Monthly Archives: August 2010

I don’t normally like to brag about my employer…

…But, First National Bank recently received the 2010 WWR Outstanding Community Partner Award from the Community Banker’s Association of Ohio (CBAO).  This award is a testament to the quality, community-minded individuals who work at First National Bank.  An excerpt from the First National Bank press release follows:

 “On Friday, August 20th, First National Bank received the 2010 WWR Outstanding Community Partner Award at the CBAO Annual Convention.  

 The Community Bankers Association of Ohio (CBAO) and Weltman, Weinberg & Reis Co., L.P.A. (WWR) annually seek to honor community banks in Ohio that actively partner with their local communities to provide educational, community outreach and/or community service programs.  This award is meant to celebrate community banks in Ohio that are investing time and resources into their communities and inspiring others through their work.

 Of the 136 financial institutions in Ohio who are members of the CBAO, First National Bank was the sole recipient of the 2010 WWR Outstanding Community Partner Award.  Our nomination demonstrated the effort that our employees have given to the communities that we serve.  We are committed to service and we believe that our community bank is making a difference.

 We sincerely thank our FNB employees for their commitment to Building Community Greatness.  Their teamwork, dedication, and volunteerism were the keys to our community involvement, and their time and efforts are greatly appreciated.”


This week First National Bank of Pandora is celebrating the 20th anniversary of its Bluffton branch.  First National has been around since 1919 in Pandora, and the Bluffton office has been a community staple since 1990.  The branch is celebrating all week long by offering various specials, giving away coupons donated by local businesses, and having a cupcake reception on Friday, August 27. 

Thanks to all who have supported First National over the years and thanks for making the Bank and the Bluffton office an ongoing success.  Please stop by the office anytime this week and celebrate with us.

Thanks again!

Wall Street Reform Makes Deposit Insurance Increase Permanent

There are many changes coming down the pike from the recently enacted Wall Street Reform Bill.  Some of them will be easier to understand than others.  One change that makes a lot of sense isn’t really a change; it’s just a temporary regulation that was made permanent by the Wall Street Bill.  The insurance protecting your bank deposits has been permanently increased from $100,000 to $250,000. 

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) has been guaranteeing customer deposits since it was enacted in 1934.  The original limit in 1934 was $2,500 per individual.  The limit was raised six more times between 1935 and 1980, when the limit was increased to $100,000.  After the increase in 1980, the insurance cap stayed the same until Congress voted to temporarily increase the individual limit to $250,000 in 2008 as part of the $700 Billion TARP (Troubled Asset Relief Program) Bill that was a response to the recent financial crisis.  The TARP bill and the increase were both measures to designed to inspire confidence in America’s banking system and quell a growing concern with the national banking network. 

One additional inclusion to the recent Wall Street Reform Bill was to make the increase permanent retroactive to any bank failures beginning January 1, 2008, before the temporary increase was enacted.  So depositors who may have lost personal deposits in excess of $100,000 can now apply to get back deposits that were lost earlier in 2008.

Your coverage may actually be more than $250,000 depending on how your deposits are held at your local bank.  Depending on ownership and type of account, you could be eligible for more than $250,000 in coverage.  If you’re not familiar with FDIC coverage for your bank deposits there are many ways to get current.  Your local First National Banker—and any community banker—is a good resource for helping you understand the limits and determine if you are fully covered.  In addition, the FDIC has come out with several different resources including a deposit insurance calculator, a release detailing the increase with additional information, and a FAQ link for more answers.

The FDIC says depositors have never lost money on an insured deposit since the fund was created in 1934.  I guess this increase should give people even more assurance that their money is safe and that community banks like First National continue to be the safest place for bank deposits.


How Quickly We Forget

Saturday afternoon I had nap duty with the little one while the rest of the family headed to the pool. I flipped past ESPN while looking for something worth watching and noticed O.J. Simpson’s Ford Bronco on the screen. That piqued my interest so I put down the remote. Turns out I had tuned into one of ESPN’s “30 for 30” films. The network has been celebrating its 30th anniversary by airing 30 original documentary pieces about significant sports moments since September 7, 1979. Until Saturday I hadn’t paid much attention but this one caught my eye right away. Entitled “June 7, 1994,” it detailed one day in 1994 that included a number of significant sporting events, the most memorable being O.J. Simpson’s surreal ride on the Los Angeles Freeway that was watched by some 95 million viewers. The funny thing about the film to me was that it was fascinating, but I remember almost nothing about it! Watching it Saturday I was struck by the throngs of media that descended on the police station, the crowds of people that gathered on the overpasses to watch O.J.’s Bronco pass underneath, and the mass confusion surrounding the whole saga. Why didn’t I remember anything from that day? This may be a poor example, but the thing I took away from watching this documentary was that it is so easy to forget the past. Winston Churchill said that “those who forget history are bound to repeat it.” I tie this back to banking as my introduction to discussing the historic Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (2010). This is a very significant piece of legislation, but whether it will be effective remains to be seen. In a historical context this Act is one in a long line of reforms that were all designed to improve and/or fix a financial system. In some cases, like the Federal Reserve Act (1913), reform was designed to create a system (The Federal Reserve) whereby the general public could depend on the banking system. More recent reform like the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act (1999), repealed earlier legislation (Glass-Steagall, 1933) and loosened restrictions between banks, investment and securities firms, and insurance companies and allowed them to consolidate. The general consensus leading up to 1999 was that our financial world had advanced and this “old-fashioned” law was no longer needed in our sophisticated self-regulating world. Although many factors led to the financial crisis that came to a head in 2008, deregulation played a MAJOR role in the events that transpired. And this crisis is far from over, as the economic reverberations are still being felt in many different places around the world. So what did we learn from all this? Or putting it another way, what did we forget? The Dodd-Frank Act is a sweeping piece of legislation that will touch every corner of the financial services and banking industry. It created a new consumer protection council, permanently increased protection on FDIC insured deposits to $250,000, eliminated a federal regulatory agency, and that’s just the beginning. And finally, the Act also tried to tie up loose ends that came untied as a result of deregulation. It seems that we may have forgotten history and as a result we ended up repeating it. Some of the details and circumstances were different, but the results were not pretty in the 1920’s and 1930’s and the same holds true for 2007-2010. I’m not going to dig any deeper for now because I’d rather you think I know all the answers! What I do know is that the 2,300+ page bill is only the beginning of an avalanche of legislation and rule-writing that will transform the financial system once again. And for the record, the original Federal Reserve Act was only 32 pages. I’m hoping to spend some time discussing specific pieces of this new legislation in the coming months. I’m very interested to see how all of this pans out in Washington D.C. and I’m pretty sure I’ll have plenty to blog about from here on out.