President Barack Obama met with small and community bank CEOs on Tuesday and said he is looking for ways to help reduce their regulatory burdens.
“There are some banks that have seen the increase in the savings rate and higher deposits give them a pretty good capital base, but they're still constrained by some regulatory restraints,” President Obama said at a press conference today in a transcript provided by the White House.
“We are looking to see if there are possibilities to cut some of the red tape,” he added.
Obama said after speaking with the bankers that the message he took with him was that there were “enormous opportunities” for business growth and more hiring of workers.
“[E]verything that we're going to be doing here in the White House over the next several months is going to be geared towards catalyzing and spurring additional lending, particularly to small businesses, because we feel very optimistic that the work is behind us and that now is the time for us to seize opportunities. Obama said.
Community banks with $1 billion in assets or less represent about 12 percent of all bank assets, but support 31 percent of all small business loans that are less than $1 million, according to the Independent Community Bankers of America.
Meeting with the President today were eight bank chief executives which belong to the Independent Community Bankers of America who voiced concerns about overly aggressive examinations that can hinder small-business lending, according to a statement released by the ICBA today.