Washington, D.C (Nov. 8, 2017)—Independent Community Bankers of America® (ICBA) President and CEO Camden R. Fine released the following statement on today’s speech from Acting Comptroller of the Currency Keith Noreika advocating an end to the separation of banking and commerce.
“ICBA and the nation’s community banks continue to strongly support the longstanding U.S. policy maintaining the separation of banking and commerce. Prohibiting affiliations or combinations between banks and non-financial commercial firms has served our nation well by limiting systemic risk and restricting commercial access to the federal safety net. Allowing corporate conglomerates to own banks would jeopardize the impartial allocation of credit, create conflicts of interest and privacy concerns, dangerously concentrate commercial and economic power, and unwisely extend the federal safety net to commercial interests.
“To preserve this longstanding policy, ICBA continues urging policymakers to close the industrial loan corporation loophole, which allows commercial interests to own banks while avoiding the legal restrictions and regulatory supervision that apply to other bank holding companies. This charter allows ILCs and their parent companies to avoid Bank Holding Company Act regulations and consolidated supervision, threatens the financial system, and creates an uneven playing field between community banks and other lenders. To address this problem, ICBA continues urging the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. to impose an immediate two-year moratorium on ILC deposit-insurance applications and Congress to close the ILC loophole for good.
“The benefits of mixing banking and commerce continue to be a grand illusion. Mixing banking and commerce wasn’t a good idea in 1929, 1999, 2006 and 2009—and it’s still not a good idea today.”
The Independent Community Bankers of America®, the nation’s voice for more than 5,700 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.