FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Statement of Bill Loving
Senate Press Conference on ILC Bill
May 10, 2007
Good morning. My name is Bill Loving and I am CEO of Pendleton Community Bank, a $185 million community bank located in Franklin, West Virginia and a member of the Independent Community Bankers of America.
The consumers and small businesses in my community depend on local institutions like mine for their credit needs-a service my bank has provided since 1925. They like doing business with us, and we like doing business with them. We know them. We know their families. We know our customers by more than just their credit score, because we live and work together.
Opponents of this bill argue that allowing companies like Wal-Mart, Home Depot and others into banking is good for consumers and small businesses because it will increase competition. However, nothing could be farther from the truth. I suspect they would have made the same argument to other local businesses before Wal-Mart moved into their neighborhoods-local businesses that no longer exist because Wal-Mart drove them out of business. The same fate could fall upon community banks across our country and to the small businesses we lend money to. Our local communities will have the life drained out of them as local dollars historically used for reinvesting back into our communities are siphoned away. What are the prospects of our small business customers obtaining much needed capital or loans from banks owned by their competitors? You be the judge.
The truth is that allowing banks to be owned by commercial conglomerates does not increase competition, it reduces it in the long run.
The people in my community deserve better. I want to thank Senators Brown, Allard and Johnson for sticking up for our local communities, the little guy, and those whose focus day-in and day-out is building better communities-community bankers. Thank you.