The Federal Reserve System and the Conference of State Bank Supervisors have released the findings from a national survey of community bankers on issues facing the industry. The survey results were presented at the fourth annual Community Banking in the 21st Century Research and Policy Conference at the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis on Sept. 28-29.
The survey findings identify what community bankers see as the key issues facing their industry. Responses were obtained from 557 banks, nearly all of which had less than $10 billion in assets, according to a news release.
According to the release, highlights from the survey indicate:
• a continuing emphasis on small business lending, which increased modestly in 2015 after several years of lackluster activity;
• an active merger and acquisition market;
• continuing concern with regulatory burden, cited as the number one reason by banks for exiting certain product lines;
• frustration with the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act, the Truth in Lending Act and the TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosure rule, which, collectively, accounted for 23% of all compliance expenses; and
• more anticipated competition in the future from non-depository entities for many products and services traditionally provided by community banks.
The survey is augmented by excerpts of interviews conducted by state banking commissioners with community bankers in 29 states, according to the release.
The complete survey can be viewed via the CSBS website at www.communitybanking.org,