• Register Today For IBANYS' 2017 Annual Convention: The Power Of Community Banking  September 25 - 27 In Niagara Falls. . . See our "one-stop" Registration & Information Packet below!
  • NEW ACTION ALERT: Tell The CFPB To Exempt Community Banks From Dodd Frank Section 1071
  • Have You Invited Your Congressional Representatives To Your Bank? 
  • Legislative & Regulatory Updates
  • News About Two Important Benefit Programs For New York Community Banks
  • And Much, Much More. . .

Your IBANYS Team: 
Working Together To Make 2017 A Great Year 
For New York C ommun ity Banks !

In This Issue

Quick Links

Have You Contributed to NYSIBPAC This Year?
If not...now is the time! We need your help in this statewide election year to support candidates and committees who understand community banks' needs.  Can we count on you?
for our 2017 PAC contribution form. Help support IBANYS' political action efforts in New York State.


August 16, 2017


IBANYS' 2017 Annual Convention Is Just 5 and 1/2 Weeks Away. . .
Next month ( September 25-27), New York community banks will gather at the the Independent Bankers Association of New York State's 2017 Annual Convention  in Niagara Falls, New York. This most important event of our Association year is on pace to be our best ever! 
We will also be joined by IBANYS preferred providers, associate members and special guests for t hree days of outstanding business programs, recreational activities, networking opportunities, camraderie and just good old fashioned fun.
  • Our speakers and roundtables will address issues and topics of the day, with plenty of opportunities for question and answer, dialogue and interaction. 
  • Our exhibitors conference will be an opportunity to learn more about products and services offered by exhibiting firms to help New York community banks navigate today's business landscape and enhance their operations. 
  • We'll have many of our traditional segments back, such as our silent auction to support our political action efforts. We need your donated items for the auction. Details are in the Convention Registration Packet or contact Linda Gregware for details. 
  • Enjoy our breakfast programs, receptions and dinner programs, and our six-minute presentations by preferred providers and associate members on important products and services for community banks. 
  • We'll also introduce new traditions: our "Innovation Showcase" highlighting new products and services to help community banks survive and thrive in today's marketplace; our "Emerging Leaders" welcoming the New York community banking industry's next generation of leaders, and a culinary school experience for spouses & guests sponsored by our good friends at The Bonadio Group. 
Our meeting rooms will be in the Niagara Falls Convention Center, directly across the street from our sleeping room accommodations at the Sheraton at the Falls Hotel. There are so many activities and things to do in the area. Our 2017 convention was designed with you in mind. You'll find it a memorable conference in every way.

Our Monday Night Keynote Dinner Speaker
Our Monday keynote dinner speaker is Joel Dombrowski, who has authored the number one selling Niagara Falls Tour Guide book on Amazon. A former television journalist and stand-up comedian who now tells the story of Niagara to visitors and locals, Joel's presentation is an engaging and humorous overview of the hidden stories of Niagara Falls, with an emphasis on natural history as well as the interesting people who have come to Niagara to challenge the power of the Falls. 

We're confident that you'll find it to be a memorable conference in every way.  We hope to welcome you to Niagara Falls September 25 . Can we count on you to join us?   CLICK HERE   to register/for full details on how to attend and participate, or  to sponsor an event and/or exhibit at the convention!


. . .To Our Sponsors
IBANYS sends a special "thank you" to our early convention sponsors for their support of IBANYS, our convention and our industry -- 
during the convention and throughout the year:
  • Accume Partners
  • Atlantic Community Bankers Bank
  • BankSight, Inc.
  • The Bonadio Group
  • Federal Home Loan Bank of New York
  • First Empire Securities
  • ICBA
  • Roosevelt & Cross
  • Sandler O'Neill
  • Smith & Wilkinson
  • Vitex, Inc.
  • Wolf & Company, PC
. . .And, Our Exhibitors

