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Rob Nichols
                           President and CEO
                           American Bankers Association

                                                           Washington Update

          Making Things Happen                                   Banker involvement was also the key to scoring
                                                                 improvements last year to the Call Report for smaller
          You’ve heard the saying that there are three kinds of   banks.  We  are  seeking  to  replicate  that  success  as  the
          people in the world: people who make things happen,    agencies undertake a review of their safety and soundness
          people who watch things happen and people who wonder   exams. That’s why ABA invited regulators to listen in on
          what happened. In my experience, the women and men     two banker conference calls we hosted on the topic – so
          who lead America’s banks fall decidedly into the first camp.  that regulators could hear bankers’ perspectives early on
                                                                 in their review process.
          It could be because you lead the institutions  that serve
          as the engine of America’s economy — and together, you   And of course, bankers’ engagement on the CFPB’s
          comprise one of the most important industries in our nation.   arbitration  rulemaking  not  only  helped  shape  ABA’s
          It could also be because most of the bankers I meet and   policy position on the issue, it ultimately helped persuade
          talk to in my travels are deeply engaged in industry affairs.   Congress to overturn the rule, securing a critical win
          They are at their state association’s convention, serving on   for bank customers who would have lost access to a
          its board or on one of ABA’s many councils, working groups   resolution option that was faster, more economical and
          or  committees.  They  are  tending  not  only  to  what  their   more beneficial to consumers than class action litigation.
          employees, customers and communities need, but also to   The truth is, we rely on bankers to inform and guide
          what the industry, economy and country need to thrive.  everything  we  do,  from  our  comment  letters  on
          This extra service makes a big difference. When bankers   regulatory proposals and advocacy communications, to
          engage in their association’s affairs or in advocacy, a host   conference content and online training. That is the only
          of good things happen. Some examples:                  way associations can succeed.
          It was a member of ABA’s “official family,” for instance,   So  my  appeal  to  you  is  this:  Help  us  help  you.  We  are
          who  suggested  ABA  fly  down  to  Houston  and  Naples   fortunate to have many engaged bankers, but we need
          following Hurricanes Harvey and Irma and capture on    more. We especially want to make sure tomorrow’s bank
          video  –  for all to see  –  how banks and bank employees   leaders are engaging today.
          were responding to the local disasters. The result of that   ABA Chairman Ken Burgess told the crowd at our
          suggestion is a video – which you can view at  annual convention that he learned the importance of
          HurricaneResponse – that showcases how bankers lead    actively  participating  in  association  and  industry  affairs
          their communities in difficult times.                  early on from his dad, who was involved with both the
          We’ve been promoting this video widely and encouraging   Texas Bankers  Association  and  Independent  Bankers
          bankers to do the same because it tells such an important   Association of Texas, as well as ABA. It’s a legacy he is
          and positive story about our industry. I’m grateful to Bob   passing  on  to  his  staff,  and  I  hope  our  other  banker
          Jones (United Bank, Atmore, Ala.), who serves on the ABA   volunteers will do the same.
          Foundation board and also chairs the Fund for Economic   Odds are that whatever position you hold in your bank,
          Growth, for suggesting this.                           you possess expertise that your state association and ABA

          Bankers  serving  on  ABA’s  Community  Bankers  Council,   are eager to tap. Look for opportunities to join a working
          along with senior loan officers and others at member banks,   group or serve on a committee (see some opportunities
          made  a  big  difference  when  they  provided  us  essential   at Respond to surveys asking your
          feedback during the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s   views on an issue or business practice. Tell us what your
          rulemaking on small-dollar loans. Their comments, which   bank needs help with to succeed.
          we  relayed  in  letters  and  meetings  with  bureau  officials,   Guide us, use us. That’s why we are here. And it’s how,
          resulted in a critically important exemption for banks from   together, we make good things happen. n
          the CFPB’s final rule requiring short-term, small-dollar loans
          to meet an ability-to-repay test.

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