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After several years of pandemic-related internal and external challenges, the nation’s community bankers have largely turned their focus to traditional concerns related to the economy, technology and competition from nonbank providers.

In the last several years, fintech firms and other novel financial firms have expressed interest in obtaining master accounts and services with the Federal Reserve. After several proposals and rounds of comments from interested parties, the Federal Reserve Board in mid-August finalized guidelines for evaluating nontraditional financial institutions’ requests to be granted master accounts and access to the Fed’s payment services.

In mid-June, the Federal Reserve released the Expected Losses Estimator (ELE), a spreadsheet-based tool designed to help community banks calculate their allowances for credit losses under the new Current Expected Credit Losses (CECL) accounting standard. As with the SCALE tool released last summer, the ELE will assist small and less complex banks in complying with CECL.

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Take Five is a popular video series featuring St. Louis Fed economist Dr. Kathleen Navin. In each video, Navin provides a quick, concise synopsis of the most recent meeting of the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC).