Federal Reserve Board ("FRB") Vice Chair for Supervision Randal K. Quarles asserted that community banks are "faring well" since the financial crisis.

In remarks before the Sixth Annual Community Banking Research and Policy Conference, Mr. Quarles reviewed the trends and policy issues affecting "community banks." Community banks are generally defined as banks or thrifts with less than $10 billion in assets. He stated that the number of community banks has declined over the past twenty years, with much of the decline occurring in community banks with less than $100 million in assets. Despite this decline, community banks continue to account for over 95 percent of the number of banks operating in the United States.

Mr. Quarles noted that bank mergers have reduced the number of bank headquarters offices in urban markets by 50 percent and in rural markets by 45 percent. He acknowledged concerns about the effect of industry consolidation on local communities, citing anecdotal evidence that banks are more attuned to the needs of the communities in which they are headquartered.

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