National Meetings

Gruenberg: Banks face credit risks from loss of office space

The reduction in occupied commercial real estate space caused by a mass shift to remote work poses credit risks for banks, FDIC Chair Martin Gruenberg said in a March 7 speech during an Institute of International Bankers conference. The national average vacancy rate increased to 12.5 percent by the end of last year from 9.6 percent in March 2020. [Continue]

CRA reform proposal spurs debate on lending issues

Advocates who follow lending issues are divided about the likely impact of the proposed revisions to the Community Reinvestment Act. Some who see its potential to expand credit to currently underserved groups are calling the proposal an opportunity of a lifetime; others, who say the proposal fails to promote racial equity, characterize it as a missed opportunity. The current reform proposal, which is soliciting public comments until August 5, will look more closely at the income of borrowers, consider small business lending with a special focus on loans to very small businesses, compare exam findings with so-called “section 1071” data collected by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, and take steps to increase credit availability to areas currently considered credit deserts. [Continue]

People are community banking’s differentiator

Customer experience determines your place in the competitive landscape and that experience at community banks is largely determined by staff, Emily Sayer told attendees at the annual convention of the Independent Community Bankers of America. [Continue]