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Weiss Withdraws from Treasury Undersecretary Consideration

January 15, 2015

Wall Street insider Antonio Weiss has withdrawn his name from consideration for Treasury Undersecretary for Domestic Finance. CBAI applauds this development and encourages the Administration to consider qualified community bankers who play an important role in their communities, our financial system and the nation’s economy. Their advice and counsel is desperately needed at the highest levels of this and future administrations.

CBAI made this position clear in a December 10, 2014 article titled, We’ve Had Enough of Wall Street:

“The Obama Administration has chosen yet another Wall Street insider, Antonio Weiss of the global investment banking firm Lazard, for the position of Under Secretary of Treasury for Domestic Finance. CBAI believes that this and previous Wall Street nominees ignore the importance of Main Street community banks to the nation’s financial services profession, small business job creation, and the inconvenient fact that Wall Street greed and abuse caused the financial crisis and the Great Recession. The Administration is ill-advised to exclusively rely on Wall Street insiders who represent a narrow, and often times flawed and biased perspective.”

“CBAI believes that an Under Secretary should have a broad background in financial services, with the critical inclusion of community banking, which is so important to small business creation, job development, and the overall economic vitality of the thousands of communities throughout our great nation. In addition, an understanding of small and mid-market agricultural lending and financing is crucial to the development of sound and balanced financial regulatory policy with regard to the thousands of agricultural banks in rural communities throughout America.” Read CBAI Article.

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President Obama Signs CBAI Supported Law Requiring Community Bank Presence on the Fed Board

CBAI applauds President Obama for signing into law legislation that would require the White House to appoint someone with community banking experience to the Federal Reserve Board. This provision was included in the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act (“TRIA”) and would specifically require that at least one member of the Federal Reserve Board have experience as a community banker or community bank supervisor. TRIA was supported by a wide bi-partisan majority, passing the House by a vote of (416-5) and the Senate by (93-4). The entire Illinois Congressional delegation voted in favor of TRIA (with the exception of Congresswoman Duckworth who is on maternity leave).

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Regulators to Hold Chicago EGRPRA Meeting

January 12, 2015

Federal banking regulators have announced that an Economic Growth and Regulatory Paperwork Reduction Act (“EGRPRA”) outreach meeting will be held in Chicago on October 19, 2015. CBAI encourages Illinois community banks to attend this outreach meeting and express their views on regulatory burden directly to the federal banking agencies. In addition, the agencies will hold an outreach meeting this summer focusing on rural banking issues.

CBAI urged the federal banking regulators to address outdated, unnecessary, and unduly burdensome regulation of community banks. In a September 2014 comment letter CBAI highlighted the need for tiered regulation and called on the regulators to encourage de novo bank formation, ease quarterly Call Report burden, and increase the Small Bank Holding Company Policy Statement threshold to $5 billion (and allow small savings and loan holding companies to be covered by the Policy Statement). Read Comment Letter. Read More from the Agencies.

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CBAI Urges the FHFA to Withdraw Harmful Proposed Membership Rule

January 7, 2015

CBAI submitted a comment letter to the Federal Housing Finance Agency (“FHFA”) concerning its harmful proposed changes to Federal Home Loan Bank (“FHLB”) membership rules. These proposed changes will have a profound impact on the FHLB System, FHLBanks and FHLB Members, by imposing ongoing requirements that all FHLB Members would need to meet in order to maintain their membership.

The impact of the Proposed Rule include: increased regulatory burden on community banks and thrifts; difficulty in Member balance sheet management; the stability of the System and its continued reliability as a funding partner, particularly in times of economic stress; uncertainty about continuing Member access to liquidity; the future value of FHLBank membership; and the impacts on housing and community development throughout the System.

CBAI previously raised concerns about the FHFA’s 2010 Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (“ANPR”) on this subject and CBAI has again called on the FHFA to formally withdraw the harmful Proposed Rule. Read CBAI’s Comment Letter.

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CBAI Applauds New Law Improving Community Bank Access to Capital

December 22, 2014

CBAI applauds the recent enactment of a 2014 CBAI Federal Policy Priority for tiered regulation by increasing the Federal Reserve’s Small Bank Holding Company Policy Statement asset exemption from $500 million to $1 billion and also allowing small savings and loan holding companies to be covered by the Policy Statement provisions. It is estimated that 600 more bank and savings and loan holding companies will benefit from this increased threshold and that the Policy Statement will now cover close to 90% of all bank HCs and 75% of all savings and loan HCs. The Federal Reserve must propose a revised Policy Statement for comment within six months of the enactment of this legislation.

The ICBA has published a document answering frequently asked questions about this legislation. Read ICBA FAQ Document.