Regional Meetings Wrap Up


Round two of IBAT\'s "Tour de
Texas" concluded late last week.  Over 800 Texas community bank and
associate members attended meetings held in Galveston, Schulenburg, Harlingen,
Corpus Christi, Houston, Kilgore, Sulphur Springs (Yantis) and Dallas.

Participants
learned for the first time about ICBA\'s and IBAT\'s federal legislative
priorities in the 113th Congress.  IBAT President and CEO Chris Williston
and ICBA\'s Executive Vice President for Congressional Affairs Paul Merski
detailed provisions of a legislative platform known as the "Plan for Prosperity."

Merski
said "our Plan for Prosperity is not a single bill but an outline of
priorities to obtain comprehensive meaningful regulatory relief for community
banks."  Merski credited IBAT and its Community Bank Task Force
organized last Fall for developing many of the components of the platform.
 "IBAT\'s task force did a lot of the heavy lifting and we appreciate
the good work of the volunteer bankers and industry partners who spearheaded
this project," he said.

The
plan will not be to introduce a single bill that encompasses all of these
regulatory relief priorities in one package but a series of bills that can move
independently through the regular order of business on committee jurisdictional
lines.

The
IBAT Board of Directors is expected to take up the platform components tomorrow
for consideration and endorsement at its regularly scheduled Spring Board
meeting in Austin.  "Given the work that has already been done by the IBAT
task force, I would be shocked if the Board didn\'t enthusiastically lend IBAT\'s
unconditional endorsement of this project," Williston said.
 "It\'s high time we quit talking about regulatory relief and the need
for a two-tiered regulatory system and get on with making it happen."