Washington, D.C. (Jan. 21, 2022) — Independent Community Bankers of America (ICBA) President and CEO Rebeca Romero Rainey issued the following statement on the Federal Reserve Board’s new discussion paper examining a potential U.S. central bank digital currency.
“ICBA is closely reviewing the Federal Reserve’s newly issued discussion paper evaluating the pros and cons of developing a U.S. central bank digital currency.
“Any consideration of a U.S. CBDC must include clearly defined goals and objectives, weigh the benefits and risks, and evaluate the practical impact on consumers and the economy. Congress must be involved from the start in establishing a clear legal framework and authority for any form of CBDC. Before considering a U.S. CBDC, policymakers must also ensure it would do no harm to the financial system while preserving the vital role of community banks as engines of the U.S. economy.
“As such, the Fed’s discussion paper rightly acknowledges many important policy considerations, such as preserving private-sector intermediaries, balancing consumer privacy with transparency, ensuring transferability between customers of different intermediaries, and supporting compliance with anti-money-laundering and anti-terrorist-financing rules.
“With the Fed’s discussion paper committing to further pursuit of a U.S. CBDC only if research indicates the benefits outweigh the risks and the agency has broad public and cross-governmental support, ICBA looks forward to further reviewing the paper, submitting formal comments, and continuing the discussion of this important policy decision.”
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 roughly 99 percent of all banks, employ nearly 700,000 Americans and are the only physical banking presence in one in three U.S. counties. Holding nearly $5.9 trillion in assets, over $4.9 trillion in deposits, and more than $3.5 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.