Jim Gowen, Jr. President and CEO of Merchants and Planters Bank joined community bankers from across the nation in Washington to advocate immediate passage of meaningful regulatory relief as part of the Independent Community Bankers of America® (ICBA) 2018 Capital Summit. During the summit, bank officials met with lawmakers to discuss policies that help promote local lending and economic prosperity.
Keynote speakers at this year’s summit included Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Acting Director Mick Mulvaney, Comptroller of the Currency Joseph Otting, Senate Banking Committee Financial Institutions Subcommittee Chairman Patrick Toomey (R-Pa.), pollster and political analyst Kristen Soltis Anderson, and Conference of State Bank Supervisors President and CEO John Ryan.
“Community banks like [BANK NAME]Merchants and Planters serve a critical role in ensuring our nation’s financial system remains vibrant and diversified—leading to more consumer choice,” said Gowen. “Coming to Washington to meet one-on- one with our elected representatives is imperative to ensuring the community bank perspective is heard loud and clear, especially with meaningful regulatory reform and the opportunity for Newport’s economic prosperity within our grasp.”
In meetings with Congress, Gowen advocated:
•  immediate passage of regulatory relief legislation inspired by ICBA’s Plan for Prosperity platform given the strong momentum from the bipartisan Senate passage of S. 2155, which the president pronounced he would sign into law,
•  modernizing the Bank Secrecy Act to more effectively target money laundering and terrorist financing while reducing community bank burden and expense,
•  ending the unjustified credit union tax subsidies and the National Credit Union Administration’s unreasonable actions to expand credit union activities beyond their statutory limits, and
•  passing a new farm bill that supports commodity prices, enhances USDA guaranteed-loan programs, preserves crop insurance funding, and returns the Farm Credit System to its primary mission of serving bona-fide farmers and ranchers, and
•  advancing housing-finance reform that builds on what is working today and preserves secondary market access for community bank mortgage lenders.
“Community banks support localized economic growth one loan at a time, but excessive and unnecessary regulation is stifling their ability to meet the needs of local communities,” said ICBA Chairman Timothy K. Zimmerman. “With at least one community bank in every congressional district, community bankers are in the nation’s capital to urge their representatives to enact policies to promote stronger economic growth, jobs and prosperity in communities nationwide. We are in Washington to demand enactment of much-needed regulatory relief.”