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Federal Reserve
Yellen Advocates Community Banker for Fed Board
Federal Reserve Board Chair Janet Yellen said she has asked the White House to appoint a community banker to the board. Testifying before the Senate Budget Committee, Yellen said she would love to see a replacement for former Fed governors Elizabeth Duke and Sarah Bloom Raskin with community bank experience and has conveyed that message to the White House.

ICBA has repeatedly called on the White House and Congress to ensure a community bank presence on the Fed board. In addition to making its case in communications with policymakers, ICBA has called on Congress to advance legislation that would require a community bank presence on the board.

The Community Bank Preservation Act of 2014 (S. 2252), introduced last week by Sen. David Vitter (R-La.), would require at least one member of the board to have experience as a community banker or community bank supervisor. ICBA last week urged the Senate Banking Committee and the full Senate to quickly take up and pass the legislation.


Regulation
Former FDIC Chair Takes on Mark-to-Market, Basel III
Former FDIC chair William Isaac said he agrees with FDIC Vice Chairman Thomas Hoenig’s proposal that the U.S. adopt a minimum ratio of tangible equity to total assets as the primary measure of capital adequacy. In a recent speech, Isaac said using risk-weighted capital as a secondary measure would also help ensure that banks do not take excessive risks

Isaac criticized mark-to-market accounting and the Basel III capital rules, noting that models are necessarily backward-looking and must be accompanied by absolute standards for safe and sound banking and by hands-on supervision. He said he would set a minimum ratio of tangible equity capital to total assets in all banks at roughly 7-8 percent.

Isaac also said that sound bank regulation should always be counter-cyclical and lean against the prevailing winds. He said regulators should be tough on banks when the economy is booming and encourage lending when the economy is struggling, not vice versa.

Smarter regulation—not mountains of rules—coupled with greater market discipline will significantly reduce moral hazard, end too-big-to-fail and make taxpayer bailouts a thing of the past, Isaac said. Read the Speech.


Small Business
ICBA Celebrates Small Business Week 2014
ICBA is celebrating National Small Business Week by reminding everyone about the critical role community banks serve in supporting local small businesses. Scheduled to run through Friday, National Small Business Week recognizes the critical contributions of America’s entrepreneurs and small-business owners.

ICBA is offering a customizable news release that community bankers can use to celebrate in their communities. The custom news release, which community bankers can use to reach out to local news media, emphasizes the critical role community banks play in supporting small businesses. Read ICBA Release. Access Customizable Release.


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Small Business
ICBA Debuts Video on Community Banking Month Cupcake
Just in time for Small Business Week, ICBA debuted a video on how Washington, D.C., baker Sandra Panetta developed the Community Banking Month cupcake.

The video covers how SweetBites owner Sandra Panetta got her start with a local community bank and why small-business owners should bank locally.

ICBA encourages community bankers to use the #SBW2014 hashtag on Twitter to share their small-business stories as part of Small Business Week. Watch the Video.


Awards
ICBA Seeking Service Award Nominations
ICBA is seeking nominations for the 2014 National Community Bank Service Awards. The awards recognize community banks and their employees that have gone above and beyond to improve their communities through their commitment of time and resources.

ICBA encourages community banks with community service or volunteer programs to go to www.icba.org/awards to nominate their bank. Entrants should describe how their programs positively affect their local communities. Entry is free for all community banks, and multiple entries are encouraged.

The Grand National Award recipient will receive $2,000 to use toward future community service efforts, and two National Award recipients each will receive $1,000 for their programs. Additionally, award recipients will be recognized in the September edition of Independent Banker magazine. Nominate Your Bank Today.



Poll
Take This Week’s Quick Poll
Take this week’s Quick Poll on regulatory relief legislation, and view results from the previous poll on tiered regulation.
View the Archive.


Education
ICBA Hosting Community Bank IT Institute in August
Information technology solutions continue to evolve, creating opportunities for community banks to increase efficiency, improve service capabilities and better safeguard customers. The Community Bank IT Institute, scheduled for Aug. 11-15 in Minneapolis, will better position IT managers and officers for managing their banks' IT environment and risks. Learn More and Register.


Products and Services
Webinar: Winning Big and Driving Growth—Commercial Lending 2014
With continued regulatory pressure and low loan demand, community banks are having challenges finding new lending opportunities. Additionally, lower capital ratios may restrain your ability to lend. ProfitStars, an ICBA Preferred Service Provider, is hosting an upcoming webinar on how hundreds of banks have found new ways to attract small-business customers, generate fee income and increase deposits to creditworthy businesses in a safe and sound manner. The webinar is slated for 2 p.m. (Eastern time) Tuesday, May 20. Register Now.









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