"Everyone in this country has the right to protest, and these are difficult economic times. While we may not agree with the protesters' views, we respect their right to express those views.

"The men and women attending this meeting are traditional bankers dedicated to serving the needs of their communities. They are here to learn new ways to serve their customers and continue to rebuild the weakened economy. These are not the people at whom the protesters' anger should be directed.

"Bankers want smart regulation, and ABA has testified multiple times in the past year in favor of strong regulatory reform. They want the government we have to work better – filling the gaps in the regulation of nonbank lenders, strengthening safety and soundness, fixing what's broken.

"Despite the disruption, we're going forward with our meeting in order to help bankers expand their knowledge of how to meet their customers' and communities' needs in this challenging economy."

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