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ICBA Commends the SEC for Extending SOX 404 Deadline for Small Filers

Washington, D.C. (Feb. 1, 2008)—The Independent Community Bankers of America (ICBA) commends the Securities and Exchange Commission for its decision to postpone the Sarbanes-Oxley Section 404(b) audit requirements for small SEC filers-including many community banks-for one additional year. ICBA also applauds the SEC's decision to conduct a cost-benefit study to determine the impact that the recent SEC management guidance and the new auditing standard will have on Section 404 compliance costs.

"ICBA applauds the SEC for taking this action to carefully consider the impact on community banks and small business in particular as the nation looks for ways to spur economic activity," said Camden Fine, ICBA president and CEO. "Community banks, small businesses and the communities they serve benefit from the SEC's action today. The SOX 404 audit rules impose an excessive and disproportionate burden on community banks and divert their resources away from providing services and valuable credit to community bank customers."

As the only national association exclusively representing community banks, ICBA and its members have worked hard to explain to policymakers how this requirement impacts community banks. ICBA recently called for a delay in the implementation of SOX Section 404 in testimony before the House Small Business Committee and requested at that time that the SEC conduct a cost-benefit study concerning the impact of Section 404 on smaller public companies including community banks.

The SEC stated that its study will consist of two main parts:

  • A web-based survey of companies that are subject to Section 404; and
  • In-depth interviews including companies that are just now becoming compliant.

The SEC expects to complete the study by late summer or early fall of this year.