Washington, D.C. (June 24, 2020) — As Congress considers the next legislative package to address the economic fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic, the Independent Community Bankers of America® (ICBA) today weighed in with recommendations to support local communities.
"ICBA and the nation's community banks encourage Congress to include in the next COVID-19 relief bill provisions that will directly support local economies, starting with needed reforms to the current Paycheck Protection Program," ICBA President and CEO Rebeca Romero Rainey said today. "Community banks have been an economic lifeline to local communities and continue to seek solutions that will have a meaningful impact on small businesses and jobs in rural, suburban, and urban markets."
In today's letter to congressional leaders, ICBA recommended:
- Paycheck Protection Program reforms providing a straightforward approach to loan forgiveness.
- Bank capital and accounting relief related to COVID-19-related loan losses, the Current Expected Credit Losses accounting standard, the Community Bank Leverage Ratio, and more.
- Liability protection for businesses from COVID-19-related lawsuits.
- A tax exemption for rural lending and expanded Employee Retention Tax Credit.
- Extending Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac's qualified mortgage "patch."
- Raising the limit on issuing bank-qualified bonds to expedite low-cost funding for local projects.
- Enhancing support for U.S. agriculture via increased financial assistance, support for USDA loan programs, and regulatory forbearance.
ICBA will continue working with Congress and the Trump administration to implement policies that will help community banks help local communities recover economically from the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Independent Community Bankers of America® creates and promotes an environment where community banks flourish. With more than 50,000 locations nationwide, community banks constitute 99 percent of all banks, employ nearly 750,000 Americans and are the only physical banking presence in one in three U.S. counties. Holding more than $5 trillion in assets, nearly $4 trillion in deposits, and more than $3.4 trillion in loans to consumers, small businesses and the agricultural community, community banks channel local deposits into the Main Streets and neighborhoods they serve, spurring job creation, fostering innovation and fueling their customers’ dreams in communities throughout America. For more information, visit ICBA’s website at www.icba.org.
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