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ICBA Urges Congress to Close the ILC Loophole

House of Representatives to Consider H.R. 698

Washington, D.C. (May 18, 2007)—The Independent Community Bankers of America (ICBA) urged Congress to pass the ICBA-endorsed Industrial Bank Holding Company Act of 2007, H.R. 698, a measure that would close the industrial loan company (ILC) loophole. The measure is scheduled for House floor action early next week.

"ILCs were created to provide small consumer installment credit, but have recently grown into a multi-billion dollar industry and have been pursued by some of the world's largest corporations, including Wal-Mart and Home Depot," said Camden Fine, ICBA president and CEO in a letter to Congress. "This bill would close the industrial bank loophole, thereby preserving the separation of banking and commerce, which has been one of the pillars of our economic system and helped make it the envy of the world."

"Keeping banks and commercial firms separate ensures that credit is granted impartially, avoids the excessive concentration of economic power, and protects American taxpayers against expensive bailouts," Fine said.

This pro-consumer, pro-competition bill also has wide-ranging private sector support, with endorsements from banking, labor, consumer and commercial groups. The bill enjoys bi-partisan support with more than 140 cosponsors.

Read ICBA's letter at www.icba.org.