By Allie Kutz
PACB Director of Government Relations
Recently our PACB members traveled to Washington, D.C. to participate in ICBA’s annual Capital Summit, a multi-day conference bringing together community bankers from across the country to take our message directly to legislators and regulators. The Summit included speakers such as U.S. Secretary of the Treasury Janet Yellen; Rohit Chopra, Director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB); U.S. Senator Kevin Cramer (R-ND); and Representative Andy Barr (R-KY), Chairman, Subcommittee on Financial Institutions and Monetary Policy, House Financial Services Committee.
Fruitful conversations were had regarding the future of community banks and the vital role your institutions play in our nation’s financial system. All this comes on the heels of the recent decision to exempt banks under $10 billion in assets from the special assessment, which was a major point of the discussions. Conversations were hopeful for the future of a tiered approach to regulation and recognizing the soundness and stability of community bank institutions amidst the headlines of Silicon Valley Bank.
Perhaps the most exciting part of the Capital Summit every year is the meetings with legislators. This year, PACB members had the opportunity to meet with Congressman Dan Meuser (PA-09), Congressman John Joyce (PA-13), Congressman Mike Kelly (PA-16), and Congressman Chris Deluzio (PA-17), along with U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA). We also met with the senior staff of Congressman Brendan Boyle (PA-02) and U.S. Senator John Fetterman.
The bankers in attendance advocated for congressional oversight of the CFPB, particularly related to the implementation of the 1071 rule, and asked for its support of several bills related to the efforts to better support community banks. H.R. 1806/S. 1159 (Representative French Hill / Senator John Boozman) would exempt lenders that make fewer than 500 small business loans annually and narrow the definition of small business to less than $1 million in annual gross revenue. Currently, the CFPB is only proposing exempting lenders that make fewer than 100 small business loans annually, and this legislation would create a more realistic exemption to relieve the burden from most community banks.
The bankers also advocated for support of a 2023 Farm Bill that will strengthen our rural communities through higher guaranteed loan limits, robust crop insurance, adequately supporting commodity programs, and funding for rural broadband. Additionally, they asked the legislators to support the ACRE Act, which will allow lower interest rates and better terms on rural loans by creating a tax exemption for interest on bank loans secured by farmland and homes in rural communities.
This year’s Capital Summit was a smashing success, and PACB is grateful for the community bankers who joined us to advocate for your industry in Washington, D.C. The clear takeaway from every meeting we had was that your perseverance has resulted in a tremendous amount of respect for your industry. The members of Congress we met with expressed how impressed they have been with the dedication with which you serve your communities and understood the value of supporting the longevity of community banks. The community banking industry is well-respected by our lawmakers because of the hard work you put in every day.
If you or a member of your team are interested in participating in next year’s Capital Summit, please reach out to let our team know and we will keep you apprised of the dates when they are announced. It is crucial that lawmakers and regulators hear directly from you, the members, whenever possible.
The PACB team is honored to carry the torch to represent the community banking industry every day in Harrisburg and D.C., but YOU are the absolute best advocate for yourselves, your industry and your communities’ priorities, and we encourage you to get involved with our efforts.