From left, Elliott Eagle, Theresa Larrick, James Jonson, Pat McNellis and Steve McBride. Bank archives

In October 1979 the Kansas City Fed established its first commercial bank examination department seated at the Bank’s Denver Branch. The team was composed of five examiners who moved from the headquarters.

A bank newsletter from that year explained that the move was made to “enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of member bank examinations In Colorado and Wyoming.” At the time, 46 of the 110 state-chartered Federal Reserve member banks in the Tenth District were in those two states.

“We always have viewed bank examination as a helpful service to the banks involved, not merely the expression of our supervisory role,” Wilbur T. Billington, senior vice president in charge of Bank Supervision and Structure, said at the time of the announcement. “We believe this action to place examiners nearer to the banks they work with is appropriate for reasons beyond apparent cost savings.”

The team: Senior Examiner James Jonson, who was in charge of the Denver department, Senior Examiner Elliott Eagle and assistant examiners Theresa Larrick, Steve McBride, and Pat McNellis. McNellis is still based at the Denver Branch, serving as senior examiner and supervision specialist. He is the grandson of the Kansas City Fed’s first auditor, Maurice J. McNellis, who was one of the first 15 members of the clerical staff when the Bank opened its doors in 1914.