CBAI Action Alert - Urge Congress to Cosponsor the Communities First Act

December 14, 2011

The CFA (H.R. 1697) is bipartisan legislation that would provide much needed regulatory relief for community banks and their communities. The CFA also reduces the tax burden on community banks and narrows the competitive gap between community banks and tax-exempt unions. The CFA is extremely important to the continued ability of community banks to effectively service their communities.

H.R. 1697 introduced by Blaine Luetkemeyer (R-MO), currently has 61 co-sponsors including Illinois Congressmen Mike Quigley (D-5), Robert Dold (R-10), Randy Hultgren (R-14), Tim Johnson (R-15), and Don Manzullo (R-16).

CBAI recently joined with community bank trade associations across the country in support of the CFA. Read letter. Please click here to urge your Congressman to cosponsor, H.R. 1697.

The companion version of H.R. 1697 (S. 1600) was introduced by Jerry Moran (R-KS) in September, and currently has four co-sponsors.

Please click here to urge Illinois’ Senators Richard Durbin and Mark Kirk to cosponsor S. 1600. Thank you for your efforts.


ACTION ALERT: Sign Online Petition Opposing Credit Union Power Grab

February 2, 2012

Credit unions are poised to charge Capitol Hill by the busload to advance their member business lending bills (H.R. 1418/S. 509). Your action is urgently needed to help prevent these bills from moving forward . Please sign an online petition today so your voice opposing their unwarranted power grab is heard in Washington D.C.

Credit unions are primed for a full scale campaign to expand their small business lending by 1) raising the cap on member business loans from 12.25% to 27.5% of assets; 2) increasing the size of loans exempt from the cap; 3) excluding any loan made in an underserved area; and 4) repeal certain lending restrictions on undercapitalized credit unions, thereby raising safety and soundness concerns. CBAI has consistently held the position that tax subsidized credit unions should meet the basic statutory mission that Congress spelled out for them by serving individuals of modest means and with a common bond.

H.R. 1418 and S. 509 currently have 114 bipartisan co-sponsors in the House and 22 bipartisan co-sponsors in the Senate. Seventeen members of the Illinois delegation have not co-sponsored this legislation. The 4 House members that have cosponsored are Congressmen Rush (D-1st), Jackson (D-2nd), Lipinski (D-3rd), and Congresswoman Schakowsky (D-9th).

Please click here to sign the online petition. Please also encourage your employees, Directors, customers, and even family members to join in supporting taxpaying Illinois community banks.

Here is the link to the petition if you would like cut/paste and send the link to others -

It takes under a minute to complete and send the petition. Please sign it today.

Thank you!


CBAI Applauds Withdrawal of HUD Proposed Rules

February 14, 2012

A late October CBAI comment letter, and community banker responses to an Action Alert, have prompted the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to withdraw their Proposed Rule to enable Farm Credit System (FCS) lenders to participate in Federal Housing Administration (FHA) mortgage insurance programs. Read Comment Letter

The HUD Proposed Rule was unnecessary and counter productive. Community banks already successfully serve rural communities and will continue to do so as the economy recovers. The Proposed Rule would undermine community banks at the expense of taxpayer-subsidized FCS lenders. We also opposed the Proposed Rule because Congress, not HUD, should be responsible for approving any expansion of FCS powers.

FCS lenders use their government-backed status and preferred tax treatment to unfairly compete with community banks. Many FCS offices have used these unfair advantages to cherry-pick the most desirable credits and gain market share which constitutes an abuse of the original Congressional intent for the FCS.

In addition to urging the withdrawal of the Proposed Rule, we encouraged HUD to work with community banks to remove the compliance and control requirements that serve as barriers to greater utilization of FHA programs by community banks.

Thank you to all of our members who responded to the CBAI Action Alert.

Your voice helped make the difference in convincing HUD to withdraw this misguided proposal!


ADA ATM Compliance Deadline Nears

February 21, 2012

Banks have less than 30 days to comply with the Justice Department's final rule governing ATM accessibility for the visually impaired. As of March 15th, all ATM locations and bank self-service terminals must include an audio component for displayed information and additional ATM functions must be outfitted with audio headset capabilities. A safe harbor exception is available for banks if the rule results in an "undue burden", but it should only be implemented after consulting legal counsel and on an interim basis. Read More on the Rule and Compliance.


Congress Sends CBAI-supported JOBS Act to the President

March 28, 2012

This week Congress passed and sent the Jumpstart Our Business Startups (JOBS) Act to President Obama. This legislation will ease reporting and regulatory requirements for small businesses trying to raise capital and make it easier to hire workers and help boost the economy. One section of the legislation specifically impacting community banks raises the threshold that triggers SEC registration from 500 to 2,000 and raises the deregistration threshold from 300 to 1,200. These SEC reforms will make it easier for community banks to raise capital without incurring costly registration requirements and will also allow some banks to more easily deregister. Easing these thresholds were part of the ICBA's Communities First Act and CBAI applauds its inclusion in the JOBS Act.

On March 8th, the House passed the bill with strong bipartisan support by a vote of 390-23. All Illinois members voted to pass the bill with the exception of Jan Schakowsky (D-9th) who voted "No" and Danny Davis (D-7th) who was "Not Voting". The six bills combined into the JOBS Act had various bipartisan co-sponsors from the Illinois delegation including Bobby Rush (D-1st), Mike Quigley (D-5th), Joe Walsh (R-8th), Robert Dold (R-10th), Judy Biggert (R-13th), Donald Manzullo (R-16th), Bobby Schilling (R-17th), and Aaron Schock (R-18th).

The Senate also passed the bill with strong bipartisan support by a vote of 76-23 (with 1 not voting). Illinois Senator Richard Durbin voted "No" and Senator Mark Kirk, who is still recovering from his recent stroke, was "Not Voting". The Senate adopted the bill with an amendment which required further action in the House.

Yesterday, the House voted to concur with the Senate version by a vote of 380-41. All Illinois House members voted in favor of passage with the exception of Jan Schakowsky (D-9th) who voted "No" and Jesse Jackson Jr. who was "Not Voting". The bill now goes to the President for his signature, and he has signaled his strong support for this important legislation.