The Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago is forming a council of community bankers who will meet twice a year to discuss a range of issues from bank regulation to monetary policy.

"There is a real need for us to promote the process of two-way communication," said Robert Lapinski, assistant vice president at the Chicago Fed. "We're creating a source for feedback on a whole host of issues."

The Chicago Fed is the fourth of 12 regional Fed banks to form a community bank council. The three other councils are in Cleveland, Dallas, and Philadelphia.

During their two-year terms the 17 bankers will meet with members of the Chicago Fed's senior management. The first meeting is scheduled for June 10.

Trade groups and Fed staff members nominated bankers from five midwestern states. The banks represented range from $33 million-asset Fairmount (Ind.) State Bank to $1.2 billion-asset Johnson International Inc., the Racine, Wis.-based holding company for Johnson Bank.

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