Community banks play an important role in the financial system, and in the U.S. economy by providing traditional banking services to their communities. In the fall of 2011, the FDIC announced a number of initiatives focused on understanding of the evolution of community banks over the past 25 years and the challenges and opportunities faced by this segment of the banking industry. The initial results of the FDIC’s Community Banking Initiative are detailed below.
FDIC Community Banking Study: The FDIC’s Community Banking Study is a data-driven effort to identify and explore issues and questions about community banks. This study is intended to be foundational, providing a platform for future research and analysis by the FDIC and other interested parties.
Regional Roundtables: The FDIC’s Board and senior management believe it is important to hear directly from community bankers, trade organizations and state supervisors regarding issues and concerns of community bankers operating in the current environment and the major challenges and opportunities affecting the community bank sector as a whole. Roundtable discussions were conducted in each of the FDIC’s six supervisory regions across the country with community bankers, state banking commissioners, state bank trade association representatives, the FDIC's Acting Chairman, one other director from the FDIC’s Board, and senior management from our supervision divisions.
Examination and Rulemaking Review: The FDIC has undertaken a review of its examination, rulemaking, and guidance processes during 2012 with a goal of identifying ways to make the supervisory process more efficient, consistent, and transparent. As a part of this process, we solicited feedback from supervisory staff in the Divisions of Risk Management Supervision and Depositor and Consumer Protection. In addition, we also received significant comments through the CBI Roundtables (discussed above), the FDIC Advisory Committee on Community Banking, post exam surveys and other outreach venues (including two ad hoc additional roundtables focused on compliance and consumer protection issues).
Message from the Chairman
As the lead federal regulator for the majority of community banks in the United States and the insurer of all, it is important for the FDIC to understand the role of community banks in our economy and the particular challenges they face in the financial marketplace. To that end, the FDIC designed this series of initiatives related to the future of community banks and pursued the effort throughout the 2012 calendar year. The central purpose was to further the FDIC's dialogue with the industry and deepen our understanding of the evolving challenges and opportunities facing community banks, and to take some initial steps to address the issues that were identified.
Our research showed that as of 2011, community banks fitting our definition held 14 percent of banking industry assets, but 46 percent of the industry's small loans to farms and businesses, extending credit that is essential to job creation. For many rural areas, small towns and certain urban neighborhoods, if not for the community bank, many communities would have no bank at all. They are critical to job creation and the economy as a whole.
Included in this website is the FDIC's Community Banking Study and summaries of our six roundtable meetings with community bankers in Dallas, Chicago, Atlanta, Kansas City, New York and San Francisco. It also outlines a series of initiatives on our examination and supervisory practices that were identified through our research and roundtable meetings. Please take the time to review the material and provide any comments to the FDIC at firstname.lastname@example.org
FDIC Chairman Martin J. Gruenberg