Washington, D.C. (March 9, 2021) — Independent Community Bankers of America (ICBA) President and CEO Rebeca Romero Rainey today reminded community bankers attending ICBA Connect that every challenge is an opportunity to leverage their collective strength, advance policy priorities, and be a unifying force that benefits local communities nationwide.
“We can be that unifying voice,” Romero Rainey said. “The community banking system goes to the heart of what we believe as a nation: That we are more powerful collectively when we are empowered individually. This is our heritage, as community bankers and as Americans.”
Romero Rainey noted several community bank successes over the past year, including their outsized role as Paycheck Protection Program lenders. She also pledged to build on that momentum and bipartisan support in Washington to advance several advocacy priorities, including advancing tax parity with credit unions, preserving the separation of banking and commerce, and securing community banks’ role in faster payments.
ICBA’s goal to create communities of prosperity extends beyond advocacy, Romero Rainey said. Embracing innovation and continued education to help community banks individually and collectively flourish also benefits the customers and communities they serve. These efforts include fostering fintech-community bank partnerships through ICBA’s ThinkTECH initiatives and preparing the next generation of community bank leaders through ICBA’s education programs.
"I have never been prouder or more grateful to count myself among this outstanding family of community bankers," Romero Rainey said. "You have shown the world what community banking is, and what it means."
The Independent Community Bankers of America creates and promotes an environment where community banks flourish. ICBA 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.
With nearly 50,000 locations nationwide, community banks constitute 99 percent of all banks, employ more than 700,000 Americans and are the only physical banking presence in one in three U.S. counties. Holding more than $5 trillion in assets, over $4.4 trillion in deposits, and more than $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.