Bruce Schriefer was impressed with the reception he and 13 other bankers received last week at the first meeting of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.' s Advisory Committee on Community Banking.
Schriefer and the other bankers were named in September to serve on the newly formed national committee, which will advise the FDIC on the effects of the financial crisis and the agency's policymaking on banks with assets of less than $1 billion.
Schriefer, president of Wichita-based Banker's Bank of Kansas, said that FDIC chairman Sheila Bair and all the agency's senior executives were in attendance for most of the eight-hour meeting Thursday in Washington, D.C.
"She was very engaged, and I was just really very pleased with the whole process," Schriefer said.
Schriefer said the committee discussed a number of issues but that two in particular stood out to him.
One was discussion about providing bridge capital to smaller banks.
"It was talked about how the TARP (Troubled Assets Relief Program) had such a bad name in the public's eye," he said. "But some form of bridge capital for some banks might be beneficial."
Beneficial, that is, to preventing some community banks from failing during the recession, he said.
Fewer failures would reduce the financial impact on the Deposit Insurance Fund.
According to the FDIC's latest information, the insurance fund decreased by 20 percent, or $2.6 billion, during the second quarter to $10 billion. Part of the decrease was attributed to the 24 bank failures during the quarter.
Schriefer also said there was discussion about better guidance on how examiners classify performing and nonperforming loans.
Some performing loans are being classified as nonperforming because the appraised values of real estate tied to those loans are lower, but the borrowers continue to make timely payments on them.
Schriefer said he thought the committee made an impression on the FDIC because at the meeting's close an agency official discussed making the meetings quarterly instead of semi-annual, he said.
FDIC spokesman Andrew Gray said that agency officials were pleased with the results of the meeting but didn't know if they were going to change the frequency of the meetings.
"Internally, the feedback was quite good" about the committee, Gray said.