Washington, D.C. (June 8, 2022) — The Independent Community Bankers of America (ICBA) and a coalition of 44 state community banking associations today called on Congress to include in the America COMPETES Act conference report legislation establishing a cannabis banking safe harbor.
The bipartisan Secure and Fair Enforcement (SAFE) Banking Act would establish a safe harbor for financial institutions that serve cannabis-related businesses in states that have legalized cannabis for medicinal or recreational use.
“The conflict between state and federal law has created legal uncertainty for community banks, inhibited access to the banking system for cannabis-related businesses, and created serious public safety concerns,” ICBA President and CEO Rebeca Romero Rainey said. “After the House has voted six times to pass this much-needed policy, ICBA, state community banking associations, and the nation’s community bankers urge Congress to retain it in the America COMPETES Act conference report.”
Under the SAFE Banking Act, federal banking regulators could not threaten or limit a bank’s deposit insurance, downgrade a loan, prohibit or discourage the provision of banking services, or take any other prejudicial action on banks solely for serving state-compliant cannabis-related businesses.
ICBA was the first national banking trade group to support the SAFE Banking Act and to testify before Congress on its behalf. The bill, which the Conference of State Banking Supervisors recently endorsed, has more than 180 co-sponsors in the House and more than 40 in the Senate.
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.