Hultgren and Sewell Introduce Bipartisan Legislation to Relieve Community Banks from Burdensome Reporting
Washington, DC — U.S. Representatives Randy Hultgren (IL-14) and Terri Sewell (AL-07) today introduced legislation to simplify reporting requirements for community banks.
“Credit provided by community banks is the lifeblood of communities across my district. Excessive reporting requirements that were intended to address missteps of big banks have trickled down to healthy community banks that played no part in the financial crisis. Neighborhood banks spend hundreds of hours each year on completion of the Call Report,” said Congressman Hultgren. “Congress must take every step possible to help community banks spend less time completing paperwork for the government, so they can spend more time out in their communities making affordable loans to small businesses and future homeowners.”
“The quarterly Call Report has increased to some 80 pages supported by almost 700 pages of instructions and it represents a growing burden on community banks. A short form Call Report would still provide sufficient information for the regulators, and the time saved two quarters a year could be reallocated by senior management to serving the credit needs of our local communities. As a community banker, I appreciate the efforts of Congressman Hultgren to sponsor this important legislation,” Greg M. Ohlendorf, President and CEO of First Community Bank and Trust in Beecher, Illinois.
“Community banks play an integral role throughout Alabama’s 7th Congressional District by enabling small businesses to flourish and helping families achieve the American dream of homeownership. A one-size-fits-all approach to regulation, in the form of financial reporting requirements, ignores the diversity of our banking system and diverts precious time and potential resources from the communities that these neighborhood banks serve,” said Congresswoman Sewell. “Congress must take sensible and pragmatic steps to relieve unnecessary and burdensome financial reporting requirements for community banks. These banks were not the cause of the financial crisis, nor should they be swept up by the same regulatory requirements as those that sparked the crisis.”
H.R. 4500, the Community Bank Reporting Relief Act, urges regulators to provide regulatory relief for quarterly reporting requirements found in the Consolidated Reports of Condition and Income or the “Call Report.” This report has grown from 18 pages in 1986, to 29 pages in 2003, to nearly 85 pages of detailed financial reporting today. The bill would allow banks that are at little risk of failure to submit an abbreviated report of their condition semiannually rather than every quarter. The legislation would also require an annual report to Congress on regulators’ progress for allowing the abbreviated report.
Congressman Hultgren (IL-14), Congresswoman Sewell (AL-07), and Congressman Luetkemeyer (MO-03) are original cosponsors of the legislation. All three members serve on the House Financial Service Committee.