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Community Bank Victory

Washington Heeds the Voice of Community Bankers

House Advances Regulatory Relief Following ICBA Policy Summit

You spoke, and Washington listened.

It has been just one week since more than 1,000 community bankers and industry advocates were in the nation’s capital for meetings with policymakers, and Washington has responded. The House this week advanced five ICBA-advocated bills to provide regulatory relief to community banks like yours.

In an era of congressional gridlock, these votes directly on the heels of last week’s ICBA Washington Policy Summit show the strength and reputation community bankers enjoy on Capitol Hill. All five bills are inspired by ICBA’s Plan for Prosperity, which community bankers advocated last week in more than 300 meetings with lawmakers.

The full House yesterday passed two ICBA-backed bills. H.R. 3329 would increase the qualifying asset threshold of the Small Bank Holding Company Policy Statement from $500 million to $1 billion and allow small savings and loan holding companies to be covered by its provisions. This would make it easier for community bank and thrift holding companies to raise capital.

The second bill, H.R. 2672, would create a process in which individuals could petition the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to have the rural status of a county reassessed. This would allow a broader range of evaluation criteria, more accurately identify rural counties and help ensure continued access to mortgage credit in those communities.

In addition to these House-passed measures, the House Financial Services Committee today advanced the following ICBA-advocated bills:
  • H.R. 4521, which would exempt community bank portfolio loans from new escrow requirements and raise the small-servicer exemption threshold from 5,000 to 20,000 loans,
  • H.R. 4466, which would require federal financial regulators to consider whether proposed regulations are duplicative or inconsistent with existing regulations before issuing them, and
  • H.R. 2673, which would provide that any residential mortgage held in portfolio by the originator is a qualified mortgage.
So congratulations, and thank you! Your voice made the difference—these significant votes in the House are due to the grassroots outreach of ICBA Washington Policy Summit attendees and community bankers back home. The voice of ICBA and community bankers is ringing loud and clear in the nation’s capital, so let’s keep pushing to see these relief bills all the way through the legislative process.

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