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ICBA Supports Obama Administration’s Efforts to Hold Systemic-Risk Institutions Accountable; Calls for End of Too-Big-to-Fail

Washington, D.C. (September 14, 2009)—The Independent Community Bankers of America (ICBA) today released this statement following President Obama’s remarks from Wall Street regarding the economic crisis and the administration’s regulatory reform proposals.

“ICBA thanks President Obama for recognizing that our nation’s more than 8,000 community banks are responsible, common-sense lenders that did not participate in the risky practices that sparked this financial crisis. Community banks welcome financial reform efforts that will enhance and improve the fabric of our nation’s financial system by holding systemic-risk institutions accountable. As this current financial crisis has shown us, the risk to our financial system and economy posed by the failure of one of these mega-institutions is too great—and they should have to account for the added risk their size and activities pose. These too-big-to-fail institutions must be downsized and should have higher capital and liquidity requirements, as well as increased consolidated supervision by the Federal Reserve.

“Additionally, ICBA supports the Bank Accountability and Risk Assessment Act of 2009, introduced by Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-Ill.), chairman of the House Financial Services Subcommittee on Financial Institutions and Consumer Credit, which would broaden the assessment base for FDIC deposit insurance premiums and create a separate risk-based assessment for too-big-to-fail banks.

“On behalf of community banks, ICBA looks forward to working with the Obama administration and Congress to enact thoughtful regulatory reform that strengthens our financial system so our nation and our nation’s community banks emerge even stronger from this economic crisis.”

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