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Friday, March 10, 2017

Community Bank Leaders Meet with Trump at White House

Six of ABA’s community bank leaders, joined by three officers from the Independent Community Bankers of America, met with President Trump at the White House yesterday for a “listening session” on the challenges that community banks face and how the regulatory environment can be reformed to promote job creation and economic growth.

Bankers raised topics like tailored regulation, accountability for the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, regulation of small business and mortgage loans and the need to align regulatory capital requirements with risk.

“Community banks play a vital role in helping create jobs by providing approximately half of all loans to small businesses,” Trump said. “We must ensure access to capital for small business to grow. Community banks [are] the backbone of small business in America. We are going to preserve our community banks.”

Representing ABA members were ABA Chairman Dorothy Savarese, chairman, president and CEO of Cape Cod Five Cents Savings Bank, Orleans, Mass.; Chairman-Elect Ken Burgess, chairman of FirstCapital Bank of Texas, Midland, Texas; Vice Chairman Jeff Szyperski, chairman, president and CEO of Chesapeake Bank, Kilmarnock, Va.; Leslie Andersen, president and CEO of Bank of Bennington, Bennington, Neb.; Luanne Cundiff, president and CEO of First State Bank, St. Charles, Mo.; and Laurie Stewart, president and CEO of Sound Community Bank, Seattle.

Also participating were Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin; National Economic Council Director Gary Cohn; ABA President and CEO Rob Nichols; ICBA Chairman Rebeca Romero Rainey, chairman and CEO of Centinel Bank, Taos, N.M.; ICBA Chairman-Elect Scott Heitkamp, president and CEO of ValueBank Texas, Corpus Christi, Texas; ICBA Vice Chairman Tim Zimmerman, president and CEO of Standard Bank, Monroeville, Pa.; and ICBA President and CEO Cam Fine.

“Today’s meeting is an important step toward policy changes that will allow banks to go even further in helping communities and our economy thrive,” said Nichols. “The diversity and strength of our banking industry is the envy of the world. However, in the current regulatory environment, highly prescriptive rules mean that mortgages don’t get made, small businesses don’t get created and banks find it more difficult to make the loans that drive job creation. This is particularly true for community banks.”

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