Academic journal article ABA Banking Journal

"Hello, Washington. This Is Banking Calling": Turning Exam Angst into Actionable Data with a New Database

Academic journal article ABA Banking Journal

"Hello, Washington. This Is Banking Calling": Turning Exam Angst into Actionable Data with a New Database

Article excerpt

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

The cliche says "The squeaky wheel gets the grease." But in Washington regulatory headquarters, the squeaky wheel gets dismissed.

Why? Regulators react to hard data--not to anecdotes about a single banker who received a visit from the "examiner from hell." Thousands of exams take place annually, so one or two stories from a banking association representative don't register much, according to Wayne Abernathy, ABA's executive vice-president, financial institutions policy and regulatory affairs.

Even worse, when the national or state trade group representative can only quote bankers anonymously, due to their fear of retaliation, the point weakens further, according to Roger Beverage, president and CEO of the Oklahoma Bankers Association.

Coming up with something better than exam war stories takes a system, and it is here. The state bankers associations and ABA have come up with an online mechanism that will generate such data, while protecting bankers. The "Regulatory Feedback Initiative," launched June 1, uses a special website to gather banker input about recent exams through online surveys, at www. allbankers.org

The initiative, a year in the making, began when Utah Bankers Association President and CEO Howard Headlee called Abernathy to broach the idea. He suggested to Abernathy that capturing observations and impressions in an organized fashion would add precision and statistical strength. …

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