Take Charge: Combat Call Report Encroachment with ICBA Petition

20130415 Letter

Before I was ever a community banker, I was a cadet at the Virginia Military Institute and an officer in the U.S. Army. One of the core principles instilled in me during my military training was the importance of never giving up ground—of always looking for opportunities to take ground from the enemy.

Well, in ICBA’s constant war on excessive regulation, we are mounting a new assault to halt and roll back what has become a significant burden for many community banks—the quarterly call report. Last week we launched a petition urging relief from the increasing length and complexity of the call report and advocating streamlined reporting rules for community banks.

But just like in combat, we need boots on the ground. In this case, we need a massive show of force to demonstrate to regulators that we are not about to lay down our arms. That is why I’m calling on every community banker, every staffer, every director, every industry ally—join the fight! Sign our petition today to help us turn the tide.

Let’s be clear what we’re fighting for here. The massive growth of the call report—to nearly 700 pages of instructions and 80 pages of forms—has a tangible impact not only on community banks and their compliance staff, but also on the success and economic growth of the local communities they serve. Like other regulatory burdens, the additional time and resources that community banks devote to the call report cannot be dedicated to local economies.

And there is no question that the size and complexity of the call report burden is rapidly growing. ICBA’s recently released call report survey found that the annual cost of preparing the report has increased for 86 percent of community bank respondents over the past 10 years. Further, 98 percent of respondents said ICBA’s proposed short-form call report, which qualifying community banks would submit twice annually, would reduce their regulatory burden. Seventy-two percent said the reduction would be substantial.

That is why we must act now! Community banks and the communities they serve can’t cede any more territory to the growing call report threat.

As part of our broader fight for regulatory relief, we must hold our position on this crucial issue. Let’s turn out in force, let’s halt the advance of this costly burden, and let’s strike a blow for smarter and more equitable regulation! Sign ICBA’s call report petition, enlist reinforcements, and make sure Washington hears every single one of us loud and clear!

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