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ICBA: CFA and Community Banks Essential Pieces to the Economic Recovery Puzzle

ICBA Thanks Rep. Luetkemeyer for Introducing Vital CFA Legislation

Washington, D.C. (May 9, 2011)-The Independent Community Bankers of America (ICBA) today publicly backed the advancement of one of its key policy priorities for 2011, the Communities First Act, H.R. 1697, which was introduced by House Financial Services Committee member Blaine Luetkemeyer (R-Mo.).  The ICBA-supported legislation is designed to help community banks and their customers do what they do best—invest in their local communities to help grow small businesses,  jobs and the overall economy.

"The ICBA-advocated Communities First Act and the nation's more than 7,000 community banks are critical pieces to the economic growth puzzle," said Sal Marranca, ICBA chairman and president and CEO of Cattaraugus County Bank, Little Valley, N.Y.  "By advancing much-needed policies that allow our local communities to flourish, Rep. Luetkemeyer's timely legislation will bolster our recovery."

Among its provisions, the Communities First Act will:           

  • address onerous and expensive over-regulation,
  • encourage greater saving, investing and lending,
  • reduce counterproductive procyclical policies by  allowing community banks to amortize losses on commercial real estate loans and other real estate owned over 10 years for regulatory capital purposes,
  • recognize the cost of regulations by require the Securities and Exchange Commission to conduct a cost-benefit analysis before approving any proposed accounting change,
  • increase the threshold number of bank shareholders that trigger SEC registration from 500 to 2,000,
  • allow the Financial Stability Oversight Council to veto Consumer Financial Protection Bureau rules that would adversely impact a subset of the financial services industry,
  • amend the Wall Street Reform Act to restore bank reliance on external credit ratings
  • extend the five-year net-operating-loss carryback provision to better reflect business cycles and free up cash flow when it is most needed and
  • create a limited tax credit for community banks to improve the flow of credit.

"Our nearly 5,000 members will fiercely back this legislation because it benefits consumers, small businesses, local governments and others who depend on them for financial support," said Camden R. Fine, ICBA president and CEO.  "We will work diligently with members of Congress to promote this legislation, which will help bring much-needed vitality to Main Streets across the nation" 

For more information on this important issue or to speak with an ICBA staff expert, please contact Aleis Stokes at 202-821-4457.  For more information, visit www.icba.org.