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ICBA Commends the SEC for Deferring Sox Section 404 Due Dates

Additional Year Would Help Banks Adapt to Rules, Enable Continued Focus on Customers

Washington, D.C. (December 18, 2006)—The Independent Community Bankers of America (ICBA) applauds the Securities and Exchange Commission for allowing small businesses to defer by one year the due dates to file internal control reports under the Sarbanes-Oxley Section 404 law and asks the SEC for an additional year to give community banks more time to understand and apply the new guidance.

An additional year's deferral would permit community banks to adapt to the new control rules and continue to focus resources on lending and providing banking services to customers in their local communities.

"We commend the SEC for the new Section 404 due dates for non-accelerated filers," said Chris Cole, ICBA's regulatory counsel. "However, we do not believe that a one-year deferral will afford sufficient time for non-accelerated filers and their auditors to benefit from the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board's anticipated changes to make Auditing Standard No. 2 more risk-focused and efficient. We urge the SEC to defer the Section 404 due dates by an additional year."

Under the new schedule, non-accelerated, calendar year filers will have to file Section 404 management internal control reports by the due date of the 2007 annual report and the auditor's attestation by the due date of the 2008 annual report. If the SEC deferred the due dates an additional year, calendar year filers would have until the due date for their 2008 annual report to file their management internal control reports and the due date for their 2009 annual report to file the auditor's attestation report. ICBA believes that a further deferral would give more time for management and the auditors to understand and apply the new guidance recently issued by the SEC and the revised Auditing Standard No. 2 expected to be issued by the PCAOB on December 19, 2006.