When U.S. Rep. Roger Williams (R-Weatherford) convened a hearing of the House Committee on Small Business on the topic of “From Nothing to Something: The Story of the American Dream,” the person he invited to testify was Zan Prince, Chairman of the Board of First Bank Texas.
She referred to the proposed rule by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau that would require covered financial institutions to collect and report to the Bureau data on applications for credit for small businesses, including those that are owned by women or minorities.
“The proposed CFPB rule 1071 to collect small business loan data to ensure “fair” access to credit by all small business owners misrepresents the lending market,” Prince said. “There are no two small businesses that are alike. There’s no standardized small business box of circumstances that resembles consumer mortgages or car loans. If enacted, the process for lending to small businesses will be bogged down in technicalities that ignore creative, entrepreneurial plans to establish or grow a business.”
Prince expanded her thoughts in comments to The Community News:
“They have a proposed rule that is just not effective for small business Main Street. Our organization has worked person-to-person with the same people that we see at high school games, or at church or the grocery store and it’s a partnership. We know our customers, we know our communities, we know the things that might be most successful in our communities. And we just don’t think it’s appropriate for regulators to say it needs to be a certain price with certain terms, all the same, because no small businesses are the same.”
Prince said she got more questions from Republicans than Democrats, including a lot of questions about access to credit and community involvement.
“When it’s all said and done the community bank is a sponsor on the high school scoreboard. The community bank goes to the junior livestock auctions. The community bank is a sponsor on the education foundation or the volunteer fire department and it’s important that we don’t leave our communities in a place that they don’t have the stability and the access to those people who are really their partners,” she said.
In response to the recent collapse of Silicon Valley Bank, Prince said “it’s important that you have somebody that you know, somebody that knows you. I give my cell number to customers, I’m more than available and willing to talk to them about their issues, their visions, their dreams. Our bank, since 1982, has weathered all kinds of storms hand-in-hand with customers who found themselves in situations that weren’t right and, you know, for the most part, we work really hard to work them through that — not just discount the character and the commitment to work to make things all come out right in the end.”
See the video of Zan Prince’s Testimony here.