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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

ICBA Applauds SEC for Extending Small Filer Phase-in
Filing Extension Reduces Audit Costs For Community Banks

Washington, D.C. (Sept. 21, 2005) -- The Independent Community Bankers of America (ICBA) commended the Securities and Exchange Commission today for extending the Sarbanes Oxley Act Section 404 phase-in period for one additional year for non-accelerated filers.

“We commend the SEC for its decision to extend the Section 404 phase-in period one additional year or until 2007,” said Camden Fine, president and CEO of ICBA. “When the SEC Advisory Committee on Smaller Public Companies was established early this year, we urged the Commission to postpone the Section 404 phase-in period so that the Commission would have the opportunity to consider the recommendations of the Advisory Committee. We are also pleased that the Commission decided not to proceed with the further acceleration of the filing deadlines for Forms 10-K and 10-Q as currently scheduled for accelerated filers but retain the filing deadlines in effect this past year.  The accelerated deadlines would have been unreasonably short.”

ICBA has recommended to the Advisory Committee that the SEC update the 500-shareholder requirement under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and that there be a community bank exemption under Section 404 similar to the exemption from internal control requirements under banking regulations to relieve community banks of an unnecessary cost burden. The FDIC recently proposed raising the exemption from internal control requirements for banks with assets of up to $1 billion. 

ICBA also recommended that the SEC revise its definition of “accelerated filer” under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 as proposed today by the Commission. “We commend the Commission’s proposal today to revise the definition of “accelerated filer” and look forward to commenting on it,” said Fine.




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