CBA Priorities Letter to the Senate Banking Committee

Dear Chairman Brown and Ranking Member Toomey:

Congratulations on your new positions as Chairman and Ranking Member of the Senate Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Committee for the 117th Congress. The Consumer Bankers Association (CBA) looks forward to working with you and the members of the Banking Committee on issues that affect consumers and our members during these unprecedented times.

CBA is entering our 102nd year as the voice of retail banking in Washington, D.C. and advocates for polices that allow banks to continue offering well-regulated services to families and small businesses across the country. We are the only member-driven trade association focused exclusively on retail banking. Whether buying a home, financing an education, or launching a small business, our members partner with consumers to help them achieve their unique dreams. Our corporate members include the nation’s largest retail banks serving every part of the country, 85% of which hold over $10 billion in assets.

Thanks to the leadership of Congress, CBA member banks were able to meet the emergency credit needs of their small business customers through the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) in a matter of weeks to deliver billions to small businesses to meet payroll and cover their bills. Our members partnered with their customers and small businesses to help mitigate the devastation Americans are experiencing from the COVID-19 pandemic. While much more must be done, banks have been repeatedly cited as a source of economic strength and stability in the past year. The nation’s largest banks have donated millions of dollars, offered proactive assistance to individuals and families enduring hardship and remain committed to helping communities have access to highly regulated bank products.

The lending community distributed PPP funds to more than 5 million small businesses, providing them the vital lifeline they needed to endure the effects of the pandemic. Thirteen of the fifteen most active PPP lenders were CBA member banks who together served more than 1.3 million small businesses. Our industry stood up an entirely new federal program in less than a month thanks to thousands of highly motivated and well-trained professionals working 24 hours a day, seven days a week to deliver the CARES Act objectives. We take enormous pride in their accomplishments and they deserve widespread appreciation for their good work, without which the PPP would not have succeeded.

The unprecedented level of service our banks’ employees delivered this year is all due to the strong, well-regulated foundation banks have built up over the last decade. As we emerge and build back from the COVID-19 crisis our member banks will be focused on helping consumers and small businesses regain their financial footing and reach new levels of success. Key to those efforts will be working with your leadership to improve access to credit and opportunity for all Americans, including small dollar loans and other affordable, high-quality consumer financial products.

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