FDIC Acting Chairman Martin Gruenberg and Acting Comptroller of the Currency John Walsh opened the ICBA convention general session yesterday in Nashville.
Gruenberg summarized industry performance in 2011 and in the fourth quarter, talked about the FDIC’s efforts to prepare to handle the resolution of a failed systemically important financial institution, and talked about the agency’s efforts to study the history and role of community banks. You can read the speech here.
Walsh talked about the agency’s commitment to community banks. He talked about the OCC’s “local presence, national perspective.” Noting the agency has some 60 offices around the country, he said in some locations the OCC has more personnel than the local state banking department. He was clearly making a pitch for the national charter. He also talked about the OCC’s ombudsman, acknowledging an effort in congress to pass legislation creating an appeals process for examinations. Click here to read Walsh’s speech.
ICBA President/CEO Camden Fine rallied the troops, reaffirming the importance of community banking. He noted recent ICBA achievements, including its work during the Dodd-Frank debate to change the formula for figuring deposit insurance premiums. He said the new formula is saving community bankers $1.5 billion per year.
Columnist George Will closed out the general session with a wide-ranging set of observations about the troubles that face the United States, although he finished on an upbeat note, saying the country has a unique character which has always arisen to the challenges before it.
At today’s general session, the schedule says we will hear from Federal Reserve Board Chairman Ben Bernanke, CFPB Director Richard Cordray, and ICBA leadership.