ICBA takes aim at CLEAR Relief Act passage, and more

Following the recent ICBA grassroots blitz in support of legislation to provide much-needed regulatory relief, nearly 20 new co-sponsors have signed on to the CLEAR Relief Act of 2013 (H.R. 1750/S. 1349). The legislation, inspired by ICBA’s Plan for Prosperity regulatory relief platform, offers community bank exemptions from mortgage and auditing regulations and supports additional capital opportunities for small bank holding companies.

“By rebalancing unsustainable and counterproductive regulatory burden, the Plan for Prosperity, if adopted by Congress, will ensure that scarce capital and labor resources are used productively, not sunk into unnecessary compliance costs, allowing community banks to better focus on lending and investing that will directly improve the quality of life in our communities,” Doyle Mitchell, president and CEO of Industrial Bank in Washington, D.C., testified at the House Small Business Subcommittee on Investigations, Oversight and Regulations hearing on regulatory burdens facing community banks.

In his testimony, Mitchell noted that the CLEAR Relief Act would:

  1. provide qualified mortgage status for community bank portfolio loans,
  2. exempt community bank portfolio mortgages from new escrow requirements,
  3. exempt smaller mortgages from new appraisal standards,
  4. modernize the Federal Reserve’s Small Bank Holding Company Policy Statement,
  5. relieve publicly traded community banks and thrifts from unnecessary accounting and auditing expenses, and
  6. eliminate redundant privacy notice mandates.

The CLEAR Relief Act provisions are from ICBA’s Plan for Prosperity regulatory relief platform for the 113th Congress.