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.) today introduced legislation to support and strengthen lending in local communities. The Community Bank Access to Capital Act of 2015 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 lending options.

“Community banks are the lifeblood of small businesses and economic activity in South Dakota and other rural areas,” said Rounds. “Relieving community banks from unnecessary regulatory burdens will increase credit access for South Dakota families across the state. With more than 6,500 community banks in the U.S., the federal government must make sure they are helping – not hindering – their ability to grow and support their communities.” 

“Community banks are an integral part of Missouri’s economy and the communities they serve,” Blunt said. “These banks often are the primary lenders to small businesses and farmers across the state. The Community Bank Access to Capital Act of 2015 gives our local banks relief from burdensome financial regulations, allowing them to better serve and meet the needs of local businesses which will lead to investment and economic growth in communities in Missouri and nationwide.”

The Community Bank Access to Capital Act of 2015 would:

  • exempt community banks with $50 billion or less in assets from the Basel III capital rules;
  • increase the Small Bank Holding Company Policy Statement qualifying asset threshold from $1 billion to $5 billion;
  • exempt publicly held community banks with less than $1 billion in assets from the Sarbanes-Oxley Act’s internal control attestation requirements;
  • allow savings and loan holding companies to use the Securities and Exchange Commission’s new deregistration and registration thresholds; and
  • preserve current Securities and Exchange Commission rules regarding the definition of “accredited investor.”

Earlier this year, the Community Bank Access to Capital Act of 2015 was introduced in the House of Representatives by Scott Garrett (R-N.J.), Chairman of the House Subcommittee on Capital Markets and Government-Sponsored Enterprises. It is supported by the South Dakota Independent Community Bankers (ICBA) and national ICBA.


5 thoughts on “Rounds, Blunt Introduce Bill to Allow Community Banks to Better Serve Rural Areas”

  1. Outstanding piece of legislation and a good start to rolling back the punitive regulatory mess we’re in. The eventual goal must be bringing back Glass – Steagal and getting investment banks out of the depository insurance system. That will allow commercial banks to lend again while at the same time, bring risk capital formation back into the public securities markets.

    The government’s war on Wall Street has only served to push the great investment opportunities of our generation (Facebook, Beats, Uber, etc. etc) to the private equity markets where only the rich can play. Wall Street houses must be at risk for their activities, instead of the FDIC,

  2. I agree. Economic prosperity, the fluidity of capital (critical in a market economyy), and LESS income inequality would be spurred by:

    1) This legislation. Community banks are at a disadvantage to the Money Center banks access to low cost of funds.

    2) Repeal Dodd-Frank in whole. Nothing has done more to insure the big banks get bigger AND are thus more critical to the economy making them even more TO BIG TO FAIL. Instead of lessing the risk of another financial meltdown, Dodd-Frank made it both more likely and of greater consequence.

    3) Re-instate Glass-Steagal. This will dis-allow lines of business ancillary to retail/commercial banking from the big banks. Many free market advocates wonder why I support this regulatory prohibition. The reason is banks have access to capital because of the Federal Reserve, Home Loan Bank Board, and FDIC insurance those who want to compete in these ancillary lines of business don’t have. In other words, banks use government subsidies to put out of business their competitiors. Banks must decide to be banks or be in other businesses. It is unfair they are in both, not to mention the concentration and risk having them together places on our economy.

    #2 & #3 must be done simultaneous and implemented gradually as doing one without the other or doing it quickly will have adverse consequences unnecessary to accomplish the goal. Relief from the onerous burden of Dodd-Frank concurrent with selling their ancillary lines of business will offset both the positive and negative short-term impact of this legislation.

  3. P.S. While Rounds legislation is good in the interim, it is just that a short-term bandaid.

    Relieving them of them onerous parts of Dodd-Frank is similar to giving waivers to the Obamacare mandate. If the mandate is bad, get rid of it for all. If Dodd-Frank is bad, get rid of it for all.

  4. Surprisingly the porter lansing socialist spam bot program has not posted here yet.

  5. 50 billion is just about every bank in the U.S. In fact it covers every bank in the U.S. from the 35th largest down so it seems some special interested (cough cough first premier) might be pushing this to exempt themselves even though they are really not big banks

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