By Rebeca Romero Rainey
This year’s Independence Day celebration feels a little different. Not only will I have a chance to celebrate our country’s founding in its capital, but I can reflect once more on how far we’ve come in our crusade for tiered and proportionate regulation for the community banking industry.
Declaring victory from many onerous regulatory burdens that impede our ability to serve our customers feels good. Knowing that this achievement was possible because of the tireless efforts of thousands of community bankers and the support of key allies nationwide feels even better.
Community bankers—your commitment to bring about meaningful change by sharing your story, standing up for our industry, and staying true to your ideals is why our voices were heard when others were ignored. You didn’t back down, and you refused to be lumped in with the reckless Wall Street actions that led to the onslaught of overreaching regulations that we face.
We have begun to achieve independence from these onerous regulatory burdens because of what you do every day—what you stand for, who you serve, and the difference you make to the lives you touch. Remember that and hold on to it—just as you hold dear the independence that allows you to serve your customers as only a community banker can.
It’s because of you and your sterling reputation that we can continue making progress on regulatory parity, offering consumers greater choice, and ensuring a strong, resilient financial system capable of weathering future economic downturns.
ICBA is proud to represent community bankers like you who support the American dream for local families, entrepreneurs, farmers and all those who depend on your bank for their financial needs.
Just as independence matters, what you do matters. So, as we celebrate the birth of our country on July 4, please take time to reflect on about all the ways that being an independent community bank makes you special and valuable to the fabric of our nation’s economic well-being.
Rebeca Romero Rainey is ICBA president and CEO.