I was reminded recently of a striking statistic. The United States has a total of 3144 counties, of those only 600 are served by community bankers like you. If you are not serving these communities with important
financial services, who is?
The federal government and bureaucrats in Washington D.C. are continuing to threaten your business model, a business model which does not seem to be understood or valued by the central planners. A
perfect example would be how the rule makers have already ran many of you out of the residential mortgage business in the name of consumer protection.
Regulatory rule making is so out of touch with rural ways of doing business that they don’t realize community banks are the best
protection for consumers in our financial services system today. You are not going to provide a loan someone cannot payback, you have had ability to repay rules for ever. The bureaucrats want to you prove it, this only adds to the regulatory burden that is crushing our community banks.
What line of your business will be next? How about credit cards that have
a higher interest rate that they deem unfair? What about overdraft fees? After all it’s not the customers’ fault they don’t have money in the bank to cover the check they wrote or the charges they rang up on the credit card.
How about telling you which legal businesses you can and can’t do business with? When will you be told you can’t bank a firearms dealer or ammunition manufacturer? These examples and many others are why we need community banker representation in Washington D.C.
The ICBSD recently sent a letter and signed on with other community banking state associations on a joint letter opposing the nomination
of Antonio Weiss to Treasury Under Secretary. Copies of these letters can be found here on our website. I encourage you to review them.
We opposed this nomination because, for far too long, Wall Street has been stacking the deck against community bankers like
This country’s largest financial institutions, including JPMorgan Chase, Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley and others, have provisions that allow acceleration of deferred compensation plans and other stock option payments owed to senior executives if they take high level government jobs. A little research will show you that three of the last four Treasury secretaries under Democratic presidents have had Citigroup affiliations.
Enough is enough. It is time that our elected official recognize the value of community banking in rural America and make sure that regulation, rule making and laws are tailored to the scope and scale of each institution. This starts by having community banks represented in all levels of the bureaucracy.
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