Fine Points

Finishing strong

By Camden R. Fine, president and CEO of ICBA

Community bankers have many reasons to take pride in their profession. But the industry can truly stand proud after a seminal week in Washington, during which community bankers from across the country received the royal treatment in the White House and on Capitol Hill while advocating for vitally important policy reforms.

The 2017 ICBA Capital Summit was one for the ages. More than 100 community bankers attended a White House meeting with President Donald Trump, Vice President Mike Pence, National Economic Council director Gary Cohn and Small Business Administration chief Linda McMahon. The next day, House Financial Services Committee chairman Jeb Hensarling (R-Texas) addressed the full crowd of more than 1,000 community bankers moments before his panel took up and later passed his comprehensive Financial CHOICE Act reform bill. On the final day of the summit, Treasury secretary Steven Mnuchin joined me on stage for a policy discussion, during which he reiterated the administration’s support for community bank regulatory and tax relief.

And let’s not forget the reason we were there. Community bankers engaged in advocacy meetings with more than 300 members of Congress. At one of the meetings, the Kansas delegation joined Sen. Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) for the formal signing and introduction of his CLEAR Relief Act regulatory relief bill. They really did roll out the red carpet.

Indeed, it was an amazing week in Washington. And for me, personally, it was a very significant week, in which I announced my plans to retire next year. Effective May 5, 2018—my 15th anniversary—I will retire as your ICBA president and CEO.

We also announced that past ICBA chairman Rebeca Romero Rainey will be my successor. Rebeca is chairman and CEO of Centinel Bank of Taos, N.M. She is a career community banker with many years of distinguished service to ICBA and the nation’s community bankers. She will join ICBA as president-elect in January 2018 and become president and CEO upon my retirement. By selecting Rebeca, ICBA’s leadership has ensured that our association will be in very capable hands—not only now, but for a generation to come.

Until then, I look forward to continuing to lead this great association. I have dedicated my career and much of my life to community banking, and I realize we have many battles still to wage. But after a historic week in Washington, I have never been more encouraged and optimistic about the future of our beloved industry.

After a historic week in Washington, I have never been more encouraged and optimistic about the future of our beloved industry.

I plan to thank many of you in person over the coming year for the great privilege of serving you as ICBA president. And I pledge that before I depart, we will deliver meaningful regulatory relief to community banks nationwide.

I assure everyone in the community banking industry that I will do everything I can to achieve substantial relief. And I know that my friends and colleagues across the nation will join me in standing tall, finishing strong and seeing regulatory relief all the way through to the end.

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