Washington, D.C. (March 6, 2024)—Independent Community Bankers of America (ICBA) President and CEO Rebeca Romero Rainey released the following statement on today’s Securities and Exchange Commission final rule requiring public companies to issue climate-related disclosures.

“While ICBA and the nation’s community banks appreciate the SEC’s efforts to change its climate-disclosure rulemaking to provide some ICBA-advocated relief for publicly held community banks, we continue to have significant concerns about the damaging impact the 886-page rule will have on the capital markets, community banks, and the customers they serve.

“As we have iterated many times before, community banks are committed to ensuring their local communities and environments flourish. However, the unprecedented costs and potential liabilities associated with this final rule threaten to lead many SEC filers to delist their stock and terminate their securities registration while also discouraging community banks that are not publicly held from joining the public capital markets. The final rule will limit the ability of community banks to raise necessary capital to support lending in their communities and further discourage the formation of new community banks. Unlike climate-related financial risk management frameworks recently finalized by federal banking regulators, the SEC — whose authority to regulate climate remains in question — has provided no meaningful exemption for all community banks. This is particularly concerning for community banks that are categorized as large accelerated filers or accelerated filers, as these community banks are subject to some of the most onerous provisions of the final rule irrespective of their small asset size.

“ICBA looks forward to working with the SEC to identify ways to provide relief from this final rule to all community banks and their customers to promote participation in the capital markets.”

About ICBA
The Independent Community Bankers of America® has one mission: to create and promote an environment where community banks flourish. We power the potential of the nation’s community banks through effective advocacy, education, and innovation.

As local and trusted sources of credit, America’s community banks leverage their relationship-based business model and innovative offerings to channel deposits into the neighborhoods they serve, creating jobs, fostering economic prosperity, and fueling their customers’ financial goals and dreams. For more information, visit ICBA’s website at icba.org.