Your IBANYS Team: 
Working Together To Make 2016 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?
CLICK HERE for our 2016 PAC contribution form. Help support IBANYS' political action efforts in New York State.

Partner

December 7, 2016

GOVERNMENT RELATIONS

IN ALBANY

Busy Days On Regulatory Front!
IBANYS Engages DFS, Governor's Office, 
Legislature  On Cybersecurity  

It has been a busy autumn and winter at IBANYS on the state regulatory front. IBANYS has worked hard to respond to the State Department of Financial Services (DFS) proposed cybersecurity regulation that would have a significant impact on community banks. We submitted our comment letter (jointly, with ICBA) on the proposal. We co-signed letters from the financial and business community to DFS and the Governor's office, and are preparing to testify at a State Assembly Banks Committee public hearing scheduled for December 19 in Albany. IBANYS also helped coordinate a conference call for state chartered community banks with senior officials at the State DFS to discuss concerns over regulatory burden and duplication and the impact on banks' bottom line and operations.
  • Click here  to read our IBANYS/ICBA cybersecurity comment letter.  
  • The Business Council of New York State
     that we co-signed informed DFS that  we can most effectively protect customers' information and information technology (IT) systems via cybersecurity frameworks: (i) that are risk-based, exible, and scalable; and (ii) that permit each Covered Entity to take into account the broad security environment in which it operates, the particular risks to which it is or may be subject, its size and complexity, the nature and scope of its activities, the sensitivity of the customer information it maintains, and the security laws and regulations to which the insurer and independent agent already is subject, among other things.  Click here to read the joint Business Council letter to DFS
  • In the business/financial community letter we co-signed to the Governor's office, we joined in recommending a risk-based approach to cybersecurity policy, and urged an open dialogue between the Executive Department and the Business Community "to produce a cybersecurity regulation that fosters a healthy business climate, economic growth and jobs for the State of New York." Click here to read the letter to the Governor's office.
  • This week, IBANYS is preparing testimony for delivery at the December 19 Assembly Banks Committee Public Hearing "to explore the cybersecurity needs of banking institutions and review state laws and regulations designed to protect against cyber threats." IBANYS is working with member banks to develop testimony and policy recommendations.
IBANYS appreciates the work and participation of member banks in helping to formulate our comment letters and testimony on this issue, as well as on our  comment letter to DFS on the newly proposed regulation on vacant and abandoned ("zombie") properties. Click here  to read that letter.

Other News From Albany. . .

Prospects for a special session of the State Legislature remain unclear. The Governor is seeking legislative support for a pair of constitutional amendments to set term limits for state elected officials, and establish a full-time Legislature that bans outside income. He also wants other issues on the agenda, including funding affordable housing, creating a hate crimes task force and overhauling procurement procedures. Members of the Legislature are seeking a pay increase, but do not want that linked to the items on the Governor's agenda. Meanwhile,  Assembly Speaker Carl  Beastie (D-Bronx) was renominated and was unopposed in the Democratic conference for another term as Speaker. Since Democrats enjoy an advantage of more than 100 seats in the chamber, his reelection is certain.

Mixed Poll Results 
For Governor Cuomo
Governor Cuomo's favorability rating (56%-36%), job approval rating (up to 44% from 41%) and re-election numbers (47%-44%) were all up slightly in the new Siena College poll released this week. However, the poll found that a plurality of voters are not enthusiastic about a possible presidential run by the Governor in 2020. Meanwhile, the Democratic Governors Association announced that Governor Cuomo will serve as the group's policy chairman during 2017.

The poll also found 49% of New Yorkers are optimistic about a Trump presidency, and 48% are pessimistic. 

IN WASHINGTON, D.C.

Chairman Hensarling Re-Elected
House Financial Services Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling (R-TX) was reelected to a third term in his position this week. Heintends to continue to push his Financial CHOICE Act regulatory relief bill, which includes a number of provisions (e.g., reforms to mortgage lending rules, call report and data collection) from ICBA's "Plan for Prosperity" reg relief program that IBANYS strongly endorses. The Act would also repeal the Durbin Amendment price controls on debit card interchange fees. Hensarling was mentioned as a potential Treasury Secretary before Steven Mnuchin was nominated by President-Elect Trump.

New York's Congressional Delegation Includes 
Four New Members In 2017 

The 27 member New York Congressional Delegation  of the 115th House of Representatives will include 18 Democrats and 9 Republicans for the session beginning in January. There will be four newly elected Representatives: Democrats Tom Suozzi (3rd CD, Long Island) and Adriano Espaillat (13th CD, Manhattan), and Republicans John Faso (19th CD, Hudson Valley) and Claudia Tenney (22nd CD, Central New York). Mr. Faso is a former NYS Assembly Minority Leader and gubernatorial candidate. Ms. Tenney is a current NYS Assemblywoman. Mr. Espaillat is a current NYS Senator, while Mr. Suozzi is a former Nassau County Executive. IBANYS will be meeting with members of the delegation when we travel to Washington in the spring of 2017 to participate in ICBA's Washington Summit.

Meanwhile, Rep. Paul Tonko (D-Albany) was selected as Upstate Regional Whip for the House Democratic Minority, while Rep. Grace Meng (D-Queens) will serve as the Whip for New York City and Long Island Democrats.

CFPB Updates Exemption Thresholds
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) website notes three recently issued final rules related to certain exemption thresholds. The CFPB has issued two joint rules under Regulation M (exemption for consumer leases) and Regulation Z (exemption for consumer credit transactions) and one joint rule under Regulation Z (small-dollar exemption for higher-priced mortgage loans).



