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ICBA Statement on Latest ILC Activity

Association Urges Congress to Act Now to Close ILC Loophole

Washington, D.C. (June 24, 2008)—Camden R. Fine, president and CEO of the Independent Community Bankers of America (ICBA), issued the following statement regarding the latest actions by commercial enterprises to enter banking through the Industrial Loan Corporation (ILC) loophole.

"At a time when thousands of people have lost their homes and their jobs largely as the result of unregulated financial firms and speculators, do we need yet another unregulated company playing roulette with the FDIC's deposit insurance fund?

"Now is not the time to place further stress on our nation's already weakened financial system. Instead Congress should take action now to ensure no commercial enterprise or unregulated financial firm can ever own an FDIC insured bank. Our nation and its taxpayers cannot subsidize the financial dealings of commercially owned corporations without accepting the possibility of another multi-billion dollar taxpayer bailout such as we have recently seen.

"Regardless of whether Wal-Mart, Home Depot, Cerberus or any other commercial firm wants to own an ILC, until Congress acts to permanently close the loophole, and maintain the separation of banking and commerce, our nation's banking system, our economy, and taxpayers are at risk. The time to act is now! Congress must push ahead and pass ILC reform legislation once and for all. This loophole must be closed to protect the safety and soundness of our banking system and protect our nation's taxpayers from future bailouts."

New York private-equity firm Cerberus Capital Management LP, which owns businesses across a number of industries, has applied to keep its $30 billion-asset, Utah-based ILC. Previously, Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and Home Depot applied for and then withdrew ILC applications in response to intense pressure that supports ICBA's long-standing commitment to the separation of banking and commerce.

Learn more about ICBA's leadership role in maintaining the separation of banking and commerce at www.icba.org.