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Plan for Prosperity
ICBA Backs Bill Addressing Duplicative Regulations
ICBA expressed its support for legislation that would require federal financial regulators to consider whether proposed regulations are duplicative or inconsistent with existing regulations before issuing them.

In a letter to House Financial Services subcommittee Chairman Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.) and Ranking Member Gregory Meeks (D-N.Y.), ICBA said the legislation (H.R. 4466) would help modernize financial regulation and reducing compliance burden.

Under the Financial Regulatory Clarity Act of 2014 (H.R. 4466), regulators also would have to determine whether any existing regulations are outdated. They would then have to take all available measures under current law to resolve any duplicative or inconsistent rules and to recommend statutory changes to Congress.

The legislation would help streamline regulatory compliance for community banks and is consistent with ICBA’s Plan for Prosperity regulatory relief platform for the 113th Congress, ICBA said.

Tweet Congress from Home During Washington Policy Summit
Community bankers who can’t make it to this month’s Washington Policy Summit can still participate via ICBA’s grassroots Twitter map. The map makes it easy for community bankers to tweet their members of Congress on the industry’s top issues.

To participate, find your state on the map, click the names of your members of Congress, and customize and tweet your message from the pop-up window. Additionally, Washington Policy Summit attendees can use the map to quickly and easily find their lawmakers’ Twitter handles during the event.

Meanwhile, community bankers can continue to celebrate Community Banking Month by using ICBA’s Marketing and Communications Toolkit, tweeting with the #BankLocally hashtag and sharing their photos with ICBA on Facebook. View the Twitter Map.

ICBA NewsWatch Today is sponsored by Holtmeyer & Monson:
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Federal Reserve
Yellen: Fed Faces Labor, Inflation, Recovery Questions
Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen said the Federal Open Market Committee faces three key questions as it assesses monetary policy. Yellen said the FOMC is focused on whether there is still significant slack in the labor market, whether inflation is moving back toward 2 percent and what factors may push the recovery off track.

The larger the shortfall of employment or inflation from their respective objectives and the slower the projected progress toward those objectives, the longer the current target range for the federal funds rate is likely to be maintained, she said.

Comptroller: Hackers Likely Turning Toward Community Banks
Banks and thrifts that use third-party vendors must recognize the risks these relationships pose, Comptroller of the Currency Thomas Curry said. In a speech on cybersecurity, Curry noted that institutions that supplement their resources with outside providers should have risk-management practices commensurate with their risks. As the big banks improve their IT defenses, hackers likely will turn their attention to community banks, he said.

In the News
Editorial: Stop Too-Big-To-Fail by Reducing Chance of Crisis
The nation’s too-big-to-fail problem is unlikely to have diminished, as evidenced by the increasingly concentrated banking system and continued subsidies for the largest banks, Financial Times columnist Martin Wolf wrote. Wolf wrote that the best approach to addressing too-big-to-fail is reducing the likelihood of a crisis by raising capital requirements on the largest banks and ensuring maximum transparency of their balance sheets.


Beige Book: Economy Improves in Most Regions
Economic activity increased in most U.S. regions in recent weeks, according to the latest Beige Book from the Federal Reserve. Home prices rose modestly in most Fed districts, loan demand strengthened and consumer spending increased. Additionally, labor market conditions generally improved, the transportation sector generally strengthened, agricultural reports were mixed, and manufacturing improved.

Housing Starts, Building Permits Mixed in March
Housing starts rose a seasonally adjusted 2.8 percent in March but were down 5.9 percent from a year ago, the Commerce Department and HUD reported. Building permits declined 2.4 percent but were up 11.2 percent from last year.

Industrial Production Rises 0.7 Percent
Industrial production increased 0.7 percent in March following an upwardly revised 1.2 percent advance in February, the Federal Reserve said. March production was up 3.8 percent from a year ago, and first-quarter production rose at a 4.4 percent annual rate. Capacity utilization for total industry increased in March to 79.2 percent, which is up 1.2 percentage points from last year but 0.9 percentage points below its long-run average.

Take This Week’s Quick Poll
Take this week’s Quick Poll on community bank congressional open houses, and view results from the previous poll on the end of Microsoft support for Windows XP. View the Archive.

Products and Services
Washington Policy Summit Dawn Buster: The Cost of Compliance
Continuity Control, ICBA’s new Preferred Service Provider, is presenting a Dawn Buster session at this month’s Washington Policy Summit titled “Waking Up to the Realities of What Compliance is Costing Your Business.” Scheduled for 7 a.m. (Eastern time) Thursday, May 1, the session will offer community bank CEOs a deeper understanding of how to assess the real cost compliance is having on their business.

The session will feature a practical approach for measuring compliance costs, how to identify top compliance expense culprits and easy-cost cutting opportunities. Attendees will also leave with specific tactics that can be deployed in the next 90 days to produce immediate savings. Questions?

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