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ICBA Applauds House Passage of Regulatory Relief Bill

Measure Includes Provisions from Communities First Act

Washington, D.C. (September 28, 2006)—The Independent Community Bankers of America (ICBA) applauded the U.S. House of Representatives for unanimously passing regulatory relief legislation (S. 2856) that includes three provisions from the ICBA-backed Communities First Act (H.R. 2061). Senate approval of the House-passed version is expected soon.

"In passing this legislation, Congress reaffirmed its commitment to communities all over America that depend on community banks as partners for financial services," said Terry J. Jorde, ICBA chairman, and president and CEO of CountryBank USA, Cando, N.D. "ICBA greatly appreciates the work of Chairman Oxley, Chairman Shelby, Reps. Hensarling and Moore, and Sen. Crapo for moving this important bill forward."

ICBA President and CEO Camden R. Fine said the legislation will help community banks better serve their communities. "S. 2856 will free up resources so community bankers can devote more time to helping the families and small businesses in their communities," he said.

S. 2856 includes three provisions from the ICBA-inspired "Community Banks Serving Their Communities First Act" to provide regulatory and tax relief for community bankers and their customers. The provisions:

  • Allow the banking agencies the flexibility to extend the examination interval for well-rated, well-capitalized banks with up to $500 million in assets.

  • Require the FDIC, in conjunction with other Federal banking agencies, to review Call Report requirements every five years to identify information and schedules that can be reduced or eliminated.

  • Increase the asset size of the small depository institution exception under the Depository Institution Management Interlocks Act to $50 million, up from $20 million.

"Passage of this bill is a welcome step forward," Fine added, "ICBA will continue to pursue additional regulatory relief and adoption of other sections from the Communities First Act in future Congresses."

For more information on the Communities First Act, visit www.icba.org.