The Connecticut Department of Banking joined with the Conference of State Bank Supervisors (CSBS) and the Federal Reserve System to release Community Banking in the 21st Century: Opportunities, Challenges and Perspective, a first-of-its-kind report on the challenges and opportunities facing today’s 21st century community banks. The report was produced and released in conjunction with the CSBS-Federal Reserve “Community Banking in the 21st Century,” an inaugural community banking and research conference held October 2-3, 2013 at the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.
“Community banks are a vital part of the chain of financial services available to the public. This meeting is recognition of their vitality and the importance of preserving their place in the banking industry,” said Banking Commissioner Howard Pitkin.
The community banking report reveals findings of a comprehensive series of industry town halls hosted by state bank supervisors this past spring and summer and it represents the direct views of community bankers from states experiencing different economic and fiscal realities.
“I met with community bankers across Connecticut to gather first-hand accounts of the perceived challenges and opportunities that are currently impacting the way these banks operate,” said Commissioner Pitkin. “Many of them said their biggest concern was the one-size-fits-all approach to banking regulation by policymakers in Washington, D.C. But they also said their greatest opportunity was differentiating themselves from larger banks while rebuilding consumer confidence in the banking system.”
Part one of the report presents current and historical community banking data to provide an appropriate context for understanding how the industry has changed over the past two decades. It helps to frame discussions on how the industry might be poised to react to future challenges and take advantage of future opportunities.
Part two of the report synthesizes and analyses, in aggregate, the responses to the questions that community bankers were asked at town hall meetings across the country. The report highlights responses common to a majority of community bankers and further highlights unique and innovate responses to the questions asked.
“In total, my fellow state financial regulators and I held meetings with more than 1,700 bankers in 28 states,” stated Commissioner Pitkin. “These extensive reports serve as the foundation of the publication, but also serve to generate meaningful dialogue at last week’s conference. My hope is for state and federal regulators, members of the industry, academics, and policymakers to have a constructive discussion regarding our banking system and how its regulation can better serve Connecticut and the nation as a whole.”