The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) has released a data-driven study devoted to the community banking industry.
A key part of the study was forming and using a universal definition of a community bank. According to the accepted definition, there were 7,658 FDIC-insured community banks in operation within 6,914 separate banking organizations (or 94 percent of all banking organizations) as of 2010. Most significantly, the new definition captures 330 larger banking organizations that might have been excluded if the only criterion used was asset size.
The study also revealed that community banks hold the majority of banking deposits in U.S. rural and micropolitan counties, the latter of which have a population of 10,000 to 50,000 people. As it stands, there are more than 600 counties that have no other physical banking institution other than those operated by community banks.
The FDIC study was part of an initiative launched in February 2012 at a national conference for community banking. It was part of the FDIC’s effort to better understand the evolution of community banks over the last 25 years through the assessment of comprehensive research and analysis on current challenges, opportunities for community banks, and implications for the future of community banking.