Anatomy of a lobbying effort



On June 7, 2012, the Federal Reserve proposed new rules that would require banks to increase by half the amount of capital they hold to offset losses. The proposals — known as Basel III because they were agreed upon by an international group of regulators called the Basel Committee — were meant to ensure that the global banking giants would have to adhere to the same standards wherever they were based.

Camden Fine, the top lobbyist for the nation’s community banks, said he “freaked out” when he learned that the Fed intended to apply the new rules to small banks. He launched a massive effort to convince the Fed to exempt the nation’s 5,800 community banks from the new rule. A key part of the effort was to get members of the House and Senate to press the Fed to change its mind.

“There wasn’t one congressional office or senatorial office that didn’t hear from their community banks,” Fine said.

Below is a timeline that shows what happened.