Small Banks Want Fair Playing Field: Lobbyist

Community banks support many elements of the proposed financial regulatory reform legislation but are most concerned about fair treatment for all financial institutions, a lobbyist for the industry's trade group told CNBC Friday.

Government Regulation
Government Regulation

“We don’t want the status quo,” said, Camden Fine, CEO of the Independent Community Bankers of America.

The group backs ending bailouts and “too big to fail” activity and wants the same playing field as the large financial institutions.

“We want parity and balance between Main Street and Wall Street banks, and the shadow industry for that matter, in examination, in enforcement and in capital gathering,” Fine said. The shadow industry consists of non-bank institutions that lend money.

“I think there’s a double standard,” Fine said. “Community banks have a much more harsh examination and enforcement atmosphere than say the megabanks,” Fine said.

A third concern was overregulation. “Those sections are very troubling to us,” said Fine, who added there are "over 900 separate consumer and safety and soundness regulations on community banks and hardly any on the shadow banking industry."

Fine said he was amused that Wall Street banks such as Goldman Sachs , JPMorgan and Wells Fargo were “crowing” about huge first-quarter earnings after they received billions of dollars of bailout from the federal government.

The Senate bill is expected to be debated next week.