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The Examiner

There are three ways to ultimate success:
The first way is to be kind.
The second way is to be kind.
The third way is to be kind.

- Mr. Rogers

In This Issue...

In the Media

Now do you feel better? The economy should keep growing for at least the next two years. That's from a source who should know: Federal Reserve Board Chairman Jerome Powell. "There's no reason to think that the probability of a recession in the next year or two is at all elevated," Reuters quoted Powell as saying to a business group this week. And yet, that inverted yield curve...

Low drama at the Fed. It raised interest rates again this week. But here's a rarity in Washington: a key institution that is escaping the drama-filled nature of the city. The Wall Street Journal reported that President's Trump's nominees to the Federal Reserve Board are "mainstream, qualified candidates who have mostly drawn praise from outside economists and Fed watchers. It isn't a guarantee that the Fed won't err -- by raising rates too slowly or too quickly -- but it provides essential stability to the economy's most important financial institution." Of course, there are other matters the Fed will have to weigh in on, such as implementation of the bank regulation law approved by Congress earlier this year as well as its supervision of larger firms. 

More Fed news. Drama might be low, but that doesn't mean that it is zero. Politico Pro reported that Powell called on Republican Senators wavering on the nomination of Nellie Liang, a Fed careerist, to the Board of Governors. "GOP members of the Banking Committee...have started to raise red flags about her strong regulatory background," Politico reported. Liang helped shape post-crisis regulations while at the Fed. Meanwhile, another Fed nominee, Kansas banking regulator Miki Bowman, also is awaiting Senate confirmation. CSBS has urged the Senate to approve Bowman.  

Still too big to fail? Check out the Politico Money podcast interview with former Federal Reserve Governor Daniel Tarullo. He weighs in on the new bank regulation law -- "it's more working around the edges of the biggest banks and not cutting to the heart of what was accomplished" in post-crisis regulation -- the risks of weakening the Volker Rule, and the big question: whether some banks are still too big to fail. Tarullo: "We're certainly a lot safer than we were 10 or 12 years ago...but...there is still some legitimate to whether if one of them got into significant trouble...whether...the government should take extraordinary measures." 

A case study on fintech banks. American Banker has an interesting look at Varo Money, a fintech seeking approval to operate as a national bank. While the OCC has given conditional approval to Varo, the company pulled its application from FDIC consideration, citing a number of unresolved issues. "Varo's an example of regulatory agencies being out of sync with one another," the American Banker reported. 

CFPB moves ahead on data. The CFPB issued a report on data collection and will seek public comment shortly. "Acting Director Mick Mulvaney drew criticism for freezing CFPB's data collection for six months when he took over in late November (2017), citing cybersecurity concerns," Politico Pro reported. 

Meanwhile, in Congress. Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) introduced legislation that would revamp the Community Reinvestment Act and provide incentives to encourage more affordable housing units in the United States. According to National Mortgage News, Warren's bill "would apply CRA requirements to a broader array of institutions -- including credit unions -- and make penalties tougher for violations...Warren's bill also proposes billions of dollars in new investments into affordable housing trust funds." In a separate article, NMN reported the Fed Chair Powell is hopeful that the Fed, FDIC and OCC can come together on CRA reform. 

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The Community Bank Research Conference Kicks off Next Wednesday, and You Can Watch Live

The sixth annual Community Banking in the 21st Century Research and Policy Conference starts Wednesday, with the Cleveland Fed President Loretta Mester delivering the first-day opening keynote, CSBS Chairman Charlotte Corley and FDIC Chairman Jelena McWilliams also giving first-day remarks, and Beneficial Bank CEO Gerard Cuddy giving the evening keynote. The next day, Fed Vice Chairman of Supervision Randal Quarles will deliver the opening keynote. Be sure to tune in to watch the live webcast starting Oct. 3 at 1 p.m. CT at

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FDIC Joins the Fed and CSBS as Conference Sponsor

Further elevating the importance of community bank research, the FDIC has now joined the Federal Reserve and CSBS in sponsoring the annual Community Banking in the 21st Century research and policy conference. We look forward to working with the FDIC on an ongoing basis. 

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Sneak Peak: 2018 Community Banking In Action Videos

This year’s conference videos, which are shown during the conference, features the following three community bankers and their work with community businesses. Their respective state banking commissioners share their views as well.

  • Dan Yates, president and CEO of Brattleboro Savings and Loan in Brattleboro, Vt., and Peter Carvell, senior commercial banking officer and vice president, discuss how the bank worked with twin sisters Elsie Smith and Serenity Smith-Forchion, former trapeze artists with Cirque du Soleil and founders of the New England Center for Circus Arts, to build a trapezium for their world-renowned school. View the Brattleboro Savings and Loan video
  • Vermont Department of Financial Regulation Commissioner Michael Pieciak shares his perspectives. View the Vermont state supervisor video.
  • Dylan Clarkson, president and CEO of Pioneer Bank and Trust in Rapid City, S.D., and Becky and Dean Johnson, founders and owners of Truck Defender aluminum truck bumper company, discuss how they came to build their unique bumper business in Spearfish, S.D., and how the bank worked with them to make it a success. View the Pioneer Bank and Trust video.
  • South Dakota Division of Banking Director Bret Afdahl shares his perspectives. View the South Dakota state supervisor video.
  • Tom Hough, president and CEO of Carrollton Bank, Carrollton, Ill., and Alan Freeman, president and CEO of St. Louis-based Affinia Healthcare share how they worked together to ensure the success of Affinia’s mission of serving the health care needs of low-income residents in the St. Louis region. View the Carrollton Bank video.
  • Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation Secretary Bryan Schneider also shares his perspectives. View the Illinois state supervisor video.

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Alabama Receives Mortgage Accreditation

The Alabama State Banking Department received accreditation on September 20 through the CSBS/AARMR Mortgage Accreditation Program, becoming the 27th agency with a mortgage accreditation. The CSBS/AARMR Mortgage Accreditation involves an in-depth review of an agency’s policies, procedures and operations to determine if it meets national standards.
As part of CSBS Vision 2020 for nonbank regulation, state regulators are committed to pursuing high standards and learning from other states. CSBS offers education programs, analytics, certification and accreditation to help state regulators meet those goals. CSBS will begin developing a money services accreditation program, slated to begin with the launch of a working group by the end of 2018.
Learn more about the accreditation process.

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