If this story is true, and The Pocahontas Princess is serious, and not merely shining us on, this story needs more "pop" in the trade press than it's received thus far.
Community banks represented 95% of all banking organizations in 2011 but represented only 14% of all the banking assets in the nation. However, community banks held 46% of all the small loans to businesses, according to a study done by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.
In light of this, Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., said in a hearing with the Senate committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs, "Are we reaching a point where we should have a two-tiered regulatory system?"
Small banks are subject to many regulations that were written for larger institutions, so now there is a regulation system that will in effect crush the smaller institutions, Warren explained.
Except in St. Louis, the news that the Dr. Frankenstein of the soul-crushing CFPB is urging in Senate hearings that her fellow solons join her in lessening the regulatory burden that threatens to flatten the community banking business was met by the trade and main stream media with a yawn the size of the Grand Canyon. However, in "The Rome of the West," the local business press (via reporter Greg Edwards) stood up, took notice, and cheered on The Cherokee Chickadee, albeit with a tone of amazement.
Community bankers have been saying for years that they shouldn’t be saddled with the same regulations designed for big banks. However, Warren is a bit of a surprise as an ally. Since joining the Senate Banking Committee this year, the freshman senator has been critical of banks in many respects.
"Critical of banks in many respects." That's a nice way of saying "Comparing bankers to something so foul that if you find it adhering to the sole of your shoe, you don't scrape it off, you buy a new pair."
Liz styles herself as a populist, which, in this day and age, means she drinks her Pinot Grigio with her mitt wrapped firmly around the glass, rather than with the pinky finger extended. Championing the "little guy" she's done so much to beat down is a smart play, at least from a PR standpoint. On the remote chance that she actually might be willing to follow through along this line, I think community bank trade groups should be all over her on this topic like they would be if Lindsay Lohan showed up on time for a court hearing. In other words, this is an opportunity that is worth a further effort, if for no other reason than to see if there's any there, there.
This may be one issue where Richard Shelby and Elizabeth Warren can agree on something related to banking, or at least discuss it face-to-face without each having the suppress the urge to beat the other senseless with a tire iron.