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Plan for Prosperity
ICBA Supports CFPB Proposed Rule Allowing Banks to Post Privacy Notices Online
ICBA said it supports the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s recently proposed rule that would allow community banks and other financial institutions to post annual privacy notices online rather than delivering them individually.

In a news release, ICBA noted that it has been the leading advocate to reform redundant privacy notice requirements—a key element of the association’s Plan for Prosperity regulatory relief platform.

The association noted that the House last year approved ICBA-advocated legislation to eliminate the annual privacy notice requirement and that pending Senate legislation has more than 63 cosponsors.

The CFPB’s proposed rule would allow certain financial firms that limit their consumer data-sharing and meet other requirements to post the notices online rather than delivering them individually.

ICBA Backs Tarullo’s Call for Tiered Financial Regulation
ICBA said it fully agrees with Federal Reserve Governor Daniel Tarullo that financial regulations should vary according to the size, scope and complexity of regulated organizations. In a speech at the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, Tarullo said policymakers should discuss statutes that might be amended explicitly to exclude community banks.

Tarullo said the Volcker rule and the incentive compensation requirements of the Dodd-Frank Act are good examples of where community bank exclusions would make sense. He also said raising the threshold for the strictest set of banking regulations from $50 billion to $100 billion in assets is in line with this tailored regulatory approach.

In a statement, ICBA said tiered regulation would support a more effective regulatory system and provide much-needed community bank relief from unnecessary regulatory burdens to enhance local economic growth. Read ICBA Release. Read Tarullo’s Speech.

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Plan for Prosperity
House Advances ICBA-Advocated Reg-Relief Bills
House lawmakers this week advanced five ICBA-advocated bills that reduce regulatory burdens on community banks. The five measures are inspired by ICBA’s Washington Policy Summit.

The full House voted to approve:
  • H.R. 3329, which would increase the qualifying asset threshold of the Small Bank Holding Company Policy Statement from $500 million to $1 billion and allow small savings and loan holding companies to be covered by its provisions, and
  • H.R. 2672, which would create a process in which individuals could petition the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to have the rural status of a county reassessed.
Separately, the House Financial Services Committee advanced three ICBA-advocated bills:
  • H.R. 4521, which would exempt community bank portfolio loans from new escrow requirements and raise the small-servicer exemption threshold from 5,000 to 20,000 loans,
  • H.R. 4466, which would require federal financial regulators to consider whether proposed regulations are duplicative or inconsistent with existing regulations before issuing them, and
  • H.R. 2673, which would provide that any residential mortgage held in portfolio by the originator is a qualified mortgage.
The votes came one week after ICBA’s Washington Policy Summit, a grassroots event that drew more than 1,000 community bankers and industry advocates to the nation’s capital for meetings with policymakers.

Plan for Prosperity
ICBA Congratulates Community Bankers on House Votes
ICBA leaders this week congratulated and thanked community bankers for encouraging lawmakers to advance regulatory relief legislation. “You spoke, and Washington listened,” ICBA Chairman John Buhrmaster and ICBA President and CEO Cam Fine wrote in a message to community bankers.

Following the advancement of five ICBA-advocated bills this week in the House, Buhrmaster and Fine wrote that the votes show the strength and reputation community bankers enjoy on Capitol Hill. Read the Joint Message.

Federal Reserve
ICBA Urges Congress to Advance Bill Requiring Community Bank Presence on Fed
ICBA this week called on Congress to advance legislation that would require a community bank presence on the Federal Reserve Board. In a letter to the Senate Banking Committee and a national news release, ICBA called on lawmakers to pass the Community Bank Preservation Act of 2014 (S. 2252). The legislation would require at least one member of the Federal Reserve Board of Governors to have experience as a community banker or community bank supervisor.

FDIC Issues Resource Guide on Community Bank-CDFI Partnerships
The FDIC released a resource guide to help community banks identify and evaluate opportunities to collaborate with community development financial institutions. The guide focuses on strategies to meet community credit and development needs and receive Community Reinvestment Act consideration.

The guide describes the key characteristics of CDFIs and the types of investments that can support them. It also discusses steps to consider when assessing bank-CDFI partnerships and how these activities may enhance CRA performance.

Fed Proposes Rule Limiting Bank Mergers
The Federal Reserve Board proposed a rule to prohibit a financial company from combining with another company if the ratio of the resulting financial company's liabilities exceeds 10 percent of the aggregate consolidated liabilities of all financial companies. The rule would implement section 622 of the Dodd-Frank Act.

Institutions subject to the concentration limit would include insured depository institutions, bank holding companies, savings and loan holding companies, foreign banking organizations, companies that control insured depository institutions, and nonbank financial companies designated by the Financial Stability Oversight Council for Fed supervision.

Comments are due by July 8.

Stabenow Urges Swift Farm Bill Implementation
Senate Agriculture Committee Chairman Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.) said swiftly and efficiently implementing the 2014 farm bill is essential to creating jobs and improving the economy.

At a committee hearing that featured testimony from Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, Stabenow said the bill, which passed in February, takes critical steps toward changing the paradigm of farm and food policy.

ICBA worked closely with Congress in recent years to ensure a strong farm bill safety net that provides a robust crop insurance program and enhances USDA guaranteed farm loan programs.

USDA Transitioning to E-Closing Submission Process
USDA Rural Development launched a new automated Lender Loan Closing system that enables lenders to more easily and efficiently submit loan-closing transactions and packages to the agency for Single Family Housing Guaranteed Loans.  To ensure timely issuance of the Loan Note Guarantee to lenders, the agency said it is transitioning to a fully electronic loan closing submission process by Oct. 1. Resources are available on the USDA Lender Interactive Network Connection Training and Resource Library.

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

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