In an email to ABA member CEOs today, ABA Chairman Dan Blanton highlighted a number of positive changes the industry brought about during 2015, and called on bankers to increase their advocacy efforts in order to become a “more formidable political force” in the coming year.
“ABA staff can talk all day long to regulators and congressional staff,” Blanton said in the email. “But without bankers’ insight into how policies play out in the real world back home – and without banker constituents to deliver those insights – those conversations would fall on deaf ears. You are ABA’s secret sauce,” Blanton added. “The more you are involved in the business of advocacy, the more we achieve.
Blanton pointed to a number of successes the industry has seen throughout the year that were a direct result of banker involvement, including the passage of several regulatory relief provisions; the postponement of TRID and the expansion of QM standards; the long overdue hearing on the Farm Credit System; improved accounting standards; and a greater level of accountability from retailers and the card industry with respect to cybersecurity and data breaches.
While broad-sweeping regulatory reform ultimately eluded the industry during this legislative cycle, Blanton echoed the call made by ABA’s new CEO Rob Nichols for unity going into the new year. “We face plenty of challenges, but so did our predecessors,” Blanton said. “And just as they worked through them together, so will we.”