ABA Recommends Revisions to FDIC Unbanked Survey
In a comment letter filed before the holidays, ABA voiced support for the FDIC’s National Survey of Unbanked and Underbanked Households and offered recommendations for ways the survey questions could be improved in 2019.
Specifically, ABA agreed with the FDIC’s inclusion of prepaid cards in a survey question about consumers’ experiences with bank accounts, noting that “functionally, prepaid accounts vary little from checking accounts.” ABA also recommended the addition of two questions to uncover the primary reasons customers use and value branches. Such questions would help “identify opportunities to expand banking service options, especially for those who lack convenient access to branches,” ABA said.
ICBA Thanks Senators for Seeking Meaningful Call Report Relief
Washington, DC—The Independent Community Bankers of America (ICBA) thanked a bipartisan group of 19 senators for calling on banking regulators to revisit their proposed rule implementing call report relief for community banks. In a letter led by Sen. Jerry Moran (R-Kan.), the lawmakers said the proposal would have little impact on eligible community banks and the communities they serve.
“ICBA thanks Sen. Jerry Moran and his Senate colleagues for highlighting this important issue with regulators so they understand the positive impact that meaningful relief from quarterly reporting burdens would have on the community banking industry,” ICBA President and CEO Rebeca Romero Rainey said. “Under the S. 2155 regulatory relief law, Congress and the president required the agencies to institute a short-form call report to provide tangible regulatory relief to community banks. Unfortunately for consumers and small businesses, the proposed rule barely moves the needle in reducing unnecessary reporting burdens that inhibit lending and economic growth. More needs to be done.”
An ICBA-advocated provision in the Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief, and Consumer Protection Act (S. 2155) establishes a short-form call report in the first and third quarters for banks with less than $5 billion in assets while requiring them to continue to file the full report at mid-year and year-end. However, the agencies project that their proposed rule to implement the provision would reduce reporting burdens by just 1.18 hours for institutions under $1 billion.
ICBA continues calling on regulators to provide meaningful relief by limiting short-form reporting to the balance sheet, income statement, and statement of changes in shareholders’ equity without any other supporting schedules. Creating a simple but effective short-form call report will free up employees and other resources that should be used to serve community bank customers and Main Street communities.
The senators joining Sen. Moran on today’s letter are Senate Banking Committee Chairman Mike Crapo (R-Idaho) and Sens. John Kennedy (R-La.), Jodi Ernst (R-Iowa), Thom Tillis (R-N.C.), David Perdue (R-Ga.), Tom Cotton (R-Okla.), Mike Rounds (R-S.D.), Mike Enzi (R-Wyo.), Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.), John Barrasso (R-Wyo.), Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.), Jim Risch (R-Idaho), John Thune (R-S.D.), James Inhofe (R-Okla.), Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), Pat Toomey (R-Pa.), John Boozman (R-Ark.), and Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.).
ICBA/ Travelers Deliver Nearly $4 Million in Dividends for Participating Community Banks
Washington, DC—The Independent Community Bankers of America (ICBA) announced that almost 1,300 member banks will share a policyholder dividend totaling nearly $4 million from their participation in the ICBA/Travelers insurance program in 2017. This is the 17th consecutive year that dividends have been distributed to participating ICBA members.
“ICBA helps community banks protect their investment so they can focus on helping their customers build a solid financial future,” ICBA Group Executive Vice President of Member Engagement and Strategy Chris Lorence said. “This program not only helps community banks insure against future losses but offers educational resources, which can help members further manage their risk exposure.”
“We believe that prudent risk management is the key to a successful community bank,” said Richard Ware II, president of Amarillo National Bank in Amarillo, Texas. “We participate in the ICBA/Travelers program because we value their cost-effective risk mitigation and meaningful returns.”
Travelers offers insurance and risk mitigation services to help community banks address a wide variety of areas including property, general liability, auto liability, umbrella, workers’ compensation, mortgage holders’ errors and omissions, directors and officer’s liability, financial institution bonds, professional liability, kidnap and ransom, fiduciary liability, employment practices liability, lender liability, identity fraud expense reimbursement and cyber liability. Additionally, through Travelers Cyber Academy, banks can learn about emerging cyber trends, pertinent cyber issues and prevention tips to help address these risks.
“Travelers has successfully partnered with ICBA for 35 years, delivering more than $60 million in dividend payouts since the program’s inception,” said Laura Lundin, vice president of financial institutions at Travelers. “We’re proud of our long-term relationship with the ICBA and the valuable benefits being provided to community banks.”
ICBA Urges Federal Reserve Role in Faster Payments
Washington, DC—The Independent Community Bankers of America (ICBA) expressed strong support for the development of a real-time payment system and urged the Federal Reserve to develop and operate the system. In a comment letter, ICBA said Fed leadership on faster payments would ensure access to financial institutions of all sizes and the customers they serve.
“ICBA continues to encourage the Federal Reserve to use its connectivity among financial institutions to provide universal access and serve an operational role as it does for other payments services,” ICBA President and CEO Rebeca Romero Rainey said. “By serving an operational role in faster payments, the Fed will provide safety, integrity, continuity and equitable access to all financial institutions, which will lead to greater adoption and support further financial innovation.”
In its comment letter, ICBA strongly urged the Federal Reserve operate a real-time gross settlement service, a suite of liquidity-management tools, and a payments directory switch or hub linking financial institutions to other payments directories. This is consistent with the Fed’s statutory role in serving nearly 11,000 financial institutions for checks, ACH payments, and wire transfers. Providing ubiquity and access for all financial institutions and end-users is a clear public benefit that only the Fed can provide, ICBA said.
Further, ubiquity will not be achieved for consumers and businesses without the Fed linking together the nation’s financial institutions and being able to interoperate with private-sector bank-centric settlement services. Until both objectives are achieved, community banks will operate in an uneven market environment, ICBA said. ICBA urged the Fed to quickly decide on its potential actions on faster payments and to begin developing the system as soon as it has published its decision.
CFPB Issues Policy Guidance on HMDA Data Release
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has released its policy guidance describing the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act loan-level data it plans to publicly release in 2019. Significantly, in response to concerns raised by the American Bankers Association about the need to protect consumer privacy, the bureau announced that it would not release property addresses, applicants’ credit scores or automated underwriting results. As expected, the CFPB will release “certain information with reduced precision,” including borrower ages, loan amount and number of units in the dwelling.
In addition, the bureau also announced that it would begin the rulemaking process in 2019 to consider what HMDA data it will disclose in future years. ABA has long called for a formal rulemaking on the public disclosure of HMDA data, and will continue to work closely with the agency to ensure its concerns about consumer privacy are addressed.
Convention Season is Upon Us
The Banking Industry convention season has arrived and Great Lakes Banker will be on hand at these events with free issues of the magazine available to conventioneers. These events include the ONE Conference to be held February 29 - March 1 in East Peoria, Illinois, as well as the ICBA convention being held in Nashville March 18 -22.
Click for a complete listing of 2019 Conventions.
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