Magazine article Independent Banker

Continuing the Quest

Magazine article Independent Banker

Continuing the Quest

Article excerpt

As I write my last column as ICBA president, you're probably assuming that I will finish this and then I'll be "out of here." Not on your life.

Though this is my last column, I will continue to work with you to ensure that community banking will continue to be the lifeblood to our communities throughout this great nation. The time has gone by so fast and there is so much more to do. As the world changes, we must change with it. We did a lot during the last 12 months.

First of all there is Y2K, the non-event. It was a nonevent because you all were prepared. Congratulations!

Politically the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act is the most significant change in decades. What will be its effect on us? That will evolve. But certainly part of the effect depends on us. How will we individually and collectively deal with the massive changes? We cannot stick our heads in the sand and not participate. We must aggressively take advantage of the opportunities and minimize the negatives. We can all be proud that we were successful in closing the unitary thrift loophole. You did it.

The Federal Home Loan Bank reform is a massive improvement to our funding sources. We must use the reform to expand our ability to provide greater lending sources to our communities. This legislation should be particularly helpful to the thousands of ICBA member banks serving American agriculture as was the emergency farm aid we worked so hard to get.

And we have worked on bankruptcy legislation that will require those who can to repay some of their debts.

Some particularly notable things we have done this year are to change our name and logo, launch an online training center and-work toward an ATM/EFT solution to assure community banks equitable access to high quality, competitive services at a fair price. ICBA's Community Banking Network has continued to expand its array of products and services to provide member banks with a full plate of quality support to keep community banking competitive in the marketplace. …

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