ICBA’s Cam Fine to Policymakers: Let Community Bankers Do Their Jobs

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Independent Community Bankers of America® (ICBA) President and CEO Camden R. Fine called on community bankers gathered at ICBA’s 2015 national convention, ICBA Community Banking LIVE ®, to fight for policies that promote local lending and service, and to push back against overregulation. Fine thanked community bankers for being brave and resilient when it comes to facing excessive regulatory burdens and promoting local economic growth, and said it is now time for legislators and regulators to allow community bankers to do their jobs.

Our message to the Congress and to the regulatory agencies is simple—let us do our jobs. They need to extend a hand, not a clenched fist, to the Main Street banks who serve our communities.

Independent Community Bankers of America® (ICBA) President and CEO Camden R. Fine called on community bankers gathered at ICBA’s 2015 national convention, ICBA Community Banking LIVE ®, to fight for policies that promote local lending and service, and to push back against overregulation. Fine thanked community bankers for being brave and resilient when it comes to facing excessive regulatory burdens and promoting local economic growth, and said it is now time for legislators and regulators to allow community bankers to do their jobs.

“Each one of you is instrumental in keeping your community afloat,” Fine said to a crowd of nearly 3,000. “An entire nation of communities is dependent on the people in this room for their economic well-being and survival. That is an enormous responsibility. You have led your communities through good economic times and bad. You’ve served as a wall—a human barrier if you will—between the Wall Street financial crisis and Main Street businesses and families.”

Fine went on to say that all community bankers know what it’s like to compete on a playing field that isn’t level—where the rules are stacked against them. “We know how hard it is to run a bank that is sometimes full of more bank examiners than staff,” he said.

Fine rallied the room full of community bankers and said that now is the time for them to press their advantage and fight for tiered regulations that will allow community banks to continue serving and building their communities.

“What Washington doesn't understand is that what we do is more art than science. Lending is not an assembly line. We aren’t making widgets here; we are serving real people. Good lending—good banking—is born from experience and good judgment.”

Fine continued, “Our message to the Congress and to the regulatory agencies is simple—let us do our jobs. They need to extend a hand, not a clenched fist, to the Main Street banks who serve our communities. Then maybe this nation’s economy would truly begin to thrive at the grassroots level.”

To accomplish this, Fine offered the following solutions: rolling back excessive regulation and getting back to common-sense banking; stop letting wrongdoers at mega banks write a check so they can continue the same reckless and illegal practices that put our economy at risk, and holding them individually responsible—as community banks are—and as the law requires.

After asking community bankers to stand up and speak up for the industry, Fine closed his speech by thanking the nation’s community bankers. “Thank you for being what is best about America. Thank you for your sacrifices, from Maine to California, from Minnesota to Texas. Thank you for doing the right thing, for enduring, and for seeing it all the way through! Thank you—for being brave, for speaking out, and for never holding back,” Fine said.

For more information about Fine and ICBA, visit http://www.icba.org.

About ICBA
The Independent Community Bankers of America®, the nation’s voice for more than 6,500 community banks of all sizes and charter types, 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. For more information, visit http://www.icba.org.

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Aleis Stokes
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