• 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!
  • IBANYS Sets Two Key Meetings With NYS DFS
  • ACTION ALERT: Contact Your Representatives--Support the CLEAR Relief Act
  • It's Time To Invite Your Congressional Representatives To Your Bank 
  • Latest Updates On Reg Relief, Tax Reform Efforts
  • 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 2, 2017

  • New York Community Bankers
  • IBANYS Associate Members
  • IBANYS Preferred Providers. . .
Register TODAY For. . . 
  • Familiar Traditions Return
  • New Concepts Introduced

The heat of August means that September is just around the corner. M ake plans to attend IBANYS' 2017 Annual Convention next month:  "The Power of Community Banking" September 25-27. Our meeting space will be in the Niagara Falls Convention Center, and our sleeping room accommodations are directly across the street at the Sheraton at The Falls in Niagara Falls, New York.  To help get the ball rolling, we are pleased to provide this "one-stop" information and registration packet  with everything you need on our schedule of events, available activities, silent auction, sponsorship opportunities, tradeshow/ exhibitor updates, and hotel accommodations.  We've been working hard to make our 2017 conference our best ever! 
  • The convention begins Monday afternoon, September 25 with an exciting new program: Our "Innovation Showcase" will highlight new programs and services designed to help community banks survive and thrive in today's marketplace.
  • We'll also debut another new IBANYS convention tradition: For the first time, we will welcome the "Emerging Leaders" of our New York community banks
  • Our "Six-Minute Drills" are back in full swing. These brief, concise presentations by IBANYS preferred providers and associate members have been extremely well received the past two years.
  • We will also introduce a special "ladies program" -- culinary school experience sponsored by our friends at The Bonadio Group.
  • Of course, we'll once again have an outstanding business program (featuring general and concurrent business sessions and roundtable discussions with a full array of speakers); our traditional trade show/exhibitors conference; our silent auction in support of our political action efforts (we'll be asking for donations for the auction -- details are in the convention packet...call Linda Gregware for details), and a great menu of recreational activities, golf, receptions, dinners, entertainment and a long list of exciting and interesting things to do Niagara Falls.
Take a moment to review  our Registration and Information Packet -- and please share it with your colleagues. It contains details you'll need to attend and participate. We can't wait to welcome you in just over two months!

Special thanks to our "early bird" exhibitor registrants for the business trade show:
  • Accume Partners
  • The Bonadio Group
  • Federal Home Loan Bank of New York
  • ICBA Securities
  • M&T
  • Main Street, Inc.
  • Promontory Interfinancial Network, LLC
  • Pentegra Retirement Services
  • Vitex 
  • Wolf & Company, P.C.
*     *     *     *     *
Please join us for an exclusive cooking classincluding mimosas and truffles, sponsored by The Bonadio Group...  at the Niagara Falls Culinary Institute during the IBANYS Annual Convention this fall.  Space is limited.

*     *     *     *     *


IBANYS Sets Two Key Meetings With DFS
IBANYS' President & CEO John Witkowski will meet next week with New York State Financial Services Superintendent Maria Vullo to discuss the role of community banks, our value to customers, communities and the economy and our key issues and concerns. Meanwhile, IBANYS will coordinate a conference call for state chartered community banks with senior DFS officials next week -- to follow-up on last winter's call which focused on such issues as excessive regulatory burden and its costs to smaller community banks, duplication in state and federal banking regulations and related concerns to the examination process. 

Early Rumblings For Next Year's 
Gubernatorial Race
State Senate Deputy Majority Leader John DeFrancisco (R-Syracuse) is being mentioned as a possible 2018 gubernatorial candidate. E lected to the Senate in 1992, he has chaired the Judiciary and Finance Committees and is now Deputy Majority Leader. He stated:  "I think it's just prudent to go around and see what level of support there is. . .if there is, then I'll seriously consider it." He said he would not run in a GOP primary for the nomination. There has been speculation about his retirement from the Senate, especially after he lost a bid to lead the GOP conference to Sen. John Flanagan (also mentioned as a potential gubernatorial contender).  Others mentioned include Harry Wilson, corporate restructuring expert and unsuccessfull 2010 candidate for State Comptroller; Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro;  Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino, who lost to Gov. Cuomo in 2014, and Buffalo businessman Carl Paladino, who lost to Cuomo in 2010.  Republicans haven't won a statewide race in New York since Gov. Pataki was re-elected in 2002. Meanwhile, former Hudson Valley State Senator Terry Gipson, viewed as a progressive, is considering a primary challenge to the Governor next year.


