33-year banking veteran Glenn Moyer is Governor Tom Corbett’s pick to lead the Pennsylvania Department of Banking. The lifelong Pennsylvania native was recently confirmed as the chief executive of the 120-year-old department, overseeing some 225 Pennsylvania state-chartered banks, thrifts, credit unions and trust companies, and licensing more than 14,000 non-depository financial services companies. The one-time Air Force officer sees his agency’s mission with clear eyes and unrelenting optimism. PACB President and CEO Nick DiFrancesco recently sat down with Pennsylvania’s newly installed Banking Secretary, Glenn Moyer. The two talked about protecting the dual banking system and the Corbett Administration’s vision for economic renewal.
Despite ongoing economic challenges and an increasingly complex regulatory environment, Pennsylvania’s community banks have reason for optimism, says Secretary of Banking Glenn E. Moyer. PACB recently sat down with Secretary Moyer to discuss the health of Pennsylvania’s community banks and the long-term viability of the dual banking system.
Moyer, who became Pennsylvania Secretary of Banking in April, acknowledges the difficulty facing banks but said he believes that the banking industry in Pennsylvania is in better condition than in many other regions of the country.
“I’m optimistic. Yes, we have to address problems, but there is a good base for us to grow forward. The banking industry can become a real contributor to the kind of job creation and private sector growth the Corbett Administration favors.”
Among the more pressing concerns of community banks remains the effectiveness of the dual banking system—the backbone of the community banking industry. According to Moyer, a robust dual banking system is critical to Pennsylvania’s economic progress, and ensuring its long-term success is one the primary reasons he agreed to become the Secretary of Banking.
“Now, more than ever, we can see major differences between state and federal regulatory environments,” said Moyer, who has 33 years of community banking experience, including stints in both state and federal charter systems. Among other things, Moyer believes it is imperative that each bank has the choice to pursue the charter most in line with its goals, whether state or federal.
In recent months, three Pennsylvania banks—Univest, Riverview, and Crescent—have transitioned from a federal charter to a state charter. As many as seven more banks are in the process of doing the same—a sign that a growing number of banks are looking to the state system to help them better differentiate their products and services.
Moyer called the renewed interest in state charters “a real opportunity for the commonwealth,” and that his department will work with banks interested in converting—so long as the bank is well managed, well capitalized and committed to progress and growth for the people of Pennsylvania.
However, he cautions banks to consider a conversion for the right reasons. Banks should only convert to a state charter if they believe state regulators will do a better job than the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) in helping them to succeed in their local communities.
For its part, the Department of Banking is engaged in a long-term, comprehensive assessment of the state regulatory environment that includes industry feed-back. In the near term, Moyer believes there are small legislative changes that could have a significant impact on many banks.
One of those changes includes revising the Banking Code of 1965 to make it easier for some federally chartered banks to transition to a state charter. The current code bars banks whose names include the full words “federal” or “national” or “any abbreviation thereof” from state charter. Consequently, banks seeking a state charter often must rename and rebrand at significant cost. Simply eliminating from the code, “any abbreviation thereof,” would enable banks to become state chartered without a costly rebranding campaign. Moyer estimates that a significant number of Pennsylvania’s federally chartered banks could more easily become state chartered under this modest revision.