Banking News

AmBA Welcomes Barr’s Portfolio Lending Bill March 2, 2015

AmBA has written to Rep. Andy Barr (R-Ky.) to thank him for introducing H.R. 1113, an AmBA-advocated bill that would allow all loans held in portfolio to be designated as Qualified Mortgages.

“Loans originated and held in portfolio by insured depositories, which are heavily regulated and regularly examined for safety and soundness, should be treated as Qualified Mortgages,” AmBA wrote. “This common-sense approach will help untold numbers of borrowers gain access to some of the most traditional and lowest risk mortgage products offered by banks.”

The bill was introduced in the previous Congress and received bipartisan support in passing the House Financial Services Committee. A priority for last year’s joint AmBA-state bankers association task force on regulatory relief, H.R. 1113 is a major element of ABA’s 2015 Agenda for America’s Hometown Banks. Read the letter.



$7.6M Now Available for Low-Cost Housing March 2, 2015

The Federal Home Loan Bank of Dallas is offering $7.6 million in competitive grants this year in the Affordable Housing Program in a five-state area.

The five states that will receive a portion of the funds are Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, New Mexico, and Texas. The grants will assist in the development of affordable owner-occupied and rental housing for very low-to-moderate income families in the five states.

There is no portion of the funds allocated specifically for Arkansas or the other states, but last year Arkansas projects received $195,976 of the $9.8 million that was available.



AmBA-Advocated Portfolio Lending Bill Introduced February 27, 2015

Rep. Andy Barr (R-Ky.) has introduced an AmBA-advocated bill, H.R. 1113, that would allow all loans held in portfolio to be designated as QMs. The bill is a major component of AmBA’s Agenda for America’s Hometown Banks and offers "a common sense approach that will help borrowers gain access to some of the lowest-risk mortgage products offered by banks,” AmBA's Frank Keating said.



AmBA Seeks Letters to Congress on Data Breach Legislation February 27, 2015

With the House and Senate working on legislation to respond to breaches of customer data, AmBA is urging bankers to write to Congress to help ensure that the legislation reflects the priorities of the banking industry. AmBA encourages bankers to share their data breach stories with their members of Congress, explaining the efforts and costs entailed in responding to breaches, in order to help build the case for a strong national standard for data protection.



Rep. Hill Speaks on the Sustainability of Community Banks February 26, 2015

In a CNBC exclusive on Wednesday , Arkansas Congressman French Hill discussed the regulatory burdens being faced by community banks across the nation.



Senators Seek Real-Life Stories of Regulatory Burden February 19, 2015

ABA has been working closely with members of Congress over the past several months to make the case for regulatory relief. While the House passed several measures in the last Congress, little progress was made in the Senate.

Following ABA Chairman-Elect Dan Blanton’s testimony at a Senate Banking Committee hearing last week, the panel’s leaders appear poised to act on ABA’s Agenda for America’s Hometown Banks. They have asked for detailed feedback from community bankers on specific laws and regulations that hinder banks from serving their customers.

Bankers can click here to share their examples and experiences. ABA will compile the responses and share them with members of Congress as they explore ways to provide regulatory relief through legislation.



Commissioner Franks Testifies on Importance of Community Banks February 10, 2015

Candace Franks, Commissioner of the Arkansas State Bank Department, testified this morning before the U.S. Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs regarding regulatory relief for community banks and credit unions. Commissioner Franks was testifying on behalf of the Conference of State Bank Supervisors (CSBS), an organization of which she serves as Chairman.

Her testimony centered on the impact community banks have on the economy, and working to find a solution to current regulatory burdens being faced by these banks.

"In my 35 years with the Arkansas State Bank Department, it has become abundantly clear that community banks are vital to economic development, job creation, and financial stability. I know this Committee shares my convictions, and I appreciate your efforts to examine the state of our country’s community banks and regulatory approaches to smaller institutions," Franks said.

"Congress, federal regulators, and state regulators must focus on establishing a new policymaking approach for community banks. We must do so by moving away from an inconsistent, piecemeal regulatory relief strategy that uses hard asset thresholds. We will need a new definitional framework based upon the easily identifiable attributes of a community bank. Only then will we be able to provide community banks with a regulatory framework that effectively complements and supervises their unique relationship-based lending model," she stated.

Click here to read Commissioner Franks's testimony.


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We are Arkansas' Hometown Bankers

Graduate School of Banking Scholarships

To promote and encourage excellence in the fields of banking and finance, the Arkansas Bankers Association, along with some of the top graduate banking schools in the United States, provides an array of scholarships annually to deserving bankers in our state.

Employees of ABA-member banking institutions who meet the admissions requirements of the graduate banking schools are eligible. These scholarships are specifically for first-year students of the programs.

View the available scholarships!

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