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ICBA Opposes Amended Guidelines for Appealing Material Supervisory Determinations

Washington, D.C. (July 28, 2008)—The Independent Community Bankers of America (ICBA) told the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) today that its proposals to amend its Guidelines for Appealing Material Supervisory Determinations would unnecessarily restrict and complicate the current appeals process and further discourage bankers from filing appeals.

"ICBA supports an FDIC appeal process that is relatively simple to use and understand, generally unrestricted in its scope, and one that can render an appellate decision expeditiously and impartially," said Chris Cole, ICBA senior regulatory counsel in a comment letter. "During this economic downturn when community banks are already experiencing tough and thorough safety and soundness exams, the FDIC should be considering ways to make the appellate process more open and easier to use."

ICBA pointed out that a fair and impartial appeals process is now more important than ever since deposit insurance premiums depend on a bank's CAMELS (capital adequacy, asset quality, management, earnings, liquidity and sensitivity) ratings. ICBA recommended that the current guidelines not be changed as proposed until the FDIC presents compelling evidence that the current appeals process is interfering with its ability to bring enforcement actions.

ICBA also recommended that the FDIC consider ways to further involve the ombudsman in the appeals process. "From the community bank's perspective, involving the ombudsman more in the appellate process would make the process more impartial and user friendly, and could encourage banks to pursue appeals," said Cole.

Read ICBA comment letter at www.icba.org.