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Plan for Prosperity
ICBA Advocates CFPB Reforms to Minimize Reg Burdens
ICBA told Congress it supports provisions of a bill to improve the governance of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and the review standard for CFPB rule.

The Consumer Financial Protection Safety and Soundness Improvement Act of 2013 (H.R. 3193) would change the structure of the CFPB so that it is governed by a five-member commission rather than a single director. ICBA noted in a letter to House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) and Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) that the FDIC, Federal Reserve and Securities and Exchange Commission use similar governance structures.

The legislation also would authorize the Financial Stability Oversight Council to stay or set aside any CFPB rule if a majority of the council, excluding the CFPB director, finds that it is “inconsistent with the safe and sound operations” of U.S. financial institutions. This would relax the current standard that law requires a vote of two-thirds of the council and a finding that the rule puts the banking or financial system at risk.

These provisions are included in ICBA’s Plan for Prosperity regulatory relief platform for the 113th Congress. ICBA continues encouraging community bankers to visit ICBA’s Be Heard grassroots website to urge their members of Congress to support the Plan for Prosperity.



Farm Bill
Obama Says Farm Bill Will Spur Economic Growth
The ICBA-advocated farm bill will help rural communities grow and give farmers certainty through crop insurance, President Barack Obama said at Friday’s signing of the Agricultural Act of 2014 (H.R. 2642). The act includes several provisions that advance ICBA objectives to spur rural economic growth, including provisions to strengthen crop and revenue insurance programs and to remove term limits on USDA guaranteed farm operating loans.

At the bill signing, Obama also directed his administration to lead a new “Made in Rural America” initiative to promote exports and investments involving rural businesses. The initiative is charged with bringing together federal resources to help rural businesses take advantage of new investment opportunities and access new international customers and markets. 

ICBA has worked closely with policymakers over the years to ensure a strong farm bill safety net while providing a robust crop insurance program and enhancing USDA guaranteed farm loan programs. As the farm bill developed, in addition to lobbying for strong crop and revenue insurance programs, ICBA advocated removing term limits on guaranteed farm operating loans and strongly opposed expanding Farm Credit System lending powers.

Watch the Bill Signing. Read ICBA Release on Farm Bill.



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Federal Reserve
Yellen Testifying Today for First Time as Fed Chief
Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen today is scheduled to testify before Congress for the first time as Fed chief. Yellen will address the House Financial Services Committee at 10 a.m. (Eastern time) today. She is scheduled to testify before the Senate Banking Committee on Thursday.


SBA
ICBA Community Banker, SBA Nominee Slated for Hearing
ICBA-member community banker Maria Contreras-Sweet is scheduled to appear before the Senate Small Business Committee tomorrow for a hearing on her nomination to head the Small Business Administration. Contreras-Sweet is the founder and chairman of ProAmérica Bank, a community bank in Los Angeles. The hearing is slated for 1 p.m. (Eastern time) tomorrow.


Grassroots
Register Now for 2014 Washington Policy Summit
ICBA is calling on community bankers to gather in the nation’s capital for the 2014 Washington Policy Summit. Slated for April 29-May 2, participants will hear firsthand from banking and financial leaders, engage members of Congress and regulators, and influence the policymaking process. There is no registration fee in 2014, so go online to learn more and register today. Learn More and Register.


Poll
Take This Week’s Quick Poll
Take this week’s Quick Poll on a proposal that the U.S. Postal Service enter the financial services industry, and view results from the previous poll on financial literacy. View the Archive.


Education
ICBA Compliance Institute Slated for April
The ICBA Compliance Institute, scheduled for April 6-11 in Memphis, Tenn., will continue to incorporate the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s comprehensive compliance reforms in areas such as Regulations Z, X, B and E. The comprehensive seminar also will feature the latest rules and guidance on Integrated Mortgage Disclosures, Qualified Mortgages, High-Cost Mortgages, Loan Servicing, Lender Compensation and Foreign Remittance Transfers. Register Today.


Products and Services
Tax-Related Identity Fraud Webinar This Thursday
Tax-related identity fraud is a growing problem with more than 640,000 victims in 2011, more than double the number of taxpayers affected in 2010. Travelers, an ICBA Preferred Service Provider, is scheduled to host a webinar exploring what tax-related identity fraud is, how it can happen, what the damage can be and what the IRS is doing about it at 2 p.m. (Eastern time) Thursday, Feb. 13. Register Now.


Products and Services
Webinar on EMV Developments Next Week
CPI Card Group, an ICBA Preferred Service Provider, is joining with ICBA Bancard to present “Developments in EMV,” an illuminating webinar that attempts to demystify the components of a successful EMV migration. This webinar will explore how issuers in other countries have leveraged EMV technology to bring added security to their cardholders' portfolios and how community banks stateside can follow this path to refresh their brand with innovation and value.  Register now for 11 a.m. (Eastern time) Wednesday, Feb. 19, or 2 p.m. (Eastern time) Thursday, Feb. 20.











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