Office of Financial Institutions

Press Release Date:  Monday, October 15, 2007  
Contact Information:  Kelly May
Public Information Officer
502-573-3390, ext. 252

    FRANKFORT, Ky. (Oct. 15, 2007) – A recent conference hosted by the Kentucky Office of Financial Institutions (OFI) provided bankers with information on trends in the industry and fostered communications between bankers and state regulators.

    “We believe there is value in being a state-chartered institution, and we’re always willing to answer questions,” said OFI Executive Director Cordell Lawrence.

    Twenty-eight people attended this first-ever event, held at the Marriott Louisville Downtown. Attendees received information on succession planning, real estate, regulatory issues, the mortgage market, tax credit investments and national legislative issues.

    The conference was co-sponsored by OFI and the Conference of State Bank Supervisors (CSBS), a national organization that represents all state financial institution regulators.

    CSBS provided two speakers who presented information on steps toward implementation and compliance with the Commercial Real Estate Guidance and information on federal legislation and oversight currently in progress.

    Lawrence presented an overview of OFI’s succession plan, which will ensure that OFI maintains a knowledgeable and experienced staff despite potential losses to retirements and the industry. OFI’s bank management staff participated in a regulatory panel with staff from the regional office of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. (FDIC) to provide bankers with information about common regulatory issues.

    At lunch attendees heard from FDIC Director Thomas J. Curry, who discussed the current dynamics of the nation’s mortgage market.

    “The banking industry as a whole remains strong and healthy,” Curry said, while cautioning that institutions are not immune to the problems of the mortgage industry. “The landscape has changed and more challenging times are ahead.”

    In the afternoon, guests heard from staff of The Housing Partnership Inc. and Kentucky Housing Corp. about affordable housing and historic tax credit investments. Bankers learned what they are, how they work and the benefits of investing in a project in their local community.

    “The concept of the meeting and content of the information imparted to the bank executives was well received,” Lawrence said. “The comments I received were encouraging.

    “As a result, the Office of Financial Institutions will begin planning for another conference next year for the benefit of Kentucky’s bankers and to enhance the consultative supervisory relationship that it engenders,” he said.

    OFI is an agency of the Department of Public Protection in the Environmental and Public Protection Cabinet.  It licenses, charters and regulates the activities of state-chartered/licensed depository and nondepository financial institutions. OFI’s mission is to serve the public through effective and efficient regulation that promotes consumer confidence and economic growth.