Overland Park banker Kurt Knudson has become chairman of the state’s banking board.
Knutson is the founder, president, chief executive officer and chairman of Freedom Bank, a $134 million bank that opened in 2006.
As chairman of the board, Knutson hopes to strengthen the state-based system of chartering and regulating banks.
He said state oversight of banking suffered in the regulatory surge that followed the banking crisis but serves the state’s financial system better than centralized federal oversight can.
“You’re dealing with people who are living in the same environment you’re living in…,” Knutson said, “and not trying to make a decision from a cubicle in Washington, D.C.”
He has served on the nine-member state banking board since April 2011, having been appointed by Gov. Sam Brownback and confirmed by the Kansas Senate. He was elected to the board’s chairmanship by other board members last month.
Chairmen typically serve in the post for one year though Knutson succeeds Halstead, Kan., banker Larry Williams who served two years as chairman.
The state banking board serves in an advisory capacity to the state banking commissioner. It reviews all new state bank charter applications in Kansas, state banking rules and regulation as well as cease and desist orders against state banks. It also may become involved in branch applications, changes in control and merger activity of some banks considered by regulators to be troubled institutions.
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