Academic journal article ABA Banking Journal

ABA Chairman's Position: Building Consensus, Leading the Way. (Briefing)

Academic journal article ABA Banking Journal

ABA Chairman's Position: Building Consensus, Leading the Way. (Briefing)

Article excerpt

WHILE IT'S NOT ALWAYS EASY TO build banker consensus around the issues that face our industry, it remains a top priority-and a worthwhile goal-for the American Bankers Association. To my mind ABA is putting more effort into the task than any other national bank trade association in America today.

That was very much in evidence during ABA's government relations summit in Washington earlier this spring. Bankers from every state, from small and large banks, and from commercial banks and savings institutions, were present to debate the issues, examine the options and take a common message to Capitol Hill.

Thanks to the groundwork we laid in discussions in advance, we went to the Hill in agreement. We advocated for our views on reauthorization of the Fair Credit Reporting Act, which expires at the end of this year, deposit insurance reform, real estate brokerage, credit union issues and more.

Building consensus is central to every ABA gathering of bankers where the subject of our government-relations strategy is on the agenda. The making of laws, after all, depends on compromise and agreement. Nothing gets done in Washington without it.

We know that Congress dislikes hearing mixed messages from its constituents. Imagine bankers going to the Hill with opposing views on credit unions or real estate. That would only be an opening for Congress to ignore our positions. With common agreement, on the other hand, we can leverage our grassroots capabilities into legislative wins.

We should remember that it was industry - and inter-industry - agreement that helped us pass financial modernization legislation. Gramm-Leach-Bliley passed, in part, because the banking, insurance and securities industries agreed to a common approach. …

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