Academic journal article ABA Banking Journal

One Year Later: Where Do We Stand?

Academic journal article ABA Banking Journal

One Year Later: Where Do We Stand?

Article excerpt

A year surely goes by fast! It is hard to believe that this is my last column as ABA chairman.

The robust path I laid out for our association seems to be only a portion complete, and that is probably my greatest disappointment. The time it takes to achieve change can be frustrating.

One year ago in San Antonio, Texas, as I was preparing to begin my term, several bankers very kindly inquired if I were ready for such a momentous responsibility. My swift and sure response was, "Yes, I am."

The opportunity to serve our industry in this role was something I aspired to and welcomed. And now that it is ending, I can look back and say it has been a year filled with both fulfillment and frustration. The opportunities that I have had to travel to dozens of states, speak with thousands of bankers, and carry the ABA message of unity and action were both energizing and rewarding. I saw, firsthand, how committed the incomparable ABA staff is to excellence as well as high performance. The leadership that collective group of ABA professionals provides for our industry is unmatched. But for their untiring effort, in what condition would our industry find itself?

The difficulty, for instance, of getting Rep. Shelley Moore Capito's (R-W.Va.) Exam Fairness Bill passed into law--even with 190 cosponsors--seems counterintuitive to me. Also, the subversion of the legislative process in granting some credit unions increased small-business lending authority--by the President's executive fiat in August--is highly disturbing.

Despite the hard work so many do to champion our industry, we still are losing a bank a day in our country with none coming on to replace them. …

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