Communities First Act

House Financial Services Committee member Blaine Luetkemeyer (R-Mo.) formally introduced IBAT and ICBA-advocated legislation to reduce regulatory, tax and paperwork burdens on community banks and the customers they serve. The Communities First Act (H.R.1697) is a top IBAT and ICBA policy priority designed to help community banks attract capital and support their communities.

Among its provisions, the Communities First Act would:

  • address onerous and expensive over-regulation,
  • encourage greater saving, investing and lending,
  • reduce counterproductive procyclical policies by  allowing community banks to amortize losses on commercial real estate loans and other real estate owned over 10 years for regulatory capital purposes,
  • recognize the cost of regulations by require the Securities and Exchange Commission to conduct a cost-benefit analysis before approving any proposed accounting change,
  • increase the threshold number of bank shareholders that trigger SEC registration from 500 to 2,000,
  • allow the Financial Stability Oversight Council to veto Consumer Financial Protection Bureau rules that would adversely impact a subset of the financial services industry,
  • amend the Wall Street Reform Act to restore bank reliance on external credit ratings
  • extend the five-year net-operating-loss carryback provision to better reflect business cycles and free up cash flow when it is most needed and
  • create a limited tax credit for community banks to improve the flow of credit.

IBAT and ICBA strongly support this legislation and will work to expand support for the measure in Congress by encouraging House Members to co-sponsor this important legislation. Read H.R.1697.