ICBA Advocacy in Action

The following hot-button issues are top priorities as ICBA advocates common-sense reforms on behalf of community banks and the communities they serve.

Second Quarter 2023

Differentiating Community Banks

In the wake of high-profile, large-bank mismanagement, failures, and rescues, ICBA is leading a media and advocacy campaign to reassure community-bank customers that their deposits are safe. Any policy responses from the banking agencies or Congress must recognize that community banks are fundamentally different than larger, more complex, riskier banks. ICBA is pressing the White House, FDIC, and all bank regulatory agencies to exempt community banks from any special assessment to replenish the deposit insurance fund (DIF) or new regulation.

Small Business Loan Data Collection Rule

The CFPB published its final rule under Dodd-Frank Section 1071. Despite some marginal improvements, such as increasing exemption threshold and removing the requirement that a lender ‘guess’ the race/ethnicity of an applicant, the final rule is a missed opportunity to exempt a broad swath of community banks and limit the data points to be collected to those required by Congress. ICBA is urging the Bureau to stay the effective data of the final rule until the Supreme Court rules on the constitutionality of the Bureau’s funding structure.  

  • ICBA submitted extensive comments urging the Bureau to exempt community banks below $1.3 billion in assets, collect only statutorily-mandated data, and keep small-business borrower information private. ICBA mobilized bankers and business owners nationwide, collecting and submitting detailed comment letters from nearly 300 community banks and small businesses.  

  • ICBA Chairman-elect Lucas White and ICBA banker Troy Peters testified before Congress in March about the unintended consequences of the rule (Links here and here). 

Climate Risk Regulation

ICBA is opposing proposals under consideration in the Administration, the agencies, and Congress to create new climate-risk mandates. Proposals include stress testing for the impact of weather events on bank-held assets, concentration limits, increased disclosures, and other mandates.

Crypto Assets, Decentralized Finance, and CBDC

Unregulated crypto assets, including stablecoins, as well as decentralized finance (DeFi), threaten to disintermediate community banks and heighten risks for the wider economy and must be brought within the regulatory perimeter.

ICBA strongly opposes efforts to grant nonbank stablecoin issuers access to the Federal Reserve master account and the creation of a U.S. CBDC, which would directly compete with community bank deposits needed to fund local lending. ICBA will continue to work with regulators, policymakers, and standards-setting bodies to address serious risks to financial stability, consumer protection, and community bank lending. 

  • ICBA has convened a Digital Assets Task Force to examine and deliberate issues related to a proposed CBDC and digital assets.

Durbin Amendment Expansion Legislation

Durbin Amendment Expansion Legislation. ICBA opposed legislation to create new credit card routing mandates, expanding on the Durbin Amendment’s interchange restrictions. While the Credit Card Competition Act of 2022 is designed to apply to banks with over $100 billion in assets, community banks would be forced to subsidize costly systemwide changes that would put customer data at risk.

  • ICBA defeated efforts to pass this legislation in the 117th Congress by preventing its inclusion in the must-pass National Defense Authorization Act and omnibus appropriations legislation. 
  • ICBA released new polling which shows that a substantial bipartisan majority of voters oppose the Durbin proposal, which could end credit card reward programs. 

FHLB Advances

ICBA is urging the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) to modernize its regulatory capital standards and conform them with those of the federal banking regulators. FHFA capital standards stipulate that banks with negative tangible equity due to unrealized “losses” on debt securities are ineligible for new or increased existing FHLB advances, an important source of liquidity and lending. 

  • ICBA coordinated advocacy included congressional letters to the FHFA signed by bipartisan groups of lawmakers, a joint trades letter to FHFA, and meetings with FHFA and all banking agencies. 

Industrial Loan Company Loophole

The industrial loan company (ILC) loophole allows commercial companies to own ILCs and evade holding company supervision. ICBA is promoting bipartisan legislation that would close the ILC loophole, grandfather existing ILCs, and address pending applications.

