WASHINGTON — Community banks should cease pursuing further exemptions from recent rules and should instead embrace broader structural changes to the industry in order to mitigate their challenges, according to the No. 2 official at the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.

Thomas Hoenig, the FDIC's outspoken vice chairman, said at a recent trade group meeting that it would be difficult for policymakers to put smaller institutions in a different regulatory class — as many of them have sought — than that for larger banks. Part of the challenge, he noted, is that the public — and many bankers themselves — tend to view all commercial banks as one industry.

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