South Dakota community bankers stormed Capitol Hill in early May, taking with them the message that Main Street matters. Nearly a dozen community bankers joined with others from across the nation for the ICBA Washington Policy Summit and held a series of meetings with elected officials on Capitol Hill.
In addition to meeting with key members of the South Dakota delegation, the summit also featured a regulators panel where officials from all of the federal regulatory agencies had a discussion to talk about the future of community banking.
Attendees were also addressed by top banking and financial leaders, including the honorable Janet Yellen, Chair of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System and Steven Antonakes, Deputy Director of the CFPB.
Your South Dakota contingent carried a unified message of support for the ICBA’s Plan for Prosperity and the “Clear Relief Act” a set of legislative priorities designed to provide regulatory and tax relief for community banks and to promote economic growth. Our group emphasized that regulation should be tiered and proportionate to the smaller size, lower risk profile, and traditional business model of the community bank members of ICBSD.
The delegation also discussed the importance of GSE reform with Senator Johnson and his staff, reminding them that community banks represent 20% of the mortgage market and must continue to have a financially strong, reliable and impartial secondary mortgage market to ensure the flow of mortgage credit to consumers. Further we reinforced that GSE reform must on result in the consolidation of the housing finance system into a few select megabanks and Wall Street Firms.
Another point of discussion was to end the unfair tax subsidy for Credit Unions and the Farm Credit System. Community bank-paid state and local taxes help fund teachers, firefighters, and other needed local services. Credit Unions and FCS lenders provide no tax dollars to fund these vital servies. The group carried the message the comprehensive tax reform is an ideal opportunity to repeal the costly and outdated system of tax subsidies to these groups. Many of today’s tax-exempt credit unions are mutli-billion dollar financial centers equivalent and many times larger than community banks and thus should be taxed equivalently.
The ICBSD is extremely grateful to the community bankers that attended the ICBA Washington Policy Summit and gave of their time and effort to support the cause of the community banking industry.
The ICBSD went to Washington D.C. to represent community banks and only community banks after all we have but One Mission, Community Banks!
McCurry, a native of MN and resident of Mitchell, SD, holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communications / Marketing from the Minnesota State University, Mankato. Prior to joining the ICBSD as President and CEO, he directed the marketing, sales and government relations efforts at Santel