ABA Banking Journal - December 2013 - (Page 4)

ABA chairman's view BY Jeff Plagge changes in bank regs will help the economy R "Regulators and legislators need details on how excessive regulation is preventing you from doing everything you can to help the economy gRow" Jeff PlAgge President and CeO, Northwest financial Corp., arnolds Park, Iowa 4| ABA BANKING JOURNAL | December 2013 egulatory relief and a reduction in our compliance burden are what every bank needs-and what the American economy requires if we're going to get back to the business of banking and start growing our way back to prosperity and full employment. We're probably not going to get any key legislative solutions to excessive regulation in the current Washington environment. But with your help, we can work the issue from the fringes through regulatory agency corrections, reminding regulators and legislators that meaningful changes in bank regulations can help get the economy off its low-growth trajectory. Together, we can make a difference. Let me give you some background, and tell you what you can do to help. In early October, ABA President and CEO Frank Keating wrote to the federal regulators, enumerating six agenda items they could take action on that would make it easier for banks to serve customers, grow communities, and create jobs. Here, in brief, are the issues Frank identified: 1. Remove punitive regulation of mortgage servicing assets. 2. Implement the Volcker Rule in a way that doesn't impose additional compliance obligations for community banks. 3. Implement a more robust, independent ombudsmen program in each agency. 4. Simplify and refocus call reports back to their original intent. 5. Allow limited distributions for S-Corp bank shareholders to pay taxes on earnings. 6. Acknowledge the competitive and systemic disadvantages that community banks face in competing against credit unions and the Farm Credit System. As part of a continuing process, Frank and I led two delegations of bankers attending ABA's Community Bankers Council fall meeting to the top of the regulatory ladder. We met separately with Comptroller of the Currency Tom Curry and FDIC Chairman Martin Gruenberg. Bankers participating in each meeting offered specifics on how one or more of the six regulatory issues affect their banks. At the FDIC, for example, I spoke about the impact of the restrictive Basel III mortgage servicing rules and how they would eventually straitjacket community banks, like my own, and negatively impact customer service and relationships. As Frank put it, we were respectfully noisy and insistently factual. The regulators listened to our concerns. Comptroller Curry and Chairman Gruenberg-and their staff members-took notes. Other bankers will be meeting with Federal Reserve Board Gov. Jerome Powell in December. The next step is up to you. We urge you to get engaged and write to your regulators. Give them the specifics on how one or more of these six items prevents you from serving your customers and growing your communities. Anecdotes, examples, and details are vitally important. Send copies of your letters to your congressional delegation. Regulators and legislators need to hear from you, and they need specific details on how excessive regulation is preventing you from doing everything you can to help the American economy grow. Utilize the recently introduced Amplify tools to help (amplifybankers.com). This is just the start of a drumbeat of regulatory fixes that need to be brought to light and corrected for the benefit of consumers, banks, and our economy. If you have other items that make no sense and just confuse your employees and customers, email me at jplagge@aba.com. n http://www.amplifybankers.com

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

Chairman's View
Editor's Column
Bank Notes
Picture This
Is wealth management a good fit?
Tech Topic
What's Ahead?
New diversity standards cover workplace and suppliers
Compliance Inbox
ABA At Your Service
Legal Issues
First Person

ABA Banking Journal - December 2013

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