Mr. Pell goes to Washington

From left, Tim Grooms, Shalana Shreffler, Chad Wilson, and Mike Pell in front of the U.S. Capitol Building on their recent trip to Washington.

Ohio bankers push for right-sized regulation in nation’s capitol – 

By Patricia Beech – 

While Republicans and Democrats in Congress may not be able to agree on much, they appear to have dropped their bipartisan wrangling long enough to tackle banking regulations that would free mid-size and community banks from stifling regulations.
That’s good news for bankers like Mike Pell who say that regulations enacted by the 2010 Todd-Frank Act unfairly penalize small banks across the country.
Pell, who is President of First State Bank and Chairman of the Ohio Banker’s League (OBL), traveled with more than 100 OBL members to Washington D.C. last week for the annual OBL D.C. Fly-in.
He said the bankers urged legislators to pass tailored regulatory reform, establish a uniform national data security standard, and level the taxation playing field with credit unions.
Small rural banks have been drastically impacted by the thousands of pages of additional regulations that have been added since the financial crisis, some of which have hurt their ability to lend and act as economic engines in communities across Ohio.
Pell said the purpose of the three-day trip was twofold.
“We wanted to make sure that members of Congress know just how important this legislation is to us,” he said. “And we wanted to be sure they are sensitive to the fact that small community banks across this country are effected when they penalize the big banks.”
Sponsored by Senate Banking Committee Chair Mike Crapo (R-ID), the legislation would rewrite parts of the Dodd-Frank Act which was enacted in response to the 2008 financial crisis which saw millions of Americans lose their homes, jobs, and retirement savings.
The new bill is expected to adjust the size at which banks become subject to regulatory scrutiny, thereby exempting smaller banks from some of the requirements for loans, mortgages, and other transactions.
Pell and his fellow OBL members also visited the offices of Senator Rob Portman (R-OH), Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH), and Representative Brad Wenstrup (R-OH). They also met with members of the FDIC and the Federal Reserve.
Pell said he has positive expectations regarding the bill.
“For the most part legislators appreciate the intolerable regulatory burden that has been placed on Ohio banks over the past ten years,” he said. “We look forward to seeing much-needed progress on regulatory relief in the coming weeks.”
Legislation currently in the U.S. Senate, S. 2155, will address some of the most pressing issues currently impacting community banks, like restrictions around mortgage lending, harmful capital guidelines, and other overly complex financial rules.
The changes will allow Ohio banks to continue to serve their customers and communities without compromising safety and soundness.
The Ohio Bankers League is the trade association for the Ohio banking industry – and is Ohio’s only organization focused on meeting the needs of all banks and thrifts in the Buckeye State.
For more than 100 years, the OBL has been the voice of the Ohio banking industry fostering a cooperation that has made it one of the strongest and most reputable financial trade associations in the country.
The non-profit association is comprised of 200 FDIC-insured financial institutions including commercial banks, savings banks, and savings and loans associations ranging in size from just over $20 million in assets to more than $3 trillion.
By linking banks, bankers, and industry experts – and by pooling their intellectual and capital resources – the OBL has served as a powerful creator of knowledge and collective resources for the banking industry.
“We are indebted to our strong delegation of 104 bankers who came from every corner of Ohio to join us on Capitol Hill,” OBL General Counsel Jeff Quayle said in a press release last week. “The industry’s message really resonated, and we expect to see positive action as a result.”
FirstState Bank has been in operation since 1884. Presently, there is a Loan Production Office in Wilmington and 11 Banking Center locations: Manchester, Peebles, Seaman, West Union, Winchester, Ripley, Georgetown, Mt. Orab, Hillsboro, St. Bernard and Washington Court House.