Orlando, Fla. (March 9, 2020) — Independent Community Bankers of America® (ICBA) President and CEO Rebeca Romero Rainey reminded community bankers of their unified power to effect change for the benefit of local communities nationwide.
Comparing community bankers to super-organisms like bees, Romero Rainey urged attendees at 2020 ICBA LIVE® in Orlando to work collectively and take action during the election-shortened congressional session to be heard on key policy issues.
“Our banks depend on strong local communities to thrive, and those communities depend on strong community banks,” said Romero Rainey, who noted ICBA’s 90-year history. “Our strength still comes from collective action. Our actions remain guided by a bold vision and clear focus, our commitment to independence, local decision making, and community-based service. It's right there in ICBA's mission statement: To create and promote an environment where community banks flourish.”
Romero Rainey noted several recent ICBA victories over the past year, pledging to build on that momentum and bipartisan support in Washington to advance several top-priority legislative initiatives and regulatory issues, including Bank Secrecy Act reform, a cannabis-banking safe harbor, and Current Expected Credit Loss relief. She also noted ICBA’s ongoing efforts to level the playing field with others in the financial system.
“Never before have we seen such a reception to our advocacy on credit unions, the Farm Credit System, industrial loan companies, and other issues," Romero Rainey said. "We are truly ‘Waking Up’ Congress on these and other issues."
ICBA’s bold vision for 21st century banking extends beyond advocacy, Romero Rainey said, embodying the innovative spirit of the nation’s community banks. These efforts include fostering fintech-community bank collaboration and empowering the next generation of community bank leaders. She closed out her remarks urging community bankers to embrace their roles continuing the rich legacy of community banking.
“Each of us must fulfill the important role we have within our bank and as part of our beloved industry,” Romero Rainey said. “If our customers are successful, then the bank is successful. If the bank is successful, the community is successful. And if the customers and banks and communities are successful, then our country flourishes.”
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 three 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.