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 Message from our Chairman 

 

Dennis Nixon

Elections have consequences – consequences that affect the livelihood of the communities we serve and that affect the bottom line of IBC Bank. That is why I am actively engaged in the political process, and why I encourage other people to do so. If we are not involved, advocating on the issues that matter to us and our customers, then those issues will still be decided yet without the benefit of our input.

The most recent example of the importance of elections is the general election that took place in Mexico on July 1. Mexican voters selected a new president – Andrés Manuel López Obrador, popularly known by his initials AMLO. López Obrador’s party, the National Regeneration Movement (Movimiento Regeneración Nacional, or MORENA in Spanish), also won pluralities in the Mexican Senate and Chamber of Deputies.

López Obrador ran on a populist platform of fighting corruption, redirecting wasted resources to social welfare programs, and establishing a leftist political agenda that emphasizes Mexican interests. Although AMLO is speaking business language, time will tell where Mexico now heads.

What happens in Mexico matters greatly to IBC Bank and its customers. There’s hope that he will prove to be more pragmatic than dogmatic. But there’s no doubt that in electing López Obrador president, a majority of the Mexican people expressed a distinct choice for new leadership, a progressive leader.

The same could be said about the U.S. general election in 2016. For community banks, the choice was between the certainty of four more years of policies that were killing our industry or the possibility of reform. That’s why I was involved – and continue to be involved. The election of 2016 has resulted in a positive new direction – one that represents the Free Enterprise System.

Importantly for IBC Bank and other community banks, the Trump Administration has provided relief from some elements of the Dodd–Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010. While leaders are still advocating for additional regulatory relief, we’re also raising our voices in Austin and Washington, D.C. in support of sensible approaches to immigration and the continuation of a modernized NAFTA.

U.S. voters will cast their votes in midterm elections in November. Once again we have choices about whom to support. Not participating – as more than one in three Americans eligible to vote did in 2016 – is also a choice, but a bad one because it is one that abdicates our responsibility as citizens and that places the health of our industry and the future of our nation in the hands of others – the ones that do participate. In our political system, we have to make choices, so let’s not stand on the sidelines; let’s vote and stay involved. Don’t forget our founding fathers gave us a constitutional republic to protect the people, so it is up to the people to protect it.

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