ICBA: Review of Bank Regulations Must Have Substantial Impact
The Independent Community Bankers of America (ICBA) has called on federal banking agencies to ensure their mandatory review of existing regulations has a substantive impact in alleviating the excessive regulatory burdens that affect community banks and inhibit economic growth. In a comment letter on the review required by the Economic Growth and Regulatory Paperwork Reduction Act (EGRPRA), ICBA wrote that the process will only succeed if the agencies have a strong commitment to fully eliminating outdated, unnecessary or unduly burdensome regulations. “The EGRPRA statutory mandate requires the agencies to go beyond merely streamlining regulations, tweaking certain regulations, eliminating duplication, or deferring action until some further interagency study can be completed,” ICBA Executive Vice President and Senior Regulatory Counsel Christopher Cole wrote. “Rather, the mandate requires the agency to thoroughly review each regulation and eliminate it if it is outdated, unnecessary or unduly burdensome. This will require agencies to consider the costs and benefits of each regulation and to carefully consider the input they receive from community bankers.” ICBA noted that community banks and ICBA were deeply disappointed with the outcome of the first EGRPRA review process 10 years ago, which had little impact on regulatory burden. To ensure the current two-year review is effective, ICBA called on regulators to: ►Hold at least six outreach meetings around the country to gather community bank input; ►Set up an EGRPRA.gov website and list the 10 most burdensome regulations; and ►Establish a director of the EGRPRA review process who can overcome the objections of individual agencies and resolve interagency disputes. Additionally, the association highlighted three key policy areas in need of reform, including excessively burdensome quarterly call reports, the Small Bank Holding Company Policy Statement, and restrictions inhibiting the formation of new bank applications. Reducing the regulatory burden on community banks would allow these Main Street institutions to devote more of their resources to their customers and communities.