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ICBA Celebrates 75th Anniversary Today
300 Community Bankers in D.C. Promoting Communities First Act

Washington, D.C. (May 9, 2005) - Today independent community bankers throughout the nation celebrated the Independent Community Bankers of America's 75th anniversary. For 75 years, ICBA has served the community banks that are the economic engines of Main Street America.

Community banks finance the hopes and dreams of our nation's families, homebuyers, small business owners, college students, farmers and senior citizens, said ICBA Chairman David E. Hayes, president of Security Bank of Dyersburg, Tenn.

ICBA was organized on May 9, 1930, by community bankers to fight financial concentration that would harm local economies. Today the association has nearly 5,000 member banks.

To recognize the anniversary, 300 of ICBA's leadership community bankers, who are in Washington this week to visit Capitol Hill, shared a special celebration cake during a lunchtime assembly. "ICBA has a proud and long legacy as the only national association that exclusively serves our nation's community banks," Hayes said. "Today, many community bankers were fortunate to be together in Washington to celebrate this special milestone in recognition of that heritage."

Wearing lapel buttons declaring "I Support the Communities First Act," the community bankers are talking to members of Congress about the Communities First Act, which is backed by ICBA and over 30 of its state affiliate community banking associations. The bill would provide community banks with much-needed regulatory and tax relief, encourage more Americans to save and help our nation's economy continue to grow. The Communities First Act (H.R. 2061) was introduced last week by Rep. Jim Ryun (R-Kan.), a senior member of the House Financial Services Committee.

"Reducing onerous regulatory burdens and creating tax parity and incentives will lower the costs of credit to consumers and keep thousands of towns and smaller cities strong and vital contributors to our economy," said ICBA President and CEO Camden R. Fine.

Visit www.icba.org for details about the Communities First Act.

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