Washington, D.C. (May 20, 2022) — The Independent Community Bankers of America (ICBA) today expressed its opposition to the establishment of a U.S. central bank digital currency. In a comment letter to the Federal Reserve, ICBA said a U.S. CBDC would introduce significant privacy and cybersecurity risks into the nation’s monetary system and disrupt U.S. banking stability.
“A U.S. CBDC appears to be a solution in search of a problem,” ICBA President and CEO Rebeca Romero Rainey said today. “While ICBA supports the Federal Reserve’s efforts to ensure the U.S. payments and monetary system remains modern and competitive, a U.S. CBDC would introduce costs and risks far exceeding any benefits to consumers, small businesses and the broader economy. Because of community banks’ critical role in the financial system, we urge the Fed to consider our staunch opposition to a U.S. CBDC.”
In its comment letter responding to the Fed’s consultation paper on a U.S. digital dollar, ICBA said:
- A U.S. CBDC would obstruct the ability of banks to take deposits and make loans, pose privacy and cybersecurity risks, provide a gateway to direct-to-consumer Fed accounts, and damage the Fed’s ability to conduct monetary policy, among other risks.
- A U.S. CBDC would not yield benefits more effectively than alternative methods, which the Fed states is a prerequisite to creating a CBDC.
- Alternatives—including deposit accounts and faster payments options—can more effectively achieve the Fed’s policy goals.
- As financial intermediaries and the nation’s leading small-business lenders, community banks’ access to deposits and ability to lend funds to support economic growth and development would be dramatically affected by the creation of a competitively advantaged CBDC.
- The Fed should not proceed without explicit statutory authorization and oversight from Congress because the authority to issue a CBDC does not exist under current law.
ICBA looks forward to continued dialogue with the Fed and other policymakers on the question of a U.S. CBDC and other digital asset issues.
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.