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Trump meets with 100-plus community bankers

By Gainey Business Bancorp | Monday, May 1, 2017

President Trump met with the top leadership of the Independent Community Bankers of America on Monday, including more than 100 of its members.

The meeting was requested by the president, according to Cam Fine, the president and CEO of the Independent Community Bankers; and, Vice President Mike Pence was also in attendance.

“ICBA is deeply honored that the White House reached out to ICBA and invited more than 100 of our ICBA community bank leaders to meet with President Trump during our annual Capital Summit,” Fine said in a press release. The ICBA discussed issues that are top of mind for our nation’s more than 5,800 community banks—including regulatory reflief.

While Trump has met with small groups of bankers before, this is by far his largest gathering with community bankers. Since taking office, he has repeatedly sought to reassure them that he is committed to regulatory relief. He signed an executive order requiring Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin to examine what can be done to provide help to institutions as part of a review of the Dodd-Frank Act.

Community banks are the backbone of small business in america!   – President Trump

Trump also met with a smaller group of community bankers in March. Participants in that meeting came away impressed, saying the president repeatedly asked his advisers if he could fix problems in the system by issuing new executive orders (many of the problems bankers brought to him either required legislation or action by an independent regulator).

Community bankers are hopeful for the passage of regulatory relief this year, though the outlook for sweeping legislation is poor.

While House Financial Services Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling is expected to see his relief bill pass the panel on Tuesday, the legislation stands little chance in the Senate. Democrats broadly support providing relief to community bankers, but are opposed to many of the Hensarling bill’s provisions, including its restructuring of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

Senate Banking Committee Chairman Mike Crapo, R-Idaho, has said passage of a broad relief bill is unlikely, but he is working with Democrats on targeted bipartisan legislation. Hensarling and Mnuchin are expected to appear at the ICBA’s Capital Summit this week.

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