The Federal Reserve will likely nudge interest rates higher next month and the economy is ready for it, says Kevin Cummings, CEO of Investors Bank (ISBC) - Get Report , which is headquartered in Short Hills, N.J.
The Federal Open Market Committee is expected to release minutes from its October meeting today. That may provide clues about a December rate hike.
Cummings doesn't believe his customers will be hurt by higher rates.
"If the economy picks up, wages will pick up and hopefully it will be neutral to the consumer and businesses," said Cummings. He added that it will be even more important to see what the Fed does after December, and whether several more rate hikes will follow.
When asked if higher rates might price some consumers out of the housing market, Cummings indicated there may be some risk for that.
"It will be more difficult. But you're talking to someone whose first mortgage in 1984 was 14%," said Cummings. "Rates are still historically low and hopefully those opportunities with increasing wages, increasing velocity in the economy, hopefully the housing market won't get hurt by it."
But Cummings conceded that interest rate risk is his company's biggest worry right now.
"We're more concerned with the flattening of the yield curve, which will hurt our margins" said Cummings. "If rates move gradually, we have a sufficient amount of capital to grow, and we'll do fine."
Investors Bank has $20 billion in capital, or 16% of total assets, twice the average rate of its peers. Cummings said that's enough capital for his bank to double in size.
Cummings also commented on the race for the Republican presidential nomination and the ongoing debate over Dodd-Frank Act. Cummings said if a Republican wins the White House, he would expect less regulation in the future, which would be helpful.
Beyond regulation, Cummings believes there are other issues that should be front and center for politicians.
"It's always about jobs. This country needs more jobs, better paying jobs and tax reform," he said.