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May 22, 2017

About the .BANK Influencer Interview Series
The .BANK Influencer Interview Series is aimed at checking the pulse of the banking industry – from cutting edge fintech solutions to cybersecurity issues and marketing strategies. Look for periodic interviews with some of the industry’s most important influencers including executives, speakers, authors, and journalists.


.BANK Influencer Interview Series:
Camden Fine | President and CEO of Independent Community Bankers of America (ICBA)

About Camden Fine
Camden Fine is President and CEO of the Independent Community Bankers of America (ICBA) representing the interests of more than 5,800 community banks of all sizes and charter types. He has been recognized by The Hill newspaper and CEO Update as one of Washington, D.C.’s most influential trade association CEOs and lobbyists for nine consecutive years.

.BANK: In your role as President and CEO of the Independent Community Bankers of America (ICBA), what is the most pressing issue affecting community banks in the US?

Camden Fine: The biggest issue facing community banks is excessive regulation, which limits their ability to serve local communities while also fueling consolidation in the banking industry. That is why ICBA focuses first and foremost on advancing regulatory relief, which helps community banks devote more of their resources to their customers, enhances economic growth and supports a diverse banking system. ICBA’s pro-growth Plan for Prosperity legislative platform would implement numerous reforms to alleviate excessive burdens and unleash community bank lending.

.BANK: What do you feel is the greatest cybersecurity risk facing the industry currently?

Camden Fine: Our increasingly digitized world raises major concerns over data and cyber security. While the banking industry is highly regulated and subject to strict security standards, we are living in an age of cybersecurity threats and customer concerns about the safety of their data. These threats can come from nation-states, domestic and international cyber criminals and internal threats. Data breaches at major retailers and other third parties combined with a constant threat of cyberattacks has put security at the forefront for community banks and consumers alike.

.BANK: What role do industry-specific domains have in the community banking sector?

Camden Fine: Fortunately, banks themselves can use new technologies to intercept the digital threats posed by tech-savvy hackers and fraudsters. Among them is the .BANK domain, a more secure web domain for community banks and their customers compared with the existing .COM and .NET alternatives. The .BANK domain requires strict security safeguards to protect bank and customer data. ICBA is pleased to be a partner with fTLD in promoting the .BANK domain. The unique domain not only provides much stricter security than other domains, but also provides a marketing opportunity for community banks to tout their security posture amongst today’s security challenges. Community banks are well-prepared to protect bank and customer information and .BANK provides another avenue for community banks to share that message. More of my thoughts on .BANK are in the May 2017 edition of Independent Banker available here.

.BANK: Fintech startups and technology firms are introducing new banking innovations regularly. How are community banks adapting to new technologies?

Camden Fine: Community banks leverage their nimbleness and their vendor relationships to deliver new products and services to their customers and communities. Community banks are fast followers and often provide innovative products and services before the customer asks.

.BANK: Which new banking technologies do banks need to take advantage of to remain relevant with their customers?

Camden Fine: Community banks need to invest in customer channels, such as online and mobile access, that are always available, easy to use, efficient and adaptable to the customer’s need.

.BANK: What is ICBA’s number one priority in 2017?

Camden Fine: ICBA’s top priority is passing comprehensive regulatory relief for community banks. This would not only promote economic and job growth—which benefits everyone—but also preserve access to mainstream financial services in communities that have no other option than their local community bank. The ICBA Plan for Prosperity contains nearly 40 separate legislative recommendations, and many of these are being taken up in the Financial CHOICE Act introduced by House Financial Services Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling and the CLEAR Relief Act introduced by Subcommittee on Financial Institutions and Consumer Credit Chairman Blaine Luetkemeyer. These are common-sense policies that will spur economic activity and prosperity nationwide and allow community banks to focus on the financial needs of their customers – consumers and small businesses.

Download a PDF of the Interview here.