.”

The Conrad/Crapo amendment would modify language in S 3217 that nationalizes lending limits severely impacting state-chartered banks in 20 states, including some hardest hit by the economic downturn.   Instead, the Conrad/Crapo amendment would preserve a state's ability to set lending limits for state chartered community banks. It also ensures that systemically risky institutions, which participated in the risky practices that caused this economic crisis, cannot switch to a state charter and evade the national loan limits.

"This amendment will help support small community banks and preserve access to credit in the communities they serve.  The ability of states to set lending limits for state-chartered banks is essential to support lending in local economies.  I am proud to have support on both sides of the aisle for this initiative and urge my colleagues to adopt this amendment," said Senator Kent Conrad.

ICBA looks forward to working with the Senate to ensure that this amendment is passed so community banks can continue to provide credit to their local customers and play a pivotal role in aiding America’s economic recovery.