[B]anks whose headquarters and key decisionmakers are hundreds or thousands of miles away inevitably lack the in-depth local knowledge that community banks use to assess character and conditions when making credit decisions.See Bernanke's full comments.
In fact, a majority of the smallest banks (in this case, those with assets of $250 million or less) actually increased their small business lending during this period. And while banks with assets between $250 million and $1 billion showed a slight decline in small business lending over this period, the contraction was not nearly as sharp as it was for the largest banks.
Community banks face substantial challenges in the months and years to come, including still-difficult economic conditions, continued uncertainties in real estate and other key markets, and a changing regulatory environment.
But community banks have faced difficult times before, and the industry has remained vibrant and resilient. I am confident that community banking will successfully navigate these new challenges as well.
Wednesday, March 23, 2011
Bernanke Stresses Importance of Community Banks
Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke described the vital role that community banks play in the economy, the value that the Federal Reserve places on insights from community banks, and the growing pressures of regulatory reform.