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ICBA Outraged at Retailer Letter Blaming Banks for Data Breaches
ICBA expressed its shock and outrage at a National Retail Federation letter blaming the financial services industry for recent data breaches at retailers such as Target and Neiman Marcus. In a national news release, ICBA said that the NRF should focus its attention on responding to the harm that security breaches at several retailers have done to consumers and their financial institutions rather than hurling false allegations blaming the banking industry.

“Retailers and their processors—not banks—are responsible for the systems in their stores that process payment cards,” ICBA President and CEO Cam Fine said.

ICBA noted that nearly every retailer security breach in recent memory has revealed some violation of industry security agreements. In some cases, retailers haven’t even had technology in place to alert them to the breach intrusion, and third parties, including banks, have had to notify the retailers that their information had been compromised.

In recent letters to House and Senate lawmakers, ICBA wrote that the party that suffers a data breach—whether it is a retailer, data broker, financial institution or other entity—should be responsible for fraud losses and the costs of mitigation and restitution when consumer information is compromised. Additionally, ICBA called for a single national standard to replace the patchwork of state laws on data security breaches that fosters confusion and puts consumers at risk. Read ICBA Release.

Report: Community Banks, CDFIs Make Nearly 90 Percent of Loans under Treasury Program
Community banks and Community Development Financial Institutions made nearly 90 percent of the dollar volume of small-business loans under a Treasury Department program designed to expand access to credit for small businesses. According to a report released yesterday, community banks alone made nearly 60 percent of the loans provided under the State Small Business Credit Initiative.

Community bank loans participating in the program led to the creation or preservation of nearly 28,000 jobs, and CDFI loans accounted for more than 9,000 more jobs created or retained, Treasury reported. Additionally, community banks originated 1,853 loans under the program, while CDFIs accounted for another 2,008. Meanwhile, large banks and credit unions originated 403 and 35 loans, respectively.

The Small Business Jobs Act of 2010 created the SSBCI and provided nearly $1.5 billion for state programs that support access to credit for small businesses and small manufacturers. Treasury said it expects the program to generate up to $15 billion in new private capital.

ICBA NewsWatch Today is sponsored by NACHA:
With nearly 1,200 members listening to what’s being said about them on social media, ICBA announced the expansion of its premier social media monitoring tool—the ICBA Social Media Monitor, sponsored by NACHA. Participating community bankers can now search up to five keywords, allowing ICBA member banks to find even more mentions of their banks from consumers, media and policymakers!  Current participants interested in adding or changing keywords can email monitor@community-bankers.com. Please include your bank name, email contact info, and list of new keywords and phrases to monitor. New participants can set up their preferences at www.icba.org/webmonitor or read frequently asked questions about the program.

Is Your Community Bank Up to the IB Digital Challenge?
Find the singing executive in the special section of ICBA Independent Banker’s January issue, Industry Partners Get Personal, and IB will profile your bank for Community Banking Month. In the special section, executives from five prominent community bank service providers offer their perspectives on industry trends and developments in 2014. View the section in the digital edition, click on the tagged hyperlinks and get your community bank profiled. Learn More on How to Enter.

Take This Week’s Quick Poll
Take this week’s Quick Poll on the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s Qualified Mortgage rules, and view results from the previous poll on the CFPB’s mortgage rules. View the Archive.

ICBA Offers Discounts on Ad Checker
ICBA offers member discounts on a program designed to take the guesswork out of compliance-checking community bank advertisements. Check Your Ad will guide participants through the process of compliance-checking advertisements. Learn More.

Products and Services
Upcoming Webinar Features How To Earn CRA Credit, Protect Elderly
ICBA and the Senior Housing Crime Prevention Foundation are hosting an upcoming webinar on how community banks can earn Community Reinvestment Act credit while protecting elderly citizens. “Earn CRA Credit by Combating Elder Abuse,” scheduled for 11 a.m. (Eastern time) Tuesday, Feb. 11, will cover how to participate in the only program that is having a measurable impact on crime and abuse in the nation’s low- and moderate-income nursing and veterans homes. Learn More and Register.

Products and Services
Webinar Next Week Covers Reaching Health-care Markets
Tapping into high-opportunity niche markets and building new relationships is more important than ever to ensure recurring fee income and a strong competitive position for your community bank. Join ProfitStars, an ICBA Preferred Service Provider, for one (or all) of its complimentary webinars on how to reach today’s health-care markets using tools such as remittance solutions. Register Now.

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