WASHINGTON (Feb. 25, 2009) – To protect the U.S. economy, Congress must ensure that in the rush to enact reforms of the financial system, it takes care not to harm, but, in fact, protect, businesses on main street as they are part of the solution, not part of the problem. That’s the message Congress received in a letter sent today by a newly formed coalition to represent the interests of the main street financial services marketplace.
The members of the coalition include the National Association of Mutual Insurance Companies, the Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of America, and the Credit Union National Association. These organizations represent millions of critical stakeholders and financial services providers in communities across the nation. In its letter to Capitol Hill, the coalition described itself as a collection of financial service entities and businesses that provide a solid, well-managed, and regulated economic foundation for local communities.
What brings these groups together is a firm commitment to main street businesses in the face of these troubling economic circumstances. “Our unique and important main street relationships are vital to the success of the U.S. economy and its recovery,” the letter reads. The members believe that the conservative management of their member companies, which focuses on long-term stability, is particularly well suited to serving Main Street by protecting consumers.
As the letter points out, the main street marketplace operates without the “egregious business or financial practices” that exacerbated the current financial crisis. “Our members did not create or market exotic financial instruments for quick profits. Instead, their focus is on serving local communities.”
The coalition asks members of Congress to recognize the “self-evident soundness and viability of locally based financial institutions,” as they explore potential resolutions to the economic crisis.
“Policymakers seeking a long-term successful solution to our present crisis must recognize the dramatic differences between main street organizations, which continue to meet the needs of their local markets/stakeholders, and those institutions that have required unprecedented government financial intervention even to survive. The lessons to be learned and the remedies to be applied should take into account this critical difference.”
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