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ICBA Commends FDIC’s Decision on Commercial ILCs

Washington, D.C. (January 31, 2007)—Terry J. Jorde, chairman of the Independent Community Bankers of America (ICBA) and president and CEO of CountryBank USA, Cando, N.D., issued the following statement on the FDIC's decision to extend its moratorium on approving applications by commercial enterprises for industrial loan companies (ILCs).

"ICBA commends the FDIC for doing the right thing by extending its moratorium on applications by commercial companies to own an ILC. Maintaining the separation of banking and commerce is a long-standing national policy that has kept our nation's economy strong, vibrant and diverse. This decision by the FDIC is an important step toward ensuring the continued safety and soundness of our financial system.

"ICBA has led the fight to keep commerce and banking separate and we will continue to fight until the opportunity for commercial firms to own banks is permanently closed through legislation. ICBA calls on Congress to quickly pass H.R.698, a bill introduced this week by Reps. Barney Frank (D-Mass.) and Paul Gillmor (R-Ohio) that closes the ILC loophole in the Bank Holding Company Act.

"We thank the FDIC for extending its moratorium so that Congress can consider and act on this vital issue for our nation's taxpayers, consumers, small businesses and communities. Closing the ILC loophole will ensure that Americans continue to enjoy access to the impartial allocation of credit that comes from having a diversified financial system."

The action taken today by the FDIC follows requests by ICBA and more than 100 members of Congress asking the FDIC to extend the moratorium on approving any applications for deposit insurance for commercial companies seeking to own ILCs so that federal lawmakers have ample opportunity to consider this vital issue.

Visit www.icba.org for further information about ILCs and the separation of commerce and banking.