Special thanks to our "early bird" exhibitor registrants for the business trade show. Be sure to visit them in the exhibition hall--see their booth numbers below. Visit our website at www.ibanys.net -- go to the Annual Convention tab under the education tab and click on "2017 Trade Show Floor Plan" to view booth availability.
  • Accume Partners (407)
  • BFS (302)
  • The Bonadio Group (516)
  • Bowers & Company CPA (512)
  • Federal Home Loan Bank of New York (400)
  • First Data Corp. (403)
  • First Empire Securities (307)
  • ICBA Securities (402)
  • Jack Henry Banking (304)
  • Kasasa (405)
  • M&T Bank (514)
  • Main Street, Inc. (404)
  • New York Bankers Association (201)
  • Promontory Interfinancial Network (301)
  • Pentegra Retirement Services (401)
  • SHAZAM (306)
  • Vitex (406)
  • Wolf & Company, P.C. (300)
*     *     *     *     *

*     *     *     *     *
A Letter From IBANYS President 
& CEO John Witkowski:
Is YOUR Bank Using These Programs?
As budget season begins for most banks, I would like to provide some information on a few companies that may be helpful for community banks, their employees and their customers (both commercial and consumer). Over the past 18 months, IBANYS has tried to provide value to our member banks by introducing innovative ideas that may prove helpful in the future. This week, we are going to focus on two companies that can be a great addition to your banks' benefit plans at a reasonable cost. We  understand these products and services may not be applicable for some banks, but others can benefit by using these services as an employer benefit FOR your employees, or be offered by the bank as an additional benefit TO your employees. 
  • Legal/ID Shield  - Legal/ID Shield is a company that offers Legal services and ID protection against fraud and theft. There is a reasonable monthly fee for Identity Protection (Bank employees, consumer and commercial clients).  Also, there is Legal Shield that covers a wide range of legal services for those in need of an attorney at a reasonable cost. Legal Shield also caters to Small Business with legal services at affordable prices. In reviewing this company, it provides services that we take for granted. In this day and age, Identity theft and fraud represent a huge problem, and legal services are increasingly expensive. If you are interested, please contact Andy Perry at (845) 418-7992, 
  • My Wellness Resource: My Wellness Resource is a health and wellness benefit company that provides a comprehensive package of services outside the employee benefits package offered by banks. Among the reasons for its success is Teledoc, an on line service platform that allows video conferencing with a licensed doctor who can prescribe medicine based on your needs. No waiting rooms, no need to call a doctor's office to try to get an appointment. . .and, it saves the time of both the employee and the bank.  The cost is very manageable considering the services you can offer to full-time and part-time employees and/or single parents. I have discussed this benefit with a few banks, and have learned Teledoc is now part of their employee benefit package. Among the key difference makers: the education Wellness provides, and the ease of use of the product. . .AND, IT COVERS THE WHOLE FAMILY AT ONE LOW PRICE! There are banks in New York State that have already signed on and are beginning to have great success stories.  I hope you compare the Wellness Resource Inc. program and your existing benefit program with Alan Justin of Wellness Resource, Inc.  C ontact him at (716) 907-5500, nbs.alanjustin@gmail.com  
*     *     *     *     *


Longtime NYS Assembly Power "Denny" Farrell To Resign Next Month
Citing his age and the demands of the job, Assembly Ways & Means Chairman Herman "Denny" Farrell (D-Manhattan announced he will resign his Assembly seat September 5. He has served in the New York State Assembly fot 42 years, having been first elected in 1974, the same year IBANYS was formed. He chaired the Assembly Banks Committee from 1979-94 before assuming his leadership of Ways & Means. He also previously served as Chairman of both the New York State and the  Manhattan County Democratic parties.


Tell the CFPB: Exempt Community Banks From This Onerous Dodd-Frank Provision
Dodd-Frank Section 1071 requires the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) to implement rules for the collection and reporting of data on banks' small business loan applications.  This will impose a significant new burden on community banks who already must adhere to numerous regulatory requirements.  It will require HMDA-like data to be collected and reported, as well as the purpose of the loan; the race, sex or ethnicity of the business owners; and whether the business is minority or women-owned.  Section 1071 will have a chilling effect on lenders' ability to price for risk. This, in addition to the expense of data collection and reporting, may impact community banks' ability to provide affordable commercial lending products and curb access to small business credit, an engine of local economic growth and job creation. Ultimately, this would be harmful to community banks and problematic for small businesses and consumers who could bear the increase in the cost of compliance.

