ABA Banking Journal - May 2014 - (Page 4)

ABA chairman's view BY JEFF PLAGGE Moving the ball A "Our voice has to be LOUD, CLEAR, AND PERSISTENT. If we don't speak up for our industry, others will" JEFF PLAGGE President and CEO, Northwest Financial Corp., Arnolds Park, Iowa 4| ABA BANKING JOURNAL | MAY 2014 merica's gridlocked Congress makes it difficult to move important legislation. And the regulatory process can be clumsy and slow. Yet, ABA is finding ways to get things done. Look at some of what's been accomplished over the past several months: * The 2014 Farm Bill became law earlier this year, preserving a solid crop insurance program and eliminating term limits for USDA Farm Service Agency guaranteed loans. That opened access to credit for 35,000 farmers and ranchers with a guaranteed loan, and removed obstacles for the 4,000 banks that held those loans. * ABA helped persuade Congress to fix affordability and escrow problems in the Biggert-Waters Act. A bill signed in March reinstates grandfathered status for properties built to code before flood maps were adopted and allows new buyers to assume existing flood policies on their property. * As ABA urged, federal regulators adopted a final Volcker Rule exempting community banks that trade in certain instruments from the rule's compliance requirements. Problems remained with the TruPS CDOs. After ABA sued, but continued to work with the regulators, those problems were largely resolved. We saved community banks nearly $600 million. We continue to push for an equitable resolution to the CLO issue as well. * Rejecting arguments from retailers, a federal appeals court upheld the Federal Reserve's use of fixed costs, network processing fees, and the cost of fraud in the interchange fee cap calculation. Along with others, ABA filed an amicus brief. Although the Durbin Amendment has caused a great deal of damage, further damage was averted. * Don Childears, Colorado Bankers Association president and CEO, is leading an ABA/Alliance Regulatory Relief Task Force that identified meaningful reforms that can be achieved this year. The State Alliance CEOs and ABA will push for those reforms over the next several months. * Months of ABA-led discussions with members of Congress and mutual institutions helped lead to the introduction of the Mutual Bank Choice and Continuity Act of 2014, H.R. 4252. The bill would provide mutuals with a capital raising tool that would treat funds as Tier One common equity and provide a mechanism to raise targeted capital to meet regulatory requirements. The bill also would create a new mutual national bank charter. * ABA's efforts helped secure a delay in the SEC's compliance date for registration as municipal advisors. Previously, ABA, the state associations, and bankers succeeded in persuading the SEC to exempt traditional banking services from the rule. There is still much to do. We've worked hard to influence QM rules, Basel III impact, cybercrime and payment initiatives, patent troll reform, and taxation of credit unions and the Farm Credit System. More bankers will have to get involved. Our voice has to be loud, clear, and persistent. If we don't speak up for our industry, others will. That's why ABA has emphasized identifying emerging leaders. We brought 100 young women and men to Washington in March for special training to help groom the next generation of leaders. Progress takes patience, persistence, and effort. Every two years there will be new members of the House and Senate. Yet we make progress when bankers find their voices and get involved. That's what it takes to move the ball and get back to the business of banking.

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of ABA Banking Journal - May 2014

Chairman's View
Editor's Column
The Economy
Bank Notes
ABABJ Online
Picture This
Who will fill the chair?
Pass the Aspirin
Midsize Standouts
Doing well by doing good
Tech Topics
Compliance Inbox
ABA At Your Service
First Person

ABA Banking Journal - May 2014

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