ICBA Executives Again Named The Hill’s Top Lobbyists

ICBA Press Release Banner 2020

Romero Rainey and Merski recognized for community bank advocacy

Washington, D.C. (Dec. 13, 2019)—Independent Community Bankers of America (ICBA)® senior executives were named to The Hill’s 2019 list of the nation’s top influencers. ICBA President and CEO Rebeca Romero Rainey and ICBA Executive Vice President of Congressional Relations and Strategy Paul Merski were both featured on the annual listing for their political savvy in successfully advocating in Washington on behalf of the nation’s community banks.

“It’s an honor to educate policymakers on the positive story of the nation’s community banks while demonstrating their incredible impact on the customers and communities they serve,” said Romero Rainey. “I congratulate my colleague Paul Merski, the ICBA team and our volunteer members—all of whom are dedicated to elevating community banks’ message on Capitol Hill and furthering our mission of creating and promoting an environment where community banks flourish.” 

A third-generation community banker from Taos, N.M., Romero oversees the organization’s advocacy efforts for tiered and proportionate community bank regulation along with establishing a level playing field for the nation’s community banks. ICBA and community banker-led outreach to policymakers has resulted in the following successes over the past year including:

  • the Federal Reserve advancing a real-time payments system after ICBA’s years-long advocacy journey,
  • the FDIC paying out $764 million in assessment credits,
  • the confirmation of Fed Governor Michelle "Miki" Bowman for a full term,
  • the House passing a cannabis-banking safe harbor and Bank Secrecy Act reform,
  • the Financial Accounting Standards Board's Current Expected Credit Loss delay until 2023 for most banks and bills to stop it,
  • the administration beginning to recapitalize Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and
  • the launch of a nationwide campaign calling on policymakers and the public to “Wake Up” to the risky practices, costly tax subsidies, and irresponsibly lax oversight of the nation’s credit unions.

“We thank community bankers for their continued involvement in ICBA’s grassroot outreach to policymakers,” said Merski. “Their ability to assist customers and keep their communities vibrant makes all the difference in telling the unique story of community banks to policymakers.”

About ICBA
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.

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