WASHINGTON – Sens. Joe Donnelly, D-Ind., and Pat Toomey, R-Pa., have unveiled legislation that would allow more community banks to qualify for an 18-month exam schedule rather than an annual one. 

The bill, introduced Thursday, would raise the threshold from $500 million to $1 billion of assets for well-managed banks. Banks smaller than $1 billion with high ratings would be eligible to move to the 18-month exam schedule. 

“We have a strong community bank presence across our state and they help create opportunities for many Hoosier businesses and families,” said Donnelly in a press release. “This legislation would make a common sense update to existing rules in order to make things a little easier for those banks that are in good standing.”

Rep. Sam Tipton, R-Colo., introduced similar legislation in the House last month. Regulators, including Comptroller of the Currency Thomas Curry, have also endorsed raising the cutoff.

“We have long believed that healthy, well-managed community banks ought to qualify for the 18-month examination cycle,” he said in a speech earlier this month. “Just by raising the asset threshold from $500 million to $750 million, more than 100 OCC-supervised banks and thrifts and several hundred additional institutions would qualify for the extended cycle.”

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