Thursday, June 12, 2014

Risk-weighted capital requirements creates a competitive disadvantage for community banks; as well as for their clients usually perceived as "riskier" .

Inasmuch the clients of the community banks belong more to the category of “risky”, like medium and small businesses, entrepreneurs and start-ups, whose fair access to bank credit is discriminated against, by banks being required to hold more capital against them that against the “safe”… and inasmuch larger banks have more access to borrowers perceived as "safe", or can easier structure operations as “safe”, and therefore benefit from lower capital requirements... which means being able to leverage their equity much more…. we can indeed argue that current regulations place community banks in a competitive disadvantage.

And so if community banks want to survive, they need to protest and fight against the whole concept of risk weighted capital requirements… and that should not be so difficult since the de-facto discrimination against the fair access to bank credit of “the risky”, should not be permitted under Equal Credit Opportunity Act (Regulation B).

And besides, community banks, ask your regulators to show you evidence of when excessive bank exposures to those ex ante perceived as "risky" have ever set off a major crisis. They will not be able to do so!

And agreeing from a different perspective with Thomas Hoenig of the FDIC, I guarantee you that letting the Too-Big-To-Fail-Banks roam in regulations distinct from that of the community banks, would only, medium term, condemn the community banks and bankers to disappear.

Frankly... in the "Home of the brave"... who came up with the idea of discriminating against the "risky" risk-takers who have made this country, so that they do not have any longer a fair access to bank credit?