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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

ICBA Critiques Ex-Im Bank Programs

Benefits for Community Banks and Small Businesses

Washington, D.C. (Jan. 17, 2008)—The Independent Community Bankers of America told Congress that the Export-Import Bank is a valued partner in helping community banks assist their small business customers with trade financing. ICBA also commended House Small Business Committee Chairwoman Nydia Velazquez (D-N.Y.) for her ongoing efforts to focus Ex-Im Bank resources on supporting small businesses and community lenders.

"Community banks are doing more with Ex-Im trade financing than ever before to help our small business customers reach global markets and to bolster local economies," said Paul Warfield, director of global banking, First National Bank Omaha, Neb., testifying on behalf of ICBA before the House Small Business Committee. "ICBA supports the beneficial programs of the Ex-Im Bank and community banks are eager to do even more with Ex-Im to benefit America's small business exporters."

"The ability for small businesses working with local community bankers to successfully reach global markets will continue to be a prime area for new job creation and economic growth," said Warfield. "With a declining U.S. dollar and growing global economies and trade, this is a time to strengthen small business export resources and build upon the successful Ex-Im Bank programs."

ICBA fully supports the Ex-Im Bank programs and proposed several recommendations to further enhance the Bank's effectiveness for lenders and small business borrowers alike, including:

  • Enhancing the Ex-Im Bank's funding for small business outreach by retaining a portion of any excess earnings by the Ex-Im Bank to further advance small business outreach.

  • Applying additional Ex-Im Bank budget resources to better staff and support community lenders and small business outreach nationwide.

  • Having solid community bank representation on the Ex-Im Bank advisory committees.

First National Bank Omaha helps Nebraska small businesses sell agricultural equipment to companies in Australia and scientific equipment to India.

Read ICBA's complete testimony at www.icba.org.