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Financial Services Law Insights and Observations

Fed governor discusses need for new banks

Federal Issues Federal Reserve Community Banks Bank Regulatory

Federal Issues

On October 22, Federal Reserve Governor Michelle W. Bowman spoke at the 2021 Community Bankers Symposium: Banking on the Future regarding why there have been so few de novo bank formations over the last decade and what can be done to encourage more de novo banks. Bowman discussed “the importance of community banks,” noting that they “provide critical financial services to their communities and to many customers who might have limited geographic access to banking services.” She pointed out that community banking has been declining in both rural and urban communities due in part to an increased need to hire experienced staff, which is challenging to attract and retain. To encourage more de novo banks, Bowman stated it is “crucial to provide a balanced, transparent, and effective regulatory framework that promotes a vibrant community bank sector.” She also emphasized that policymakers should “appropriately refine the regulatory and supervisory framework to minimize unnecessary compliance costs for smaller banks and address impediments to bank formations.”

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