Q&A with Lee Symcox
Regulation is biggest challenge facing Oklahoma bankers
Q: Can you explain what your role will be as part of the Community Depository Institutions Advisory Council for the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City?
A: There are 12 members on the Advisory Council from over the 10th Federal Reserve District, which covers Oklahoma, Kansas, Nebraska, Wyoming, Colorado, northern New Mexico and western Missouri. Our role is to provide the leadership of the Kansas City Federal Reserve Bank insight on various issues at a localized level so they can carry out their mission of conducting monetary policy, providing an efficient payment system and supervise and regulate banking operations.
Q: What are some of the issues that community banks are dealing with that you hope to bring to the Fed's attention?
A: The 10th District covers a relatively large geographical area and what I found very interesting is the diversity of the economies within the area. It is important for the Fed leadership to know what the sentiment of the businesses in our area is and what is holding back their ability and desire to expand. Probably one of the most pressing issues for the banking industry is the level of regulatory burden that is coming out of Washington. It has reached a level that many banks, particularly in smaller towns, are considering not providing certain products such as home loans to their customers. As a primary bank regulator, the Fed needs to hear these issues and fortunately, the leadership of the Kansas City Fed is very responsive to this feedback.