Academic journal article ABA Banking Journal

Feedback & Free Training Help with Compliance

Academic journal article ABA Banking Journal

Feedback & Free Training Help with Compliance

Article excerpt

A BOOK ABOUT U.S. MARINES IN WORLD War II features a chapter on a fellow named Irving "Buck" Schechter. It tells the story of how this Long Island native, when serving as a commanding officer in the Pacific theater, once received a memo from the top brass directing his troops to stick to field rations even when they had been pulled off the front line. The rationale? To keep them combat-ready.

Buck bucked. He called the general who had issued the edict and told him, essentially, to save the field rations for the field. When his men were in the rear, they needed the best food they could get.

The story, recounted in this magazine several years ago, reveals a bit of Buck's character and how he cared for his men. I experienced these qualities myself when Buck, who went on to become a successful lawyer and banker in my hometown of Smithtown, N.Y, hired me--first at his law firm and later at the bank, where I remain today.

The field rations story also illustrates the importance of feedback--something I hope you'll give me a lot of in my year as your ABA chairman.

I strongly believe that feedback from bankers in the field to their association in Washington can make a difference--particularly when it comes to minimizing and managing our compliance load.

To put it simply, when you tell us about a problematic banking or accounting rule, you give us the chance to fix it.

Let me give you an example. Last year, after regulators had proposed guidelines for examiners on commercial real estate lending, we learned from bankers that examiners were interpreting the proposed guidelines as a hard cap. ABA responded by setting up a working group of bankers with expertise in CRE lending and huddled with the top regulators in Washington. …

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