There is much to like in the recently released report of the Volcker Alliance. Unfortunately, however, there is little discussion of those banking institutions commonly referred to as community banks.
At roughly the same time last month, the Independent Community Bankers Association of America highlighted in a press release the importance of community banks in helping small businesses gain financial stability. The release said there are roughly:
6,000 community banks, including commercial banks, thrifts, stock and mutual savings institutions. Assets may range from less than $10 million to $10 billion or more. Across the nation, community banks operate 52,000 locations, employ 700,000 Americans and hold $3.6 trillion in assets, $2.9 trillion in deposits and $2.4 trillion in loans to consumers, small businesses and the agricultural community.
The relative unimportance of the community banking industry, notwithstanding employment of roughly 700,000 people, to those who prepared the Volcker Alliance report on regulatory reform suggests just how concentrated in large banking organizations the financial services industry has become following the Great Recession. The draftsmen just had bigger fish to fry.…