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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

ICBA Statement on SEC Announcement Concerning SOX 404

Washington, D.C. (May 18, 2006)—Camden R. Fine, president and CEO of the Independent Community Bankers of America (ICBA), issued the following statement concerning the announcement made by the SEC yesterday that beginning next year all SEC filers will have to comply with Section 404.

"ICBA is disappointed that the SEC has rejected the recommendation of its Advisory Committee to exempt smaller public companies from Section 404 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act. The Final Report of the Advisory Committee clearly documents that smaller public companies such as community banks have been disproportionately impacted by the costs of SOX 404. While we are encouraged by the Commission's and the PCAOB's intention to issue further guidance, ICBA believes that only an exemption will relieve the full burden of SOX 404. Attention will now turn to Congress to enact relief measures such as the COMPETE Act introduced yesterday by Rep. Tom Feeney (R-Fla.) that would allow smaller public companies to opt-out of Section 404."