When the House Financial Services Committee voted to exempt small banks from exams by the proposed consumer financial protection regulator, it was bully for the little guy. After months of wrangling, community bank lobbyists in October succeeded in convincing the committee led by Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass) to back an amendment from Rep. Brad Miller (D-Cal.) and Rep. Dennis Moore (D-Kan) granting almost 98 percent of the country's institutions a carve-out from the direct oversight authority of a proposed Consumer Financial Protection Agency.

"The Miller amendment mitigates many of the concerns of the community banking industry," Camden Fine, the president of the Independent Community Bankers of America, told American Banker. In exchange for leaving consumer protection exams in the hands of small banks' current regulators, the community bank lobby toned down opposition to the CFPA proposal that is core to the Obama administration's plans to corral controversial products like payday loans, high-interest credit cards and mortgages.

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