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AUSTIN, Texas-The Independent Bankers Association of Texas is looking to legislative remedies to allow the continued viability of the community banks. “We’re trying to find a place for community banks in this changing, dynamic financial services marketplace,” IBAT Executive Vice President Steve Scurlock said. He cited the large banks and credit union advantages as the main reasons community banks are having a tough time surviving. “The numbers and trends are disturbing at best,” he said. Scurlock continued, “The business has become bifurcated. What we do is so different from what Citi Corp does.” He added the floating of this idea is just “the first shot across the bow.We’re not real sure what we’re asking for yet,” he said. Scurlock did say Texas community banks are looking to the state legislature for regulatory relief built around the cornerstone of tax relief. He said if credit unions are not going to be taxed, which they should, community banks should get some help. IBAT is also looking to see if the national trades will become interested in the idea. The group’s chairman, J. Pat Hickman, also raised the issue at a recent congressional hearing on the impact of regulatory red tape on community banks.

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