FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
ICBA Lauds FDIC’s Decision to Cut Special Assessment, Base on Assets
Major Policy Shift Helps Community Bank Capital Stay Where It Belongs—In the Community
Washington, D.C. (May 22, 2009)—The Independent Community Bankers of America (ICBA) today lauded the FDIC’s decision to cut its proposed 20-cent special assessment to 5 cents and base it on bank assets less tangible tier one capital. The vote was a welcome decision that comes after months of strong ICBA and community bank opposition to the originally proposed 20-cent special assessment that would have hindered community banks’ ability to continue to lend to their communities during a time when it is needed most.
“This is a major policy shift advocated by ICBA that lowers the special assessment for our nation’s more than 8,000 community banks that didn’t participate in the practices that led to this economic crisis, yet were originally asked to pay for the sins of those who did,” said ICBA chairman and president and CEO of Easton Bank and Trust Co., R. Michael Menzies. “Community banks continue to lend to their communities, and the FDIC’s decision to lower the special assessment will keep more community bank capital where it belongs—in the community.”
The FDIC vote follows intensive ICBA efforts and thousands of community banker e-mails, letters and phone calls to the FDIC and members of Congress. Congress this week passed ICBA-backed legislation to expand the FDIC’s borrowing authority with Treasury from $30 billion to $100 billion, with emergency funding up to $500 billion, which the FDIC said was needed to reduce the assessment.
"Main Street community banks are the lifeblood of their communities in cities and towns throughout America,” said ICBA president and CEO, Camden R. Fine, a vocal critic of the proposed 20-cent assessment. "Community banks didn’t cause this mess—it’s only fair that the institutions that did pay their fair share to replenish the DIF. ICBA commends the FDIC for taking this into consideration and responding to the needs of our nation’s common-sense community banks that work every day to make their communities a better place to work and live, especially during these uniquely challenging times.”
For more information, visit www.icba.org.