"Building on the strong base of their own research, findings and experience, regulators will increasingly design rules and regulations adjusted to the diversity in charter, business model, size and geography of the banking industry. Moreover, they will take specific steps to help turn around the decline in community banking, by chartering new banks and removing unproductive mandates. But, unless policymakers labor mightily, these efforts will only slow, but not arrest, the unhappy reduction in the overall number of banks in 2014." Wayne A. Abernathy, executive vice president for financial institutions policy and regulatory affairs at the American Bankers Association
OUTCOME: The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. moved to ease the process of applying for new bank charters in November. But many in the industry continue to feel that smaller banks face regulatory burdens disproportionate to their business models and the amount of risk they pose to the financial system. In December 2014, the number of federally insured institutions in the U.S. fell to 6,546, down from 6,812 at the end of 2013, according to FDIC data.