ABA Banking Journal - February 2012 - (Page 6)

ABA ChAirmAn’s view | by kell kelly Restoring fairness to bank exams ABA is working to turn the tide of regulatory overreach so your bank can fulfill its vital role in fueling economic growth and job creation. We should expect federal banking regulators to aid the industry and individual banks, not damage the very industry they should champion. Improving banker rights in the examination process is at the top of our list of changes needed. That’s why ABA is backing H.R. 3461, the Financial Institutions Examination Fairness and Reform Act, introduced by Reps. Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.) and Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.). The bill goes a long way toward restoring exam consistency, fairness, and transparency. A new, independent interagency ombudsman would be established to help ensure the consistency and quality of all exams. In addition, the bill would provide for appeals to a special administrative law judge. This represents access to due process, which should be deemed fundamentally fair by all. Further, regulators would have to provide more timely exam reports and more information about the facts on which an agency based its decisions. Exams, generally, would be completed within nine months, and reports provided no later than 60 days after an exit interview. The bill also would help bankers lend and stimulate job growth by curbing examiners’ ability to unilaterally ratchet-up capital or lending requirements. The bill specifies, for example, that well-capitalized banks must not be required to raise additional capital beyond what is required by regulation, and a commercial loan could not be placed in nonaccrual status solely because the collateral has deteriorated in value. H.R. 3461 is a practical, passable bill that already enjoys bipartisan support. Our job now is to recruit so many cosponsors that Congress will make its passage a priority. As of mid-January, we had 67 committed cosponsors. Generating more advocates will require a united, determined, and vocal industry. Our strength will be on display at the ABA Government Relations Summit in March. That’s when hundreds of leaders, directors, and employees of banks, large and small, will gather in Washington to give voice to our concerns and petition Congress and regulators to address them. I am asking each bank to send representatives. Only if we all carry the load can we succeed in preserving our industry and economy. The impact of such a display of unity can be powerful. It’s easy for Congress to turn us down or do harm when we are at odds. We saw that happen with Dodd-Frank. That bruising battle also demonstrated that bank-bashing—whether by fellow banks trying to differentiate themselves or by the White House— can be used to justify punitive policies that hurt us all. Only when we align our interests—regardless of our institution’s size, charter, or business model— and focus on common solutions to common problems, can we make positive change happen. n H.R. 3461 “would help bankers lend and stimulate job growth by curbing examiners’ ability to unilaterally ratchet-up capital or lending requirements” — Albert C. “Kell” Kelly, Jr., President and CEO, SpiritBank, Bristow, Okla. 6  |  ABA BANKING JOURNAL  |  february 2012

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of ABA Banking Journal - February 2012

ABA Banking Journal - February 2012
Contents
Chairman’s View
Editor’s Column
The Economy
Bank Notes
Picture This
ABA Community Banking
Pass the Aspirin
Tech Topics
Stop Drowning Us
10 Tech Trends to Follow in 2012
Compliance Clinic
Compliance Inbox
Aba Resources
Legal Issues
First Person

ABA Banking Journal - February 2012

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