SAVANNAH, Ga. – Greg Gonzales, Commissioner of the Tennessee Department of Financial Institutions, was elected Chairman of the Board during the annual meeting of the Conference of State Bank Supervisors (CSBS).
In his address to attendees of the annual State Federal Supervisory Forum, Gonzales shared priorities for the year ahead and stressed the importance of state and federal coordination.
“There is no greater goal than the effort to ensure the viability of the community bank model,” Gonzales said. “CSBS must maintain its central role in both encouraging and maintaining a diverse and competitive banking system and an effective state system of bank supervision and regulation. Community banks are simply too important to the health of our local, state, and national economies to be ignored.”
Gonzales called for increased coordination among state and federal regulators to identify and address new threats and challenges affecting community banks, and encouraged attendees to “continue to strive toward a regulatory system that provides safety and soundness and consumer protection, while preserving the very qualities of our unique dual-banking system that have contributed so significantly to our nation.”
“I fear without honest and constructive coordination, the community banks we so heavily rely upon as a nation will fall victim to the recovering economy and to regulatory schemes designed to mitigate risk at our nation’s largest and most complex institutions,” Gonzales said. “I believe that the purpose of regulation is not to be an end all to itself, but a means to an important end, which is to help facilitate the delivery of critical financial services to the country.”
Gonzales was appointed Commissioner of the Tennessee Department of Financial Institutions in January 2005 and reappointed in 2011. He succeeds John P. Ducrest, Commissioner of the Louisiana Office of Financial Institutions.
The full text of Gonzales’ speech is available here.