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ABA Wants Team-Up To Tackle Security Issues With Retailers

The incoming chairman of the American Bankers Association says one of his top priorities will be working with retailers to secure the payments system, American Banker reported.

John Ikard, who will begin a one-year term as ABA chair at the lobbying group’s annual meeting this week in Dallas, told the newspaper, “I’d like to see more cooperation between the bankers and retailers on cybersecurity issues. Rather than have a negative and antagonistic relationship, I think we need to sit down and come up with a secure platform to process these transactions.”

Ikard has been CEO of the $14 billion-asset FirstBank in Lakewood, Colo., since 1999.

A key driver for getting together with merchants is avoiding federal regulation, according to Ikard. “A cooperative solution will always be preferable to a legislative solution,” he said. “If the sides that have a vested interest can come together and develop a network and agree on parameters and security measures, I think that’s much preferable to having something mandated through Congress. The legislators probably have good intentions, but whenever they get involved, so many agendas come to the table and it becomes a conglomeration of things that don’t work for anybody.”

Along with payment-card security, Ikard’s agenda also includes opposing regulations tied only to banks’ asset sizes — he’ll be pushing for a regulatory approach based on risk instead — and gaining relief for small banks from Basel III regulations.

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