Community Bankers Association of Illinois

CBAI Director Matt Gambs Attends White House Meeting with Obama and Geithner

CBAI Director Matt Gambs Attends White House Meeting with Obama and Geithner On Tuesday, December 22, 2009, CBAI board member Matt Gambs, CEO of Diamond Bancorp in Schaumburg, attended a meeting at the White House with President Barack Obama and Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner to discuss key community banking issues and ways to increase small-business lending, create jobs, and bolster the economy. Gambs was among 12 community bankers from across the country invited to attend the private session.

At the conclusion of the 75-minute interchange, Gambs said, “After all the time and effort of community bankers to make our voices heard, this meeting showed that our effort was not in vain. The President told everyone that community banks did not cause this financial and economic crisis, but we are critical to fixing it. This meeting should encourage all community bankers to get involved in governmental relations because we now have a great opportunity to enact changes that benefit both our nation and our profession.”

CBAI Chairman Robin Loftus, executive vice president of Security Bank, s.b., Springfield, said, “CBAI is gratified to have one of its leaders at the table to discuss important community banking issues with the President. It’s a wonderful example of grassroots governmental relations in action, and Matt did an excellent job representing our profession.”

Gambs, who was interviewed by several media sources including the PBS “News Hour” and MSNBC, indicated that the group expressed concerns over highly-aggressive and harsh examinations that are hurting small business lending. The President vowed to help cut red tape so community banks can increase lending to small businesses. Gambs also urged support for a proposal to allow banks to amortize loan losses over a 10 year period, a measure that is supported by both CBAI and ICBA. He also recommended allocating TARP funds to strengthen community bank capital positions so they can weather the economic crisis and begin to lend again. For more information, see Chicago Tribune Article.

See PBS Interview.
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