More than 200 vendors and bankers from across Kansas are in town through Saturday for the Community Bankers Association of Kansas annual convention.
It is the group's 32nd annual convention, which kicked off Thursday with a golf tournament at Crestview Country Club.
But even a cool July day on the links wasn't enough to prevent bankers from shop talk Thursday.
Shawn Mitchell, CBAK's president and CEO, said the conversation was already turning to federal financial reform, which is shaping up to be the topic at this year's convention.
"That's probably going to be the overlying tone of the conference, talking about that bill," Mitchell said Thursday.
The reform act, which has passed the House and awaits a full vote of the Senate, has some pluses and minuses for community banks.
One positive, Mitchell said, is the act's requirement of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. to base its fee assessments on a bank's assets instead of deposits. That levels the field for banks of all sizes in the FDIC's calculation of assessments, he said.
"Now that it's based on assets, it evens it out," Mitchell said. "That's something my group really fought for."
A not-so-positive element of financial reform is allowing the Federal Reserve to set the rates banks charge merchants on interchange fees, which are the fees merchants pay banks and credit card companies to process credit and debit card transactions. Mitchell said if the Fed sets those rates too low, "it (could) make it terribly expensive for banks" to operate the computer networks required to process transactions electronically.
Mitchell estimates turnout for this year's convention, which is being held at the Hyatt Regency Wichita, is probably a little bit down from past years when it's been held in Wichita.
"But they're pretty good numbers considering we're in a recession," he said.