New Banking Commissioner Says She'll Try Not to be Heavy-Handed

LITTLE ROCK, AR - The first woman to hold the position of state bank commissioner says she wants to avoid being too negative in regulating the state's financial institutions.

Jonesboro native and Arkansas State University alum Candace Franks was sworn in yesterday by Arkansas Supreme Court Justice Donald Corbin and Governor Beebe.

She said a regulator doesn't need to be heavy-handed.  She said she'll show bankers how to operate effectively and legally, but not with a "gotcha" attitude.  As she put it, "You can do it strongly, but you don't have to be mean about it."

Beebe praised Franks for her long history with the state's Bank Department and called her appointment as its first female chief historic.  The governor said Franks has lots of great qualities, but the two that stand out are that she's tough but she's fair.

(The Associated Press contributed to this report.)