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ICBA Lauds Committee Passage of Landmark Systemic-Risk Legislation

Critical ICBA-Backed Amendments Broaden Assessment Base, Protect Taxpayers, End Too-Big-To-Fail

Washington, D.C. (December 2, 2009)—Camden R. Fine, president and CEO of the Independent Community Bankers of America (ICBA), today issued this statement following the House Financial Services Committee’s passage of the Financial Stability Improvement Act (H.R. 3996), which would promote deposit insurance fairness, protect America’s taxpayers and end too-big-to-fail.

“ICBA commends the House Financial Services Committee and Chairman Barney Frank (D-Mass.) for passing this landmark systemic-risk legislation, along with key ICBA-backed amendments, which would create a more equitable financial system and hold too-big-to-fail firms accountable for the risks they pose to America’s taxpayers and the viability of our economic system.

“ICBA has been a leading advocate for creating parity between large and small banks and applauds the committee for including the Gutierrez-Manzullo amendment in the bill, which includes an ICBA proposal to broaden the FDIC assessment base by allowing the FDIC to determine bank premium assessments using total assets (minus tangible equity), not just domestic deposits. In addition, ICBA fully backed Rep. Gutierrez’s separate amendment that creates a pre-funded systemic resolution fund for the orderly unwinding of a failed large financial company that threatens not only the stability of the financial sector, but the national economy. Furthermore, ICBA appreciates the committee’s commitment to putting a hard stop on too-big-to-fail by including the Kanjorski amendment in the bill. The amendment provides the Financial Services Oversight Council with authority to take responsible preventive actions to protect the financial system when financial companies are found to be systemically dangerous. ICBA thanks Reps. Luis Gutierrez (D-Ill.), Donald Manzullo (R-Ill.) and Paul Kanjorski (D-Pa.) for proposing these vital amendments.

“ICBA is pleased that the bill would close the ILC loophole by prohibiting new ILC charters and would maintain the thrift charter, but the association is disappointed that it would abolish the Office of Thrift Supervision (OTS). However, ICBA is pleased that the bill would establish a separate office dedicated to thrift supervision under the proposed Office of the Comptroller of the Currency’s (OCC) Division of Thrift Supervision.

“ICBA will continue to work with the House as this crucial legislation moves forward to ensure that our nation’s taxpayers are no longer held accountable for the risky behavior of mega-institutions and to ensure these institutions never again have the ability to topple our country’s economic system and wreak havoc on our nation’s communities, which community banks so proudly serve.”

For more information about ICBA, visit www.icba.org. For more information about ending too-big-to-fail, visit www.mycommunitymybank.org.