Hensarling, Waters Spar Over Community 
Bank Regulatory Relief
House Financial Services Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling (R-TX) reacted to comments made by the Committee's Ranking Democratic Member, Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA), that overregulation of community banks is a myth "that too many folks have bought into." Chairman Hensarling noted: ". . .in many places community banks are the only available option for hardworking Americans in need of a loan, a mortgage or other banking services.  They make a disproportionate share of loans to small businesses and farmers.  They play a vital - and irreplaceable - role in growing local economies.  Yet they are an endangered species thanks to Washington's regulatory waterboarding.  Our nation is losing community financial institutions at a rate of one per day.  They simply cannot keep up with the flood of rules imposed by Washington and so their customers and our economy suffer.Despite the ranking member's opposition, our committee will continue to focus on regulatory relief for community banks and credit unions as much as possible.  Congress must pass regulatory relief before it is too late."

In Other News From Washington:
  • At a meeting of the Financial Stability Oversight Council, financial regulators agreed to rewrite Dodd-Frank's limits on bank proprietary trading (the Volcker Rule). The rewrite may ease the rules on bank investments in hedge funds and private equity funds.
  • 45 U.S. Senate Democrats signed a letter to President Trump, Senate Majority Leader McConnell and Senate Finance Committee Chairman Hatch, urging them to work with the Democratic Minority on a plan to overhaul the tax code. Leader McConnell said Republicans would try to use budget reconciliation (which would not require Democratic support) to advance tax legislation later this year. Meanwhile, there was bipartisan support at yesterday's Senate Finance Committee hearing for the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit -- with calls to expand the break rather than to limit it.
  • House Financial Services Chairman Jeb Hensarling (R-TX) urged the Office of Special Counsel to investigate if CFPB Cordray testifies Director Richard Cordray violated the Hatch Act (which prohibits federal workers from running for elected office). There reportedly are allegations that Cordray arranged for a friend to place a story in an Ohio newspaper claiming he (Cordray) is planning a gubernatorial run in 2018, and asked a mutual friend to inform a potential Democratic primary rival of his intention to run.
  • White House senior economic adviser Gary Cohn has emerged as the leading candidate to succeed Janet Yellen as Federal Reserve chair when her term expires next February, according to a July 27-28 survey of economists. Cohn took over the top spot from Yellen, who was seen as the slight favorite in a similar poll seven weeks ago. Others viewed as possibilities were former Fed Governor Kevin Warsh, former G.W. Bush chief economist Glenn Hubbard and former G.W. Bush Treasury Undersecretary John Taylor.

Senate Unlikely To Vote On Resolution To 
Block CFPB Arbitration Rule
It appears that the U.S. Senate will not vote before the august recess on a Resolution to block implementation of the CFPB's now finalized rule on mandatory arbitration clauses. Majority Leader McConnell (R-KY) didn't include the resolution on a list of work the Senate will consider before the recess. The House has passed its version.  IBANYS and ICBA has urged community banks to urge their senators to  support Sen. Crapo's Congressional Review Act Resolution (S.J. Res. 47). Community banks' livelihood depends on their fair and equitable treatment of customers. Arbitration is a well-established and tested process that offers better results for consumers and helps avoid frivolous class-action suits.  Community banks invest heavily in resolving customer complaints amicably and on a timely basis. However, when a dispute can't be resolved, a speedy and fair resolution is the best outcome for all parties. The CFPB's own report indicates arbitration offers a better process and outcomes for consumers, as opposed to class-action suits, which are slower and provide on average little financial recovery to consumers. 

