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Advocacy
Community Bankers Arriving in Nation’s Capital for Washington Policy Summit
More than 1,000 community bankers and industry advocates are gathering in Washington today for this week’s ICBA Washington Policy Summit.

Community bankers from around the nation this week will meet with their members of Congress and federal financial regulators. Participants will address key industry issues, including regulatory relief, housing-finance reform, and the credit union and Farm Credit System tax subsidies.

The 2014 summit also features remarks from top policymakers. Participants also will hear from Senate Banking Committee members Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) and Heidi Heitkamp (D-N.D.) tomorrow and Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen on Thursday.

Stay tuned to ICBA NewsWatch Today all week for full coverage of the event. Read ICBA Release.


Advocacy
Join ICBA Washington Policy Summit from Home
Community bankers who can’t be in the nation’s capital for this week’s ICBA Washington Policy Summit can still participate with ICBA’s Virtual Policy Summit and grassroots Twitter map.

The Virtual Policy Summit makes it easy for community bankers to contact their members of Congress on the very same issues that their fellow community bankers are lobbying while in Washington. Meanwhile, the grassroots Twitter map allows community bankers to tweet their members of Congress with customizable messages.

Additionally, community bankers coming to the nation’s capital for the Washington Policy Summit can enter a social media contest. Community bankers who tweet ICBA a photo of themselves and a #BankLocally Metro ad will be entered for one of five $50 gift cards.

Access Virtual Policy Summit.

View the Twitter Map.

Learn More About Social Media Contest.



Congress
ICBA Summit Coincides with Senate Committee Markup of GSE Reform
Community bankers attending this week’s ICBA Washington Policy Summit are arriving as the Senate Banking Committee marks up legislation to reform the housing-finance system.

The panel today is slated to advance a version of the Housing Finance Reform and Taxpayer Protection Act of 2013 (S. 1217), which was drafted by committee Chairman Tim Johnson (D-S.D.) and Ranking Member Mike Crapo (R-Idaho).

ICBA has worked closely with members of Congress and the administration on the legislation, and hundreds of community bankers are in the nation’s capital to discuss housing-finance reform and other issues in meetings with policymakers.

The markup follows committee votes on several executive nominations. The committee is scheduled to vote on the nominations of Stanley Fischer, Jerome Powell and Lael Brainard for the Federal Reserve Board as well as nominations for the Department of Housing and Urban Development and the National Credit Union Administration board.


Housing
ICBA Advocates Reforms to Senate GSE Legislation Ahead of Markup
In related news, ICBA advocated changes and amendments to the Johnson-Crapo housing-finance legislation ahead of today’s markup.

ICBA told Senate Banking Committee Chairman Tim Johnson (D-S.D.) and Ranking Member Mike Crapo (R-Idaho) that it is concerned that reforms would allow large institutions to dominate the market and would increase regulatory burdens on community banks.

In a letter to the lawmakers, ICBA said amendments offered by Sens. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) and David Vitter (R-La.) would prevent too-big-to-fail entities from monopolizing both the primary and secondary mortgage markets.

The association also expressed support for amendments offered by Sen. Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) to provide qualified mortgage status and an exemption from escrow requirements to any mortgage originated and held in portfolio by lenders with less than $10 billion in assets.

In a separate coalition letter, ICBA and other financial trade groups expressed support for amendments offered by Moran and Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) that would improve governance of the proposed Federal Mortgage Insurance Corp.

ICBA told Johnson and Crapo that it appreciates the committee’s outreach in preparing the draft legislation and looks forward to continuing to work with the panel as the process advances.



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Volcker Rule
ICBA Urges House to Support from CLO Divestment Requirement
ICBA called on U.S. House members to support legislation that would allow community banks to retain debt securities of collateralized loan obligations issued before Jan. 31, 2014.

The House is expected to consider the Restoring Proven Financing for American Employers Act (H.R. 4167), introduced by Rep. Andy Barr (R-Ky.), this week.

In a letter to the House, ICBA noted the final Volcker Rule requires bank to divest their holdings of CLOs by July 2015. This could cause a significant, immediate and permanent loss of capital for community banks that hold these securities, the association wrote.


Regulation
OCC Proposes Higher Assessments on Larger Institutions
The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency is seeking comment on a proposal to raise assessments on national banks and federal savings associations with more than $40 billion in total assets.

Under the proposal, the marginal assessment for these institutions would increase by 14.5 percent beginning Sept. 30. The increase in assessments would range from 0.32 percent to 14 percent, depending on total assets, and the average increase would be 12 percent.

The proposal would not increase assessment rates for institutions with $40 billion or less in total assets. Comments on the notice are requested by June 12.


Community Banking Month
#BankLocally Twitter Chat Features What’s Next for the Industry
ICBA’s Community Banking Month Twitter chat buzzed with major topics on what’s next for the industry, including social media, Gen Y marketing and innovation. Influencers, experts and community bankers joined the chat to provide insights on the topic and celebrate Community Banking Month.

Themes included expanding your reach without spending millions, investing in relationships and increasing market share using social and digital media, and embracing the next generation of leadership and products. View the Twitter Chat Timeline.


Capital
Fed Requires BofA to Resubmit Capital Plan
The Federal Reserve Board announced it is requiring Bank of America to resubmit its capital plan and suspend planned increases in capital distributions. The decision relates to BofA’s disclosure that it incorrectly reported data used to calculate regulatory capital ratios under recent stress tests. BofA will be required to resubmit its capital plan within 30 days.



Poll
Take This Week’s Quick Poll
Take this week’s Quick Poll on meeting with Congress, and view results from the previous poll on Community Banking Month activities.
View the Archive.


Education
ICBA Webinar Next Week on Senior Secured Lending
ICBA is hosting a webinar next week on how securing new loans on receivables, inventory and other personal property can enable community banks to expand their loan market while reducing risk. The webinar, scheduled for 11 a.m. (Eastern time) Tuesday, May 6, will provide attendees with the knowledge and skills to operate and originate senior secured lending loans. Learn More and Register.







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