  • In a victory for ICBA, the “Close the ILC Loophole Act” (H.R. 5912) passed the House Financial Services Committee in June 2022, the first ILC-reform legislation to pass committee since 2007.  
  • Similar legislation, the Close the Shadow Banking Loophole Act (S. 5189) was introduced in the Senate in December and ICBA is pressing to ensure ILC-loophole-closing legislation is advanced this Congress. 


Congress and the regulators should carefully consider the unintended consequences of any new overdraft restrictions targeting so-called “junk fees,” a gross mischaracterization of the White House and CFPB. Overdraft legislation or regulations should not punish community bank customers by restricting access to services of convenience that meet their account needs. 

  • ICBA has surveyed member banks to collect data to counter negative media and demonstrate to policymakers the value of overdraft protection and has conducted a lobbying and grassroots campaign against adverse legislation.

ICBA Anti-Credit Union “Wake Up” Campaign

The mission of this campaign is to pursue legislative and regulatory changes to address the expansion of credit unions and to draw media and public attention to the industry’s aggressive and abusive exploitation of their tax exemption.

  • ICBA will continue to educate lawmakers of the harm to individual consumers when tax-exempt credit unions acquire tax-paying community banks eroding the tax base.

SBA Direct Lending

ICBA is opposing legislative and agency proposals for SBA direct 7(a) lending. Such proposals would sideline community bank lenders, reduce access to small business credit, and be prone to fraud. ICBA also strongly opposes an SBA proposal to allow fintechs to originate 7(a) loans thereby increasing fraud risk.

  • ICBA witnesses have testified (links here and here) in opposition to the proposal before the House Small Business Committee hearing.
  • ICBA supports legislation expected to be reintroduced in the House and Senate that would prohibit SBA direct lending.

Tax Incentives for Community Bank Agriculture and Home Loans

ICBA supports the ECORA Act (H.R. 1977/S. 2202) which would create a tax exclusion for interest on loans secured by agricultural land and residential mortgages in rural communities. ICBA has launched a grassroots campaign to promote cosponsorship of ECORA.

Cannabis Banking

ICBA supports legislation that would create a safe harbor from federal sanctions for financial institutions that serve cannabis-related businesses in states where cannabis is legal.

  • ICBA sponsored a Morning Consult poll showing that two-thirds of voters support giving state-legal cannabis businesses access to the banking system.

CRA Modernization

The federal banking agencies have jointly proposed a revised CRA rule that would create new data collection and reporting burdens for many community banks. ICBA is urging the agencies to make a set of recommendations that would ease community bank compliance. A final rule is expected in early 2023.

  • An ICBA witness testified before the House Financial Services Committee in July.
  • ICBA submitted a comment letter to the agencies in August.

Support for Agriculture

ICBA is aggressively advocating for rural community bank priorities recommending six key principles for a new Farm Bill, which is set for renewal September 30, 2023. These priorities include: higher guaranteed loan limits; robust crop insurance; adequately supporting commodity programs and funding for rural broadband. ICBA strongly opposes further expansion of the Farm Credit System.


Stopped Advance of IRS Reporting

ICBA came out early and forcefully against IRS account reporting, launching media and grassroots campaigns and leading cross-industry letters to Congress. The proposal was omitted from the House-passed Build Back Better Act. ICBA continues to oppose its inclusion in a Senate bill.


Harmful Tax Proposals Effectively Taken Off the Table

Early versions of the Build Back Better Act included provisions to tax capital gains at death and raise the corporate rate, among other adverse provisions. While these provisions are no longer under consideration, due in part to ICBA’s advocacy, other harmful tax increases remain in play. ICBA continues our campaign against them.


Overdraft Bill Withdrawn From Markup

As a result of an ICBA lobbying and grassroots campaign, a bill to impose restrictions on bank overdraft practices was withdrawn from a scheduled markup in the House Financial Services Committee.