Sound Community Bank president/CEO Laurie Stewart (second from left) joins other community bank representatives at the White House on March 9. Submitted photos

Stewart, bank reps talk with President Trump

Sequim native Laurie Stewart, president/CEO of Sound Community Bank, joined other community bankers from across the country in meeting President Donald Trump to discuss regulatory challenges affecting community banks on March 9.

During the meeting, bankers had the opportunity to discuss a range of topics, according to Sound Community Bank representatives — including the need to hold the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau more accountable, regulatory changes to increase small business and mortgage lending, the impact of compliance burden and the need to ensure regulatory capital standards are aligned with actual risks and conducive to credit availability.

“Community banks represent such a critical segment of our economy and I was pleased to represent community banks throughout our nation in this important meeting,” Stewart said.

“We were able to offer the White House a rare perspective on the challenges facing financial institutions, emphasize the importance of tailored regulation and highlight the critical role banks play in helping our economy thrive.”

Stewart previously served as chairman on the American Bankers Association’s Government Relations Council and remains a member. She was joined by other ABA bank members from ABA’s Board of Directors, Government Relations Council, Community Bankers Council and Endorsed Solutions Banker Advisory Council.

Stewart recently celebrated 26 years with Sound Community Bank. She was hired in 1989 as president and CEO of Associated Grocers Federal Employee Credit Union. In the ensuing years, the credit union converted to a thrift and is now a publicly company traded on the NASDAQ.

Recognized by American Banker as one of the Most Powerful Women in Banking in 2011 and 2015, she is a frequent speaker at conferences and colleges locally and nationally, testifying in both Olympia and Washington, D.C., on a variety of legislative and regulatory financial issues.