As Americans gather last-minute Valentine’s Day cards, flowers and chocolates for their special someone, we at ICBA can’t help but get into the spirit ourselves. While community banks are our true love 365 days a year, Valentine’s Day gives us an opportunity to proclaim our unwavering commitment to the nation’s community banks, which keep Main Street America thriving every day.
This association has been faithful to our beloved industry for more than 80 years and counting. ICBA isn’t going anywhere, and community banks can rest assured that we’ll always be there for them, just as we have since our founding in 1930. That year a small group of Minnesota community bankers passed a hat to raise money to help preserve the community banking industry and stop excessive industry concentration. Born out of advocacy for a tiered regulatory approach and against the growth of systemically risky financial giants, ICBA has maintained its dedication to Main Street institutions ever since. While the banking world has changed dramatically in the more than eight decades since our association was founded, ICBA’s convictions to protect community banking have only strengthened.
At ICBA, we love community banking. This industry is what we do; it’s who we represent. Community banks serve a unique role in the financial industry. And, as the only association dedicated exclusively to community banks, ICBA has a unique place in the advocacy realm. Our eye does not wander; our commitment never wavers. We’re as true to our mission today as we were 80 years ago. And while times can be tough, ICBA will always work to ensure an environment in which community banks can flourish—ALWAYS. That’s why we’re fighting so hard on behalf of tiered regulations that do not disproportionately affect community banks and against the too-big-to-fail problem that disadvantages our industry. We have also instituted the I Luv My Community Bank and Go Local initiatives to help community bankers and their customers spread the love for local relationship banking, which is the cornerstone of the community bank business model.
So go ahead and pop the champagne, because community banks have a bright future ahead. While it will take work from ICBA and from your corner on Main Street, always know that it’s a fight worth fighting and that we’ve never questioned our intentions in that fight. Know that you are never alone as long as ICBA is here. We love community banks, and we’d do anything for them. It’s as simple as that.