ICBA Launches “Plan for Prosperity” Legislative Platform for 2016

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The Independent Community Bankers of America® (ICBA) today launched its updated Plan for Prosperity regulatory relief platform for the 2016 session of the 114th Congress. The Plan for Prosperity is a set of common-sense legislative priorities to promote lending and stimulate local economies and job growth by relieving community banks from unnecessary and excessive government regulation while maintaining appropriate oversight of the largest and riskiest institutions.

America’s more than 6,000 community banks are vital to our local and national economies, but the piling on of more and more regulations is crushing their ability to lend and create jobs.

The Independent Community Bankers of America® (ICBA) today launched its updated Plan for Prosperity regulatory relief platform for the 2016 session of the 114th Congress. The Plan for Prosperity is a set of common-sense legislative priorities to promote lending and stimulate local economies and job growth by relieving community banks from unnecessary and excessive government regulation while maintaining appropriate oversight of the largest and riskiest institutions.

“America’s more than 6,000 community banks are vital to our local and national economies, but the piling on of more and more regulations is crushing their ability to lend and create jobs,” ICBA President and CEO Camden R. Fine said. “ICBA’s Plan for Prosperity helps put local communities back to work through targeted and common-sense relief for Main Street community banks. While we have made good progress toward tiered community bank regulation that accounts for their size, lower risk profile and traditional business model, there is still much more we can do.”

Several ICBA Plan for Prosperity policies passed Congress in 2015, including provisions eliminating redundant privacy notice requirements, expanding the 18-month exam cycle to qualifying institutions under $1 billion in assets, expanding access to Consumer Financial Protection Bureau rural mortgage lender benefits, and allowing thrift holding companies to take advantage of recent Securities and Exchange Commission registration thresholds. ICBA’s updated platform for 2016 recognizes these reforms and calls on Congress to build on these successes by advancing legislation that would:

  •     amend the Basel III capital rules to restore their original intent as a set of capital rules that apply mainly to large international banks,
  •     more accurately identify “systemically risky financial institutions,”
  •     further modernize the Federal Reserve’s Small Bank Holding Company Policy Statement to support additional access to capital,
  •     reform Securities and Exchange Commission rules to reduce unnecessary compliance expenses,
  •     relieve community banks from certain mortgage rules to support the housing recovery,
  •     improve accountability in bank exams with a workable appeals process,
  •     recalibrate bank oversight and examination to better target risk,
  •     target the Volcker Rule at the largest and most systemically risky banks,
  •     reform the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to ensure more balanced regulation,
  •     eliminate arbitrary and frivolous “disparate impact” lending suits,
  •     support mutual banks with new charter and capital options,
  •     require rigorous and quantitative justification of new rules,
  •     cut the red tape in small-business lending,
  •     create new tax credits or deductions for community bank lending to low- and moderate-income individuals, businesses, farmers and ranchers to offset the competitive advantage enjoyed by tax-exempt credit unions and Farm Credit System lenders,
  •     facilitate capital formation by reforming Subchapter S corporation rules, creating a limited liability company option for community banks, and extending the net-operating-loss carry-back for community banks, and
  •     raise the limitation on issuing bank-qualified bonds.

Several bills pending in Congress—including the CLEAR Relief Act (S. 812/H.R. 1233) and Financial Regulatory Improvement Act (S. 1484)—would implement many of these much-needed changes. ICBA thanks House Financial Services Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling (R-Texas), Subcommittee on Housing and Insurance Chairman Blaine Luetkemeyer (R-Mo.), Subcommittee on Financial Institutions and Consumer Credit Chairman Randy Neugebauer (R-Texas), Senate Banking Committee Chairman Richard Shelby (R-Ala.), Sens. Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) and Jon Tester (D-Mont.), and many other key members of Congress for enacting and advancing common-sense community bank regulatory relief.

The ICBA Plan for Prosperity is available on ICBA’s website.

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
Independent Community Bankers of America
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