Nearly 15,000 Sign ICBA’s Basel III Petition
ICBA announced that nearly 15,000 community bankers and their allies have signed a petition calling on banking regulators to exempt community banks from proposed Basel III capital regulations. The petition notes that while the Basel III rules were conceived as an international standard that would apply only to the largest banks, the proposed rules issued by federal regulators would impose the new regulations on banks of all sizes.

ICBA’s petition notes that community banks maintain the highest capital levels in the banking industry and did not engage in the reckless behavior that contributed to the recent financial crisis. Imposing complex and excessive capital standards on community banks would threaten the nation’s economic recovery and limit lending, investment and credit availability in Main Street communities, it says.

The petition expresses particular concerns with the impact of proposed risk weights on mortgages and certain types of commercial loans. It also cites the negative impact of including accumulated other comprehensive income as regulatory capital and of significantly altering the capital treatment of mortgage-servicing assets, deferred tax assets and trust-preferred securities, which would require community banks to make major changes to their financial statements.

The petition follows formal comments submitted this week by ICBA calling on federal financial regulators to exempt community banks from proposed Basel III regulatory capital standards. In its comment letter, ICBA wrote that it strongly believes that the Basel III standards should not apply to U.S. financial institutions with consolidated assets of $50 billion or less and that are not deemed to be systemically important financial institutions. Read ICBA Release. Read ICBA Comment Letter.

OCC Announce Hurricane Sandy Plans
The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency issued a proclamation allowing national banks and federal savings associations affected by Hurricane Sandy to be closed at their discretion. Senior Deputy Comptroller for Midsize and Community Bank Supervision Jennifer Kelly said she expects that only those bank offices directly affected by the storm will close. Those offices should make every effort to reopen as quickly as possible to address the banking needs of their customers, she added.

In addition, ICBA has recently shared mobile banking and financial preparedness tips during a natural disaster in the wake of the hurricane. To further assist customers, community banks on social media may share these releases by linking to them or re-sharing through our official Twitter account.

Personal Income, Spending Up in September
Personal income and disposable personal income each rose 0.4 percent in September, according to the Commerce Department. Personal spending increased 0.8 percent. In August, both personal income and disposable personal income increased by 0.1 percent, while personal spending increased by 0.5 percent, based on revised estimates.

Latest ICBA Compliance Newsletter Now Available
ICBA Compliance and Risk Management released the latest edition of its compliance newsletter in conjunction with strategic ally Chartwell Compliance. The Chartwell Compass publication features the latest in financial institution regulatory compliance, financial crime prevention and risk-management issues. This edition features articles on final remittance and debit card interchange fee rules, managing vendor relationships, flood insurance and more.

Take This Week’s Quick Poll
Take this week’s Quick Poll on residential real estate lending, and view results from the previous poll on compliance committees. View the Archive.

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