• An Important Letter From IBANYS Chairman Doug Manditch
  • 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!
  • Fed: No Rate Hike. . .Plans To Unwind Stimulus
  • IBANYS Met With State Senate Banks Chairman Hamilton
  • ACTION ALERT: Contact Your Representatives--Support the CLEAR Relief Act
  • It's Time To Invite Your Congressional Representatives To Your Bank 
  • 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 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.


July 26, 2017

IBANYS is pleased to welcome our newest member institutuion into the family. Abacus Federal Savings Bank is a full service financial institution under the leadership of CEO Jill Sung and Founder & Chairman Thomas Sung.  Founded in 1984 by business leaders from the Chinese community in New York to provide financial services to immigrants and local residents of lower Manhattan, it now operates six branches in New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania. Besides the traditional banking services, Abacus Bank also provides life insurance and annuities to its customer through its subsidiary, Abacus Insurance Agency Corp.  Visit

We are also pleased that First data Corporation has renewed its associate membership for the coming year . First Data is a leading cost effective provider of innovative Non-Core Community Banking  products, with scalable offerings such as; Online/Mobile banking, Voice Services, EFT, Debit/Credit solutions, Star, Apple Pay and Loan Processing.  First Data is committed to quickly growing your ROI and customer base.  Contact Mark Agostinelli  at (585) 303-3183, email Visit the website at

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A Letter From IBANYS Chairman 
Doug Manditch

Dear IBANYS Colleagues,

As Chairman of the Independent Bankers Association of New York State (IBANYS), it has been my privilege to lead our Association through a busy and successful year. While my term will officially expire October 31, in many ways it will culminate at our upcoming Annual Convention in Niagara Falls September 25-27. You can click on the link above or read the article below to review the agenda, registration and sponsorship packet with all the important details.

I am writing to invite you - and strongly encourage you - to join me for this invaluable gathering. Here are some of the reasons why:
  • The convention will begin 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" --  a culinary school experience that will be sponsored by our friends at The Bonadio Group.
  • Of course, we'll once again have an outstanding business program, our trade show/exhibitors conference, our silent auction in support of our political action efforts, and a great menu of recreational activities, golf, receptions, dinners, entertainment and a long list of exciting and interesting things to do Niagara Falls.
I hope I can welcome you to this signature event of our Association year. I promise you three days of information, camaraderie and enjoyment!  Won't you and your team plan to join us in Niagara Falls?

Douglas Manditch
Chairman, Independent Bankers Association of New York State; 
Chairman & CEO, Empire Bancorp

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  • New York Community Bankers
  • IBANYS Associate Members
  • IBANYS Preferred Providers. . .
It's Time To Register For. . . 
  • Familiar Traditions Return
  • New Concepts Introduced

Summer is in full swing - but September is just around the corner. Make plans to attend IBANYS' 2017 Annual Convention  -- "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 ensure our 2017 conference is IBANYS' best ever! 
  • We're bringing back many of our convention traditions, including our silent PAC auction, golf and recreational activities, business trade show, six- minute drill presentations and general and concurrent business sessions and roundtable discussions featuring a full array of speakers. 
  • Plus, this year we'll also introduce two exciting new concepts -- our "Emerging Leaders" program and our "Innovation Showcase" -- which we hope will become new convention traditions in the future.
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!

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.
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Calling all ladies! 
Join us for an exclusive cooking class including mimosas and truffles  at the Niagara Falls Culinary Institute during the IBANYS Annual Convention this fall.  Space is limited.

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IBANYS Meets With Senate Banks Chairman Hamilton at Banking Roundtable
Left to right: Dan Reininga, President & CEO, Lake Shore Savings Bank; Max Pickard, Chief Lending Officer, Cattaraugus County Bank; NYS Senator Tim Kennedy (D-Western New York); NYS Senate Banks Committee Chairman Jesse Hamilton (IDC-Brooklyn) and IBANYS President & CEO John Witkowski

Late last week in Buffalo, IBANYS President John Witkowski and a delegation of Western New York community bank CEOs and senior executives participated in the latest banking roundtable hosted by New York State Senate Banks Chairman Jesse Hamilton (IDC-Brooklyn). It was a unique opportunity to discuss and advance community banks' priority issues and positions. Senator Tim Kennedy (D-Western New York) also participated. The discussion was another step in IBANYS' ongoing effort to keep the state legislature fully informed and aware of 1) the role community banks play in the lives of their customers and the local and state economies, and, 2) the impact and consequences that legislative and regulatory actions can have on community banks throughout New York State.

Democratic State Committee Asks Senate Democrats, IDC to Unify
Tuesday's Committee vote, with Gov. Cuomo's acquiescence, comes a week after the Governor promised "regular" Senate Democrats he would push on their behalf. In the past, he has not actively done so. The IDC, a breakaway group of eight Democrats led by Sen. Klein (IDC, Bronx), is alligned with Senate Republicans to form a governing coalition in the chamber. A spokesperson for the State Committee's Progressive Caucus  "This is exactly the direction that so many of us look forward to the Democratic Party moving in-indivisible." However, an IDC spokesperson responded: "The reason why the Democratic Party is losing across the nation and at home is that they are coopted by a small band of misfits who continue to talk to each other in echo chambers and refuse to acknowledge that the party of Roosevelt, Kennedy and Clinton no longer has the ability to communicate with working-class voters. The Independent Democratic Conference will continue to fight for the working class and espouse the hopes and aspirations of all New Yorkers. Big tent Democratic politics is good government and good politics. We will see you at the polls."

