With Congress returning from its summer recess, trade associations representing nearly 14,000 financial institutions, including banks and credit unions of all sizes, have expressed their support for regulatory reform legislation that would increase lending and improve the delivery of financial services to consumers.

The groups wrote to Senate Banking Committee Chairman Richard Shelby and Ranking Member Sherrod Brown, stating that:

“The growing volume and complexity of regulations is driving the decline in community financial institutions and their ability to best serve the needs of their customers and to generate local economic activity and jobs. Remaining community financial institutions are forced to hire new compliance staff, instead of loan officers, and to adjust or eliminate the type of services that they can provide in their communities. While these institutions have shown a great deal of resiliency in this growing regulatory environment, and have continued to help consumers purchase homes and meet other financial needs, many have reached the point where meaningful relief is critical.

“We have continually heard senators on both sides of the aisle express support for helping our nation’s community financial institutions. While no single piece of legislation is perfect, measures, such as S. 1484, the Financial Regulatory Improvement Act of 2015, are a step in the right direction. This legislation addresses statutory and regulatory obstacles that thwart the ability of community banks and credit unions to fully serve the diverse financial services needs of consumers. This bill was approved in the Senate Banking Committee in May and has sparked the necessary conversation around meaningful regulatory relief focused on providing safe and affordable financial products that help homebuyers, creates jobs and grow communities.

“On behalf of our members we urge the Senate not to allow rhetoric to stand in the way of promptly passing needed reforms and supporting the financial needs of America’s communities. With limited time remaining in this Congressional session, it is imperative lawmakers work together and pass a legislative product that is bipartisan, and provides meaningful relief for community institutions and consumers throughout this country.”

The full letter can be read here.