ABA Banking Journal - May 2013 - (Page 4)

aBa chairman’s view BY MATT WILLIAMS Educate, advocate, and change L “It is easy to be discouraged about the dysfunction in Washington. But there simply is no excuse for not fIghtIng for our Industry” Matt williaMs Chairman and President, Gothenburg State Bank, Gothenburg, Neb. 4| ABA BANKING JOURNAL | MAy 2013 ast month, ABA hosted the annual Government Relations Summit in Washington. Over the years, this event has given bankers an opportunity to gather, learn about critical issues, and advocate change to our members of Congress. Without a doubt, this event has become a critical part of our advocacy strategy. More than 1,000 bankers attended this year. Participants had the chance to meet face-to-face with top legislators and regulators. Bankers from every bank size, charter, geography, and business model were in attendance. Unity of purpose, once again, proved important and essential. During our meetings and our subsequent visits to Capitol Hill, legislators from across our country were asked to recognize the vital importance that banks play in generating economic activity. We reminded them that legislation that restricts our ability to serve our customers is damaging. Our message was delivered with strength and conviction. Our ABA advocacy staff prepared bankers well, but it was the bankers’ message to their congressional delegations that made the difference. During the summit, our top regulators were urged to recognize the importance of the role they play in protecting and representing our industry. In particular, I asked our regulators to stand up for banking, not stand up to banking. The regulators should exercise their responsibility, but they should never develop a confrontational attitude that we are acting in bad faith. I’m proud of our industry, and I’m also proud of the relationship we have developed with our regulators. This relationship should always be based on trust and respect. More so than ever, each of us needs to play our role in continuing our regulatory relations efforts. We understand that we need strong regulation and fair enforcement. But we would like to see our regulators join us in advocating for a level playing field and an environment that truly enhances our ability to serve our customers, communities, churches, hospitals, and schools. I personally gained a sense of rejuvenation from the activities surrounding the Government Relations Summit. I’m excited about our industry and where it can go through the work of bankers like you and me. Those who make policy have challenges. As bankers, we have responsibilities. It is easy to be discouraged about the dysfunction in Washington. But it is our obligation to our industry to help create solutions to such problems. I ask you to consider your role in advocacy. Each of us has opportunities to support our work with our dollars, time, and activities. There simply is no excuse for not fighting for our industry. I would like to thank the ABA staff for organizing a successful event. Also, I would like to congratulate and thank those bankers who were in attendance. The big question is: Where do we go from here? I’m choosing to renew my efforts to stand up for positive change. I ask not just for your support, but for your personal involvement. As I’ve said many times over this past year, leaders don’t take credit; leaders accept responsibility. n

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of ABA Banking Journal - May 2013

ABA Banking Journal - May 2013
Contents
Chairman’s View
Editor’s Column
The Economy
Bank Notes
Picture This
ABA Community Banking
Pass the Aspirin
Tech Topics
Looking for leaders
Top-performing mid-size banks
New world of appraisals
Compliance Clinic
Compliance Inbox
ABA At Your Service
First Person

ABA Banking Journal - May 2013

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