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ICBA Urging Community Bank Outreach on Flood Insurance Bill

ICBA NewsWatch Today 02/26/2014

Tax ReformICBA Details Tax-Reform Principles Ahead of House Discussion DraftICBA reiterated its tax-reform principles in a letter to congressional tax writers pursuing comprehensive reform. In a letter to House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp (R-Mich.) and Ranking Member Sander Levin (D-Mich.), ICBA wrote that if done correctly, comprehensive tax reform could help strengthen the economy and provide relief to the millions of individuals and small business served by community banks. In its letter, ICBA wrote that tax reform should:

  • preserve the ability of businesses to deduct interest on business debt,
  • preserve and strengthen the Subchapter S business model,
  • avoid new commercial banking taxes,
  • promote private savings and investment, and
  • repeal the credit union and Farm Credit System tax exemptions.

Camp is expected to release a comprehensive tax reform discussion draft proposal as soon as today. ICBA will continue working with the House and Senate as the debate over tax reform continues.Flood InsuranceICBA Urging Community Bank Outreach on Flood Insurance BillICBA continues calling on community bankers to urge their members of Congress to support legislation to protect homeowners from significant increases in National Flood Insurance Program premiums. The House is expected to take up the legislation, the Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act (H.R. 3370), as soon as today. The legislation, introduced by Reps. Michael Grimm (R-N.Y.) and Bill Cassidy (R-La.), would:

  • reinstate grandfathered status for covered properties,
  • repeal the home-sale and new-policy rate-increase triggers,
  • provide a refund for people who have realized large premium increases due to the purchase of a pre-FIRM subsidized home without the full transparency from the Federal Emergency Management Agency as to the new rate structure, and
  • require FEMA to complete an affordability study and to propose an affordability framework to help homeowners cope with dramatically higher premiums.

ICBA supports the legislation to fix dramatic NFIP premium increases under the Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2012. The increases would negatively affect home values and destabilize the still-recovering housing market in affected areas. The House debate follows a recent Senate vote approving S. 1926, similar legislation to delay steep NFIP rate increases. ICBA urges community bankers to tell their lawmakers to support H.R. 3370 and will continue working closely with the House and Senate to mitigate the rate increases. Contact Congress Today! Credit UnionsICBA Pushing Back Against This Week’s Credit Union Washington Fly-inWith credit union representatives on Capitol Hill for congressional meetings, ICBA is providing the community bank perspective in messages to lawmakers. In a message going to members of Congress this morning, ICBA is calling on lawmakers to reexamine the credit union tax exemption. Additionally, ICBA is voicing its strong opposition to the credit union industry’s efforts to raise its member-business-lending threshold and to allow credit unions to raise supplemental capital from outside investors. “The taxpaying community banking sector adamantly opposes these new expanded powers proposals demanded by the tax-exempt credit unions,” ICBA says in its message to members of Congress. “ICBA believes that, due to their generous tax subsidy and regulatory advantages over community banks, no further credit union powers expansion is justified nor warranted.” Read Fact Sheet on Credit Unions. SBAMarkup on SBA Nominee and ICBA Community Banker Next WeekICBA-member community banker Maria Contreras-Sweet is scheduled to appear before the Senate Small Business Committee next week for a committee markup on her nomination to head the Small Business Administration. Contreras-Sweet is the founder and chairman of ProAmérica Bank, a community bank in Los Angeles. The markup is slated for 10:30 a.m. (Eastern time) Monday, March 3.ICBA NewsWatch Today is sponsored by FIS:When it comes to serving community banks, FIS is right in your neighborhood.  FIS understands that you’re more than a bank. You’re a vital resource to your community.  That’s why we offer a wide range of integrated solutions that can be tailored to the unique needs of your valued customers.  To stay competitive in an ever-changing banking landscape, you need to be more connected with your customers than ever before and  FIS is focused on connecting the best people, processes and technology to your business to help you succeed.  For more information on FIS’ complete suite of technology solutions, visit If you are attending ICBA’s Community Banking Live event in Honolulu, HI, please visit FIS at booth #216.RegulationFDIC Issues Revised Exam Procedures for New Mortgage RulesThe FDIC released revised interagency consumer compliance examination procedures for new mortgage rules. The agency said the examination procedures are designed to help financial institutions better understand the areas the FDIC will focus on as part of the examination process. The FDIC said that during initial examinations for compliance with the new regulations, FDIC examiners will expect institutions to be familiar with the mortgage rules’ requirements and have a plan for implementing the requirements. Implementation plans should contain clear timeframes and benchmarks for making necessary changes to compliance management systems and relevant programs, the agency said. Personal FinanceICBA Encourages Americans to Save During “America Saves” WeekICBA and community bankers this week are encouraging Americans to save as part of America Saves Week. The nationwide campaign, which runs through March 1, features a broad coalition of nonprofit, corporate and government organizations that are committed to raising awareness of the importance of saving. In a national news release that community bankers can customize for their communities, ICBA encouraged Americans to build their savings by setting goals, creating a spending plan and making automatic savings deposits. To learn more about America Saves Week and to follow the conversation this week, follow @ICBA on Twitter. Read ICBA Release. Access Custom Release. ConventionSend in Your Questions to General Session SpeakersConvention attendees and non-attendees alike may submit questions to general session speakers for next week’s 2014 ICBA Community Banking Live. To submit a question, tweet with the #ICBALive14 hashtag or comment on ICBA’s Facebook page. Not on Twitter yet? Check out ICBA’s “Tweeting for Community Bankers” guide. To stay connected, tune to the #ICBALive14 hashtag and the 2014 ICBA Community Banking Live webpage. EconomyCase-Shiller: Home Prices Up 11.3 Percent in 2013Home prices rose 11.3 percent in 2013 despite a 0.3 percent decline in the fourth quarter from the same period a year ago, according to the latest S&P/Case-Shiller home-price indexes. In December, the 10-city composite remained largely unchanged from the previous month while 20-city composite showed its second consecutive monthly decline of 0.1 percent.EconomyConsumer Confidence Dips in FebruaryConsumer confidence declined moderately in February over concerns about the short-term outlook for business conditions, jobs and earnings, according to the Conference Board. The Consumer Confidence Index dropped from 79.4 to 78.1. The Expectations Index fell, while the Present Situation Index improved.PollTake This Week’s Quick PollTake this week’s Quick Poll on proposed accounting restrictions, and view results from the previous poll on recovering defaulted debts. View the Archive.EducationLoan Review Seminar Coming in MayICBA is hosting an upcoming classroom seminar on structuring the loan process to ensure timely identification of problem credits, asset quality and accuracy. “Loan Review—Implementing Best Practices,” scheduled for May 19-20 in Minneapolis, also will cover well-defined classification guidelines that ensure consistent loan ratings and accounting for the allowance for loan and lease losses to comply with generally accepted accounting principles. Register Online.

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