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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

ICBA Urges Congress to Pass Bank Regulatory Relief

Jorde Says Measures Will Help Community Banks Better Serve Their Communities

Washington, D.C. (March 1, 2006)— In testimony today, the Independent Community Bankers of America (ICBA) urged the Senate Banking Committee to pass legislation this year to reduce the regulatory burden on community banks so that they will have more resources available to better serve their customers and their communities.

“Unlike larger institutions, we can't just add a new person and pass the costs on to our customers,” said Terry Jorde, ICBA chairman-elect and president and CEO of CountryBank USA, Cando, N.D, referring to how the growing regulatory burden affects community banks to a greater degree than larger financial institutions. “This disproportionate regulatory impact makes it difficult for community bankers to fulfill their central mission, to finance and support their local communities. Community bankers provide tremendous leadership in their communities, which is critical to economic development and community revitalization.” 

“Most regulations probably had a well thought out purpose when they were originated, but it’s been said, ‘No single raindrop is responsible for the resulting flood.’ Community banks in particular are awash in disproportionate regulatory burden and we need substantial relief before we are swept away in the floodwaters of regulation,” she said.

Jorde called on Congress to complete action this year on regulatory relief legislation including provisions from the Communities First Act (S.1568, H.R. 2061), some of which build on the concept of a tiered regulatory and supervision system that targets relief to institutions based on their size.  Other CFA provisions would apply to all banks, regardless of size.  All would go a long way toward improving community banks' ability to compete and serve their local communities.

To read the complete ICBA testimony and for more information on the Communities First Act, visit www.icba.org.