The Independent Community Bankers of America is stepping into the debate over financial reform legislation currently mired in Congress. Accusing both supporters and opponents of the bill of misrepresenting the ICBA by suggesting it endorses their position, the group issued a press release Monday saying it supports “strong reforms that hold accountable Wall Street and systemically dangerous financial firms and unregulated entities whose risky behaviors led to this crisis.”

The press release continues:

Recently, many statements have been made about the community bank position on the Senate Banking Committee’s version of a regulatory reform bill. ICBA has repeatedly stated that the status quo is not acceptable. Among other regulatory changes, ICBA supports strong resolution authority that has but one purpose, and that is to wind down failing institutions. We support basing FDIC deposit insurance premiums on total assets, not domestic deposits, so that the too-big-to-fail banks pay their fair share. We support enhanced enforcement of the lightly regulated and unregulated nonbank financial services companies—they should play by the same rules as community banks. ICBA supports a stronger role for prudential bank regulators in the creation and enforcement of any new consumer-protection rules.

However, the group stops short of endorsing the bill by Sen. Chris Dodd, D-Conn., chairman of the Senate Banking Committee, saying changes to the bill are necessary before ICBA will support it. The press release concludes: “We ask both sides of this debate to stop using the good name of community banks to advance their own causes. Community banks can speak for themselves, and we do not need either proponents or opponents of regulatory reform speaking for us.”

ICBA represents nearly 5,000 community banks in the United States.

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