Recap of ICBA’s 2019 Capital Summit
By: Allison Coccia
The Pennsylvania Association of Community Bankers (PACB) kicked off another successful round of meetings on “the Hill” in Washington DC as part of the Independent Community Bankers of America’s (ICBA) 2019 Capital Summit, April 28 through May 1st. Community bankers were encouraged by the ICBA to “Inform, Impact and Inspire.”
Community bankers from every corner of the country gathered to talk about priority issues, hear from regulators, network with other community bankers and interact with their hometown lawmakers. No matter where they call home, the message remains the same; regulatory relief is desperately needed.
Those who make the annual trek to DC, “walk the walk” and do the grassroots and advocacy hard work on behalf of their colleagues, their own institutions, and most importantly, their customers.
“One friend who fights like hell is better than 10 who just talk.” said Preston Kennedy, Chairman of ICBA when he greeted the Capital Summit attendees, “Community banking deserves to be defended.”1
Rebeca Romero Rainey, President/CEO, ICBA reminded the community bankers that they must set themselves apart. “While some of our megabank competitors have unsuccessfully attempted to brand themselves as community banks, your dedication to true relationship banking is why we as an industry have been able to achieve so much in the past year. Unlike some other institutions, you don’t just wear the label of community banker. You live the label.”2
Summit attendees heard from Senate Banking Committee Chairman and author of S.2155, Mike Crapo (R-Idaho); House Financial Services Committee Chairwoman Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) and Jelena McWilliams, Chairman FDIC.
Chairman Mike Crapo called community bankers “pillars of the community,” saying the Senate Banking Committee will “continue their efforts to make right-sized regulation a reality, “ called data security and privacy a priority and advocated for an 8 percent Community Bank Leverage Ratio.
Chairwoman Maxine Waters told attendees that she recognizes the very important role of community banks and is committed to ensuring that the regulatory playing field is fair.
“In the Q&A session with ICBA President and CEO Rebeca Romero Rainey, McWilliams cited regulatory efforts to modernize the Community Reinvestment Act, increase transparency in Bank Secrecy Act reporting, and mitigate the negative impact of the Current Expected Credit Loss accounting standards. McWilliams also said the FDIC is reviewing feedback on the 9 percent Community Bank Leverage Ratio, which ICBA and community bankers want lowered to 8 percent.”3
Pennsylvania community bankers have a lot of work to do. Since the last Capital Summit in 2018, Pennsylvania has welcomed eight new members to our Congressional delegation.
On Tuesday, April 30th Pennsylvania community bankers headed out to the Capitol Complex for a day packed full of meetings with Senators Pat Toomey and Bob Casey; and their respective members of Congress or staff: Brian Fitzpatrick, (PA-01); Brendan Boyle (PA-02); Dwight Evans (PA-03); Madeline Dean (PA-04); Chrissy Houlahan (PA-06); Matt Cartwright (PA-07); Dan Meuser (PA-09); Scott Perry (PA-10); Lloyd Smucker (PA-11); John Joyce (PA-13) Guy Reschenthaler (PA-14); Glen Thompson (PA-15) Mike Kelly (PA-16); Conor Lamb (PA-17); and Mike Doyle (PA-18).
Attendees traveled in groups based on geographic regions. One group went on the floor of the US House of Representatives and received a Capitol Tour courtesy of Congressman Dan Meuser.
Fresh off the success of the passage of S.2155 the Economic Growth Regulatory Relief & Consumer Protection Act, community bankers witnessed what can happen when they make advocacy a priority.
With a renewed focus, PA community bankers converged on Washington DC to meet with lawmakers about community bank priority issues like, cannabis banking, data security, the credit union tax-subsidy, BSA/AML modernization, and housing finance reform.
Months earlier, ICBA rolled out, Community Focus 2020: The Community Bank Agenda for Providing Economic Opportunity, its policy platform blueprint and community bank advocacy agenda “promoting greater access to financial services and economic opportunity in local communities.”4
Our community bankers also joined PACB’s community bank roundtables back in their hometowns and the legislators’ districts. At press time PACB has held community bank roundtables with Congressmen Perry, Meuser, Lamb and Joyce and Congresswomen Dean, Houlahan, and Wild, and is working on scheduling more.
Whether in DC or back in their districts, community bankers worked together to tell personal stories of community banking, the hardships overregulation has caused their customers and its impact on each and every one of their communities. Despite these burdens, community banks work hard to persevere, remain committed to their communities and never fail in putting their customers first. Seeing the admiration on lawmakers faces when they meet with our community bankers never gets old. Community bankers must continue to tell their real life stories so that lawmakers can better advocate for them in Congress.