As a director for the Board of the Kentucky Department of Financial Institutions (DFI), I had the pleasure of attending the 2014 annual meeting last month. The DFI Board is comprised of representatives of all segments of Kentucky’s financial industry. The DFI regulates state-chartered financial services, including, banks, trust companies, credit unions, check cashers and mortgage loan companies, and its mission is to protect the citizens of Kentucky by maintaining a stable financial industry through effective regulatory oversight.
At the annual meeting, I had the opportunity to share my knowledge and experience related to my extensive representation of banks and credit unions with the DFI’s executive staff. The DFI presented the DFI Board with reports and updates that provide us with insight into the current state of Kentucky’s financial industry. Fortunately, Kentucky’s financial institutions have continued to see slow but steady growth through 2014. Unfortunately, however, Kentucky’s financial institutions are increasingly competing for a smaller pool of qualified customers. Further, Kentucky’s community banks continue to face inconsistently applied and consistently changing federal regulations.
The DFI also updated the Board on its efforts to engage the industry to assist with those challenges. The DFI participated in the Conference of State Bank Supervisors’ (CSBS) national town hall series, culminating in the publication of the 2014 Community Bank in the 21st Century: Opportunities, Challenges and Perspectives. Late last summer, the DFI’s Commissioner, Charles A. Vice, on behalf of the CSBS, had the opportunity to testify on small depository institutions before the United States Senate’s Committee of Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs.