As I write this, we are in the home stretch of preparation for the 49th Annual ICBND Convention and Exhibition. It’s fun to be part of the “buzz” around the office as the staff of your association works hard to make this a premier event and a special occasion for our members. If you’ve not already registered, please do so! It promises to be fun and informative as we’ve assembled a quality lineup of educational and networking events along with our outstanding associate member exhibits.
On the regulatory front, we’re pleased to announce that a small contingent of ICBND member bankers will be meeting with Senator Heitkamp and CFPB Director Richard Cordray on August 10th in Bismarck. This is a great opportunity to share with Director Cordray the challenges of independent community banking in rural America under an increasingly burdensome regulatory regime.
The CFPB has broad exemption authority, and we will continue to advocate use of that authority to tailor regulation to exempt or provide tiered regulatory requirements for community banks and their products and services. I’m hopeful that our member bankers’ anecdotes of community banking in North Dakota will impress upon Director Cordray and his staff that rules and regulations promulgated by the CFPB must provide community banks the flexibility to meet the unique needs of their customers. Again, this is a great opportunity to discuss issues with the Director on our turf and we promise to represent you well.
Politically and legislatively, these are interesting times. A special session of the North Dakota legislature will convene August 2nd. The focus of this 3 day special session will be to address the budget challenges that are primarily driven by lower ag and energy commodity prices. Rest assured that ICBND will be present and active during the special session watching out for the interests of our members and our industry.
As you well know, it’s also campaign season. The ICBND Board and PAC committee have closely examined the statewide and legislative races and ICBankPAC contributions are being distributed to candidates who align with our interests. I’m very happy to report that because of your generosity and commitment to the ICBankPAC, we can and do make a difference in these races. Like it or not, money creates access and influence in the world of politics.
Have a great summer and I look forward to seeing you at the convention in a couple weeks!