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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.

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CBAI Supports Confidential Treatment of Privileged Information

April 2, 2012

The 2010 Dodd-Frank Act did not explicitly address the confidential treatment of privileged information provided to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (Bureau) but did grant the Bureau the ability to promulgate rules addressing this important issue. The Bureau has now proposed a Rule that would codify protections for privileged information submitted to it by the financial institutions it regulates.

In a comment letter CBAI supported the confidential treatment of privileged information provided to the Bureau. CBAI also encouraged the Bureau eliminate any ambiguity or confusion in the Rule and protect all information provided to the CFPB from institutions the Bureau directly supervises (those with assets in excess of $10 billion) and community banks with assets of $10 billion and under.

Read CBAI Comment Letter

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Important Announcements from the FHLB of Chicago

April 23, 2012

Last week the Board of Directors of the FHLB of Chicago announced their regulator, the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA), agreed to terminate their Consent Cease and Desist Order effective immediately. CLICK HERE to read the Member Letter regarding the C&D.

In a separate Member Letter the FHLB of Chicago announced the second opportunity for member institutions to to have their excess stock repurchased by the Bank. Monday, April 30th at (5pm C.S.T.), is the deadline for submitting requests for repurchasing stock. CLICK HERE to read the Members Letter and to access the stock repurchase form.

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CFPB Adopts Rule on Privileged Information

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has adopted a Rule to codify the protection of privileged information submitted to the Bureau by the financial institutions it regulates. In a comment letter in March, CBAI recommended the Rule specifically state that any information provided by community banks, either directly or indirectly to the Bureau, will not waive or otherwise affect any privilege with respect to such information under Federal or State law. The CFPB said that although the rule is primarily focused on large financial institutions, it is not limited to those institutions and will be interpreted broadly.

Read CBAI Comment Letter

Read CFPB Announcement

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CBAI Supported ATM Fee Disclosure Bill Passes the U.S. House

July 10, 2012

H.R. 4367 eliminates the unnecessary and duplicative disclosure of ATM fees and helps prevent frivolous lawsuits against community banks.

The Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) Act requires ATM operators to provide two separate notices regarding ATM fees (i.e., a placard placed on the ATM machine and a separate disclosure on the video screen). The video screen fee disclosure requires the user to accept the fee - or not. If the user accepts the fee the transaction proceeds. If the fee is declined the transaction is cancelled and the fee is not charged. Community banks fully support the consumer protection of video screen fee disclosure.

Issues however have arisen with the placard on the ATM machine. Penalties for not displaying the placard are severe (i.e., the lesser of $500,000 or 1% of the net worth of the ATM operator) and have unfortunately provided an incentive for ATM vigilantes to remove the placard and file frivolous lawsuits. During the last 18 months these lawsuits have increased, and if the situation is left unchecked ATM operators may be forced to remove ATMs which will result in reduced consumer convenience. Several CBAI members have reported these problems, and more such instances will likely occur in the future unless this common sense legislation is passed.

The House Financial Services Committee recently reported this legislation to the entire House of Representatives by a voice vote. Yesterday, the House approved this legislation by a wide bipartisan margin (371 “yea”, 0 “nay” with 60 members “not voting”).

CBAI thanks the Illinois members who voted in favor of passage and particularly those members who were proactive and cosponsored this important legislation: Dan Lipinski (D-3rd), Luis Gutierrez (D-4th), Mike Quigley (D-5th), Peter Roskam (R-6th), Robert Dold (R-10th), Judy Biggert (R-13th), Don Manzullo (R-16th), and John Shimkus (R-19th).

CBAI encourages the U.S. Senate to quickly pass this important legislation.