Policy Resolutions

MISSION STATEMENT: Create and promote an environment where community banks flourish.

A thriving independent community banking sector is vital to the nation’s prosperity.

Locally owned community banks have a direct and vital stake in their communities. Their business model is founded on personal relationships and direct knowledge of the business owners, families, and individuals that make up their communities.

ICBA is committed to confronting mounting threats and adverse trends and ensuring that independent community banks remain a significant part of the U.S. financial system.

Every industry that has undergone consolidation has seen higher consumer costs and eroded consumer choice, value, and benefits. Continued consolidation of the banking sector, which is a catalyst to so many other economic activities, would have far reaching consequences.

A nation dominated solely by large banks would have a fundamentally different economic and commercial character. Financial products and services would become wholly commodified. Local decision making, customized products, and personalized service – the hallmarks of community banking – would become a thing of the past.

ICBA is the only national trade association dedicated exclusively to representing community banks. Through its public communications, ICBA tells the community banking story, promotes our principles, and positions ICBA as the leading source of information on the industry. Through its membership, ICBA aggregates and leverages the political and economic strength of community banks.

ICBA PRIORITIES

These resolutions, approved by the ICBA Policy Development Committee and the Board of Directors, broadly describe the association’s major policy objectives. The resolutions are designed to provide policy guidance for ICBA officers and staff and general policy direction for ICBA standing committees, the Federal Delegate Board, councils, and task forces. 

These resolutions reflect ICBA's core principles: Community banks support fair competition in financial services; support the separation of banking and commerce; believe in a balanced financial system that does not favor any segment of the financial services sector; support the dual banking system; and oppose the concentration of economic and financial services resources. ICBA is a democratically governed association where each member bank has a voice and a vote.

Tiered Regulation for Community Banks

Regulatory and paperwork requirements impose an unfair burden on community banks and diminish their ability support the needs of their customers.

Tax-Exempt Credit Unions

The credit union model has become outdated, and its charter, purpose and tax-exempt status should be reviewed by Congress.

Bank Secrecy Act and Enforcement

Community bankers are committed to supporting balanced, effective measures that will prevent terrorists from using the financial system to fund their operations.

Banking Cannabis-Related Business

ICBA advocates for federal legislation establishing a “safe harbor” from federal sanctions for banks that choose to do business with cannabis-related businesses.

Faster Payments

ICBA supports the development and evolution of broadly inclusive, safe, highly secure, and efficient payments systems.

CFPB Small Business Loan Application Data Collection

ICBA supports the repeal of Dodd-Frank Section 1071 which requires the CFPB to implement data collection for small business lending.

Community Reinvestment Act

Community banks support meeting the credit needs of their entire communities, including low- and moderate- income areas.

De Novo Community Bank Formation

ICBA supports a flexible and tailored supervisory policy with regard to de novo banking applicants.

Data Security and Fraud

All participants in the payments and financial systems should be subject to Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act-like data security standards.

Cybersecurity

Any federal cybersecurity legislation should recognize existing mandates to ensure community banks are not over burdened with redundant standards.

Housing Finance Reform and Regulation of the GSEs

Housing finance reform efforts must provide robust and equitable secondary market access for lenders of all sizes.

Close ILC Loophole

Corporate conglomerates or other companies engaged in commercial activities should not be allowed to own full-service banks.

Fintech Charter

ICBA has serious concerns with the Office of the OCC’s intention to issue special purpose national bank charters for fintech companies.

Reform and Refocus Farm Credit System

Farm Credit System lenders enjoy unfair advantages over rural community banks, leveraging tax and funding advantages to siphon loans out of community banks.

Tax Policy

Tax laws should promote robust economic activity and a vibrant community banking sector and foster saving and investment.

Consumer Financial Protection Bureau

ICBA supports legislation that would replace single-director governance of the CFPB with a five-member commission.