Pub. 13 2024 Issue 2

Chairman’s Message – The “Not-So-Political” Political Article

If you are like me, you’re already completely fatigued with politics, and more specifically, the November presidential election. I’ve heard that this will be the longest presidential campaign ever since the Democrat and Republican candidates have already been determined. Perhaps a long-extended vacation to avoid the oncoming barrage of political campaign ads would be the best bet for us all.

Please know the purpose of this article is not to endorse a presidential candidate. KBA does not and should not be in the business of doing that — there are plenty of other organizations to fill that role. After all, there are many Republican, Democrat and Independent Kansas bankers, and the KBA has a strong tradition of working well with policymakers from all facets of the political spectrum. Rather, the purpose of this article is to remind us that who a newly elected president appoints to lead the various banking regulatory posts can have huge implications for our industry.

Like many of you, I am blessed to be part of a multi-generational community banking family. From my earliest recollections, my grandfather and father were people who helped the citizens of the community of Girard to grow their farms, businesses and personal lives.

Regrettably, the current bank regulatory climate is the worst in my lifetime. If you had told me five or 10 years ago that the ABA, state banking associations and other business organizations would someday be compelled to file six lawsuits against the Federal banking regulators, I wouldn’t have believed it. As an industry, we have reached an unprecedented level of regulatory overreach and we have presidentially appointed regulatory officials who seem to be pressing harder than ever for new costly regulations or harmful restrictions that threaten the viability and sustainability of our banks.

It’s become a challenge to simply keep track of all the regulatory overreach lawsuits that have been filed. I asked our very own Kathy Taylor, KBA’s EVP & general counsel, to give me a list of the current lawsuits banking associations have filed against Federal regulators, and they are as follows:


    • Challenge to funding as unconstitutional.
    • Challenge to expansion of UDAP authority in exam manual.
    • Challenging constitutionality of implementation of Section 1071.
    • Challenging the final rule on cap of credit card late fees.


    • Challenging constitutionality of guidance on multiple fees for represented items.

All Federal Regulators:

    • Challenging final CRA rule as being beyond regulatory authority.

Each of these lawsuits was brought as a last-resort response to regulatory proposals that go far beyond the statutory authority granted to bank regulators by Congress. These suits are also in direct response to many of those same presidential appointees failing to acknowledge concerns expressed about how these new burdensome rules and restrictions will negatively impact our banks and our customers.

While I’m hopeful our industry prevails in the courtroom, I also know it’s essential for every banker to be highly engaged and involved in “grassroots” advocacy for our industry. The future of our industry, especially the community bank model, is under attack. It’s up to us to push back in the courtroom or at the ballot box if regulators and policymakers fail to listen.

As stated above, I didn’t draft this article to endorse a presidential candidate, but I want all of us to be keenly aware that presidential elections have consequences. Regardless of your political affiliation or conviction, the POTUS has the important task of appointing the heads (or interim heads) of the Federal banking regulatory agencies. These bank regulatory leaders are not merely figureheads — they have significant influence over policy, issues, direction and even bias regarding significant issues that have lasting effects on the success and sustainability of our banks.

Regardless of who occupies the White House come January 2025, I hope the appointed regulatory leaders that govern our industry choose a more measured approach that recognizes the positive role banks play in communities, large and small, urban and rural, across America. Failing to do so will lead to harmful consequences for the communities and customers we serve.

I want to thank each of you for your advocacy and challenge you, your board and staff to be even more engaged as we enter another contentious and wild election season.

Mark Schifferdecker
GNBank President & CEO
Chairman of Kansas Bankers Association Board of Directors

P.S. If you decide to take that long extended vacation until after Nov. 5, please give me a call. I might just join you.

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