ICBA Press Release Banner 2020

Washington, D.C. (April 19, 2021) — The Independent Community Bankers of America (ICBA) today released its legislative and regulatory priorities to help these local lenders continue to meet the needs of local communities.

"Community banks have been the economic foundation of the U.S. response to the COVID-19 pandemic in local communities," said ICBA Chairman Robert Fisher, president and CEO of Tioga State Bank in Spencer, N.Y. "With community banks continuing to account for 60 percent of Paycheck Protection Program lending, ICBA’s policy resolutions will guide us as we continue working to help local communities thrive."

Approved by ICBA’s Policy Development Committee and board of directors, which is made up of community bankers from coast to coast, ICBA’s top policy priorities include:

TIERED REGULATION FOR COMMUNITY BANKS: Promoting regulatory relief to allow community banks to support the financial needs of their customers, serve their communities, and contribute to their local economies.

TAX-EXEMPT CREDIT UNIONS: Urging Congress to address the abuses of the credit union industry’s federal tax subsidy and investigate the National Credit Union Administration’s failure to properly regulate and oversee the industry.

BANK SECRECY ACT AND ENFORCEMENT: Supporting ongoing efforts promoting a more efficient Bank Secrecy Act regime and the collection of beneficial ownership information when entities are formed.

CONSUMER FINANCIAL PROTECTION BUREAU: Supporting legislation to grant the CFPB additional statutory authority to exempt or tier regulatory requirements for community banks, exempt banks with $50 billion or less in assets from CFPB examination and enforcement, and replace single-director governance with a five-member commission.

SUPERVISORY ENVIRONMENT: Urging examiners to be flexible in their review of Paycheck Protection Program loans and bank capital levels given the urgent circumstances of the COVID-19 environment.

SMALL BUSINESS DATA COLLECTION: Supporting a community bank exemption from Dodd-Frank Act Section 1071, which requires the CFPB to implement data collection and reporting requirements for small business lending.

TAX POLICY: Supporting tax laws that promote robust economic activity, a vibrant community banking sector, and saving and investment.

INDUSTRIAL LOAN COMPANIES AND FINTECH BANK CHARTERS: Urging Congress to close the industrial loan company loophole and the OCC to seek explicit congressional authority before issuing special-purpose national bank charters for fintech companies.

DATA SECURITY AND FRAUD: Supporting a national data security standard and ensuring all payments system participants, including merchants, are subject to Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act-like data security standards.

CYBERSECURITY AND INFORMATION SHARING: Ensuring federal cybersecurity policies recognize existing community bank mandates, supporting voluntary information sharing and industry initiatives such as .BANK and Sheltered Harbor, and expanding prudential regulators’ supervision to include core processors and credit bureaus.

FASTER PAYMENTS: Encouraging community bank adoption of faster payments and urging the Federal Reserve and The Clearing House to achieve interoperability in their real-time payments options.

FARM CREDIT SYSTEM: Opposing the Farm Credit System’s abuse of its tax-advantaged status and supporting reforms requiring the FCS to adhere to its mission of serving bona fide farmers and ranchers.

POSTAL OR STATE-OWNED PUBLIC BANKS: Opposing the formation of new public banks or other types of public retail financial service providers, whether they are owned by states, municipalities, the U.S. Postal Service, or any other federal or quasi-federal instrumentality.

CANNABIS BANKING: Advocating federal legislation establishing a safe harbor from federal sanctions for banks that serve cannabis-related businesses in states where cannabis is legal under state law.

HOUSING FINANCE REFORM: Supporting housing finance reform that preserves market liquidity and stability while ending the destructive sweep of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac earnings.

DE NOVO COMMUNITY BANK FORMATION: Supporting a flexible and tailored supervisory policy on de novo community banking applicants to limit regulatory roadblocks to bank formation.

For more information, view the comprehensive list of ICBA’s 2021 Policy Resolutions.

About ICBA

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.