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ICBA Strongly Supports Federal Rules to Ease Bank Exams and Free Up Resources for Communities

Washington, D.C. (May 14, 2007)—The Independent Community Bankers of America (ICBA) strongly supports interim federal banking regulatory rules that allow community banks with assets of up to $500 million to qualify for extended examination cycles.

"In issuing these rules, the federal bank regulators have reaffirmed their commitment to communities all over America that depend on community banks as partners for financial services," said Karen Thomas, ICBA executive vice president and director of government relations. "Implementing this provision frees up resources so community bankers can devote more time to helping the families and small businesses in their communities.

"We welcome these changes and ICBA commends the federal banking agencies for advancing the regulations," Thomas said.

The provision passed under the Financial Services Regulatory Relief Act of 2006 (FSRRA) late last year and is similar to one included in the ICBA-backed Communities First Act. The rule reduces the regulatory burden on nearly 1,100 community banks between $250 million and $500 million in assets that now qualify for an 18-month (instead of 12-month) exam cycle. Additionally, it will allow the banking agencies to focus on institutions that present capital, managerial, or other issues of supervisory concern, while reducing the regulatory burden on well-capitalized and well-managed community banks.

For additional information, please visit www.icba.org.

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