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ICBA Thanks Rep. Moore for Advancing Bank/Thrift Regulatory Relief Measure

Washington, D.C. (April 17, 2008)—The Independent Community Bankers of America (ICBA) thanks Rep. Dennis Moore (D-Kan.) for introducing the ICBA-endorsed Bank and Thrift Regulatory Relief Act of 2008. The measure includes several ICBA-backed provisions that reduce regulatory burden on community banks and savings institutions so that they can more easily lend to small businesses and consumers.

"Rep. Moore has been a leader in Congress in the effort to reduce unnecessary regulatory burden on community banks and ICBA appreciates the opportunity to work with him on development of this legislation," said Cynthia L. Blankenship, ICBA chairman and vice chairman and chief operating officer of Bank of the West, Irving, Texas. "Savings associations are important providers of small business credit in communities throughout the country but statutory caps on small business loans limit the ability of savings associations to fully serve the credit needs of businesses. ICBA thanks Rep. Moore for introducing this measure that would enable savings associations to make more loans to small-and medium-sized businesses, and further their role as community based lenders at a time when our economy needs to expand credit to job-creating small businesses."

Specifically, the measure would:

  • Remove artificial credit limits and enhance federal savings associations' ability to serve businesses and their customers.

  • Eliminate the annual privacy notice requirement in the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act for banks of all charter types that do not share customer information.

  • Provide consumers greater choices for automobile credit by removing an artificial limit on secured auto lending by federal savings associations.

"Current small business lending limits require federal savings associations with an active commercial lending program to curtail otherwise safe and sound lending as they approach the statutory limit. In addition, current law discourages savings associations from opening a small business lending window," said Blankenship. "If passed Rep. Moore's bill will encourage more lending and increase competition."

ICBA notes that small business lending is an integral component of job growth and employment in the United States.