Changes in the banking industry have injected new life into the
Central Oklahoma Clearing House Association, and addressing the
needs of the community has become the focus of that energy,
according to Wayne Stone, president.
To help its members fulfill their Community Reinvestment Act
requirements, the group has completed two surveys. One has spawned
the beginnings of a multi-lender project to help low- income people
move from being renters to owners, and the other identified a need
for education directed at small business owners in ways that do not
take them away from their businesses.
"Our role as an organization is creating more effectiveness
through a collected effort," Stone said. "The challenge given by
the (community reinvestment) law has been turned into a positive."
Stone also is president and chairman of the board of Founders
Bank & Trust Co.
The group's two community studies were designed to give its
55-member financial institutions feedback on metro customers. The
two surveys combined were a $50,000 project which provided a wealth
of information on the financial needs of individuals and small
Most banks meet their Community Reinvestment Act requirement of
identifying their market and its needs by their own surveys and
questionnaires, but conducting the two more extensive independent
surveys allowed members to benefit from economies of scale, Stone
The community needs survey was the first to be completed.
"The most glaring need was for low income housing financing for
home improvement and the lower-end housing market," he said. "We
found that many individuals don't ask because they don't think they
The survey revealed that many people were lacking more than
just a down payment or closing costs.
"These people don't have checking accounts. They operate on
cash, using money orders to pay their bills. If we can get multiple
bank involvement, we can spread the risk around. On a $15,000 to
$20,000 loan, 15 banks can contribute to the pool, each with a
$1,000 involvement which spreads risk.
"This is in the very early stages of formation. The idea is to
make it more accessible for home lending."
Such a program would probably be administered through a
redevelopment authority or neighborhood association to reach
applicants. Members institutions would put up the money and outline
the rules for how the loans are to be made, but another group would
find the borrowers, he said.
The clearinghouse plans to update its surveys periodically to
see how the community needs are changing and whether its efforts
The group is one of the few industry associations that includes
banks, savings and loans and credit unions, Stone said. Last summer
it dropped plans to shorten its name after thrift and credit union
members objected to the proposed Metro Bankers Association.
One of the primary services provided by the group, which was
formed in 1903, is a twice-daily check exchange in which member
institutions meet at the Federal Reserve Bank Branch. Each month
members exchange about 6 million items worth more than $5 billion,
said Sharon Lewis, vice president.
Other association services include: exchange of security
information, an annual salary survey, distribution of legal holiday
signs, robbery reward program, a $1,500 scholarship program to help
people in the financial services industry complete formal education
and an emergency preparedness program. . .
David H. Pendley, president of First Capital Corp., is
expected to be elected president of the Commercial Finance
Association today at the group's conference in Los Angeles. Pendley
has been president-elect and is to assume his post as president on
Jan. 1. Commercial Finance is the trade arm of the asset-based
financial services industry.
Pendley was president of commercial finance operations of
Signal Capital and the First Asset-Based Lending Group before he
founded Oklahoma City-based First Capital. …