ABA Ag Expert Highlights Roles of All-Size Banks in Serving Farmers

It takes banks of all sizes to meet the needs of America’s agricultural producers, newly appointed ABA SVP Steve Apodaca said in a front-page interview with American Banker today. “Not all large banks can do all types of loans,” he pointed out. “If you’re a large bank you put in credit risk parameters that everyone has to follow. A community bank can tailor a product very specifically to the needs of a small business and have an advantage in terms of relationships.”

However, for large agribusinesses, “your needs won’t be met by a small community bank with $150 million of assets. You’re going to go to a mid-tier bank or one of the large banks.” Apodaca spent more than 25 years in banking, most recently as a commercial and ag lender at Wells Fargo in New Mexico, before joining ABA last month.

Apodaca also discussed trends in commodity prices that can affect ag lenders — which will be a hot topic at ABA’s National Agricultural Bankers Conference, Oct. 25-28 in Kansas City — as well as the competitive threat posed by a Farm Credit System that is lending aggressively outside of its farm-focused mandate.