Banker Outreach Sessions Focus on Reducing Regulatory Burden

About 60 Midwestern bankers met in St. Louis during June to voice their opinions on opportunities to reduce regulatory burden. The meeting was one of five outreach sessions sponsored by the FDIC and is part of a mandated, multi-year, multi-agency effort to identify and eliminate outdated, unnecessary or overly burdensome bank regulations.

The sessions are designed to put important issues in front of bankers so they will participate in upcoming public comment processes. Overall, the St. Louis session was positive, but some bankers raised a number of concerns.

Many bankers from smaller institutions stated that regulations are particularly burdensome and disproportionately costly for them. They expressed the most concern over certain consumer compliance regulations. They also said they would prefer no change at all in regulations vs. small, incremental changes, which wouldn't provide enough benefit to make up for the time and money involved in altering their processes.

According to Julie Stackhouse, senior vice president of Banking Supervision and Regulation at the St. Louis Fed, "There's no question that the regulatory agencies would welcome a reduction in complex regulations. For the sake of the public, we want to find ways for regulation to be meaningful and helpful."

Issues that are currently out for comment can be found at www.federalreserve.gov/boarddocs/press/bcreg/2003/.

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