Academic journal article ABA Banking Journal

ABA Pushes Agenda for America's Hometown Banks: Blanton Urges Congress to End Regulatory 'Onslaught'

Academic journal article ABA Banking Journal

ABA Pushes Agenda for America's Hometown Banks: Blanton Urges Congress to End Regulatory 'Onslaught'

Article excerpt

It's called the Agenda for America's Hometown Banks, a package of commonsense policy priorities developed by bankers serving on ABA's Government Relations Council, with input from ABA's many other councils and committees, and, ultimately, adopted by the association's Board of Directors.

Five tranches make up the Agenda for America's Hometown Banks:

* A Level Playing Field and Charter Choice

* Remove Impediments to Serving Customers

* Protect the Payments System

* Cybersecurity and Data Breaches

* Regulation Appropriate to Business Models

In his February testimony before the Senate Banking Committee, ABA Chairman-Elect Dan Blanton referenced the Agenda, noting that community banks are burdened by unbalanced, ever-changing regulation. These limitations impede community banks' abilities to serve customers, drive economic growth and facilitate job creation, he said.

"The fact remains that there are 1,200 fewer community banks today than there were five years ago--a trend that will continue until some rational changes are made that will provide some relief to America's hometown banks," said Blanton, who is CEO of Georgia Bank and Trust, Augusta, Ga.

In particular, Blanton called on Congress to revisit the Dodd-Frank mortgage rules--for example, by deeming any loan held in portfolio as a Qualified Mortgage. He also urged Congress to tailor the examination process to a bank's size and scope of operations. …

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