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Go Local
Custom Community Banking Month Toolkit Now Available
Customizable resources to help community banks celebrate Community Banking Month in April are now available on the ICBA website.

ICBA offers members a Community Banking Month Marketing and Communications Toolkit, which includes four customizable news releases and an op-ed. Community bankers can use the tools to announce the month-long celebration and show pride for the vital role community banks serve. Additionally, the ICBA member toolkit includes sample social media posts and marketing ideas that community banks can use to spread the word.

ICBA encourages members to use these turnkey custom resources throughout the month of April. The marketing and communications resources reinforce the message that community banks put local deposits back to work in their communities, are expert small-business and agricultural lenders, and support economic sustainability.

Community bankers also can tweet with the #BankLocally hashtag and share their photos with ICBA on Facebook. ICBA will share community bank posts and showcase their celebrations across the nation. Access ICBA Community Banking Month Toolkit.


Grassroots
Sen. Corker Slated to Speak at ICBA Washington Policy Summit
Senate Banking Committee member Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) is scheduled to speak at the upcoming ICBA Washington Policy Summit, slated April 29-May 2 in the nation’s capital.

Corker has been a key player in congressional efforts to reform the housing-finance system. He will join Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen, FDIC Chairman Martin Gruenberg and Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (D-N.D.).

Community bankers in attendance will build on recent Volcker Rule, flood insurance and debit card interchange successes by meeting with their members of Congress and regulators. Registration for the summit is free for community bankers and a guest.

Visit ICBA’s Washington Policy Summit webpage to register today and make sure your voice is being heard in Washington. Register Today.


Housing
ICBA Issues Summary of Johnson-Crapo GSE Proposal
ICBA released a summary of recently released legislative text to reform the housing-finance system. The proposal was released last week by Senate Banking Committee Chairman Tim Johnson (D-S.D.) and Ranking Member Mike Crapo (R-Idaho).

The Johnson-Crapo proposal would establish a new Federal Mortgage Insurance Corp., which would provide an explicit government guaranty on mortgage-backed securities issued through a Common Securitization Platform. The FMIC would be modeled after the FDIC and would regulate guarantors, aggregators, mortgage insurance companies and the Federal Home Loan Banks.

The proposal also would form a mutual cooperative jointly owned by small lenders and chartered by the FMIC that would provide small and mid-sized lenders direct access to the secondary market without having to securitize loans. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac would be placed into runoff after a carefully managed transition period to the new system.

ICBA President and CEO Cam Fine met at the White House last week with HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan, National Economic Council Director Jeffrey Zients and Treasury undersecretary Mary Miller to discuss ICBA’s positions on the Johnson-Crapo proposal.

ICBA will continue working closely with Congress and the administration to ensure housing-finance reforms meet community banking principles and avoid further concentration of the banking industry. Read ICBA Summary. Read Legislative Text.


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Security
Report: Target Missed Chances to Respond to Data Breach
Target missed several opportunities to prevent last year’s massive data breach at the retailer, according to a Senate Commerce Committee report.

The report found that Target gave network access to a vendor with weak security, which allowed attackers to gain access to the network. The retailer also did not respond to automated warnings that the attackers were installing malware on Target’s system, according to the report, which was released at a committee hearing.

ICBA has been meeting and communicating with policymakers and the national media on the impact of the recent retailer data breaches on community banks and the need for a stronger payments system. ICBA continues offering data-security resources for community banks and their customers on the association’s online security breach toolkit.


Economy
Durable-Goods Orders Increase 2.2 Percent
Durable-goods orders rose 2.2 percent in February following a 1.3 percent January decline, according to the Commerce Department. Transportation equipment led the increase, rising 6.9 percent following two consecutive monthly decreases.


Financial Literacy
Deadline Extended for NerdWallet Community Bank Award Entries
NerdWallet extended until tomorrow the deadline for community banks to enter it Community Banking Local Project Award. The financial advice website is seeking submissions on community bank projects that highlight how community banks work with borrowers through good times and bad.

To be considered for the award, entrants will need to prepare a short description of a local project funded in 2012 or 2013 that is $100,000 in total financing or larger. ICBA Senior Executive Vice President and Chief of Staff Terry Jorde will serve as the expert judge.

The finalists and their financings will be recognized on NerdWallet’s award homepage and in a special feature on the website. The winning bank will be presented with an award, and NerdWallet will donate $1,500 to a charity of the winning bank’s choosing. Enter Today! Watch NerdWallet Video on the Contest.


Poll
Take This Week’s Quick Poll
Take this week’s Quick Poll on Community Banking Month, and view results from the previous poll on the 2014 ICBA Washington Policy Summit. View the Archive.


Education
ICBA Offers Online Certificate Program
For banking customers, an ICBA certificate of learning can be a reassuring sign of professionalism when they are looking to select a new bank. For a community bank, an ICBA certificate received for successfully completing a banking training program can become an important selling point and marketing tool. ICBA offers certificate programs for auditing, teller specialist, HR generalist, and health and safety for managers and supervisors. Learn More.









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