ABA Banking Journal - May 2011 - (Page 42)

ABA Resources Q What’s next? An interview with Floyd Stoner, ABA’s EVP of Congressional Relations and Public Policy ABABJ: Winning the fight to stop and study the Durbin Amendment on debit-card interchange is a top issue for the industry. Is success possible? Floyd Stoner: Yes. We’ve already made far more progress than people—including our opponents, the retailers— thought we could. We’re still not across the finish line, but we keep seeing small pieces of evidence that more members of the House and Senate understand the problem and are willing to help us. ABABJ: The regulatory burden is the biggest concern most bankers have. Does the Congress get it? FS: I think there is a growing understanding of the fact that the accumulation of regulatory burdens has a negative impact on banks and their ability to serve their customers. But it’s not as widespread yet as we intend it to be. If banks continue to engage their members of Congress—bringing them into their bank, showing them the real world impact of excessive regulation—we’ll see more positive actions that result from that increased understanding. On a targeted basis, over the next several years, we should be able to make some corrections to some existing regulations. At the same time, it’s important to remember that by explaining the impact, we strengthen our hand in opposing additional proposals with negative regulatory consequences. ABABJ: ABA opposes giving credit unions business accounts. Is legislation likely to move? FS: It’s something we worry about. This is the kind of amendment that can be added to legislation that may not be related. In December, a credit union business accounts amendment was offered by unanimous consent to the bill to fund the government. If it hadn’t been for an objection by Senator Richard Shelby, the legislation would have been adopted in the Senate without a vote. This spring, there was an attempt to attach it to the small 42  |  ABA BANKING JOURNAL  |  may 2011 business lending bill, which failed because of an objection by Senator Tim Johnson. ABABJ: You speak to a lot of bankers. What do you tell them in terms of increasing the industry’s influence? FS: As hard as it is to do, constant political engagement is what’s necessary for an industry that has as much political and regulatory risk as insured depositories do. It gets easier—not harder—if you do stay engaged. You get to know the Members, and they know you. You get to know the staff and they’ll return your phone calls. And yours won’t be a new name when the next issue gets hot and you want to contact them. ABABJ: You’ve been a lobbyist for over 25 years. What has changed the most about your job? FS: There are so many more issues. The communication is so much faster. The turnover in Congress means that it’s harder to develop the knowledge level of the Members about our issues because so many of them are new. And the demands on the PAC have increased. Fundraising begins the morning after the last election. Floyd can be reached at fstoner@aba.com or by calling 1-800-BANKERs (1-800-226-5377)

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of ABA Banking Journal - May 2011

ABA Banking Journal - May 2011
Contents
Chairman’s View
Editor’s Column
The Economy
Bank Notes
ABA Community Banking: Getting in on the Prepaid Wave
Pass the Aspirin
Tech Topics
Cover Story: #5 and Feeling Good
Smartphones Alter Banking Landscape
Compliance Clinic
Compliance Inbox
ABA Resources
Surveys & Trends
Board Matters
First Person

ABA Banking Journal - May 2011

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