3 topics to discuss during the August recess

This month is an opportune time to connect with your members of Congress, and, with a particularly long August recess scheduled this year, you have even more time to tell your story. Having in-person or virtual meetings with lawmakers and their staff is the perfect way to keep up the momentum from this year’s session and ensure they understand the perspective of community bankers like you.

Unsure what to talk about? The most important thing to share is the story of how your community bank helped customers get through the pandemic. Share with them the impact community banks like yours had. Community banks saved 33.7 million jobs through the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), acting as a lifeline for small businesses, especially minority-owned and veteran-owned businesses, which community banks served at higher rates than large banks.

Visit icba.org/advocacy to read about ICBA’s positions on the latest hot-button issues, as well as advocacy actions that can move the needle. Below are three key issues to consider discussing.

Credit union hearings

With recent headlines about tax-advantaged credit unions buying taxpaying banks, policymakers need to know that credit unions have overstepped their original mandate. ICBA is calling on Congress to hold hearings on these acquisitions and the industry’s aggressive and abusive exploitation of their tax exemption. Visit icba.org/wakeup to access talking points and ICBA’s playbook with key messaging and guidance about this important issue.

Closing the ILC loophole

We need to build bipartisan support for a legislative fix to close the industrial loan company (ILC) loophole of the Bank Holding Company Act. ICBA was the first national banking trade group to endorse the Eliminating Corporate Shadow Banking Act of 2019, which would close the loophole and keep large tech companies like Rakuten, Square and SoFi from pursuing ILC charters. These companies should not be able to own ILCs as they thereby gain access to banking activities without facing the same regulatory scrutiny as other financial institutions.


A fair tax code

ICBA is defending the 2017 tax cuts, including a 21% corporate tax rate, lower individual rates, the deduction for pass-through income, current capital gains taxes and the higher estate tax exemption. ICBA is also calling for the creation of tax credits or deductions for community banks that lend to low- and moderate-income customers, businesses, farmers and ranchers. To that end, ICBA supports the Enhancing Credit Opportunities in Rural America (ECORA) Act, which would create a tax exclusion for interest on loans secured by agricultural land and rural residential mortgages.

Tell your story

ICBA’s Marketing & Communications Toolkit has resources to help you craft your community bank’s message when walking into a meeting with local policymakers.