Are you a small bank CEO or compliance officer looking for a cure to regulatory confusion?

Then, maybe the answer to your problem is a guide laying out how to comply with everything from lending regulations to rules governing investment products.

This week the Independent Bankers Association of America unveiled a two- volume manual designed to help bankers comply with the panoply of safety and soundness rules.

A year in the making, "The Operating Guide to Supervision and Regulation" runs 1,700 pages. While that sounds daunting, the manual is well-organized along business lines rather than by individual laws or regulations. Finding information is made easier by a detailed table of contents and a 99-page index.

"This is designed for community banks where one person is wearing many hats," said Diane Casey, executive director of the trade group. "It's something to make their lives easier."

While Washington is focusing on consumer compliance issues, such as fair lending and community reinvestment, the IBAA decided to concentrate on core compliance issues.

"Safety and soundness is never going to go away," Ms. Casey said.

The guide, which was written by lawyers at Bracewell & Patterson, is $450 for IBAA members and $575 for nonmembers. The manuals are an offshoot of the group's regulatory and legal services program started in 1992. Under that program, member banks pay $350 for a year of regulatory analyses and four individual consultations with Bracewell lawyers.

Updates of the guide, at an annual cost of $195, will be issued yearly and when changes occur.

The book focuses on issues members bring up most when they call the trade group for help, which lately include derivatives and structured notes, Ms. Casey said. Other topics include capital, deposit insurance, and management interlocks.

The first volume explains federal safety and soundness statutes, rules, and agency issuances. The second book has detailed compliance checklists and model policies that are designed for community banks.

Leonard J. Rubin, a senior partner at Bracewell, is one of the principal editors of the book. The guide also boasts as editors Robert L. Clarke, former comptroller of the currency, and James L. Sexton, a previous director of supervision at the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.

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