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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

ICBA Praises SEC for Regulatory Relief Proposal

Calls on SEC to Exempt Smaller Companies from SOX Audit Rules

Washington, D.C. (Sept. 18, 2007)—The Independent Community Bankers of America (ICBA) commends the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) for its proposal to expand small company disclosure and reporting requirements to cover companies with capitalization up to $75 million, an increase from the current $25 million threshold.

"This proposal will implement several ICBA-supported recommendations of the SEC Advisory Committee on Smaller Public Companies for scaling the disclosure requirements of smaller public companies," said Chris Cole, ICBA regulatory counsel in a letter to the SEC. "It will simplify and improve the disclosure and reporting rules for these companies and enhance their competitiveness without reducing investor protection."

ICBA also supports integrating Regulation S-B into Regulation S-K and praises the SEC for proposing an a la carte approach for small reporting companies. Under the a la carte approach, a small reporting company can choose, on an item-by-item basis, to comply with either the scaled disclosure requirements for small companies or the disclosure requirements for other companies.

ICBA also recommended the SEC go a step further and develop another scaled disclosure regime for companies between $75 million to $787 million in market capitalization, as recommended by the SEC Advisory Committee. "These companies would also benefit from a simplified disclosure scheme that would reduce their compliance costs without sacrificing investor protection," ICBA said.

ICBA reiterated its support for the following SEC Advisory Committee recommendations:

  • An exemption for micro-cap companies - those with equity capitalization of $128 million or less and revenue less than $125 million - from the Sarbanes Oxley Act Section 404 internal control attestation requirements.

  • An exemption for small-cap companies with equity capitalizations between $128 million and $787 million and revenue less than $250 million from the external audit requirements of SOX Section 404.

Read the letter at www.icba.org.

About ICBA

The Independent Community Bankers of America, the nation’s voice for community banks, represents 5,000 community banks of all sizes and charter types throughout the United States and is dedicated exclusively to representing the interests of the community banking industry and the communities and customers we serve. For more information, visit www.icba.org.