Fine: TAG Potshots Inaccurate, Unfair
While Wall Street apologists continue their stale assault that the Transaction Account Guarantee program via misinformation, ICBA is fighting back with the truth, ICBA President and CEO Cam Fine wrote in his latest blog post.  The latest potshots come from The Wall Street Journal, which has again insinuated that the bank-funded program is a taxpayer-supported government bailout.

Fine posted on his Finer Points blog ICBA’s response to the latest inaccurate broadside, which unsurprisingly did not make it into the newspaper.

“They refuse to publish our responses on their op-ed page, and they seem to forget our perspective when they repeat their half-truths,” Fine wrote. “Well, we’ve once again responded, but I’ll be darned if it’s nowhere to be found in the pages of the Journal. Here’s what the editors don’t want you to read.” Read the Blog Post and Response.

ICBA Backs Hoenig Call for Basel III Modification

ICBA said that it strongly supports FDIC Director Thomas Hoenig’s call for regulators to modify proposed Basel III capital standards because of their complexity and negative impact on community banks. Hoenig said Friday that applying international capital standards to community banks is illogical and will them at a competitive disadvantage.

“ICBA adamantly agrees with FDIC Director Hoenig that the Basel III capital standards are too complex and would impose undue regulatory burdens on community banks,” ICBA President and CEO Camden R. Fine said in a national news release. “ICBA strongly supports a tiered approach that properly recognizes the difference between Main Street community banks and Wall Street megabanks.”

ICBA is urging community bankers and industry allies to sign the association’s petition calling on regulators to exempt community banks from the proposal and to allow community banks to continue operating under Basel I capital regulations. More information on the Basel III capital standards is available on ICBA’s comprehensive webpage. Sign the Petition Today.

ICBA Congratulates CFPB Community Bank Council Members
ICBA congratulated the members of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s newly announced Community Bank Advisory Council. The new council will provide the CFPB with feedback on policy development, research, rulemaking and engagement. The CBAC will convene publicly for its first meeting on Oct. 10, and members will serve single two-year terms.

ICBA-member community bankers named to the council include:
  • Guillermo Diaz-Rousselot, Continental National Bank of Miami, Fla.
  • Donald Giles, Armed Forces Bank, Fort Leonard Wood, Mo.
  • Jack Hartings, The Peoples Bank Co., Coldwater, Ohio
  • Melany Kniffen, Southern Commercial Bank, St. Louis, Mo.
  • Robin Loftus, Security Bank, Springfield, Ill.
  • Jo Ann Merfeld, First Citizens National Bank, Mason City, Iowa
  • Kim Saunders, Mechanics and Farmers Bank, Durham, N.C.
  • Glen Thurman, First National Bank of Moody, Texas
  • Jesse Torres, Pan American Bank, Los Angeles, Calif.
  • Huey Townsend, Guaranty Bank and Trust Company, Belzoni, Miss.
  • Timothy Zimmerman, Standard Bank, Monroeville, Pa.

ICBA, Coalition Back Broad Qualified Mortgage Definition
ICBA and a coalition of other financial trade groups laid out three critical requirements for an adequate qualified mortgage rule from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. The organizations said that the QM must:

  • be broadly defined to include the vast majority of high quality loans originated in today’s market
  • base the product, documentation and underwriting requirements on objective, bright-line standards
  • grant lenders and investors a clearly defined legal safe harbor from ability-to-repay litigation when they originate loans that meet the QM standards.

The organizations said that a broad definition of QM with bright-line standards embedded in a legal safe harbor is the only sure means to serve the widest array of qualified borrowers with affordable credit. This will reduce the uncertainty associated with QM litigation and ease the need for lenders and investors to establish conservative credit overlays, they said.

Bank Failure
Regulators Close Mo. Bank
Regulators closed Truman Bank in St. Louis and entered into a purchase-and-assumption agreement with Simmons First National Bank in Pine Bluff, Ark. As of June 30, Truman Bank had approximately $282.3 million in total assets and $245.7 million in total deposits. The FDIC estimates that the cost to the Deposit Insurance Fund will be $34 million. Truman Bank is the 42nd FDIC-insured institution to fail in the nation this year. Read More from FDIC.

Retail Sales Up, Industrial Production Down in August
Retail Sales: Retail sales rose 0.9 percent in August and were up 4.7 percent from a year ago, the Commerce Department said. The July increase was revised down from 0.8 percent to 0.6 percent.

Industrial Production: Industrial production fell 1.2 percent in August after rising 0.5 percent in July, according to the Federal Reserve. Hurricane Isaac restrained output in the Gulf Coast, reducing industrial production by an estimated 0.3 percentage points. Capacity utilization for total industry moved down 1.0 percentage point to 78.2 percent, 2.1 percentage points below its long-run average.

Consumer Prices: The Consumer Price Index increased a seasonally adjusted 0.6 percent in August, the Labor Department reported. The increase was the largest since June 2009. Consumer prices were up 1.7 percent over the past year

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