Jerold L. Harris, president and chief executive of the Farm Credit Bank in Wichita, gets hot under the collar when he hears bankers' complaints about his organization. What annoys him the most? Charges of unfair competition. Farm credit banks don't compete unfairly, he says - just aggressively enough to be a competitive force. In fact, says Mr. Harris - who also heads a national Farm Credit System's planning committee of presidents - community banks have many powers that give them some competitive advantages. The Farm Credit System, with assets of about $63 billion, is a government-sponsored network of six regional farm credit banks, two specialized cooperative banks, and about 240 local farm lending entities nationwide. The institutions raise lendable funds by selling bonds and notes in the capital markets. Mr. Harris, 53, who has spent his entire career with Farm Credit, recently discussed the head-to-head competition with commercial banks.
Q.: What complaint about Farm Credit by bankers irks you the most?