In 2012, the state execs for the bankers associations in Utah (Howard Headlee), Colorado (Don Childears), and Oklahoma (Roger Beverage) were frustrated. The banking industry had just been saddled with the onerous regulations of the Dodd-Frank Act; Richard Cordray and Elizabeth Warren were giddy with the new powers of the CFPB; and Congressional regard for the banking industry had reached new lows.

"There has to be a better way for bankers to make an impact," they mused. "There has to be a way for bankers and their friends nationwide to cause Congress to better respect this vital industry!"

The result was Friends of Traditional Banking, the inverse of a PAC--instead of spreading a little bit of money to a lot of campaigns, the group would focus a lot of money on a couple of key campaigns. They would choose two Congressional races each cycle, and encourage tens of thousands of friends around the country to donate directly to those campaigns.

It's working! See the results:
2012- Heller & Brown

Although just newly organized, FOTB encouraged friends to donate a total of a couple hundred thousand dollars to Senators Dean Heller (NV) and Scott Brown (MA). Thanks in part to support from FOTB, Heller, a former banker, squeaked past Rep. Shelley Berkley 45.9% to 44.7%. Brown, unfortunately, lost to Elizabeth Warren.
2014- Gardner & Ernst

With growing membership around the country, FOTB played a key role in helping to get two new Senators elected: Cory Gardner (CO) and Joni Ernst (IA). Over a million dollars poured into these races from bankers and friends from coast to coast. "We could not have done this without Friends of Traditional Banking," said Gardner, who defeated incumbent Sen. Mark Udall, a credit union champion, 48% to 46%. Ernst defeated Rep. Bruce Braley 52.2% to 43.7%.
2016- Portman, Toomey, Ayotte

After 2014's success, FOTB branched out to endorse three candidates, helping to steer hundreds of thousands to Senators Pat Toomey (PA), Rob Portman (OH), and Kelly Ayotte (NH). Former banker Toomey triumphed in a close race 48.9% to 47.2%, Portman won big by 21 points, but Ayotte barely lost in the nail-biter of the year 353,632 votes to 354,649.

"I had a very narrow win in what at the time was the most expensive race in the country,” Toomey said. “It is entirely possible it wouldn’t have been successful without the critical support of Friends of Traditional Banking.”
2018- Tester & Barr

FOTB had two firsts for the organization in 2018: endorsing a Democrat in Senator Jon Tester (MT) and supporting a representative with Rep. Andy Barr (KY). Hundreds of new donors stepped up to help Tester, whose pro-traditional banking voice on Senate Banking Committee was essential to passage of the Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief, and Consumer Protection Act. With FOTB's help, Tester won with a narrow 50.1% and Barr did with 51%. "A big thank you to Friends of Traditional Banking for getting behind me at a crucial time," said Barr.
2020- Tillis & Ernst

"I so appreciate Friends of Traditional Banking for getting involved in our race," Sen. Thom Tillis (NC) told our members. "It's going to be close, and your involvement could make the difference." Boy was he right! He won by 48.7% of the vote to Cal Cunningham's 46.9%. Sen. Ernst was also appreciative of FOTB and won reelection with 51.7%.

Friends of Traditional Banking now has over 27,000 members in all fifty states. We appreciate the volunteer leaders who have served on our Banker Board, Advisory Council, Executive Committee, and to those who have served as Chairs:

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PAID for by Friends of Traditional Banking. NOT authorized by any candidate or candidate's committee.

Friends of Traditional Banking is a non-partisan grassroots effort organized by bankers in 2012 to improve the political and regulatory environment for the traditional banking industry in the U.S. FOTB is the inverse of a PAC--instead of spreading a little bit of money to a lot of campaigns, they focus a lot of money on a couple of key campaigns.