Growing up, I was a huge fan of Schoolhouse Rock. The TV series started in 1973 and ended in 2009- a pretty good run (and yes, I am old!). One of my favorite skits featured how a bill in Congress becomes a law. There is no doubt in my mind that this skit started my interest in Government Relations!
As the video and song depict, it is a long journey for a bill to become a law- and it all starts with an idea. With this in mind, we at CBA thought it would be very informative an educational to outline the timeline and process involved to turn SB157 into law here in Georgia. On our web site, we have posted a link with a rolling time line. Please note that the process started back in 2016- with an idea that a community banker shared with CBA’s Chief of Staff and EVP of Government and Regulatory relations Mrs. Lori Godfrey. https://www.cbaofga.com/sb-157.html As you can see, the timeline depicts a long journey filled with innumerable challenges and obstacles. Turning an idea into a bill is hard enough let alone guiding it through the gauntlet known as the legislative process. Frankly, it should be a challenging process! CBA fought long and hard to make SB157 and we are so pleased and thankful to have secured unanimous passage in the entire legislature. Moreover, we are extremely grateful Governor Kemp’s support throughout the process!
Please enjoy the timeline! Let us know if you have any questions.
ICBA held its’ annual Capital Summit April 28-May 1, 2019. CBA’s delegation met with Senator Perdue’s staff, Sen. Isakson’s staff, and eleven Congressmen or their senior aides in an effort to advance regulatory relief. ICBA’s Community Focus 2020 outlines the community bank agenda for regulatory relief. During our visits, CBA’s delegation specifically discussed modernizing the Bank Secrecy Act, ending credit union and farm credit tax subsidies, enhancing customer data security, safe harbor for legal cannabis banking, and reforming the housing-finance system. Click on each of the subjects to learn more about our discussions for each topic. In addition, our CBA delegation discussed disaster relief that is needed in our state from the impact of Hurricane Michael. Unfortunately, the disaster relief funds are tied up in political discussions and are not anticipated to be finalized in the near future. We tried to provide anecdotal information from our bankers in Southwest Georgia. We will continue to advocate for the need of disaster relief fund as soon as possible. Our communities are anxious to start rebuilding and moving forward.
Currency Transaction Report Threshold: By: Colin Carr, Legislative Director, Congressman Barry Loudermilk
Currency transaction report threshold: On May 8-9, Congressman Loudermilk took an active role in the Financial Services Committee’s markup of eight pieces of legislation, including a bill to reform the Bank Secrecy Act (BSA) and anti-money laundering (AML) compliance regime. As you may know, he has sponsored a bill that would increase the BSA’s currency transaction report (CTR) threshold from $10,000 to $30,000, increase the suspicious activity report (SAR) threshold from $5,000 to $10,000 for depository institutions, and increase the SAR threshold from $2,000 to $3,000 for money services businesses.
The original BSA/ AML reform bill that was considered in the markup did not include any provisions to address these thresholds, so Congressman Loudermilk worked with Members from both parties to find common ground on the issue. It became clear that the SAR threshold is much more of a sticking point than the CTR threshold, so he proposed an amendment that would have phased in an increase to the CTR threshold for depository institutions over time from $10,000 to $20,000 and then from $20,000 to $30,000. The amendment also proposed a Government Accountability Office (GAO) study to analyze the usefulness of CTRs and whether the threshold should be raised, and a similar study on SARs.
Most committee members from the majority have long maintained that they will not support any threshold increases, so Congressman Loudermilk negotiated a compromise and withdrew his amendment. The compromise would (1) index the CTR threshold to inflation for depository institutions starting at the current threshold of $10,000, (2) require the GAO to study how to improve the usefulness of CTRs which Congressman Loudermilk proposed in his original amendment, and (3) require FinCEN to conduct a study on reducing SAR reporting burden, including the possibility of a shorter form SAR for known or trusted customers. The BSA/ AML reform bill ultimately passed the committee with these provisions included by a unanimous vote of 55-0. This is significantly less than what Congressman Loudermilk would like to do on the thresholds, and he will continue to find ways to advance his bill, but he views this compromise as a small step in the right direction. You can listen to his statements at the markup here and here.
ICBA issued a comment letter in response to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s advance notice of proposed rulemaking for Property Assessed Clean Energy financing. In its letter, ICBA stressed the need to ensure these loans are subject to the same standards as other forms of consumer mortgage credit, especially when a consumer’s home is used as the collateral. Individuals who arrange PACE financing should also be subject to the bureau’s Mortgage Loan Originator Compensation rules and the Nationwide Multistate Licensing System licensing requirements, ICBA wrote.
PACE loans allow homeowners to fund energy-efficiency upgrades through an assessment on their property tax bill, which by law gives them the same priority over a first-lien mortgage as tax payments.
Read ICBA Letter
ICBA called on the FDIC to revise how it treats brokered deposits and related interest rate restrictions. In a comment letter on the agency’s comprehensive review of this area, ICBA said brokered deposits can be a stable source of funding and a cost-effective way for community banks to meet their funding needs. However, there is an undeserved stigma surrounding brokered deposits that needs to be dispelled, it said.
ICBA said the FDIC has too expansively interpreted the definition of “deposit broker” and too narrowly implemented statutory exceptions. This hinders community banks as they partner with third parties, such as federal or state agencies that use debit or prepaid cards to deliver funds to government program beneficiaries.
Further, the FDIC’s national rate restrictions on less-than-well-capitalized banks are out of step with the market, ICBA said. It called on the FDIC to raise and reform rate restrictions to ensure the current, faulty methodology doesn’t lead to a liquidity crisis of its own making or unnecessarily loop in well-capitalized institutions.
Read ICBA Comment Letter
Read FDIC Request for Feedback
Read More in Recent ICBA Op-Ed
EVP, Chief of Staff, Government & Regulatory Relations
Lori represents and protects the interests of community banks during Georgia’s General Assembly, calls on banks throughout the year, oversees the Association’s PAC/PR fundraising efforts and assists with our Banker Regulatory Forums.
Legislation CBA is Tracking