This excerpt taken from the FCAL 10-K filed Mar 31, 2008.
Banking is a complex, highly regulated industry. The primary goals of the regulatory scheme are to maintain a safe and sound banking system, protect depositors and the Federal Deposition Insurance Corporations, or the FDIC, insurance fund, and facilitate the conduct of sound monetary policy. This regulatory scheme is not designed for the benefit of stockholders of the Company or its successors. In furtherance of these goals, Congress and the states have created several largely autonomous regulatory agencies and enacted numerous laws that govern banks, bank holding companies and the financial services industry. Consequently, the growth and earnings performance of the Company or its successors and the Bank can be affected not only by management decisions and general economic conditions, but also by the requirements of applicable state and federal statues, regulations and the policies of various governmental regulatory authorities, including the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, or the FRB, the FDIC, and the California Department of Financial Institutions, or the DFI.
The commercial banking business is also influenced by the monetary and fiscal policies of the federal government and the policies of the FRB. The FRB implements national monetary policies (with objectives such as curbing inflation and combating recession) by its open-market operations in United States Government securities, by adjusting the required level of reserves for financial intermediaries subject to its reserve requirements and by varying the discount rates applicable to borrowings by depository institutions. The actions of the FRB in these areas influence the growth of bank loans, investments and deposits and also affect interest rates charged on loans and paid on deposits. Indirectly, such actions may also impact the ability of non-bank financial institutions to compete with the Bank. The nature and impact of any future changes in monetary policies cannot be predicted.
The system of supervision and regulation applicable to financial services businesses governs most aspects of the business of the Company and the Bank, including: (i) the scope of permissible business; (ii) investments; (iii) reserves that must be maintained against deposits; (iv) capital levels that must be maintained; (v) the nature and amount of collateral that may be taken to secure loans; (vi) the establishment of new branches; (vii) mergers and consolidations with other financial institutions; and (viii) the payment of dividends.
From time to time laws or regulations are enacted which have the effect of increasing the cost of doing business, limiting or expanding the scope of permissible activities, or changing the competitive balance between banks and other financial and non-financial institutions. Proposals to change the laws and regulations governing the operations of banks and bank holding companies are frequently made in Congress, in the California legislature and by various bank and other regulatory agencies. Future changes in the laws, regulations or polices that impact the Company or its successors and the Bank cannot necessarily be predicted, but they may have a material effect on the business and earnings of the Company and the Bank.
Set forth below is a summary description of certain of the material laws and regulations that relate to our operations and those of the Bank. The description does not purport to be a complete description of these laws and regulations and is qualified in its entirety by reference to the applicable laws and regulations.