FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Community Banker Urges Senate to Include H.R. 2061 Provisions in Regulatory Relief Bill
ICBA Chairman Says Banks Are Drowning in Paperwork
Washington, D.C. (June 21, 2005) - In testimony today before the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs, David Hayes, chairman of the Independent Community Bankers of America (ICBA) said that the future viability of America's community banks is in question because they are disproportionately suffering from ever-mounting regulatory burden that is jeopardizing the economic vitality of the nation's small businesses, consumers and communities.
In his testimony, Hayes praised the leadership of Sen. Mike Crapo (R-ID), who is taking a broad approach to drafting proposed regulatory relief legislation and urged him to include items from the Communities First Act (H.R. 2061). H.R. 2061 would provide targeted regulatory relief for community banks and their customers and strengthen communities by freeing up resources currently used for compliance. It was introduced to give community banks the relief that had not been included in previous regulatory relief bills, which contained relief for big banks, thrifts and credit unions, but did little to address concerns of community banks and their customers.
Hayes said that small and large community banks are now drowning in paperwork and regulatory burden, while "credit unions, with their unfair tax-exempt advantages and favorable legislation loosening membership restrictions, have made inroads into small banks' market segments."
"The Communities First Act is strictly designed to lift the regulatory and tax burden for community banks and help level the playing field," Hayes said. "Congress should eliminate the credit unions' unfair tax and regulatory advantages over community banks."
ICBA strongly supports the comprehensive review of bank regulations to reduce the compliance burden to community banks and believes in a tiered regulatory and supervisory system that recognizes the differences between community banks and more complex institutions. Community banks have more limited resources and the current burden diminishes their ability to attract capital and support the credit needs of their customers and communities.
David Hayes, president and CEO of Security Bank in Dyersburg, Tennessee, is the chairman of ICBA and a member of the ICBA executive committee and board of directors.
See the full text of Hayes' testimony at www.icba.org/pressroom.