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Fine Represents Nation’s Community Banks in Meeting with Obama

Washington, D.C. (March 27, 2009)—Independent Community Bankers of America (ICBA) President and CEO Camden R. Fine met today with President Barack Obama to discuss how community banks can continue to help the nation's economy recover.

“ICBA appreciates President Obama for recognizing the important role our nation's more than 8,000 community banks play in our nation's economic recovery,” Fine said. “At today's White House meeting with banking industry leaders, I was able to speak directly with President Obama, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner and other senior White House officials about regulatory reform and systemic risk.”

The group, which included representatives from the nation's largest financial institutions, also discussed recent administration initiatives designed to revitalize lending, unfreeze credit markets and cleanse banks of toxic assets.

“Community banks did not participate in the activities that contributed to the current economic crisis, but by taking deposits and making loans on Main Street they are helping our nation recover,” Fine said. “ICBA will continue to work with the administration and Congress to implement policies to help community banks get America's economy back on track while addressing the systemic risks posed by too-big-to-fail financial institutions.”

ICBA has been working with the administration and Congress to ensure economic recovery efforts address community bank concerns. ICBA is calling for systemic-risk premiums to be levied against too-big-to-fail financial institutions to reflect the risks they pose to the nation's economy. ICBA also is urging policymakers to address overzealous field examination practices, the proposed Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation emergency special assessment and mark-to-market accounting rules that could prevent community banks from fully participating in the nation's economic recovery.