House sends pro-growth community bank bill to president
Washington, D.C. (May 22, 2018)—The Independent Community Bankers of America® (ICBA) and the nation’s community bankers today lauded the members of Congress who, despite frequent deep partisan divides, voted to pass the bipartisan Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief and Consumer Protection Act (S. 2155)—legislation that will spur greater consumer access to credit and business lending in Main Street communities nationwide. The House passed the ICBA Plan for Prosperity-inspired legislation with a bipartisan 258-159 vote following the Senate’s 67-31 vote in March, sending the bill to President Trump to be signed into law.
“This hard-fought, long-awaited community bank regulatory relief legislation will put community banks in an enhanced position to foster local economic growth and prosperity. By unraveling some of the suffocating regulatory burdens community banks face, they are better able to unleash their full economic potential to the benefit of their customers and communities,” ICBA President and CEO Rebeca Romero Rainey said. “ICBA thanks Congress for passing this crucial bipartisan bill, along with the thousands of community bankers, affiliated state associations and other industry allies who have fought for years for substantial regulatory relief that will strengthen economic growth, job creation, and consumer protection in local communities.”
Today’s landmark vote marks another leg in ICBA’s quest for tiered and proportionate community bank regulations. As illustrated in a new digital timeline outlining ICBA’s road to regulatory relief, the Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief and Consumer Protection Act passed after years of outreach by ICBA and community bankers. ICBA’s tireless advocacy campaign included hundreds of meetings with policymakers on Capitol Hill and at the White House, tens of thousands of community banker messages to lawmakers, congressional testimony, joint state association letters, petitions, articles and op-eds. Most recently, ICBA delivered to the House a petition signed by more than 10,000 community bank employees and allies urging immediate passage of the regulatory relief bill. There are beneficial regulatory relief measures in S. 2155 for community banks of all sizes.
The act includes numerous provisions from ICBA’s pro-growth Plan for Prosperity to:
- provide “qualified mortgage” status for portfolio mortgage loans at most community banks,
- exempt certain community bank loans from escrow requirements,
- simplify community bank capital requirements,
- create a short-form call report for use in the first and third quarters by certain well-rated community banks,
- expand eligibility for the 18-month regulatory exam cycle to more community banks,
- ease appraisal requirements to facilitate mortgage credit in local, rural communities,
- exempt most community banks from the Volcker Rule,
- exempt community banks that make 500 or fewer mortgages per year from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s new, additional HMDA reporting requirements,
- expand access to the Federal Reserve’s Small Bank Holding Company Policy Statement to help more community banks build capital,
- allow federal savings associations with $20 billion or less in assets to operate with national bank powers,
- improve regulatory treatment of reciprocal deposits and certain municipal securities, and
- provide relief for larger community banks, including higher asset thresholds for systemically important financial institution designations, and easing of stress testing and formal risk committee requirements.
“The Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief and Consumer Protection Act is a robust package of community bank regulatory relief that will benefit local communities for generations to come,” said ICBA Chairman Tim Zimmerman, CEO of Standard Bank in Monroeville, Pa. “ICBA looks forward to seeing this legislation signed into law and continuing our ongoing push for comprehensive regulatory relief.”
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.