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The former FDIC chairman said during a recent conference call that banks with a traditional model — essentially community banks — have been hurt by the Fed's interest rate policy and the trickle-down tactics of regulation.

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After it all but stopped making real estate and development loans following the housing crash, Farmers & Merchants Bank has increased its real estate loans by more than 61% over the last two years. It's a figure that's likely to keep rising as California's real estate market heats up and the $5.6 billion-asset bank continues to add commercial real estate, construction and mortgage lending specialists to keep pace.

Nearly 85% of the acquisitions announced this year have involved sellers with $500 million or less in assets. Investment bankers expect more of the same in the final six months of this year.

The South Dakota company will soon be completely independent from National Australia Bank. The plan for now is to produce consistent results while scouting deals as the bank nears a key regulatory threshold.

The NCUA is considering a plan that would let credit unions count certain forms of debt as capital. The plan, which would help credit unions book more loans, is drawing sharp rebukes from the banking industry.

After scaling back its U.S. operations, Popular, Inc., plans to focus on niche commercial lending markets, including financing for elder care and assisted living facilities.

If approved, Core Commercial Bank would be just the third new bank to open in the U.S. since the financial crisis.

Banks have faced increased scrutiny of their treatment of customers since the creation of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, and BB&T and others have proven that the process can be managed. Old fights with regulators can be put in the past if banks work hard at it.

Community banks get almost half of their service charges from overdraft fees. That could become problematic as regulators continue to look into the issue.
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Access National's four-year-old wealth management subsidiary has grown rapidly and is poised to enter the black. The allure of fee revenues has drawn many community banks into this field amid weak loan growth and tight interest margins.

The case against Adrian Rubin offers a tour through lenders' efforts, dating back to the late 1990s, to avoid state-by-state interest-rate caps.

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