Letter to the Editor: Lift burden on local banks


Communities across Virginia are strengthened when Main Street banks provide capital for building homes, businesses, and schools. These banks are catalysts for economic vitality and serve as community bedrocks by investing in financial education, community revitalization, and charitable organizations.

Our community bank has provided financial services to local consumers and small businesses for over a century. However, the growth in regulation from Washington hampers the ability of local banks to help local businesses expand and create jobs. Thousands of pages of rules create a bureaucratic maze, making community banks operate more like big impersonal megabanks. The pendulum has swung too far and it’s time to right size federal regulation.

The Senate will soon debate the Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief and Consumer Protection Act, S. 2155, a bipartisan bill that makes reasonable reforms to regulation. It strikes a commonsense balance between necessary oversight and banks’ flexibility to meet Virginians’ financial needs.

I was pleased that both of our U. S. senators were willing to work across the aisle and cosponsor S. 2155, recognizing the need to reverse the regulatory over-reach and let local community banks serve our communities the way we have for over 100 years.

The number of banks in Virginia has declined over the last decade, in many cases due to the weight and expense of regulations. Let’s lift the burden on our local banks and our communities.

Scott C. Harvard, chief executive officer, First Bank