ABA Urges Trump, Congress to Re-Open Government

With the government shutdown now in its third week, ABA President and CEO Rob Nichols today called on President Trump and congressional leaders to reopen the government. He warned that the shutdown has already taken a toll on federal employees, consumers and the broader economy, and that these effects are likely to worsen if it persists.

“Our member banks across the country report that the shutdown is starting to take a toll on local communities, preventing customers from securing mortgage approvals and small business loans, while threatening even more harm if the impasse continues,” Nichols said. “We call on all sides to work in good faith to end the shutdown for the good of the country.”

Nichols added that banks have already begun offering assistance to customers directly affected by the shutdown in various ways, including: offering interest-free payroll advances or other-low interest loans; waiving fees; making loan modifications; and extending payment deadlines depending on individual circumstances. “We applaud these institutions for helping their fellow Americans during this period of hardship,” he said.

In related news, the financial regulatory agencies today issued a statement encouraging banks to work constructively with customers affected by the shutdown. They noted that “prudent workout arrangements that are consistent with safe-and-sound lending practices” should not be subject to examiner criticism.