Magazine article Independent Banker

Onward and Upward

Magazine article Independent Banker

Onward and Upward

Article excerpt

Twelve months ago, as your new ICBA chairman, I paid homage to the brave men who fought at the Alamo and urged my fellow community bankers to remember: Battles will be won and lost, but it's the war that matters most.

Being engaged is the only surefire route to victory. We're fortunate to have such a strong support base to defend our interests-an association of professionals to lobby on our behalf in Washington and a valiant group of bankers who have volunteered to champion our cause with various policy makers in Washington and throughout the country. Their efforts have helped secure decisive victories this year for community banking.

In our efforts to ensure a level playing field, we exposed the fallacy of Wal- Mart's foray into banking, which I believe would seriously jeopardize the safety and soundness of our system. And we've advanced the debate on whether megacredit unions should continue to be tax exempt, given that few, if any, serve individuals of modest means as Congress intends. During the year, I personally traveled to Washington to testify before Congress and reinforce the merits of our arguments to eliminate their unfair competitive advantage of these giant tax-exempt credit unions.

Another area of continuous concern is onerous regulatory compliance and its related expenditures-estimated to cost $200,000 and require more than 2,000 internal staff hours, according to an ICBA survey of publicly held community banks. And that's just to comply with Section 404 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act!

I am happy to report we've made significant headway on our efforts to reduce regulatory burden. …

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