Congress Is On Its August Recess. . .
Invite Your Representatives 
To Visit Your Bank 
With Congress now officially out on its annual August recess is nearly here, the Members are back home in their districts to meet with their constituents. IBANYS joins ICBA in urging New York community bankers to invite your local Representatives (and their staff) to visit your banks this month to learn first hand  the challenges that New York community banks face in today's regulatory environment. Help them to understand the very real need to find solutions to regulatory overreach, which limits your ability to serve your local customers and communities. Remind them of the impact and importance of community banking in their districts.  ICBA has developed a "Meeting on Main Street" guide to  help with planning and logistics for bank visits/in-district meetings.  T ake another step toward meaningful community bank regulatory relief. Questions? ICBA's Joshua Habursky can help. Joshua.habursky@icba.org, (202)821-4355

Fed Vice Chair Fischer: Ease Pressure On Small Banks, Don't Loosen Constraints On Big Banks
One of the Federal Reserve's top policymakers attacked attempts to reverse the post-crisis drive for tougher regulation, Stanley Fischer, vice-chairman of the Fed's board of governors, said efforts to loosen constraints on banks are "dangerous and extremely short-sighted". Fischer, however, endorsed efforts to ease regulations for small banks, claiming it would help balance the banking system. "The Congress is very involved in these things and the pressure is on now to ease up. The pressure to ease up on small banks is fine with me. But the pressure I fear is coming to ease up on large banks strikes me as very, very dangerous."

Have You Contributed To NYSIBPAC?
This year brings a challenging legislative session, with new chairmen of both the State Senate and State Assembly Banks Committees. Many of our competitors within the financial services industry operate very well-funded political action committees, and we need your support to ensure community banks remain an important part of the political process and debate. We have placed an updated 2017 NYSIBPAC contribution form in the column along the left border of this newsletter.  Can we count on your support?  We will hold our popular "silent auction" at our upcoming 2017 IBANYS Annual Convention in Niagara Falls (September 25-27) to support NYSIBPAC. Donations are encouraged. Contact Linda Gregware for details: Lindag@ibanys.net

  • ICBA is seeking nominations for the 2017 ICBA Community Banker of the Year, which recognizes the exceptional work of an ICBA-member community banker. Individuals may nominate themselves or another deserving candidate within the bank. All job titles are eligible. The winner will be featured in the December issue of Independent Banker magazine and will be recognized at the 2018 ICBA Annual Convention in Las Vegas. Nominations are due by September 1. 
  • U.S. retail sales recorded their biggest increase in seven months in July as consumers boosted purchases of motor vehicles as well as discretionary spending. 
    The Commerce Department said retail sales jumped 0.6% last month, the largest gain since December 2016. Thast followed June's upwardly revised 0.3% rise.  Economists polled by Reuters had forecast retail sales increasing 0.4% in July. Consumer spending, which accounts for more than two-thirds of U.S. economic activity, increased at a 2.8% annualized rate in the second quarter, boosting GDP growth to a 2.6% rate in the April-June period.  

IBANYS identifies offers products and services that provide value to your banks, companies, employees communities. These brief summaries provide links for information. Please contact IBANYS President John Witkowski with questions. 

Health & Wellness 
The health and wellness landscape continues to evolve. "My Wellness Resource" can be a nice addition to your existing benefit package.   C ontact Alan Justin at (716) 907-5500  or visit:  http://nbibanys.phecard.com.

