There is nothing like an early morning in May and June after an evening shower. It seems that all the crops put on an inch or two of growth and the birds are busy scavenging the abundance of worms forced out of the ground from the evening shower. I was on a farm visit a few days ago and my client and I were cruising around in his side by side ATV counting cows and calves in his pasture. The sun was shining, there was very little wind and the air was cleansed crystal clear from the evening rain. I thought to myself that there was no other place on earth that has air this pure and clean and how lucky we are to live in this beautiful state.
At the end of April a group of ICBSD bankers traveled to Washington DC for the ICBA Washington Policy Summit. Jack Hopkins, David Ebbers, Dick Behl, Emily Hofer, Lynn Peterson, Tim Prince, Greg McCurry and I had the opportunity to speak with Senator Thune, Senator Rounds and Representative Noem about the issues that are affecting community banks. We focused our discussion on the CLEAR Relief Act (mortgage lending relief), The Community Bank Access to Capital Act (Basel III exemption), Data Security Act (National Data Security Breach Notification Standard), CFPB small bank exemption from reporting data on small business loans and our concern for expanded powers for Credit Unions and Farm Credit. I had the feeling that our meetings were well received by our congressional delegation. Since this is an election year, I’m not very optimistic that much will get done. I would like to say thank you to the bankers that made the trip to Washington, DC.
The ICBSD and ICBND had a joint meeting in Jamestown, ND on May 11 and 12. We talked with the North Dakota community bankers about possible cooperative projects in advocacy, Education and Products & services. I would like to thank Bell State Bank & Trust for sponsoring our dinner and ICBA for sponsoring our lunch.
There has been chatter around the state that banks should have one unified voice to advocate for regulatory change. I do not believe that would be beneficial for community banks if that one voice would include too big to fail banks like Wells Fargo, Citibank and JP Morgan Chase. Washington has no appetite to give the too big to fail banks regulatory relief. I believe that the voice of community banks needs to be through the ICBA. Community banks need to unite under the ICBA banner for effective advocacy for regulatory relief. Please get involved, the future of community banking depends on it.
Since this is my last newsletter column as chairman of ICBSD, I would like to thank our president Greg McCurry for the great job he is doing for our association. Greg has been busy traveling the state visiting with community banks and working on ways to add value for our ICBSD members. Kudos to Greg for a job well done. I would like to thank our board members and all the community bankers that get involved to advocate for community banking.
I pray that everyone has a safe summer and that our rainfall is adequate for our crops. I look forward to seeing everyone at our retreat at Sylvan Lake Lodge in July. Please go to the ICBSD web site and register for the retreat if you have not already done so. This is a very family orientated event so bring the kids.