DiNapoli: State Tax Revenue Down
A new report by State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli will state that New York State's tax revenue continues to decline.  "We see some slow down in terms of revenue coming in versus projections. It's going to show we're about $315 million below our projections. We're about a billion off in revenue from last year. . .The state is certainly not in as strong a position as we'd like to see the state be in," DiNapoli said. Governor Cuomo is opposing efforts by Representatives Faso (R-Hudson Valley) and Collins (R-Western New York) to have the cost of Medicaid spending shifted from county governments to the state, a cost of $2.3 billion once it is fully phased in. The Faso-Collins approach is aimed at reducing taxes on the local level. Cuomo says it would lead to a tax increase.  State officials also worry federal spending cuts proposed for later this year would be detrimental to the state's coffers.


Efforts To Void C FPB Arbitration 
Restriction Rule: Halfway Home
IBANYS joins ICBA in thanking the House for its vote yesterday to void the  Consumer Financial Protection Bureau's (CFPB's) final rule restricting the use of consumer arbitration agreements, and in urging community banks to support Sen. Crapo's (R-ID)  Congressional Review Act Resolution (S.J. Res. 47).  ICBA noted:  "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: 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., (202)821-4355

In Other Updates From Washington:
  • The House voted 231-190 to block the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau's recently finalized rule prohibiting financial institutions from requiring consumers to sign contracts that make out-of-court arbitration mandatory in a legal dispute. The Senate is considering a similar measure, which uses the Congressional Review Act to block executive branch regulations. No Senate vote has occurred as yet.
  • The OCC named William Rowe as chief risk officer. Rowe will head the OCC's office of enterprise risk management and its enterprise risk committee. He has worked as the OCC's deputy chief of staff and liaison to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. 
  • The Fed plans to change the Volcker Rule's limits on speculative investments to give banks more time to provide seed money for hedge funds and private equity funds. It is the second alteration to the Dodd-Frank regulation during the past week.
  • The Senate Banking Committee tomorrow will hold a confirmation hearing for Joseph Otting, the President's nominee for Comptroller of the Currency, and Randal Quarles, the nominee for Federal Reserve Vice Chair for Supervision. ICBA has written to Senate leaders to support both of the nominations.
  • President Trump told the Wall Street Journal he is considering renominating Janet Yellen for a second four-year-term as Federal Reserve Chair, thinks she is doing a good job and has "a lot of respect for her." However, he also views his economic adviser Gary Cohn as a top candidate.

Fed: No Rate Hike This Month. . .Plans To Unwind Stimulus Program
The Federal Reserve today unanimously declined to raise interest rates this month, and laid the groundwork to begin winding down the massive stimulus program begun to rescue the economy from the financial crisis. The Federal Open Market Committee released a statement containing language that points to starting the move in September. The central bank will reportedly begin rolling off the $4.5 trillion portfolio of bonds it has accrued on its balance sheet.

Existing Home Sales Down
According to the National Association of Realtors, existing home sales dropped 1.8% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.52 million units last month.  May's sales pace was unrevised at 5.62 million units. Economists polled by Reuters had forecast sales falling 1%,  to a 5.58 million-unit rate.  Sales were up 0.7% from June 2016.  Last month, the number of homes on the market slipped 0.5% to 1.96 million units. Supply was down 7.1% from a year ago. Housing inventory has dropped for 25 straight months  on a year-on-year basis.  As a result, the median house price jumped 6.5% from a year ago to an all-time high of $263,800 in June -- the 64th straight month of year-on-year price increases. Last month, sales fell in the Northeast, West and South regions, but rose in the Midwest. 

Upstate New Yorkers Advised To Leave State, Follow The Jobs
In an interview with the Wall Street Journal, President Trump noted upstate New Yorkers should pick up and move to states like Wisconsin, which have better job prospects.  "You're going to need people to work in these massive plants...I'm going to start explaining to people: When you have an area that just isn't working like upper New York state, where people are getting very badly hurt, and then you'll have another area 500 miles away where you can't get people, I'm going to explain, you can leave. It's OK. Don't worry about your house." 

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:

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 < > 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 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:

. . .
BSG Financial Group 
BSG provides revenue-enhancement and compliance solutions for financial institutions nationwide. Their solutions include:
  • Overdraft Management Solutions
  • Fee-Based Checking Accounts
  • Digital Lending Solutions
  • Vendor Management
  • Account Acquisition Strategies
  • Social Media Management
  • Appraisal Management Services
For additional information or details, please contact Trevor Knott, 
Senior Vice-President (
781) 254-9647,

Or, visit the website at

. . .That this week marked the seventh anniversary of the Dodd-Frank Act, and the sixth anniversary of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB)? Today, Senator Democratic Senator Chris Dodd and Democratic Rep. Barney Frank -- who chaired the Senate Banking and House Financial Services Committees at the time -- are both retired from Congress.


 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