FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
ICBA: Community Bank Stability a Marked Contrast to Turbulent Mortgage Market
Washington, D.C. (Aug. 23, 2007)—The Independent Community Bankers of America (ICBA) today said that in spite of turmoil in the credit markets, community banks are financially stable and healthy with money to lend to homeowners and small businesses.
"Wall Street may be suffering but Main Street's community banks are in solid shape and open for business," said Camden Fine, ICBA president and CEO. "Community banks are the foundation of our nation's diversified financial system. A credit crunch like we're seeing now is exactly why the nation needs the community banking industry - to ensure that credit remains consistently and widely available in good times and bad. Today, consumers and communities can continue to rely on community banks for their financial needs."
"The community banks are weathering this latest crisis in the mortgage market because they are well run, highly capitalized and among the most highly regulated financial institutions in the country," said Fine.
Fine noted that for the most part community banks have stayed away from risky subprime lending and have stuck to time-tested conforming mortgage products, which follow the generally conservative standards set by the federal government-sponsored enterprises.
In addition, community banking is a relationship business. "We know our customers, we work with them to provide a range of services not just for today but also throughout their lifetimes," said Fine. "Community banks provide a stable and reliable source of mortgage money whether they sell mortgage loans into the secondary market or hold them on their own books. And they remain well-positioned to make the loans that small businesses and consumers need."
About ICBA Securities
ICBA Securities Inc. is the member-directed securities broker/dealer of the Independent Community Bankers of America (ICBA). ICBA Securities provides community banks with quality bank portfolio investment products, services and educational programs. For more information, visit www.icbasecurities.com.