Defining What a Bank Is

Jan. 12, 2011

It has been nearly two and half years since the Great Recession took hold of this great country. At that time, bankers were erroneously vilified as the cause of the economic turmoil.

While a few banks may have been a part of the problem, even President Obama noted in his original bank regulatory reform proposal that 94 percent of the subprime mortgage loans that were at the root of the chaos were made by nonbank mortgage companies. Yet he openly took unfair shots at bankers. Shameful!

Nearly all of the over 300 banks that have failed as a result of the recession were victims, as much as any homeowner who faced foreclosure.

If the banking industry is guilty of anything, it is guilty of failing to define what it is. Banks are financial institutions that take deposits from and make loans to the general public.

Banks are not mortgage brokers, independent mortgage companies, insurance companies, investment banks or finance companies. None of those companies are under the regulatory scrutiny of bank depository institutions. So let’s be fair and only call a bank a bank.

– S. Joe DeHaven

2 Responses to Defining What a Bank Is

  1. Dave Geis says:


    Good to get this discussion started. I note that sometimes we must define ourselves as what we are not.

    We have a lot of work to do to define and polish up our image as bank’s thanks to the President, our Congress and all the talking heads.

    • Joe DeHaven says:

      Dave, thanks for the comments. It will take a long time to recover our reputation, but we have to start now. I hope to have more blogs on the facts surrounding the financial crisis in the coming months. I fear that my voice may not be enough to do much good, but maybe others will pick up on it.


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