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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

ICBA Forms Hurricane Katrina Task Force
National community banker panel one of several ongoing storm responses

Washington, D.C. (Sept. 9, 2005) - The Independent Community Bankers of America (ICBA) has formed a special task force of community bankers to address short- and long-term challenges Hurricane Katrina left in her wake. Several members of the task force are from the affected Gulf Coast region. Other members have direct experience dealing with the aftermath of natural disasters in other areas of the country.

The 12-member task force, organized to oversee the many activities ICBA has taken since Katrina struck, will lead the association's ongoing relief and assistance efforts for community banks throughout the Gulf Coast region in the weeks and months ahead.

"Community banks throughout the Gulf Coast region are playing a crucial role in rebuilding the millions of lives, neighborhoods and small businesses devastated by this storm," noted ICBA Chairman David Hayes, president and CEO of Security Bank in Dyersburg, Tenn. "This task force will harness the resources and expertise of community bankers all across the nation for those working directly with the ongoing recovery and rebuilding process from Hurricane Katrina."

Among other relief efforts, ICBA is helping to coordinate American Red Cross donations for disaster relief from community bankers and their customers (see a media release at www.icba.org/pressroom). The association has created a web page that centralizes various storm-relief information and resources (visit www.icba.org). It has also given policy makers a detailed list of priority actions they should consider (see list at www.icba.org/pressroom).

"Community banks always stand behind their customers and communities-whether in prosperous or difficult times," said ICBA President and CEO Camden R. Fine. "The terrible scope of the human and economic damage Hurricane Katrina brought to New Orleans and the Gulf Coast area is unprecedented and simply hard to comprehend. ICBA and its nearly 5,000 members are committed to continue assisting our fellow Americans throughout the Gulf Coast region until their communities have fully recovered."




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