Washington, D.C (Jan. 18, 2018)—Independent Community Bankers of America® (ICBA) President and CEO Camden R. Fine released the following statement on Federal Housing Finance Agency Director Mel Watt’s letter to the Senate Banking Committee on housing-finance reform.
“ICBA thanks Director Watt and the FHFA for sharing their views on housing-finance reform. The FHFA’s proposals to preserve the important role of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac in the secondary mortgage market would help ensure continued access to the market for community bank lenders and the customers they serve.
“This plan provides a solid foundation and a clear roadmap of realistic reforms that can be implemented without disrupting the liquidity of the secondary market as Congress works to reform the government-sponsored enterprises. It also closely aligns with the recommendations laid out in ICBA’s Principles for GSE Reform White Paper, which calls on policymakers to utilize the strengths of the current system and focus reforms in areas that improve taxpayer protection through strong capital and liquidity requirements, maintenance of credit standards, regulated rates of return to shareholders, and an explicit and paid-for government guaranty on GSE-issued mortgage-backed securities. Most important, it would preserve direct, equal, and competitive access to lenders of all sizes on a single-loan basis.
“Community banks depend on Fannie and Freddie 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. We look forward to continuing to work with Congress, the FHFA and other policymakers to ensure housing-finance reform meets the needs of all borrowers and lenders.”
The Independent Community Bankers of America®, the nation’s voice for nearly 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.