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ICBA Statement on Farm Credit System’s “Horizons Project”

Washington, D.C. (January 17, 2006)—John Evans Jr.,chairman of the Independent Community Bankers of America’s (ICBA) Agriculture Rural America Committee and CEO of D.L. Evans Bank, Burley, Idaho released the following statement regarding the Farm Credit System’s (FCS) Horizons Project:

FCS has completed its so-called Horizons Project, in which FCS representatives have gone to great lengths to justify their desire to expand into new business lines that go well beyond agriculture.  This appears to be little more than an effort to crowd out taxpaying commercial banks from many lines of businesses they currently serve well, by leveraging the tax-exempt advantages of the FCS’s status as a government-sponsored enterprise (GSE) against the private sector. 

ICBA welcomes efforts by the Farm Credit System to meet with ICBA’s leadership and community bankers to discuss a perceived lack of credit the system believes may exist, but ICBA draws the line at any attempt to justify taking over the customer base of community banks by leveraging the FCS’s government ties.