Community banks support strong reforms on Wall Street

    It is time to set the public record straight. The ICBA (Independent Community Bankers of America) represents nearly 5,000 Main Street community banks, and we support strong reforms that hold accountable Wall Street and systemically dangerous financial firms and unregulated entities whose risky behaviors led to this crisis. 

    Recently, many statements have been made about the community bank position on the Senate Banking Committee’s version of a regulatory reform bill. ICBA has repeatedly stated that the status quo is not acceptable.

    Among other regulatory changes, ICBA supports strong resolution authority that has but one purpose, and that is to wind down failing institutions.

    We support basing FDIC (Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.) deposit insurance premiums on total assets, not domestic deposits, so that the too-big-to-fail banks pay their fair share.

    We support enhanced enforcement of the lightly regulated and unregulated nonbank financial services companies – they should play by the same rules as community banks. ICBA supports a stronger role for prudential bank regulators in the creation and enforcement of any new consumer-protection rules.

    ICBA speaks for nearly 5,000 community banks, and we believe the regulatory reform discussion should be based on substance, not rhetoric. ICBA will work to ensure that our policy recommendations are accurately represented as this process moves forward.

    Those who do not want a bill have their reasons. Community banks do not share those reasons – the status quo is no longer acceptable.

    And those who support the Dodd bill have their reasons. Community banks want changes in the Dodd bill before we can give our full support.

    We ask both sides of this debate to stop using the good name of community banks to advance their own causes. Community banks can speak for themselves, and we do not need either proponents or opponents of regulatory reform speaking for us.

    Jim MacPhee, chief executive officer of Kalamazoo County State Bank in Schoolcraft, Mich., is the chairman of the Independent Community Bankers of America (ICBA).

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