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The California company has poached lenders from larger rivals, while expanding into specialty finance lines. Those moves have positioned Opus for a growth spurt that should outpace organic growth at most other community banks.

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Community and regional banks should be subjected to simpler rules than very large banks, the chairman and CEO of the Buffalo, N.Y., company said. In fact, size is the wrong determinant for risk-based regulation, he said.

Banco Popular got the most press for agreeing to buy the failed Doral Bank. But the deal also revealed one surprise winner, First BanCorp, while another institution, OFG Bancorp, was shut out of the process.

The Conference of State Bank Supervisors wants Congress to adopt a formal community bank definition, based on qualitative factors such as local governance structure and business models.
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A consumer lender with nearly 300 far-flung offices struggled to keep up with multiple compliance projects using email and Microsoft Project. Then it turned to collaboration software, and demanded some customized changes, that helped tie its many loose threads together.

HomeTrust Bancshares created a special call center and encouraged tellers to invite ATM customers inside the branches to answer questions and to differentiate the company from Bank of America in terms of fees.

The trade group's leader touted progress in areas such as qualified mortgages and flood insurance, but he also encouraged members to keep speaking out against overzealous supervision.

The Texas banker, who chaired the ICBA during the financial crisis, feels much better about the regulatory environment for smaller banks. She just wishes that interest rates would finally rise.

PacWest needed deposits to fuel its lending machine. Square 1 was drowning in liquidity. Similar deals could be in the works as low-cost deposits become more valuable in light of likely interest-rate increases.

The lobbying group's agenda typically includes a general session featuring top regulators. But with the ICBA's Washington Policy Summit two months away, the group opted to steer the focus of its annual convention toward education.

Jack Hartings is a vocal proponent of reduced regulation for small banks. But the CEO of Peoples Bank in Ohio wants Washington to force other industries to share the burden of improving cybersecurity and cleaning up after breaches.

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