On Wednesday September 26th, Nick DiFrancesco, president and CEO of PACB, and Tim Arthun, Director of Government Relations of PACB, met with legislative staff members in 4 congressional offices; Rep. Gerlach, Rep. Brady, Rep. Shuster, and Rep. Murphy.
The visit was an opportunity to continue building relationships with financial services staff members and also reiterate concerns regarding Basel III and the extension of the TAG program. PACB received a pleasant response from the staff members and will consult with the Members directly when they return to session in October.
One of the major accomplishments of the trip was clearing up some of the confusion surrounding the TAG program. There are some that believe the program to be an extension of the ‘bank bailouts’ and unnecessary government spending of taxpayer dollars. PACB was able to provide factual and accurate information about the program, namely that the program is banking insurance financed through banking premiums. Some staff members thought that the extension would be included in lame duck ‘financial cliff’ legislation but since legislation has not yet been authored it is difficult to say it will be guaranteed.
PACB also took the opportunity to visit and meet with ICBA and discuss strategy and grassroots actions for Basel III. Meeting with representatives from ICBA proved useful as it focused on having effective legislative meetings and sending a clear and concise message to Members of Congress. Part of this strategy includes focusing on community banking success stories (keeping someone in their home, important business loan, community involvement, etc…) rather than opening with a dialogue that emphasizes the pangs and struggles with regulatory burden.