Newslines


Leighty Speaks Out Against Regulatory Overkill

Congress needs to be "bold and openminded" when considering legislation to streamline unnecessarily laborious banking regulations, Dale L. Leighty told the Senate Banking Committee.

Offering 40 suggestions covering 18 banking regula- tions- including the CRA, Truth in Lending, Bank Se- crecy Act, call report requirements and Sarbanes- Oxley Act- Leighty told Congress it can make rules more effective for both community banks and consumers.

"We have had to devote so much of our resources and attention to regulatory compliance that our ability to serve our communities, attract capital and support the credit needs of our customers is diminished," said the ICBA chairman, who is also president and CEO of First National Bank of Las Animas, Colo. "There is not any one regulation that community banks are unable to comply with- it is the cumulative effect of all the regulations that is so burdensome."

Congress will soon be presented with recommendations from the joint-agency Economic Growth and Regulatory Paperwork Reduction Act task force studying regulatory burden. ICBA supports the EGRPRA effort and will continue to push for regulatory relief.

Go Figure

South Dakotans sure can manage their credit well. While the average American has a credit score of 677, residents of the Mount Rush- more State lead the country with an aver- age score of 709. Minnesota comes in second with an average of 707, and North Dakota places third with an average of 706.

FDIC Study Shows Deposit Share Shift

Many community banks welcome the influx of customers created when a big bank moves into their community, but the influx may not be the bonanza it seems.

Community banks have lost significant deposit share to the nation's 25 largest banks over the past 20 years, according to a Future of Banking study released by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.

For instance, community banks held 19.2 percent of deposits in urban markets in 1985, but hold less than half of that today. Meanwhile, the top 25 banks have more than doubled their urban share. Similar trends were shown in rural, suburban and small metro areas.

Community bankers competing with newly merging big banks can help defend their market share by keeping in mind results from a recent survey showing why consumers felt they were worse off after a bank merger. Consumers complained of:

* Less personal service (24 percent)

* Higher fees (23 percent)

* Decreased services (22 percent)

* Additional fees (21 percent)

* Familiar branch people left (10 percent)

Source: Moritz Poll, a Missouri marketing research firm.

Correction

In Independent Banker's annual June listing of top ICBA performers, State Bank of Tower, Minn., ranked third in the country for return on equity among Subchapter S banks with less than $50 million. The bank, which earned a 31 . 1 3 percent ROE for 2003, was left off the annual listing. Independent Banker regrets the error.

Homeownership Alive and Well

The next 10 years will bring $125 million in mortgage loans for home purchases or refinances- a total of $27 trillion in mortgage originations.

This is just one of the findings of a Homeownership Alliance study, written by the nation's top housing and mortgage economists, which takes an unprecedented long-term look at the housing industry and produces forecasts for the next 10 years.

The study predicts the construction of two million homes each year between now and 2013 while the national homeownership rate reaches 70 percent for the first time. …

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