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 Message from our Chairman 

 

Dennis Nixon

In my last message, I noted that the federal government has slowed the pace that it issues job-killing regulations. That’s one of the reasons that the current economic expansion is one of the longest in U.S. history.

Slowing down the regulatory state, however, is not enough. It has to be reversed. And no industry or sector has a greater need and justification for regulatory reform than community banking.

Take, for example, the Customer Due Diligence Rule. As Dalia F. Martinez, IBC Bank’s executive vice president and corporate Bank Secrecy Act (BSA) officer, testified before Congress in April, we have spent 2,912 hours designing and testing and 7,859 hours training 2,142 employees and officers to comply with the CDD Rule alone. That’s in addition to the $5 million IBC Bank spends to comply with Bank Secrecy Act and anti-money-laundering regulations.

On top of all this, effective May 11, 2018, each time an account is opened, renewed or updated for a business, we are required to ask customers for identifying information, including name, address, date of birth and Social Security number. We also have to obtain identification documents for each individual who has beneficial ownership – 25 percent or more – and one individual who has significant managerial control of the business.

For large national banks, the cost of compliance with burdensome regulations can be a rounding error. For community banks, it can mean the difference between serving their customers or closing their doors.

While the government demands this massive trove of information from banks, the government doesn’t provide reports or any other kind of evidence that all this data collection is actually accomplishing anything worthwhile. Surely there should be some accountability that can be used to tailor BSA regulations on a cost-benefit basis and according to the size and type of banking institution.

IBC Bank supports efforts to maintain and enhance the security of our customers. We also want to ensure that opening, revising or renewing a business account is always a pleasant experience and that is why we are keeping you informed of regulatory changes that affect our business customers.

We continue to work proactively with members of Congress to seek regulatory changes that heighten security yet that don’t interfere with the bank’s ability to provide the best service.


Dennis Nixon is CEO and chairman of the board of International Bancshares Corporation and International Bank of Commerce.