HousingICBA Reiterates Housing-Finance Principles Following Senate AgreementICBA reiterated its strong support for continued community bank access to the secondary mortgage market following an agreement on housing-finance reform between Senate Banking Committee Chairman Tim Johnson (D-S.D.) and Ranking Member Mike Crapo (R-Idaho). In a national news release, ICBA said it is encouraged by provisions of the senators’ draft plan that would specifically support continued access for community banks to successfully securitize and sell their loans. The senators yesterday announced an agreement on housing-finance reform and outlined principles that will form the basis of legislation to be released later this week. ICBA said that any viable plan to reform the secondary mortgage market must be acceptable to the community banking sector to be successful. The association said it will continue to make certain any congressional reforms to the housing government-sponsored enterprises:
The agreement would establish a mutual cooperative jointly owned by small lenders to ensure institutions of all sizes have direct access to the secondary market. The mutual cooperative would provide a cash window for individual eligible loans, and small lenders could retain servicing rights. ICBA worked closely with the Johnson and Crapo offices to ensure their plan supports community bank needs and access to the secondary market. The association will review the text of the Johnson-Crapo legislation when it is released and will continue working with them and other lawmakers to ensure housing-finance reforms meet ICBA’s principles for reform. Read ICBA Release. Read More on Agreement. Credit UnionsICBA, ABA Urge Tax Reform to Address Credit Union SubsidyAs Congress begins the process of comprehensive tax reform, lawmakers should reexamine outdated and inequitable tax advantages for credit unions, ICBA and the American Bankers Association wrote in a letter to House Ways and Means Chairman Dave Camp (R-Mich.). ICBA and ABA wrote that they are extremely disappointed that Camp’s recently released tax-reform proposal did not eliminate the subsidy. The associations called on Camp to take on the credit union exemption as the tax-reform debate proceeds. In their letter, ICBA and ABA noted that taxpayers should not be subsidizing a $1 trillion industry, that the credit union tax exemption no longer serves its intended purpose, that eliminating the exemption does not have to affect the pricing of credit union products and that there is precedent for repealing outdated subsidies for financial firms. ICBA will continue to push policymakers to address the credit union tax subsidy in any reform of the tax code. ICBA NewsWatch Today is sponsored by Holtmeyer & Monson:Community banks are taking advantage of SBA Lending in record numbers! It’s easy to see why. With secondary market premiums for loan guarantees at historic highs, banks are increasing non-interest fee income and commercial loan growth. ICBA Preferred Service Provider Holtmeyer & Monson does all the work, at no net cost to banks. Call (800) 340-7304 or visit www.holtandmon.com.LendingSmall-Business Loan Approvals Increase in FebruaryCommunity bank approval rates for small-business loans rose in February to 51.4 percent from 50.9 percent the month before, according to the Biz2Credit Small Business Lending Index. Approval rates at banks with more than $10 billion in assets rose to 19.1 percent from 17.8 percent. Rates for credit unions and alternative lenders declined.AdvocacySpeakers Confirmed for 2014 Washington Policy SummitSenate Banking Committee members Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) and Heidi Heitkamp (D-N.D.) are confirmed to speak at this year’s ICBA Washington Policy Summit, scheduled for April 29-May 2 in the nation’s capital. Moran introduced in the Senate the CLEAR Relief Act of 2013 (S. 1349), regulatory relief legislation for community banks inspired by ICBA’s Plan for Prosperity platform. Heitkamp, a cosponsor of S. 1349, has also advocated for community bank relief from new mortgage regulations. FDIC Chairman Martin Gruenberg is also on the agenda for the ICBA Washington Policy Summit, which allows community bankers to engage members of Congress and regulators and influence the policymaking process. There is no registration fee to attend the summit. The community banking industry needs every available community banker to step up to the plate to make sure their voice is being heard in Washington. Visit ICBA’s Washington Policy Summit webpage to learn more and register today. Learn More and Register. PollTake This Week’s Quick PollTake this week’s Quick Poll on the impact of winter weather on job and economic growth, and view results from the previous poll on the ICBA national convention. View the Archive.EducationICBA Webinar Features Reserve Calculations and How Data May Cost YouThe allowance for loan and lease losses (ALLL) represents one of the most complex yet significant estimates in an institution's financial statements and regulatory reports. An ICBA webinar scheduled for 11 a.m. (Eastern time) Wednesday, March 19, will explain how to leverage data now to minimize the impact of the Financial Accounting Standards Board’s proposed “expected loss” accounting model. Additionally, participants will review how other institutions are already preparing and the most important data-collection elements within ALLL. Learn More and Register.Products and ServicesWebinar: Avoiding Lender Liability in Loan WorkoutsTravelers, an ICBA Preferred Service Provider, will explain the necessary analysis for documenting loan workouts and will suggest terms to use in loan workout agreements to mitigate risk of lender liability in a webinar scheduled for 2 p.m. (Eastern time) Wednesday, March 19. Topics will also include methods for ensuring a mutual understanding of the loan workout and documentation. Register Now.Products and ServicesFree Webinar to Introduce New PSP for Compliance ManagementContinuity Control, a new ICBA Preferred Service Provider, is hosting a free webinar to demonstrate its Compliance Management Platform. ICBA members will learn how Continuity Control provides a single solution engineered to automate the entire regulatory lifecycle, including regulatory update management, policy management, risk assessment, vendor management, custom controls, audit management and regulatory diagnostics and reporting. Register to attend “Introducing NEW Compliance Management System PSP” at 1 p.m. (Eastern time) Thursday, March 20. Register Online.