ICBA Statement on Financial Services Provisions in Highway Legislation Passed

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Independent Community Bankers of America® (ICBA) President and CEO Camden R. Fine issued this statement after Congress sent compromise highway legislation to President Obama to be signed into law.

ICBA thanks the many community bankers who reached out to their members of Congress on this critical issue.

Independent Community Bankers of America® (ICBA) President and CEO Camden R. Fine issued this statement after Congress sent compromise highway legislation to President Obama to be signed into law.

“While many community banks will be protected from the financial services provisions of the new highway law, which specifies that banks $10 billion and under are exempt from cuts to Fed stock dividends, ICBA remains steadfastly opposed to using the banking sector to pay for federal highways. Modifying an arrangement between the Fed and its member-owners to fund the unrelated Highway Trust Fund is a bad precedent, and ICBA and community bankers continue to oppose any change in this century-old agreement.

“Nevertheless, the community bank exemption will make a tangible difference for local customers and small businesses, saving community banks an estimated $200 million per year that can be reinvested in their local communities. Along with the exemption for community banks, the new law also provides that banks over $10 billion in assets will receive a floating dividend rate on Fed stock based upon the 10-year Treasury rate with a maximum of 6 percent.

“Several beneficial policies from ICBA’s Plan for Prosperity are part of the new law, including: eliminating redundant privacy notice requirements, expanding the 18-month exam cycle, easing Consumer Financial Protection Bureau restrictions on rural mortgage lenders, expanding TruPS CDO relief for small bank holding companies, and allowing thrift holding companies to take advantage of new Securities and Exchange Commission registration thresholds. The new law also restores funds cut from the crop insurance program that would have significantly curtailed the private-sector delivery of federal crop insurance, and it drops ICBA-opposed language that would have extended higher Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac guarantee fees.

“While ICBA was opposed to any change in the long-standing Fed dividend policy to fund the highway bill, Congress clearly listened to community bank-led efforts and made substantial improvements, including the exemption for banks $10 billion and under and several important ICBA Plan for Prosperity regulatory relief policies. ICBA thanks the many community bankers who reached out to their members of Congress on this critical issue.”

About ICBA
The Independent Community Bankers of America®, the nation’s voice for more than 6,000 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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