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Report: attracting human capital and market conditions among challenges community banks face

FRANKFORT, Ky. (Oct. 1, 2015) — “Community Banking in the 21st Century,” a new report that details conditions facing today’s community banks, was released today.

Community bankers provided input at town hall meetings hosted by state regulators in 27 states, including Kentucky. The challenges and successes in each of those states are highlighted within the publication. The town hall meeting results provide a unique opportunity to connect quantitative data from a national survey of community bankers with the stories and experiences of bankers serving their communities.

Kentucky’s Town Hall meeting on June 11 in Lexington was attended by 22 bankers, three federal regulators and four state regulators.

Common themes of the meeting were:

  • Competition – Competition for financial services is coming from a variety of non-bank sources. Community bankers feel they are at a competitive disadvantage because they are held to a higher standard than non-bank financial services providers. New regulations limit their flexibility when offering services or developing new products to meet customer demands.
  • Economy/Market Conditions – Kentucky’s community bankers are seeing little entrepreneurship or new business formation, but remain optimistic.  Kentucky generally remains more insulated from the aftereffects of the recession compared to many other states. Community banks in the state are performing better than national averages.
  • Borrowing Attitudes – Kentucky’s borrowers are still hesitant and unwilling to take the risks that they were willing to take prior to the recession.
  • Regulatory Burden – Open communication lines between bankers and regulators are critical. Community bankers believe that regulatory burden affects their ability to provide services and has limited their ability to offer new products.
  • Human Capital – Attracting human capital is a significant challenge, especially in small insular communities. Employing high school and college students as interns and offering flexible schedules has proven effective.
  • Emerging Issues – Better information sharing may help with cybersecurity concerns.