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Stinner named to head banker’s group
May 09, 2013 Jerry Purvis   

Read more by Jerry Purvis

Courtesy Photo - John Stinner was recently elected as chairman of the Nebraska Bankers Association. Officers include, from left, NBA Chairman-Elect Craig Brewster of Butte State Bank in Butte, NBA Immediate Past Chairman Clark Lehr of First Nebraska Bank in Columbus, NBA Chairman John Stinner, and NBA President and CEO George Beattie of Lincoln.

During their recent annual convention in Omaha, the Nebraska Bankers Association named John Stinner, President and CEO of Valley Bank and Trust Company in Gering, as the group’s chairman.

“There will be a lot of work and travel involved, as the NBA sets the agenda for me,” Stinner said. “Of course, the agenda will be dictated by events that affect the banking industry and what kind of legislation comes up.”

One piece of legislation that Stinner has spoken about is the Dodd-Frank Act, passed by Congress to address the problem of predatory lending practices that caused the housing crisis in 2008.

Stinner said a lack of knowledge over the role of community banks and investment banks led to the “one size fits all” legislation. Only about half of the bill’s mandates have been implemented so far, but since its passage, 475 banks across the nation have gone out of business and no new banks were chartered last year.

Stinner said it was the large investment banks like Lehman Brothers and Goldman Sachs that sold the “exotic” mortgages that caused the housing crash. Almost 99 percent of community banks weren’t involved in those lending practices.

“Too much regulation and red tape coming out of Washington is punitive on the banks and on everyone else,” he said. “It’s not that bankers are against being regulated, but the regulations need to make sense. A lot of the regulations that affect everyone just don’t apply to community banks.”

Stinner added that because of the increased number of regulations and changes in what makes for a qualified mortgage, some smaller banks are getting out of the mortgage business altogether. But he said his bank plans to stay in.

“We just need to keep working for sensible regulations,” he said. “The Nebraska Bankers Association is the voice for that.”

Stinner said community banks are plugged in on a more unique basis with their customers and their communities. In addition to helping people get the needed financing to purchase a new home or start a new business, they support the community and its activities. A recent example was the local banks all supporting the new Legacy of the Plains Museums. They also supported Bayard High School in getting a new track.

“As a community bank, our role is to partner with the community and create that unique relationship,” he said. “America is full of smart bankers, bright businessmen and women, and energetic entrepreneurs. We are all eager to innovate and grow market and hire – if government would just do the right thing and get out of the way.”
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