Manasquan Savings Bank President, Jim Vaccaro had the honor of speaking to the Federal Reserve Board Governor Elizabeth Duke about the unique needs of mutual banks and the dangers of grouping mutual and commercial banks into one size fits all regulations. Governor Duke, met with Vaccaro, and three other mutual banking executives on February 13, 2013. The Washington D.C event was organized by America’s Mutual Banks (AMB).
Vaccaro relayed his own personal experiences of recently becoming CEO of Manasquan Savings Bank, a mutual bank, after years of leading a stockholder owned community commercial bank and discussed the fundamental difference between the two. He pointed out that unlike stock owned companies, his board and the customers have a common interest with no private constituency seeking to gain profit from the customers.
He also pointed out the growth opportunities in his markets and the opportunities for acquisitions for merger would be enhanced with a capital instrument that was available to mutual banks.
Governor Duke acknowledges the Federal Reserve Board has a lot to learn about mutual banks. She also agreed that the development of a tier one capital instrument for mutual banks that did not sacrifice safety and soundness concerns may be advisable. She proposed that perhaps it may be feasible to establish an interagency task force work with AMB to tackle the matter at hand.
“I certainly enjoyed the privilege to have the opportunity to meet with Governor Duke on almost a one-on-one basis,” says Vacarro. “She has been a consistent champion of the Community Banking industry and certainly recognizes the unique market and regulatory challenges that the current environment places on community based financial institutions. We are hopeful that the initial meeting will foster additional dialogue, that will result in meaningful input and influence from mutual bankers in establishing an equitable regulatory framework.”