The speakers at the 12th annual Chicago Fed Community Bankers Symposium addressed inflation equilibrium, consumer compliance, CECL, and other timely issues before an audience of over 150 bankers on November 17. WBA's Mike Semmann, multiple Wisconsin bankers, and DFI Banking Division Administrator Cheryll Olson-Collins attended the one-day seminar focused on regulatory process and a few practical applications for bankers.

Chicago Fed President/CEO Charles Evans examined what he called "inflation equilibrium" and why it should be a priority issue for the Federal Reserve System. According to Evans, "the public's inflation expectations appear to me to have drifted down below the Federal Open Market Committee's (FOMC) 2 percent symmetric inflation target." He theorized that while GDP is strong, inflation is simply too low.

Another key takeaway for Wisconsin's community bankers was the discussion on CECL compliance. Assistant Chief Accountant of the Federal Reserve System Board of Governors Lara Lylozian indicated that, in many ways, community banks already manage CECL requirements as a part of their normal business operations. However, she encouraged bankers to take an active approach to complying with CECL and intimated that many may find the process less arduous than anticipated.

Community bankers were very open with their questions and expressed concern about the treatment of brokered or pooled deposits in the current interest rate environment and asked regulators for a more thoughtful approach in dealing with them in the course of the examination process.