The House Financial Services Committee last week advanced five ICBA-advocated bills to provide regulatory relief to community banks. The bills, which are inspired by ICBA’s Plan for Prosperity platform, would rein in community bank overregulation on several fronts.
The package of bills—the first in what we expect to be a series of volleys against regulatory burden—would exempt community bank portfolio loans from CFPB escrow requirements, delay and study Basel III rules on mortgage-servicing assets and eliminate redundant privacy notice requirements. Other ICBA-backed measures would allow individuals to challenge the CFPB’s rural designations and would write into statute the CFPB’s community bank and small business advisory boards.
Clearly, Congress is listening to community bankers, who have repeatedly warned about the damaging impact of excessive regulation. Centennial Bank Chairman David Williams recently testified to the committee that community bank regulations have reached the level of overkill because they are harming the consumers they’re supposed to protect.
This is something every community banker knows firsthand. The regulatory environment that is supposed to protect consumers is actually hurting them by cutting off their access to credit. Thanks to community bankers, Congress is getting the message.
But this committee markup is just one small step in a very long legislative process. That is why community bankers must remain vigilant in pursuit of regulatory relief. And let me tell you, there’s no better way to do it than coming to Washington and beating the bushes on Capitol Hill. That’s why I’m calling on community bankers from coast to coast to register for next month’s ICBA Washington Policy Summit. This grassroots advocacy summit, which kicks off in less than 30 days, allows community bankers to meet firsthand with members of Congress and federal banking regulators to push for relief.
As community bankers know, we have a long road to reining in excessive regulation to help our local communities thrive. But even the longest journeys begin with a single step. Let’s keep this journey going and see it all the way to the end, because our customers and communities are counting on us.