Washington, D.C. (April 25, 2017)
—The Independent Community Bankers of America® (ICBA) today released a white paper detailing its principles and recommendations for reforming Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to support continued access to the secondary mortgage market for community bank lenders. As Congress debates the future of the government-sponsored enterprises (GSEs), which have continued to provide housing-market liquidity for decades, including while under conservatorship for more than eight years, ICBA is calling on policymakers to allow Fannie and Freddie to rebuild their capital buffers and preserve equal access to lenders of all sizes.
“Community banks depend on Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac for direct access to the secondary mortgage market, which promotes lending in local communities and offers an alternative to the largest and riskiest financial institutions,” ICBA President and CEO Camden R. Fine said today. “ICBA and the nation’s community bankers urge Congress and the Trump administration to end the destructive sweep of the GSEs’ earnings directly to government coffers, put the GSEs on sound financial footing, support equitable access to the housing-finance system, and protect taxpayers from another housing crisis.”
In its white paper, ICBA lays out its principles for GSE reform, including:
- allowing Fannie and Freddie, which have paid out nearly $80 billion more to the U.S. Treasury than they received during the financial crisis, to rebuild their capital buffers,
- providing competitive, equal and direct access to the market on a single-loan basis and the continued ability to retain and service those loans locally,
- reducing the risks posed to the GSEs by credit-risk transfers, and
- ensuring an explicit, paid-for government guarantee of GSE mortgage-backed securities and strong oversight from a single regulator.
ICBA’s white paper also outlines a way to move forward with needed administrative and legislative reforms, such as:
- the Federal Housing Finance Agency ending the GSEs’ net-worth sweep, establishing capital-restoration plans, and delaying the launch of its Uniform Mortgage Backed Security until the GSEs are recapitalized and released from conservatorship, and
- Congress creating a catastrophic mortgage insurance fund for GSE securities and changing the GSEs to regulated and shareholder-owned financial utilities.
To view ICBA’s GSE white paper, visit www.icba.org/principlesforGSEreform.
The Independent Community Bankers of America®, the nation’s voice for more than 5,800 community banks of all sizes and charter types, is dedicated exclusively to representing the interests of the community banking industry and its membership through effective advocacy, best-in-class education and high-quality products and services. For more information, visit ICBA’s website at www.icba.org.