Rounds, Blunt Introduce Bill to Allow Community Banks to Better Serve Rural Areas

Rounds, Blunt Introduce Bill to Allow Community Banks to Better Serve Rural Areas

WASHINGTON—U.S. Sen. Mike Rounds (R-S.D.), a member of the Senate Banking Committee, and U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) introduced legislation to support and strengthen lending in local communities. The Community Bank Access to Capital Act of 2017 would roll back burdensome financial regulations to make it easier for community banks to serve their customers, who often reside in rural areas with fewer available lending options.

“Community banks are a vital resource for small businesses and families in rural areas like South Dakota,” said Rounds. “Relieving community banks from unnecessary regulatory burdens will increase credit access for South Dakota families across the state. Our legislation would roll back some of the ‘one-size-fits-all’ federal regulations so community banks are once again able to grow and support their communities.”

“Missouri’s community banks play a critical role in keeping our state’s small businesses thriving,” said Blunt. “This bill will rein in excessive red tape and allow these banks to expand access to credit for Missouri families and local business owners. I urge all of my colleagues to support this measure and help strengthen economic growth in our small and rural communities.”

The Community Bank Access to Capital Act of 2017 would:

  • exempt community banks with $50 billion or less in assets from the Basel III capital rules;
  • exempt community banks with less than $1 billion in assets from the Sarbanes-Oxley Act’s internal control attestation requirements;
  • broaden the Securities and Exchange Commission Regulation D rule to make it easier for community banks to raise capital; and
  • make it easier for small banks to raise capital that can be used to help finance expansions.

A significant portion of this legislation was introduced by Rounds and Blunt during the previous session of Congress. It is supported by the Independent Community Bankers Association and the South Dakota Independent Community Bankers Association.

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