The Kentucky Department of Financial Institutions, an agency of the Public Protection Cabinet, held a town hall meeting on June 11 in Lexington as part of the Community Banking in the 21st Century report released nationally.
The meeting was attended by 22 bankers, three federal regulators and four state regulators.
According to a release, these were the common themes from the meeting:
- 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.
Which… well… all of that could come as quite a shock to anyone who has spent years listening to Steve Beshear and others claim that Kentucky’s economy is among the best in the country.
All the talk from people like Alison Grimes claiming that thousands of new businesses have opened up in Kentucky creating untold numbers of jobs?
Those claims may just be imaginary.
We note, with particular interest, the bit about cybersecurity concerns. Really puts today’s earlier story in perspective.