At community bank CEO and director meetings this month, I've heard a common cry: the regulators are trying to force small banks out of business ["Feedback: Don't Sacrifice Community Banks"]. 

Whether intentional (and many think it is intentional) or not, it is becoming difficult for smaller community banks to remain in independent.

In a speech to the ICBA in March, Chairman Bernanke opined on the critical role played by community banks in the U.S. and went on to say that "community banks can flourish in a system that provides fair competition." 

There's nothing fair about the situation at this moment, and many community banks are poised to suffer for it. It's not too late to address this. The regulatory agencies need to devise specific and appropriate oversight protocols for community banks to ensure those with safe and sound business practices aren't forced out of business by the crushing weight of regulation, lest we lose this critical component of our uniquely American banking system.

Mary Beth Sullivan
Partner
Capital Performance Group
Washington

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