Rep. Rick Larsen (WA-02) issued the following statement after voting for S.2155, to provide regulatory relief for Washington state’s community banks and local credit unions, and encourage a better banking experience for Washingtonians.
“While the Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief and Consumer Protection Act is not perfect, this bill provides a measured approach and brings much-needed relief for community banks and credit unions across the Second District. I voted for the bill because it will help streamline financial services for Washington state consumers, small businesses and the community-based financial institutions that serve them.
“Protecting Washington state consumers is a priority of mine when evaluating financial legislation. I heard from local financial institutions about how this bill will help Washington state community banks and credit unions to better serve customers by addressing concerns from cyber threats, providing tools for consumers to prevent fraud and identity theft, limiting the inclusion of inaccurate medical debt for veterans and equipping banks to combat elder financial abuse,” said Larsen.
“The Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief and Consumer Protection Act is a positive step for North Coast Credit Union and its members. By easing regulatory burdens on smaller institutions, this legislation will allow for a more consumer-focused approach to business, improve our ability to directly invest in the community and help us provide a higher-quality service to our members,” said Marilyn Brink, CEO North Coast Credit Union.
“The Community Bankers of Washington greatly appreciate the support of Congressman Rick Larsen in getting the bipartisan Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief and Consumer Protection Act over the finish line and to the President’s desk for signature,” said John Collins, President of the Community Bankers of Washington. “This legislation supports Washington’s community banks and will help spur greater consumer access to credit and business lending in Main Street communities nationwide.”
“Coastal Community Bank thanks Congressman Larsen for voting yes on 2155. The passage of this bill will help the communities we both serve. For Coastal, the increased access to capital will allow us to increase our small business lending, the easing of appraisal requirements will increase our consumer lending in our rural communities, and the decrease in administration oversight will help us to focus on building the bank by taking care of our customers and building stronger communities,” said Eric Sprink CEO of Coastal Community Bank.
“This long-awaited community bank regulatory relief legislation will put community banks like First Financial Northwest Bank in a better position to bolster local economic growth in the communities we serve. By ‘right-sizing’ some regulatory burdens we community bankers face, we are now in a better position to pursue our full economic potential to the benefit of our customers and communities,” said Joe Kiley, President, CEO & Director of First Financial Northwest Bank.
“This bill also simplifies complex requirements to make responsible lending to local small businesses, particularly in rural communities, easier. For instance, it will help reduce the cost burden many Washingtonians, like folks in South Whidbey, experience when trying to find a licensed appraiser for small rural mortgage loans,” said Larsen.
“S.2155 also corrects an unfair disparity between banks and credit unions to allow for more capital investment in affordable rental housing. This is will help spur economic growth in Washington state.
“Congress must do everything in its power to hold big banks fully accountable, but I recognize that local community banks often cannot be subject to oversight of the same magnitude. These smaller financial institutions play important role in the Pacific Northwest’s economy. A tiered regulatory structure will ensure there is appropriate regulation for community banks and will help contribute to economic development throughout Washington state.”