Bobby Hoxworth

Bobby Hoxworth
TBA Chairman

TBA bridges the gap

In the highly regulatory environment in which our banks work, it seems as though every day financial institution regulators are issuing new statements, guidance, rules, best practices and recommendations. Keeping up with this constant flow of information, including filtering through it all and prioritizing implementation, is more than a full-time job.

As an example, on July 22, the regulators issued a joint statement on “Risk-Focused Bank Secrecy Act/Anti-Money Laundering Supervision,” which contained valuable information to assure that BSA/AML compliance programs are designed to meet BSA requirements. This information could have easily been overlooked due to the massive amounts of information banks constantly receive all while trying to serve our customers and communities.

I believe we must constantly improve communication between regulatory agencies and banks in Texas to help with timely sharing of regulatory information, best practices and field observations so that all banks are better equipped to respond in advance of a regulatory exam.

Who better to serve as a conduit for this type of assistance than the Texas Bankers Association? While TBA already invites regulators to speak at conferences, the Annual Convention and other educational events, we can do better in terms of frequency and depth of coverage through regular dialogue with the regulators followed by informational updates to our member banks.

In discussing this issue with TBA President & CEO Chris Furlow, he has made it a priority for TBA to look for opportunities where we can act as a critical conduit between our Texas banks and our regulators to get their message out to bankers.  Through meaningful dialogue with regulators, coupled with actionable intelligence that can be timely distributed to the banks across the state, we as an industry can be more proactive and less reactive to this critical information flow.

In last month’s issue of Texas Banking, which was devoted exclusively to cybersecurity matters, we included a question-and-answer feature with the financial regulators. We are looking at other ways to fill this critical need as well, including the new Texas Banking podcast to include conversations with regulators and offering webinars that bring the regulators to our bankers in the most efficient way possible.

Additionally, we are exploring new technology platforms for facilitating real-time conversations with designees of all regulatory agencies to glean information that will be useful and actionable for our Texas banks and bankers and disseminating that information in a clear and concise manner.

While this is a project that is easier said than done, I am confident that the results we will achieve are worthy of the effort. Bankers and regulators across Texas share a common goal of working hard to ensure our state has a strong and vibrant banking industry. The Texas Bankers Association, the oldest and largest state banking association in the nation, knows that strong banks make stronger communities. Our work on behalf of Texas banks to ensure a more seamless and timely flow of regulatory thoughts and concerns will equate to a stronger Texas banking industry.

I welcome your suggestions on additional ways TBA can stand in the gap and serve as a regulatory information conduit as we move forward.