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Chamber Of Commerce Backs Community Bank Bill

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is voicing its support for legislation that would ease regulatory burdens for the nation’s community banks in an effort to improve access to funding for small business borrowers.

Reports in Small Biz Trends on Sunday (March 11) said the Chamber of Commerce sent a key vote letter supporting the Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief, and Consumer Protection Act after 17 Senate Democrats cooperated with Senate Republicans to advance the bill. The legislation would amend Dodd-Frank Act rules and other financial services legislation to ease the red tape for smaller FIs with less than $10 billion in assets.

“Main Street businesses depend on community and regional banks for the financing necessary to get started, sustain operations, manage cash, make payroll and create well-paying jobs,” the letter stated. “The one-size-fits-all approach to regulation implemented in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis has severely constrained these banks’ ability to serve consumers and small businesses in their communities.”

According to reports, the Senate is expected to pass the legislation this week.

“This bipartisan legislation is a step towards right-sizing regulations on community and regional banks and would help reverse the decade-long decline in small business lending,” said Jack Howard, Senior Vice President of the Congressional and Public Affairs for the Chamber of Commerce, in the letter.

A letter in support of the bill follows the Chamber of Commerce’s report released in 2016 that found Dodd-Frank rules are harming corporations. A survey conducted by the Chamber found 29 percent of businesses increased prices in the wake of this legislation, while 39 percent said they have been forced to absorb the costs of heightened legislation.

“Our view is that financial services are the essential fuel of economic growth, and when you begin to hear the impact on their customers, it becomes clear why we need to have growth as part of our financial-regulatory agenda,” said David Hirschmann, president and chief executive of the Chamber of Commerce’s Center for Capital Markets Competitiveness, in an interview with reporters at the time.

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