Ask Your Representatives To Support
The CLEAR Relief ACT
IBANYS and the Independent Community Bankers of America (ICBA) are working to advance the CLEAR Relief Act , which would provide community banks in our state meaningful regulatory relief. H.R. 2133 (Luetkemeyer) and S. 1002 (Moran, Tester) include many provisions from ICBA's "Plan for Prosperity" regulatory relief program that IBANYS has strongly endorsed. If enacted, the CLEAR Act will allow community banks to better promote and support entrepreneurship, job creation, homeownership and economic growth in New York's local communities. To support this effort, we need you to send a letter to members of Congress 1) thanking sponsors of this legislation, and 2) encouraging non-co-sponsors to sponsor and support this legislation.  ICBA has set up a pre-written action alert (see below) that you can use to send your messages . IBANYS encourages New York community banks to customize the letter, and talk specifically about your bank and community. You can reference specific statistics on community banks by state and congressional district through the ICBA's Community Bank Footprint page:  https://www.icba.org/advocacy/ grassroots-be-heard!/advocacy-toolbox/state-and-congressional-district-community-bank-footprint Thank you for doing your part to help advance regulatory relief and support the passage of the CLEAR Relief Act!

Invite Your Congressional Representatives 
To Visit Your Bank During August
The August Congressional recess is nearly here, when your local Members of Congress will return to their districts to meet with constituents. IBANYS joins ICBA in urging New York community bankers to invite your local Representatives (and their staff) to visit your banks during August to witness first hand  the challenges 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
Consumer Spending Ticks Up
The U.S. Commerce Department reported that consumer spending, which accounts for more than two-thirds of U.S. economic activity, edged up 0.1%  percent in June, following an upwardly revised 0.2% percent gain in May.  There was also little sign of inflation. The personal consumption expenditures (PCE) price index, excluding food and energy, rose 0.1% in June after a similar gain in May. In the 12 months through June, the so-called core PCE price index increased 1.5% , the same as in May. ( The core PCE is the  Federal Reserve's  preferred inflation measure. The U.S. central bank has a 2% target.)

Mortgage Applications Are Down
The Mortgage Bankers Association reported that total mortgage application volume fell 2.8% on a seasonally adjusted basis last week, compared with the previous week. Mortgage applications to refinance a home loan fell 4% for the week, seasonally adjusted, and were 41% lower than the same week one year ago.  Mortgage applications to purchase a home (far less sensitive to weekly rate moves) fell 2% for the week.

Atlantic Community Bancshares & 
BBN Financial Merger
Atlantic Community Bancshares, Inc. and BBN Financial Corporation have reached an agreement to merge. The merger is expected to be finalized in December 2017 and will result in both organizations joining together and the subsidiary banks of each holding company, Atlantic Community Bankers Bank (ACBB) and Bankers Bank Northeast (BBN) immediately following the merger also merging with ACBB surviving such merger. The announcement notes that the merger "will provide community financial institutions an enhanced suite of correspondent services as well as a stronger bankers' bank...one united bank and team working to deliver value to community banking clients throughout the Mid-Atlantic and New England regions."

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?


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:

. . .  Main Street, Inc.
Main Street partners with the underserved, community-oriented financial institution that desires a personal customer service model in their checking, analytics, and marketing programs. Main Street's simplified approach equips businesses with the information, tools and solutions needed to win in today's market. Whether you are trying to acquire, retain, or expand customer relationships, Main Street provides a cost-effective, straightforward, partnership to meet your goals. Contact Tim Stenlund, (205) 380-8357, or visit the website at www.mainstreetinc.com.

. . .That the last year that Republicans controlled the State Senate, State Assembly and Governor's office was 1974? The Senate Majority Leader was Warren Anderson (R-Broome County); the Assembly Speaker was Perry Duryea (R-Suffolk County), and the Governor was Malcolm Wilson -- who moved up from Lt. Governor when Nelson Rockefeller was named Vice President by President Ford. What else happened in 1974? The Independent Bankers Association of New York State (IBANYS) was formed to give local independent community banks a greater voice and presence in Albany.


 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