Fed Chair Bernanke: Fed Attuned to Community Banks' Concerns
The Federal Reserve System is continually enhancing its efforts to understand community banks because of their importance to the economy and to local communities, Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke said in a February 16 speech at the Future of Community Banking Conference in Arlington, Virginia.
In his remarks, Bernanke outlined various ways the Fed communicates with smaller financial institutions. "For the Federal Reserve in particular," Bernanke said, "community banks not only provide insights into their industry, but they are also an unmatched source of crucial grassroots information about developments in the economy as a whole, which is necessary for effective monetary policy."
Multiple channels of communication open
In addition to the advisory councils, the Federal Reserve Board in 2011 established a special supervision subcommittee to address community banking issues. Its mission is to deepen the Fed's understanding of community and regional banking conditions and to review policy proposals for their potential impact on community and regional institutions.
Regulatory changes bring concerns
As for the current operating climate for community banks, the chairman said that despite economic uncertainties, conditions are generally improving.
February 23, 2012