President and CEO Chris Williston and EVP Steve Scurlock spent several days in
our nation's capital last week "telling the community banking story,"
and voicing concerns about proposed regulations, including Basel III and the
CFPB QM rules. Productive meetings with senior level regulators at the
banking agencies, as well as the CFPB, were mixed with visits on the Hill with
key lawmakers and staff. IBAT also reaffirmed its strong support for
Congress to extend the Transaction Account Guarantee (TAG) program before the
December 31, 2012 deadline. Community banks have benefited from TAG as a
stable source of funding in these times of financial instability.
"The challenges continue for community banking, and decision-makers
need to hear our message," said Williston. "Everyone seems to
be saying the right things - community banks are 'the good guys' - we didn't
cause the problems and we're getting crushed by an avalanche of regulatory
burden. What we don't see is this being translated into meaningful action
or results, and that was one of our main objectives this trip. The recent
issuance of a complex and burdensome capital proposal is a clear case in point.
We believe that this is unnecessary and clearly overkill for the
community bank sector, and we had the opportunity to convey our thoughts - face
to face - on this and other important issues to key players."