WASHINGTON - Bank regulators will hold a series of outreach meetings with bankers starting Dec. 2 to hear regulatory relief ideas as part of a process required by federal law.

Under the Economic Growth and Regulatory Paperwork Reduction Act, the agencies are required every 10 years to identify unneeded, outdated or overly burdensome rules that could potentially be curtailed. In June, the agencies sought comment on potential changes in three rulemaking categories. They will ask for comment on additional topics in a process slated to last two years.

The regulators - which include the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., Federal Reserve Board and Office of the Comptroller of the Currency - said participants in the outreach meetings can discuss issues in any of the 12 total categories that are part of the EGRPRA process. The first meeting will occur at the Los Angeles branch of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco on Dec. 2. The meetings will continue through next year, with outreach sessions planned in Dallas, Boston, Chicago and Washington.

The initial batch of comments collected by the regulators included a request that other agencies such as the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau should be folded in to the EGRPRA process and a call for regulators to tailor rules for small banks. Commenters also are seeking changes to call reporting and further clarification on items such as add-on products, among other things.

In their initial June 4 notice about the process, the regulators expressed particular interest in hearing ideas for easing the regulatory burden on smaller institutions.

"We understand that when an agency issues a new regulation or amends a current regulation, smaller institutions may have to devote considerable resources to determine if and how the regulation will affect them," the notice said.

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