We are pleased to inform HR & Benefits Representatives of IBANYS member banks about a new offer available to their banks.  Offered through IBANYS' partner at My Wellness Resource is a unique program providing a $500 rebate on any new Fiat, Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, Ram or Hyundai vehicle. Those firms comprise approximately 19% of all car and truck sales in the US market.  The rebate is independent of, and may be combined with, any other offer available to your employees, so it's a true cash rebate that is not available through dealerships. Employees negotiate their best deal at the dealership of their choice including other rebates, cash back offers, etc., then apply for and receive this $500 rebate after their new car purchase or lease. The program may only be  offered though individual banks, not through IBANYS itself. Therefore, if it's something you think your bank and employees might be interested in, drop a line to us and we will forward it to our contact at My Wellness, Alan Justin, who will reach out to you with  the details.

We only ask that if you are not currently participating in the My Wellness Resource program, that you take a fair & objective look at the program!

Secure, Enhanced Internet Presence
The .bank program by fTLD operates trusted, verified, more secure, easily-identifiable internet locations for financial companies and their customers. V isit  www.icba.org/SRPArticles < http://www.icba.org/SRPArticles > page  

Online Lending
Excelsior Growth Fund (EGF) is NYBDC's nonprofit Community Development Financial Institution and IBANYS' exclusive online lending  partner . Visit 

Battle Against Prostate Cancer
Cure the Blue" raises funds and awareness regarding prostate cancer in New York State. Visit www.curetheblue.com to get involved!  

IBANYS Webinars  For  New York 
Community Banks:
. . .Is YOUR Bank Participating? 
New York's community banks face an array of challenges -- and, opportunities! Bank officers, board members and employees need to stay fully informed and up-to-date. . . on their responsibilities -- and, their potential liabilities. Community bankers need the proper information and tools to effectively do so, and to execute their business and strategic plan to prepare for the future.  Here's one important, convenient way to do this:  IBANYS' 2017 webinars. These presentations are designed to meet the needs of New York community banks. The programs are both effective and cost-effective. . . and participating couldn't be easier! Community bankers can do so from their own offices. The number of participants has dramatically increased over the past few years. Is your bank among those who have benefited?  If not, find out why so many of  your industry and association peers are taking advantage of these webinars. R eview upcoming programs link below:

. . .Pentregra Retirement Services
 Pentegra does not answer to shareholders, they answer to their clients. Pentegra's boards of directors are made up of clients, Presidents and CEOs, who use the services and place their own futures in Pentegra's hands. The Boards serve with excellence and the highest ethical standards and set the very same ones for the entire organization. Founded in 1943 by the Federal Home Loan Bank System to administer a defined benefit pension trust (the Savings Association Retirement Fund), Pentegra over time has developed new services and broadened existing ones to become an $11 billion financial services firm. 

An IBANYS preferred provider, Pentegra provides New York community banks with:
  • Non-Qualified Plans
  • BOLI
  • Qualified Plans
  • Retirement Plan Services Retirement Services
Contact Fabrizio D'uva, 
Regional Director, 
BOLI & Non Qualified Benefits Plans: 
(800) 872-3473, fabrizio.duva@pentegra.com. Or, visit the website at

. . .That two New York community bankers have served as Chairman of both the Independent Bankers Association of New York State (IBANYS) and the Independent Community Bankers of America (ICBA)? Can you name them? (Watch for the answer in next week's newsletter.)


 New York community banks play a key role in our state and local economies. Help spread the good news among your customers, business and elected leaders and media!


Click here for quotes from Governor Cuomo and former DFS Superintendent Lawsky extolling the performance and value of New York community banks.

Click here for the full NYS Study on community banking.

Click here to read IBANYS President & CEO John Witkowski's comments on the new tax changes and benefits for New York community banks as approved in the 2014-15 State Budget.


Click here for IBANYS' letter to the Editor of Consumer Reports Magazine correcting failure to mention community banks as an alternative to using "big banks."


John J. Witkowski
President and Chief Executive Officer
Stephen W. Rice
Director of Government Relations and Communications

Linda Gregware
Director of Administration and Membership Services 

William Y. Crowell, III
Legislative Counsel