“The banks need more regulation. Look at the mess they got us into!” seems to be the mantra today. I was home sick last week and made the mistake of watching the news. The story opened with a graphic showing “Wall Street” and the red pitchfork of the devil. The announcer immediately went into a diatribe about the arrogance and greed of banks. Needless to say, there was no discernment between the handful of money center banks and the 8,200 other banks in the country.
If you sense I’m a tad bit sensitive about this topic, you’re right! The community banks of this country did not precipitate this calamity. The whole situation reminds me of a line from an Indigo Girls song – “Now I’m serving time for mistakes made by another in another lifetime.” Community banks like Chesapeake Bank have continued to lend in this economic recession and be supportive of the economies of the communities they serve.
The clarion call from Washington for greater regulation will unduly penalize the community banks of America – the ones who have continued to “play ball” over the past year. The disparate impact these proposed regulations will have on the industry is to drive smaller banks out of the market and further exacerbate “the big are getting bigger” (too big to fail) problem.
So, the next time you hear or read a report about the need to get the banks under control, think critically about your bank down the street and what they’ve done for your community. If you think we need to be tarred with the same brush, so be it. If not, please speak out!