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Business & Industry
Home Town Bank's Rasmussen comments on the regional impact of Federal Reserve decisions
by Ruth Ann Ruiz
Sunday, November 12, 2017

Jimmy Rasmussen Home Town BankJimmy Rasmussen, President/CEO of Home Town Bank, NA and a member of the board of directors of the Dallas Federal Reserve Bank, in an interview with Guidry News, shared his thoughts about President Donald Trump’s recent nomination of  Jerome Powell  to become the new chairman of the Federal Reserve Board.

“I’ve had the opportunity to meet with him a couple times and he is very, very smart, very knowledgeable. He has a lot of business experience.” Rasmussen commented, “I think his confirmation should go fairly easily.”  
Listen to the interview: (21:30) 

Hometown Bank, NA is considered to be a community bank. Headquartered in the city of Galveston, the bank also maintains branches in League City, Alvin, Pearland, and Friendswood.

Rasmussen has been a leader in the Galveston County banking industry for several decades and since 2013 has served as the representative of community banks to the Dallas Federal Reserve Bank. The position requires him to be the voice of community banks for the 11th District in the Federal Reserve system. He was elected by his peers, the 105 community banks of the district and is in his second and final term.  

“It’s been a fascinating experience; It’s been the highlight of my 42 year career in banking,” he said.

“When you talk about community banks you are talking about relationships,” Rasmussen explained. “That’s really what they are all about. That’s what distinguishes us from ‘mega-banks’.”

He went on to give the example of the personalized experience of applying for a loan at Hometown Bank, NA.  Clients apply directly with the loan officer, who will then serve the client throughout the term of the loan and if a future loan is requested, the client will work with the same loan officer. The decision to make the loan or not make the loan is made at the bank.

“We are truly a relationship bank.  We take you from start to finish with your loan,” he said.

Regarding the workings within the Federal Reserve, Rasmussen said that each board member of the Dallas Federal Reserve gathers information pertaining to banking industry, business environment and economics in the 11th District and presents the data at meetings held eight times a year. This information is then sent to the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve system, which collects information from all 12 districts around the country to implement monetary policy for the entire nation. 

Primarily, the Federal Reserve impacts interest rates. When the board meets, they can vote to increase or decrease the rate of interest banks will pay for loans taken with the Federal Reserve. This in turn impacts the interest rates Americans pay when they apply for mortgage loans, business loans, car loans, etc. The Federal Reserve Board also decides how much money banks are required to keep on reserve.  

As part of his duties, Rasmussen has expressed concerns about the regulations that were implemented after the financial crises of 2008.

“I tell the feds how that has negatively affected community banks. We, community banks didn’t cause the problem, but we got stuck with a lot of new rules. It’s forced a lot of community banks to stop making home loans, we didn’t at Home Town, but a lot of them did. The over-regulation has certainly affected us.” he said. 

In closing, Rasmussen said,  “This next year is going to be interesting, every year has been extremely interesting."  He added, “I’m certainly going to miss serving on the board.  I’m certainly glad I took the step and that my board of directors here at Home Town Bank were kind enough to let me run for the position and to serve.”




GRCC
Remembering Jim Guidry Bay Area Houston Economic Partnership


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