ICBA Press Release Banner 2020

In comments to Commerce Department, ICBA urges harmonized oversight

Washington, D.C. (June 29, 2022) — The Independent Community Bankers of America (ICBA) today called on the Commerce Department to recognize the risks posed by digital assets — including a U.S. central bank digital currency — as policymakers consider a regulatory framework. In a comment letter to the department amid ongoing turmoil in the crypto markets, ICBA reiterated its call for policymakers to harmonize oversight of crypto-assets, including stablecoins, and its opposition to the formation of a U.S. central bank digital currency.

“ICBA and the nation’s community bankers have serious concerns about the privacy, cybersecurity, and systemic risks posed by cryptocurrency and a possible U.S. central bank digital currency,” ICBA President and CEO Rebeca Romero Rainey said today. “Policymakers should collaborate to develop a comprehensive regulatory framework for digital assets while utilizing more effective alternatives to a U.S. CBDC, including deposit accounts and faster payments.”

In today’s comment letter, ICBA said:

  • Digital assets present numerous significant threats, including financial crimes and risks for financial stability, as illustrated by recent market volatility.
  • Stablecoins exist in an unregulated space and should be brought into the federal banking regulatory perimeter.
  • Federal banking and markets regulators should collaborate on a comprehensive regulatory framework for digital assets, which will promote responsible innovation.
  • Community banks serve a vital role in providing access to financial services and payments innovation, including through their support for the development of FedNow.
  • Community bankers oppose a U.S. CBDC, which would disintermediate community banks while introducing costs and risks far exceeding any benefits to consumers, small businesses and the broader economy.

ICBA will continue this critical dialogue with policymakers on these and other digital asset issues.

About ICBA
The Independent Community Bankers of America® creates and promotes an environment where community banks flourish. ICBA is dedicated exclusively to representing the interests of the community banking industry and its membership through effective advocacy, best-in-class education, and high-quality products and services.

With nearly 50,000 locations nationwide, community banks constitute roughly 99 percent of all banks, employ nearly 700,000 Americans and are the only physical banking presence in one in three U.S. counties. Holding nearly $5.9 trillion in assets, over $4.9 trillion in deposits, and more than $3.5 trillion in loans to consumers, small businesses and the agricultural community, community banks channel local deposits into the Main Streets and neighborhoods they serve, spurring job creation, fostering innovation and fueling their customers’ dreams in communities throughout America. For more information, visit ICBA’s website at www.icba.org.