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FDIC to reduce monitoring period for de novos

TheFDIC will reduce the heightened supervisory monitoring period for de novo banksfrom seven years to three years, agency Chairman Martin Gruenberg said in aspeech April 6.

"Theseven-year period was established during the financial crisis in response tothe disproportionate number of de novo institutions that were experiencingdifficulties or failing," Gruenberg said. "In the currentenvironment, and in light of strengthened, forward-looking supervision, it isappropriate to go back to the three-year period."

TheFDIC has seen increased interest in de novo charters in recent quarters andthere is "ample room" for new community banks whose business plansand funding structures pass muster, Gruenberg said.

"Theentry of new banks has helped to preserve the vitality of the community bankingsector during this 30-year period of consolidation," he said. "Denovo institutions fill important gaps in our local banking markets, providingcredit and services to communities that may be overlooked by largerinstitutions."

Gruenbergemphasized that the FDIC welcomes deposit insurance applications. To that end, hesaid the agency is developing a handbook to help guide applicants through thereview process, and is also planning outreach meetings with the bankingindustry.

"I should note that establishing even a small communitybank is a challenging endeavor. Developing a sound business plan, raising theneeded financial resources, and recruiting competent leadership and staff takeswork and we want to ensure that every new institution that is established is ina position to succeed," he said. "But we are very committed toworking with, and providing support to, any group with an interest in startinga community bank."