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Officials with the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (IDFPR) met Wednesday with bankers in Champaign and Decatur as a part of ongoing efforts to foster open dialogue with the regulated community. IDFPR Secretary Bryan Schneider and IDFPR Division of Banking (DOB) Director Michael Mannion joined agriculture business bankers for a round table discussion in Champaign before meeting with officials of Illinois’ newest state chartered bank, Hickory Point Bank of Decatur.

“With Illinois’ deep economic roots in agriculture and agribusiness, it is imperative that the state’s banking regulator is tending to the needs of its agriculture bankers,” said Brian Schneider, IDFPR Secretary. “Our discussions today certainly highlighted the importance of thoughtful banking regulation in cultivating an industry that generates more than $19 billion annually in Illinois. We look forward to continuing our working relationship with Illinois’ agriculture bankers as they continue efforts to address the needs of Illinois farmers and agribusinesses.”

Hickory Point Bank, a $648 million institution located in Decatur, recently converted from a federal savings bank to a state chartered commercial bank at the end of 2015. Illinois has more state chartered banks than any other state in the United States and ranks in the top three states in the amount of total banking assets, total trust assets and number of foreign bank offices.

“We welcome Hickory Point Bank into the Illinois state banking charter family,” said Michael Mannion, DOB Director. “It is our belief, through experience, that a state banking charter offers a number of advantages over federal savings banks. Not only does maintaining a state charter cost significantly less than a national, they are afforded higher lending limits that allows banks like Hickory Point the flexibility to offer more services to its customers. Additionally, they are provided direct access to the state’s banking regulator should questions or concerns arise.”