FDIC chair encourages regulators to foster better relationships between banks, communities

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Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) Chair Jelena McWilliams is encouraging regulatory agencies to foster better relationships between banks and their communities.

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“The role of regulatory agencies is not to stand in the way of relationships between banks and the communities they serve but to encourage them. To achieve that goal requires that regulators get out of the D.C. ‘beltway’ and hear firsthand both from the bankers and the communities they serve. In my first year at the FDIC, I am almost halfway through a 50-state listening tour,” McWilliams said at the Community Development Bankers Association’s Peer Forum and Membership Meeting in Washington, D.C., this week.

Over the past year, McWilliams has been meeting with local bankers, state supervisors, and consumer groups for feedback on the needs of their local communities, the FDIC’s regulatory approach, ideas to promote economic inclusion, and other important topics. Also, she has encouraged her staff to actively seek ways to reduce the regulatory burden on community banks and encourage community banking. She is also working toward preserving Minority Depository Institutions (MDIs) and ensuring that the regulatory framework supports banks to offer products and services to low- and moderate-income households. McWilliams is also looking to modernize the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) to provide clarity to institutions on their CRA obligations.

“I look forward to working with you to build wealth in our communities, expand access to safe banking products and services, and bring unbanked and underbanked consumers into the banking fold,” McWilliams said.

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