Congressman Quigley Supports Community Bank Input in Policymaking

June 30, 2015 

Strengthening the voice of community banks in federal policymaking is a policy priority for the Community Bankers Association of Illinois (CBAI). For too long Wall Street insiders have dominated this arena which is ill-advised as they represent a narrow, and often times flawed and biased perspective.MQuigley

Illinois Congressman Mike Quigley (D-5), a member of the U. S. House Appropriations Committee’s Subcommittee on Financial Services & General Government, included the following requirement in a bill which recently passed the Appropriations Committee.

"The Committee is very interested in the Treasury’s efforts to collaborate with community banks that have less than $10 billion in total assets on relevant legislative and regulatory policy making decisions. The Department is directed to submit a report to the Committees on Appropriations of the House and Senate within 120 days of enactment of this Act detailing these efforts, as well as efforts to hire employees with a background and understanding of community banking."

CBAI appreciates Congressman Quigley’s support and looks forward to working with him on this and other issues of importance to Illinois community banks.


Supreme Court Upholds CBAI-Opposed Disparate Impact Theory of Discrimination

The United States Supreme Court has upheld the disparate-impact theory of discrimination, which holds a defendant liable for neutral practices that have a disparate impact on protected classes even where there is no intent to discriminate.

While CBAI disagrees with the Supreme Court’s interpretation of the Fair Housing Act, we do appreciate the high court’s limited application of the theory and its direction to lower courts to act promptly and “examine with care” plaintiff cases. The majority opinion made it clear that a disparate-impact case cannot rely on statistics alone and that the accuser must also cite the specific policy that caused the disparate result. According to the ruling, defendants have a good defense against disparate-impact claims if they have a legitimate public interest or business reason for their policies. The burden then shifts to the plaintiff to show there was a less discriminatory alternative that would achieve the same goal.

Community banks are fully committed to fair lending and have strong compliance systems in place, though the court’s ruling will likely promote litigation that can itself cause reputational damage. CBAI will work with the Independent Community Bankers of America and Congress to advance legislation to ensure that federal laws truly support fair and equitable mortgage lending for consumers and community banks alike. Read Supreme Court Ruling.


CFPB Delays TRID Implementation

June 17, 2015

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has delayed implementation of the new TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosure (TRID) by two months until October 3, 2015. The CFPB said it took the action due to an administrative error and to better accommodate consumers and providers.

On June 2, 2015 CBAI submitted a comment letter to the CFPB urging the Bureau to allow for a period of restrained enforcement and liability (a grace period) for community banks attempting to comply in good faith with the regulations between the [original] August 1st effective date and through year-end 2015.

While CBAI is pleased that the original extension date has been extended to October 3rd, we will none-the-less be advocating for an additional grace period which is not without precedent and will be beneficial to customers and community banks. Read June 2 CBAI Comment Letter.


CBAI Opposes FCA’s Farmer Mac Proposal

June 23, 2015

The Community Bankers Association of Illinois is urging the Farm Credit Administration to withdraw a corporate governance and standards of conduct proposal which would require Farmer Mac board members to have a substantial and visible connection with a voting stockholder. In CBAI's opinion, this provision is an attempt by Farm Credit to require Farmer Mac’s directors to be subject to outside influences and control. CBAI is concerned that this requirement would not contribute to Farmer Mac’s ability to fulfill its mission nor would it promote safety and soundness. Read CBAI Comment Letter.


Victory in U.S. Supreme Court Case That Was the Subject of CBAI Amicus Brief

The Community Bankers Association of Illinois (“CBAI”) is thrilled with the U.S. Supreme Court’s June 1 decision resolving the case of Bank of America, N.A.v. Caulkett and with the efforts of CBAI Associate Member law firm SmithAmundsen LLC in preparing an amicus brief on behalf of CBAI and CBAI’s members throughout Illinois. The victory in this decision protects the secured interests of junior lienholders in bankruptcy cases, and CBAI believes that the arguments submitted in the amicus brief were reflected in the Court’s opinion. A big “thank you” to SmithAmundsen LLC, including Michael Cortina and John Collen, who guided CBAI through the amicus drafting and kept CBAI apprised of the status of the case. The Caulkett decision is a big victory for junior lienholders. Click here to review more about the case and the Supreme Court’s opinion.