William P. Hayes, chairman, president and CEO of Kish Bank wrote this letter to Senators Bob Casey, D-Pa., and Pat Toomey, R-Pa., on June 30:
I am proud to be a Pennsylvania banker. I am proud of what my bank and all banks in Pennsylvania do every day for our communities. I am speaking out because Washington often struggles to connect what happens in our banks with what happens in our local. economy.
Each day we meet customers’ needs, despite the ups and downs of the economy. The credit cycle is facilitated by banks, like Kish,Bank, and that cycle fuels our, economic system and impacts job creation, economic growth and prosperity.
Today, I am asking for your assistance in helping banks better serve our customers’ needs and the overall economy. I need you to support the Financial Regulatory Improvement Act of 2015.
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This proposal, offered by Senate Banking Committee Chairman Richard Shelby, is a broad regulatory relief measure that provides the proper balance of community bank regulatory relief while appropriately addressing several banking regulations that can help the banking and regulatory system function properly.
The Financial Regulatory Improvement Act extends the examination cycle for well managed community banks; reduces the burden of unnecessary privacy notice paperwork; helps rural customers receive mortgages; provides a safe harbor for mortgages held in a bank’s portfolio; reduces unnecessary costs from the stress testing for community banks; and establishes a process for federal regulators to evaluate institutions to determine whether to designate them as systemically important.
The banking industry’s long record of flexibility in meeting the unique needs of our customers is challenged by today’s environment of restrictive rules and regulations.
It is imperative that Congress take steps to roll back excessive regulation of the banking industry. This will enhance the banking industry’s ability to facilitate job creation and economic growth through. all phases of the credit cycle. Senator Shelby’s Financial Regulatory improvement Act begins that process.
Congress must act now before it becomes impossible to reverse the negative impacts. There are 1,200 fewer community banks today than 5 years ago; and. this trend will continue until some rational changes are made that will provide some relief to America’s community banks. When a bank disappears, everyone is affected.
America’s hometown banks are the backbone of communities across America. The presence of community banks in towns and cities alike means that bankers across America have a personal stake in the economic growth, health and vitality of nearly every community we serve.
Like community banks, across Pennsylvania, Kish Bank is fully invested in our region, and we ask that you support out future and the future of community banking.
The Financial Regulatory Improvement Act is an important step to keeping this industry strong. I urge Congress to put aside partisan politics and to work together to pass comprehensive, financial, regulatory reform legislation.