A rare rebuke from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. has only emboldened the makers of an accusatory YouTube video against the agency despite the vehement denial by the FDIC of any “sweetheart deal” in the sale of seized assets of IndyMac to a group of prominent investors. More YouTube videos by other real estate industry-related bloggers have surfaced reciting the same storyline in the deal between the FDIC and OneWest Bank – formerly IndyMac.
The Federal Reserve has offered guidance in the past to new bank directors – professionals who are asked to serve on boards and often come from other business sectors – but today it has launched a website for the first time that provides bank basics and urges new overseers to be vigilant and active. The new site, http://BankDirectorsDesktop.org, is primarily for new directors of community banks and includes online training and other resources “to help directors better understand the issues and challenges.”
A “poorly organized” regulatory system had much to do with the U.S. financial meltdown, JPMorgan Chase Chief Executive Jamie Dimon told a special Congressional panel today, and he defended his bank’s policies then and now. In prepared testimony for the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission, the 10-member panel created by the U.S. Congress to examine the causes of the financial crisis, Dimon pointed to an ill-prepared regulatory system without the necessary legal authority as a chief failing that led to the meltdown.
It’s no wonder banks are still tightening lending policies, despite urging from President Obama to expand credit access to small businesses. The banks keep getting warnings from regulators about “interest rate risk,” or IRR. The Federal Reserve, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. and other regulators want the three initials ingrained in the minds of bank executives overseeing risk exposure, particularly as interest rates are poised to move up in coming months.
Fueled by higher volumes of long-term mortgages, small- and medium-sized banks are becoming more vulnerable to risks when interest rates shift higher in coming months. And these institutions should begin to take precautions, said the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. today. “For almost 20 percent of banks, longer-term assets comprise more than half of assets,” the FDIC said. “This is up from 2006, when longer-term assets made up the majority of assets at only 11 percent of banks.”
The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. said today it approved a $4 billion budget for 2010 – a 55 percent increase from this year – to safeguard against “an even larger number of bank failures.” Bank failures climbed to 133 so far this year, the highest number since 1992. There were 25 bank collapses in 2008.
In its first study of “underbanked” households, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. found that only a quarter of 1,300 banks surveyed directly marketed their services to individuals who are under-served or not served at all by banking services in their community. The study’s results, released this week, seemed to go beyond the FDIC’s estimates: 73 percent of banks are aware that significant “unbanked and/or underbanked populations” are in their market areas, but less than 18 percent of banks identify expanding services to this sector as a priority in their business strategy.