Tillis unveils bill supporting nation’s community banks

U.S. Sen. Thom Tillis (R-NC) on March 16 introduced legislation to provide federal regulatory relief to the nation’s community banks during the outbreak of COVID-19.

“As we work to combat the spread of coronavirus, we must ensure accounting standards for regional banks have the flexibility they need to serve communities,” said Sen. Tillis, who serves on the U.S. Senate Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Committee, which is considering the bill.

Sen. Tillis cosponsored the Community Bank Regulatory Relief Act, S. 3502, with bill sponsor U.S. Sen. Kevin Cramer (R-ND) and three other cosponsors, including U.S. Sen. Jerry Moran (R-KS).

If enacted, S. 3502 would make two changes to ease the regulatory burden on community banks, according to a bill summary provided by Sen. Tillis’ office.

First, the measure would lower from 9 percent to 8 percent the community bank leverage ratio (CBLR), which is a ratio of capital to unweighted assets developed by federal banking agencies, to provide community banks with extra resources to meet their financial needs, according to the summary.

Additionally, the bill would delay the implementation of the Current Expected Credit Loss (CECL) accounting standards for community banks until December 2024, allowing the banks to lend more funds to consumers.

“This legislation will provide regulatory relief to these financial institutions and allow them to play an important role in our economic recovery,” Sen. Tillis said.