The Independent Community Bankers of America (ICBA) has applauded the U.S. Senate for approving legislation that would require the White House to appoint someone with community banking experience to the Federal Reserve Board. An ICBA-advocated amendment offered by Sen. David Vitter (R-LA) to legislation reauthorizing the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act (S. 2244) would require at least one member of the Fed board to have experience as a community banker or community bank supervisor.
“Community bankers have a unique understanding of how to promote healthy and vibrant local economies and should continue to have a clear voice on the Federal Reserve Board,” said John H. Buhrmaster, ICBA chairman and president and CEO of 1st National Bank of Scotia, N.Y. “Because community bankers can bring this valuable expertise and perspective to the table, having a community banker on the Fed board is in the interest of the agency, the economy and the American people.”
Community banks serve a critical role in the nation’s economy, particularly with respect to small businesses and rural communities. While these institutions and the communities they serve have vital interests at stake in the issues that come before the Fed board, the departures of former community banker Elizabeth Duke and former Maryland commissioner of financial regulation Sarah Bloom Raskin leave the board without anyone who has first-hand community banking experience.
ICBA has repeatedly called on the White House and Congress to ensure a community bank presence on the Fed board and has strongly supported Sen. Vitter’s Community Bank Preservation Act (S. 2252). Meanwhile, numerous policymakers, including bipartisan groups of lawmakers from the House and Senate, have encouraged the White House to appoint a community banker to the board. Following today’s Senate action, ICBA strongly urges the House to adopt the amendment.