FDIC Seeks Comment on New De Novo Handbook

The FDIC is asking for comments on a new handbook it has developed to help de novo banks apply for deposit insurance. The handbook offers guidance to new banks on pre-filing activities, the de novo application process and pre-opening activities. While it does not establish new policy or guidance or modify existing guidance, the handbook provides greater transparency on the FDIC’s review and approval process for de novos.

In its request for comment, the FDIC asked for feedback on the clarity and transparency provided by the handbook; whether it adequately addresses the requirements and procedures for all three phases of the de novo process; the quality of information it provides to organizers with and without previous banking experience; and on the helpfulness of comments from successful bank CEOs regarding de novo formation.

ABA has long advocated for regulators to increase their efforts to spur de novo formation and welcomed the FDIC’s announcement, the latest in a series of steps taken by the agency to encourage new bank charters. Previously, the FDIC said that it would reduce the de novo period from seven years to three years, and updated its guidance on regulatory expectations for new banks.

De novo banks have been scarce in the years since the financial crisis — since 2010, there have only been three new banks chartered in the U.S. ABA will continue to provide feedback to the FDIC on these and other initiatives to increase new bank applications. Comments on the handbook are due Feb. 20 and may be submitted to handbookcomments@fdic.gov. For more information, contact ABA’s Cecelia Calaby or Shaun Kern.