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Senate Democrats will kill or save traditional banking

(May 27, 2015) — Friends of Traditional Banking expressed their outrage at the Democratic opposition to a proposal by Senate Banking Committee Chair Richard Shelby (R-AL) to provide small and mid-size banks some regulatory relief. “Senator Shelby’s Bill is a baby-step in terms of what needs to be done for traditional banks, and the Democrats on the committee acted like it was a Wall Street give-away,” said John Boyer, chairman of KANZA Bank, Kingman, Kansas, and chair of Friends of Traditional Banking. “Their alternative bill was an insult to community banks and the consumers we serve and is a clear demonstration that they would rather politicize this debate than solve problems.” Boyer said.

With the number of community banks dropping 14% since 2007, with regulatory compliance now accounting for more than twice as high a share of operating expenses at community banks than at their larger counterparts, and with even F.D.I.C. leaders acknowledging that Dodd-Frank is smothering traditional banking in America, there needs to be real reform now, according to Boyer. Every business day in the United States on average, another community bank closes its doors. We are now down to 6,589 banks in this country, the same number as we had in 1891.

“Democrats on the Senate Banking Committee don’t seem to understand the threat the current regulatory system poses to traditional banks, our communities, customers, job growth, and their constituents,” added Rick Sanborn, CEO of Seacoast Commerce Bank, San Diego, California, and vice chair of Friends of Traditional Banking.  “There are a number of critical reforms that aren’t even in Senator Shelby’s bill, like tailored regulation; and if we can’t get Senator Shelby’s bill passed, I fear for our industry,” Sanborn said.

“We urge the members of the Senate Banking Committee to set aside their differences while there is still time to find a solution that will give traditional banking a chance to survive,” urged FOTB board member Bill Loving, CEO of Pendleton Community Bank, Franklin, West Virginia.  “It’s not too late, but moderate members of the Committee are going to have to stand up to the competing factions within their party and support needed reforms that will allow traditional banks to thrive in this environment.”

Friends of Traditional Banking is a non-partisan Super PAC representing over 15,000 individuals, Democrats and Republicans, from across America, who are willing to make direct personal contributions into key Congressional races each election cycle.  Last cycle, Friends of Traditional Banking directed over $1 million in direct contributions to key Senate races.


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