Academic journal article ABA Banking Journal

Old Dogs Department

Academic journal article ABA Banking Journal

Old Dogs Department

Article excerpt

Here's a change of pace for this column: a couple of positive regulator stories. (Don't stop reading, they're interesting. Really.)

We were talking with a community bank CEO at ABA's Government Relations Summit who told us he regards his regulator as a resource. (The national bank has approximately $500 million in assets.) On more than one occasion he has called the OCC and asked if someone was available to give him suggestions on a business question. One recent case involved getting into a new line of business. The Comptroller's office was happy to oblige and sent up an expert from Washington who spent the day at the bank.

Maybe this isn't all that unusual, but you don't often hear about it. Examiners and their chiefs see a lot what goes on in banking--best practices and worst. They're bound to have some insights.

Some might think, "Yes, but if you don't use their suggestions, and things don't work out, you're more likely to be written up." Perhaps. But this banker didn't see it that way. He was just interested in learning.

The second story is the reverse of the same coin--i.e. a regulator who came to a bank to learn. ABA Chairman Matt Williams told the story at the summit of how, after listening to David Silberman speak at last year's summit, he had invited the regulator to come visit Gothenburg State Bank, in Gothenburg, Neb., where Williams is chairman and president. A few months later, Silberman, who is associate director of research, markets, and regulations at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, took him up on the offer.

Gothenburg is not an easy place to get to. Nevertheless, Silberman arrived by 10 a. …

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