The chairman of Butte State Bank is being named the new president of the Nebraska Bankers Association. Craig Brewster says challenges in the banking industry are the same as those being faced by many businesses.
Brewster says increasing federal regulations are impacting both businesses and consumers. He singles out the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform Act which became law in 2010.
“Dodd-Frank put a lot of additional burden on people and some of those burdens are hurting the consumer and I think that’s what bankers are most concerned about,” he says, “not only trying to comply with them but the damage that’s being done to the consumer over these rules.”
The law was passed as a response to the recession and brought the most significant changes to the nation’s financial sector since just after the Great Depression.
Brewster says escalating land values are starting to slow down a bit after months of rapid growth.
“The ag land prices have stabilized a bit,” he says. “They don’t seem to be rising as quickly as they were so I think producers, if they have the opportunity, the can probably make some of those purchases work.”
Despite that, agriculture remains a very capital intensive industry, whether it’s land, machinery or livestock. Brewster says as far as interest rates go, he doesn’t see any drastic changes coming from the Federal Reserve anytime soon.
“For the next year at least, you can pretty much insure that they will continue their pattern of low interest rates and trying to help the economy in any way they can,” he says. “At least in the next 12 months, I don’t see any big increase unless something crazy happens in our economy that would require them to jump (the rates) in a big hurry.”
Brewster succeeds John Stinner of Valley Bank and Trust in Gering as the N-B-A president.
By Jerry Oster, WNAX, Yankton