ABA Banking Journal - November/December 2015 - (Page 52)
Bankers ask lawmakers to step into their shoes,
witness regulatory burden firsthand
BY CHARLOTTE BIRCH
ears ago-before the financial
crisis and Dodd-Frank Act,
and when the World Wide
Web had just been born-
bankers were so fed up
with regulatory excesses that ABA
and the state bankers associations
launched an industry-wide grassroots
campaign to "Cut the Red Tape."
The campaign-which, among other
things, featured bankers photographed
next to a stack of all bank rules that
applied to their institutions-proved
fruitful. The result of three years'
work was 1994's Riegle Community
Development and Regulatory
Improvement Act, which included
more than 50 measures intended to
trim some of what time had added
to banks' compliance waistline.
Fast forward two decades, and
bankers are taking that tactic and
doing it one better. They are inviting
members of Congress to walk in their
shoes for a day-or maybe just an
hour or two-and to see first-hand
how policies set in Washington or a
state capital are playing in the field.
Bankers like Mike Mauldin, president
and CEO of First Financial Bank in
Hereford, Texas, and William Ware,
vice president of Amarillo National
Bank, who cohosted a meeting with
Republican Rep. Mac Thornberry in
August. The meeting was scheduled
as part of ABA's Take Your Lawmaker
to Work Week-officially set for
Sept. 21-25, though bankers were
encouraged to schedule a bank visit
any time their elected representatives
were home and available.
The purpose of the week-and of
bank visits throughout the year-is
to help keep banking's legislative
priorities top-of-mind in Washington
and to demonstrate the important role
banks play in their hometowns.
"Lawmakers make laws, not loans,"
notes James Ballentine, ABA's EVP of
congressional relations. "Bank employees
are the experts at banking. They need to
share that expertise so lawmakers cast
informed votes on banking issues."
"Hosting a bank visit is a grassroots
best practice," adds Erin Scheithe,
ABA's VP for grassroots programs.
"Some bankers and state association
have done this before, but we wanted
to formalize the program and spread
the practice far and wide."
To help novices take the first step,
Scheithe offers resources like a
sample invitation letter, the name of
the lawmaker's scheduler, an event
checklist, frequently asked questions
(example: "Are we allowed to provide
lunch?"), sample tweets and a video
with tips on planning a successful visit.
REP. PAUL GOSAR VISITS WITH HORIZON COMMUNITY BANK STAFF IN LAKE HAVASU CITY, ARIZ.
ABA BANKING JOURNAL | NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2015
The video suggests bankers take their
lawmakers on a tour of their bank,
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of ABA Banking Journal - November/December 2015
A Conversation With the Comptroller
Cover Story Doing the Right Thing
Big Data and Predictive Analytics: A Big Deal, Indeed
Stress Testing: Feeling the Pressure?
ABA Compliance Center Inbox
Cybersecurity Self-Assessment Tool Helps Combat Risk
Real Estate Lending
Banker Recommended Reading
From the States
Corporate Social Responsibility
Index of Advertisers
ABA Banking Journal - November/December 2015