Washington, D.C. (April 7, 2022) — Independent Community Bankers of America® (ICBA) President and CEO Rebeca Romero Rainey issued the following statement on Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen’s remarks on digital assets.
“Today’s remarks from Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen reflect many of ICBA’s core priorities in the debate over digital assts. For instance, Secretary Yellen’s remarks illustrate ICBA’s calls for policymakers to:
- Take a comprehensive and coordinated approach to regulation that resolves regulatory and legal debates about digital asset classification.
- Ensure the crypto regime is comparable to banking system regulation.
- Prevent bad actors from using cryptocurrencies for illicit activities.
- Bring stablecoins within the regulatory perimeter.
- Account for the benefits of the pending FedNow instant payments system.
“Meanwhile, ICBA and the nation’s community bankers continue calling on policymakers to:
- Prevent the rise of a shadow banking system of unregulated platforms.
- Prioritize examiner training on digital assets.
- Reject special-purpose bank charters for crypto companies that do not fully meet the requirements of federally insured and supervised chartered banks.
- Examine the risks and unintended consequences associated with a proposed U.S. central bank digital currency. ICBA opposes a U.S. CBDC that would divert deposits from community banks to the Federal Reserve.
“Harmonizing digital asset regulations will ensure consistent oversight of cryptocurrency service providers, establish clear guidelines for permissible bank activities, and avoid gaps to minimize the risk of regulatory arbitrage. Unregulated cryptocurrency would disintermediate community banks—undermining their ability to support local customers and communities—while threatening consumer privacy and protections as well as financial stability.
“ICBA looks forward to continuing to work with policymakers as this important debate continues.”
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.