Eleven community bankers and one credit union official met with President Obama at the White House today. The delegation included four Midwestern bank leaders and one CEO with strong ties to Minnesota:
- James McPhee, chairman-elect of ICBA and CEO of Kalamazoo County State Bank in Schoolcraft, Mich.
- Mark Schroeder, President, German American Bancorp, Jasper, Ind.
- Deloris Sims, chairman and CEO, Legacy Bank, Milwaukee
- Matthew Gambs, CEO, Diamond Bancorp, Schaumburg, Ill.
- Dorothy Bridges, who left Minneapolis last year to become president and CEO of City First Bank, Washington, D.C.
In a release describing the meeting, ICBA gave some perspective on community banking’s role in a key White House priority: expanded lending to small business:
“while community banks with $1 billion in assets or less represent about 12 percent of all bank assets, they support 31 percent of all small business loans that are less than $1 million. “
ABA CEO Ed Yingling commended the meeting but commented on loan demand, an important variable in this discussion:
“As is typical during a recession, consumers and small businesses tend to save more and spend less. In some regions of the country, loan demand is down considerably. However, lending is our business – it is what banks do, and we stand ready to make credit available to worthy borrowers.”
Beside the Midwestern bankers mentioned above, community bankers from New York, New Mexico, Arkansas, Connecticut and New Hampshire attended the meeting, as did an official from a credit union in Mississippi.