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ICBA Shows Support to Operation HOPE Emergency Assistance Program

Washington, D.C. (Jan. 22, 2004) - As part of a continued commitment by the Independent Community Bankers of America to local communities across America, ICBA President/CEO-Elect Camden R. Fine attended a ceremony to establish a new partnership between the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and Operation HOPE to provide emergency financial services to people devastated by natural and man-made disasters.

The Homeland Security Department signed a Memorandum of Understanding on Wednesday to work with Operation HOPE to offer various emergency financial counseling services, including assistance in working with creditors, providing budget counseling and accessing mortgage relief.

ICBA is a partner with Operation HOPE, a national nonprofit organization that promotes economic self-sufficiency and financial empowerment to the under privileged and underserved in America. HOPE Coalition America is an Operation HOPE program that unites senior executives and professionals in the financial services and legal industries to provide free emergency financial and economic counseling.

"It is an honor and a privilege to be working with such an outstanding and compassionate organization like Operation HOPE, and we look forward to promoting financial literacy and economic hope to those in need," said Fine.

Fine attended the ceremony with Secretary of Homeland Security Tom Ridge; Under Secretary for Federal Emergency Management Agency Michael Brown; and the founder of Operation HOPE and HOPE Coalition America, John Bryant.