ICBA Continues Fighting to Differentiate Community Banks Following Large, Risky Bank Closures

March 31, 2023



ICBA and community banks have been on a rollercoaster since the March 10 failure of Silicon Valley Bank, but we have once again proven to be strong and resilient. And we have done it by working together on behalf of our industry and the local communities we serve.

As a series of large bank failures yielded questions and concerns among consumers and a new policy debate in Washington, ICBA has taken the situation head on. As we have proven countless times over the years, ICBA, our affiliated state associations, and community banks nationwide will navigate this challenge and come out stronger on the other side by using this as an opportunity to tell our story.

Through round-the-clock efforts, we are doing just that. Since the SVB failure, ICBA has fielded hundreds of interviews and been included in more than 1,200 news stories. Our aggressive outreach has led to appearances on CNBC, C-SPAN, National Public Radio, Fox Business, Fox News, Bloomberg TV, and other outlets; coverage in publications such as The New York Times and Politico; and a comprehensive op-ed in The Hill.

Our hard work to earn media is dedicated to differentiating community banks from larger institutions, and ICBA is doubling down on that effort with our National Campaign. This national public awareness campaign elevates community banks by reinforcing why consumers should bank locally with a community bank.

Years in the making, ICBA’s campaign includes creative advertising, public relations and media strategy, and a suite of resources community bankers can use to spread the word that our industry is safe, sound, secure, and dedicated to local communities. We hope community bankers will leverage the member toolkit with these turnkey items to tell your story in your local market.

Through it all, ICBA remains laser focused on our advocacy efforts to ensure the policy response to these closures does not affect community banks, via exemptions from a planned Deposit Insurance Fund special assessment and from any new regulatory burdens. Our bottom line—which we’ve espoused since the earliest days following the SVB failure—is this: Small lenders shouldn’t have to pay for the mistakes of larger and riskier entities, and federal policy should not pick winners and losers in the banking system.

So far, our efforts are bearing fruit. In an ICBA-supported announcement, the White House called on the FDIC to ensure community banks are not required to bear the costs of replenishing the Deposit Insurance Fund. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen’s recent remarks that her department is committed to ensuring the ongoing health and competitiveness of the community banking system directly reflect ICBA’s calls for policymakers to ensure deposit insurance policy does not pick winners and losers. And responding to congressional inquiries about the impact of a DIF special assessment on community banks, FDIC Chairman Martin Gruenberg testified that his agency has discretion to consider the types of entities affected by its actions—further demonstrating that our calls for an exemption are being heard.

Community bankers can continue these ongoing efforts with ICBA’s customizable op-ed, which is available on ICBA’s “Tell Your Story” Toolkit

Meanwhile, we hope to see you at the 2023 ICBA Capital Summit in May so you can share your voice with policymakers as we continue working together to navigate this situation in Washington. Ensuring policymakers and the public understand our position can help us continue to flourish and support our local communities. 

Through it all, ICBA will continue to keep community bankers up to date on the latest developments via NewsWatch Today, our social media channels, and future briefings, webinars, and events. And we thank you, community bankers, for continuing to keep us updated with your perspective and for keeping your ears to the ground in your local communities, which helps us best serve you during these interesting times. 

ICBA is here for you and will continue to fight for you. Rest assured, your voice is being heard loud and clear at ICBA. And by working together, we can ensure the community bank message continues to resonate in Washington and in local communities across the nation.