Nashville, Tenn. (March 19, 2019)—Independent Community Bankers of America® (ICBA) President and CEO Rebeca Romero Rainey today encouraged community bankers to be bold in innovation, leadership and life. She also called on community bankers to step out of their comfort zone and turn challenges into opportunities while holding steadfast to the ideals that define community banking.
In a speech at the 2019 ICBA LIVE® national convention in Nashville, Romero Rainey pledged before the nearly 3,000 community bankers in attendance that ICBA would continue setting a bold path in advocacy, innovation and education to create and promote an environment where community banks flourish.
“As ICBA works with the new Congress, we will continue to push for economic prosperity and opportunity at the local level,” Romero Rainey said, citing the importance of ICBA’s Community Focus 2020 legislative and regulatory relief platform, which promotes greater access to financial services and economic opportunity in local communities.
Romero Rainey noted that while advocacy remains integral to ICBA’s mission following last year’s landmark passage of the S. 2155 regulatory relief law, the association continues to move forward on the innovation front by building bridges between community banks and fintechs to create more accessible, cost-effective solutions for community banks to deliver to their customers and communities. It’s all part of the high-tech, high-touch future that is community banking.
“We are witnessing rapid technological change, but this offers partnership and investment options and new ways to serve our customers, who continue to find value in a local community bank invested and dedicated to their future,” Romero Rainey said. “Because you know what? Relationships matter!”
In closing, Romero Rainey highlighted industry education and succession by encouraging community bankers to identify and mentor future leaders. “Reach out to young people in your community and encourage them to consider a career in community banking,” Romero Rainey said. “Open their eyes to the possibilities that exist at your community bank. There is so much opportunity to bring younger generations into this industry.”
She also encouraged family-owned community banks to do the same. “Bring your children to our convention…get them involved in ICBA,” she said. “Let them see the great opportunities that are part of this incredible industry.”
The Independent Community Bankers of America® creates and promotes an environment where community banks flourish. With more than 52,000 locations nationwide, community banks constitute 99 percent of all banks, employ more than 760,000 Americans and are the only physical banking presence in one in five U.S. counties. Holding more than $4.9 trillion in assets, $3.9 trillion in deposits, and $3.4 trillion in loans to consumers, small businesses and the agricultural community, community banks channel local deposits into the Main Streets and neighborhoods they serve, spurring job creation, fostering innovation and fueling their customers’ dreams in communities throughout America. For more information, visit ICBA’s website at www.icba.org.