An Oklahoma banker believes he is being forced to choose between impressing his regulator and serving his community.

Charles L. Stoner, president of Welch State Bank, said Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. examiners refused to give him Community Reinvestment Act credit for any of his agricultural loans.

Mr. Stoner said he expects his bank to lose its "outstanding" CRA rating if the agency does not reverse course.

Writing in a letter to the Federal Reserve Board's Consumer Advisory Council, Mr. Stoner said his bank is proud of its top CRA grade. But he said the bank will sacrifice the rating, rather than change its business plan to appease regulators.

FDIC officials wouldn't comment specifically on Mr. Stoner's complaint, but they said the situation was probably a "misunderstanding."

About 500 people live in Welch, a small town surrounded dotted with family farms. Welch State Bank has $48 million in assets and $35 million in loans. Mr. Stoner said the bank concentrates its lending almost exclusively within the community. Also, he said about 40% percent of its loans are made to farmers.

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