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ICBA Statement on Home Depot Acquiring Lending ILC

Washington, D.C. (May 10, 2006)—Camden R. Fine, president and CEO of the Independent Community Bankers of America (ICBA) issued the following statement upon Home Depot, Inc.'s announced acquisition of EnerBank USA, a Utah industrial loan company (ILC):

“Home Depot's acquisition of EnerBank is the latest illustration that exploitation of the ILC loophole by commercial companies is mushrooming out of control. Many fear that if Wal-Mart opens a bank, other retailers will also seek to take advantage of the ILC loophole. Well, Wal-Mart's application is still pending, and the stampede through that loophole has already begun.

“Our nation is at risk of dismantling a financial structure that has evolved over two-hundred years and has served our country well by giving us a safe, sound and strong financial system. Congress should not allow the line it created separating banking and commerce to be irreparably breached through a loophole in the law. ICBA urges Congress to examine this issue and its impact on our economy and communities, before it's too late.”