FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
ICBA Urges SEC to Adopt Advisory Panel Recommendation for Smaller Companies
Rule Would Free Up Resources to Invest in Local Communities
Washington, D.C. (February 21, 2006)— The Independent Community Bankers of America (ICBA) applauded the recommendations of the SEC Advisory Committee on Smaller Public Companies to ease securities regulation under Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOX) Section 404. The proposal would exempt smaller public companies from the internal control attestation requirements under SOX.
“Keeping the internal control attestation rules for community banks hinders their competitiveness and ability to raise capital which in turn hurts the national economy,” said Chris Cole, ICBA regulatory counsel. “If the SEC adopts this regulatory relief – which ICBA strongly urges -- it will significantly benefit hundreds of publicly held community banks and holding companies, and free up resources for new lending and investment in local communities.”
The SEC Advisory Committee recommended:
- Exempting companies with market capital of less than $125 million and revenues no greater than $125 million completely from SOX Section 404;
- Exempting smaller public companies with market capital of between $125 million to $750 million and revenues no greater than $250 million from the internal control attestation requirements of Section 404;
- Incorporating the scaled disclosure and financial statement accommodations currently available to small business issuers under Regulation S-B into Regulations S-K and S-X and make them available to all micro-cap companies and small-cap companies;
- Adopting a new private offering exemption for small companies that does not prohibit general solicitation and advertising for transactions with certain purchasers; and
- The formation of a task force of SEC and bank regulatory officials to discuss ways to reduce inefficiencies associated with bank and bank holding company filings.