Addressing a group of up and coming banking leaders during ABA’s Emerging Leaders Forum today, Rep. Will Hurd (R-Texas) encouraged bankers to be proactive about educating their lawmakers and congressional staff on the issues that matter to their institutions during visits Capitol Hill. Hurd stressed the importance of communicating not only how laws and regulations affect banks, but how the regulatory burden is passed on to the bank’s customers and, in turn, the clients they serve.
“When you come up here, talk about your customers,” Hurd said. “There are a lot of members whose expertise is in politics. They don’t understand the third, fourth, fifth order effects of the decisions they’re going to make.” He added that bankers must also educate their customers on how laws passed in Washington affect them. “You have to make sure your customer knows how you’re impacted.”
While Hurd acknowledged the spirit of pessimism surrounding Congress, he said that bankers’ advocacy efforts are invaluable to lawmakers. “You make sure this place is focused on the issues that matter,” he said.