Banking in the Ninth

Engaging Effectively with the Public

Ninth District Highlights - July 2018

Christine Gaffney | Senior Vice President

Published July 31, 2018  | July 2018 issue

Christine Gaffney

One of the Minneapolis Fed’s high-priority initiatives is engaging effectively with the public. We refer to this as outreach. From the Supervision, Regulation, and Credit (SRC) perspective, we conduct outreach in several ways. In addition to relationship-building, the main purposes are information-sharing and education. With that as an overarching theme, I classify our efforts to engage with the public into two parts: (1) traditional outreach, which we deliberately schedule and plan formally, and (2) ad hoc outreach, when we respond to requests to provide information, participate in events, or contact stakeholders.

This article highlights the various ways in which we engage with bankers and the broader public for training and outreach activities. We also would like to solicit your views on what we can do better and what additional activities or information you would find helpful. You are welcome to submit your ideas, feedback, or views to the SRC outreach email box at mpls.src.outreach@mpls.frb.org.

Traditional Outreach

SRC has a long history of participating in and organizing traditional outreach events. Activities I put in this category include conferences, seminars, on-site visits, and written publications, among others.

For in-person events, SRC’s focus is often on our state member banks, for which we are the primary regulator; however, we also host and participate in events that focus on bank holding companies. In addition, we host outreach sessions in partnership with our state and federal regulatory counterparts and various industry associations. These sessions and events focus on issues we see in the regulatory environment, emerging risks, and current conditions. Events of this type are often staffed by our examination officers and subject matter experts.

For written publications, such as Banking in the Ninth, the audience is quite broad, since we can provide this information in hard copy and electronically (both by email and on our public website). While we focus on supervisory practices, the broader readership provides an opportunity for us to highlight economic conditions and trends throughout the Ninth District and to provide information on other areas of SRC, such as applications, statistics, and the discount window. Using a combination of events and publications allows us to cover a range of topics.

Oftentimes, SRC staff are asked to speak on a panel or at a conference based on an established relationship. Examples include partnerships with state counterparts, industry associations, certified public accounting firms, or local chambers of commerce and Rotary clubs.

Ad Hoc Outreach

Staff at our Reserve Bank, including staff in SRC, frequently receive requests to speak at private or industry events. Oftentimes, SRC staff are asked to speak on a panel or at a conference based on an established relationship. Examples include partnerships with state counterparts, industry associations, certified public accounting firms, or local chambers of commerce and Rotary clubs. Recently, our Reserve Bank launched a Speakers Bureau web page that helps guide a requester to the appropriate speaker, depending upon topic interests. This can be a great tool for those of you who may not have an established relationship with the Reserve Bank.

Outreach also takes place through telephone calls. On the examination side, this occurs when our relationship managers and bankers contact each other under our relationship management program. On the data side, we find direct personal conversations helpful when we need contextual information; for example, when our statistics staff see data that do not look routine or have changed drastically compared with prior regulatory reports.

What Does Outreach Mean to You?

This article touches on some of the ways we engage with our stakeholders and conduct outreach. Our responses to both traditional and ad hoc outreach requests are equally important to ensuring that we support our Reserve Bank’s high-priority initiative of engaging effectively with the public. What does outreach mean to you? Let us know what topics you would find most valuable to discuss, where you think you have opportunities to learn more, and what you think are the most effective ways to do this. We look forward to hearing from you.

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