Optimism for the Future


The 2015 ICBA Washington Policy Summit was held the last week of April in DC, and it was my first time attending the event.  With our North Dakota contingent of 21, it was a great opportunity to network with nearly 1,000 other community bankers and industry advocates from around the country.  Congressional leaders, including Senator Richard Shelby, Chairman of the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs, and regulatory agency heads provided informative and timely presentations as well.  As always, the ICBA did a fabulous job hosting the event and ensuring that attendees were prepared with the appropriate messaging and materials.  I felt a sense of cautious optimism during the event that maybe, just maybe, independent community bankers might get some regulatory relief in this 114th Congress.   I want to thank those of you who attended this year and I’m already looking forward to next year’s summit.  I hope you as bank members consider attending or having someone from your bank attend to once again advocate exclusively for independent community banks.

Continuing on the federal front, Senator Shelby released the discussion draft of the “The Financial Regulatory Improvement Act of 2015” in mid-May and a committee mark-up session was conducted on the 20th. It’s a very comprehensive 216 page bill with a number of community banking relief items in Title 1 of the bill. We actively lobbied Senator Heitkamp and her staff for bipartisan support of the bill, but it quickly split along party lines. The bill did pass the committee 12-10, but it’s unlikely to see the Senate floor in its current form. Hopefully, productive bipartisan negotiations can occur to salvage some meaningful community bank reform initiatives soon.

Locally, ICBND is in the midst of its educational program season. We hosted the FDIC Bankers College in Fargo and Bismarck during the week of May 11 and had nearly 160 bankers and bank directors attend. The feedback from those events has been very positive. June will be packed with ICBND events as well. The summer conference for the Emerging Leaders Development Program will be in Fargo on June 4-5 and the School of Agricultural Lending will be in Bismarck on June 22-26. We’re pleased with the registration volume for both of those upcoming events. These are “first-time” opportunities for me as well and I’m excited to experience them.

Have a great summer and I hope to see you soon!


Endorsed Members