Cockroaches and Community Banks

The exterminators are at it again. Another “pundit” is spraying around the latest prediction on the demise of the community banking industry. This particular exterminator predicts the number of banks in the United States will drop from nearly 8,000 today to less than 2,500 in the next 10 years. Of course, the vast majority of those institutions would be community banks.

Now, some of you might be familiar with one of my nicknames for community banks. To the inexperienced ear, it might sound like an insult. But after decades in this industry, I am proud to call community banks the “cockroaches” of the financial services industry. This isn’t a slur, but a term of endearment.

No matter how hard the banking “experts,” consultants and those hired by special interests dedicated to the demise of community banking try, they will never be able to kill off the nation’s community banks. Community banking is synonymous with the American spirit of independence, self reliance and entrepreneurship. And no person or interest group will ever kill the American spirit. We’re survivors, and we’ll be serving our Main Street communities well after other financial sectors are exterminated.

To paraphrase my fellow Missourian Mark Twain, reports on the death of the community banking industry have—once again—been greatly exaggerated. Community banks will continue filling their crucial role in cities and towns across America, and ICBA won’t quit fighting on their behalf.

3 thoughts on “Cockroaches and Community Banks

  1. CAm,

    Right on again. Our bank plans on being one of those cochroaches. We want our customers to have a Main Street bank to work with and depend on.

    • FDIC has just recently told their examiners that even if a bank has an “ad hoc” overdraft program for overdrafts, the new guidance on automated programs applies to overdrafts created by ATM or debit card use at POS because those transactions are automated! We are stumped as to how we could possibly segregate the two types of overdrafts and respond to them differently than we already are under our ad hoc program. This seems to go way beyond what was intended by Reg E.

  2. Is anyone in the Universe up to speed on how we’re going to deal with the OD Guidance that will be forced on only FDIC regulated banks in July which will adverseley effect both those banks and their customers. It’s quite difficult to find answers and I’ve been to a number of events where the FED and OCC have made it clear they don’t intend to examine for this or enforce it. Seems to be a little unfair for banks that have FDIC for their primary regulators. Anybody interested?

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