GOP Lawmaker, Bank Officer Behind Proposal to Loosen Loan Regulations

February 9, 2015

A GOP legislator who also is a bank officer has introduced a bill that would loosen regulations that govern the way state-chartered banks have to handle variable rate loans.

Rep. Terry Katsma of Oostburg, the bill’s sponsor, is a longtime employee, former officer and a current director of the Oostburg State Bank.

The measure, Assembly Bill 24, has drawn support from the banking industry, which was the top special interest campaign contributor to Katsma, delivering $3,750 between January and July 2014 to the Republican lawmaker.

Katsma’s top banking industry contributors include two $500 contributions from the Wisconsin Bankers Association Political Action Committee and the Community Bankers of Wisconsin PAC, and two $250 contributions from Tom Papenthien of Bankers’ Bank in Waunakee and Doug Martin of Livingston State Bank in Platteville.

Current state law prohibits state-chartered banks from offering lower, promotional rates on variable rate loans, such as home mortgage loans. The bill would allow state banks to offer lower, discounted initial rates on variable rate loans. The peddling of such low, discounted initial rates on mortgage loans was a factor in the financial crisis of 2008, which led to the Great Recession.