ICBA's Fine Thanks Community Banks, 
Cites For 2016 Successes
ICBA President & CEO Cam Fine thanked community bankers across the country for their membership, advocacy and participation -- and reviewed the successes of the year, including:
  • advanced much-needed regulatory relief,
  • fought the mission creep of credit unions and the Farm Credit System,
  • achieved important revisions to the Financial Accounting Standards Board’s accounting standards update,
  • testified before Congress on Basel III and reciprocal deposits, and more.
The Trump Agenda For "Main Street Banks"?
President-elect Donald Trump and his team have at times seemed to signal a desire to reverse rules viewed as burdensome for community banks, and freeing them up to give more loans. Steve Mnuchin, the nominee 
or Treasury Secretary, told CNBC last week the new administration's No. 1 regulatory priority will be to "strip back parts of Dodd-Frank that prevent banks from lending." He specifically mentioned them as the "engine of growth to small and medium-sized businesses."  

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INDUSTRY INSIGHTS

Fed's Beige Book: Latest Conditions In New York
According to the Federal Reserve "Beige Book" of regional conditions, the economy continued to expand at a moderate or modest pace across most regions. 
Banking conditions were largely stable,  residential and nonresidential real estate activity improved. In the New York region, s mall-to-medium-sized banks in the District report stronger demand for commercial mortgages and commercial & industrial (C&I) loans but little change in demand for consumer loans and residential mortgages. Credit standards were unchanged for consumer loans and
residential mortgages, but bankers report some tightening of standards for commercial mortgages and C&I loans. Bankers report narrower spreads of loan rates over cost of funds across all loan categories. The decrease in spreads was most notable for residential mortgages. Respondents also report an increase in the average deposit rate. Finally, bankers report lower delinquency rates for consumer loans and C&I loans, and no change in delinquency rates for other loan categories.

Meanwhile, the Bureau of Labor Statistics said today that m onthly job openings - a gauge of the U.S. economy closely watched by the Fed  - showed little change in October.  Employers posted 5.5 million job openings, a rate of 3.7%, during the month, in-line with Thomson Reuters expectations and slightly up from the 5.49 million in September. T he number of hires and separations were little changed at 5.1 million and 4.9 million, and the layoffs and discharges rate was also unchanged at 1%.

CFO Survey Finds Optimism Up 
Since Election
The Duke University/CFO Global Business Outlook Optimism Index -- a quarterly survey -- was released today. It reached its highest level in more than a decade. Roughly 330 U.S. CFOs took part in the survey, and another roughly 600 took part outside the U.S.  The proportion of U.S. CFOs who are optimistic outweighs those who are pessimistic by four to one.  The CFOs listed regulatory requirements and corporation taxation as among their biggest issues.  When asked how many have changed their plans since the election, 12% of plan to do more hiring and 13% plan to spend more as a result of the election.

Credit Union Shares, Deposits Pass $1 Trillion
The National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) reported that insured shares and deposits in federally insured credit unions surpassed $1 trillion in the third quarter. Membership reached 106.2 million, while total outstanding loans rose 10.1 % over the past year, to $847.1 billion at the end of the quarter. 

New York Fed's Dudley On Raising Rates
More stimulus could mean the Federal Reserve would raise interest rates faster, according to New York Fed President William Dudley. He said this week that he supports measured rate hikes if the U.S. economy stays on its current trajectory. Dudley also noted financial conditions have tightened modestly since the Nov. 8 general election. "There is still considerable uncertainty about how fiscal policy will evolve over the next few years. At this juncture, it is premature to reach firm conclusions."  Since last month's presidential election, stocks, bond yields and the dollar have all risen. Dudley called this a "tightening," but said he was not not concerned since it appears to be driven by expectations for more government spending that should boost the economy.
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IBANYS MEMBER SERVICES & BENEFITS

IBANYS initiatives can provide value and bottom line benefits to New York community banks. Take a moment to review them. We hope you take full advantage of these exciting opportunities. . .

New York Community Banks: 
Check Out This Health Care Option! 
It's approaching the time to sign up for health benefits for 2017. We suggest you take a look at our healthcare partner, My Wellness Resource" as an addition to your existing benefit package. The Teledoc program is an exciting new way to provide value to your institution and employees. It provides 24/7/365 access to a doctor through the convenience of phone or video consults. It is an affordable option for quality medical care.  Click here to read how high deductibles can lead to health care avoidance,  and here  to learn how this program can help you in planning your health care benefits package.  Community banks can take advantage of a low-cost, non-traditional program to help save time and money, and offer employees on demand health care. It's an exciting new way for community banks to provide additional health care benefits options, reduce cost and retain employees -- designed to improve productivity, decrease absenteeism and boost morale without straining your bottom line.   Contact Alan Justin, Managing Partner at (716) 907-5500 or call the IBANYS office at (518) 436-4646.  For more details on the benefits of the My Wellness Resource Card, visit: 

 Discover .BANK Toolkit & Digital Campaign. . .
IBANYS encourages New York community banks to take a look at  a digital campaign that fTLD has put together to raise the visibility of .BANK  in the marketplace.  ICBA asked us to pass along this opportunity for banks to join in with ICBA, ABA and the Financial Services Roundtable to promote .BANK. To view the campaign, view the toolkit and read nine different ads available for use, click on the link below, or cut and paste it into your browser. Click below:
E x celsior Growth Fund (EGF): 
IBANYS' Online Lending Partner
EGF is  a nonprofit Community Development Financial Institution formed by New York Business Development Corporation (NYBDC). EGF is endorsed by IBANYS as exclusive online lending 
partner for our 
members.
EGF provides innovative financial solutions and business advisory services to underserved small businesses in New York State through a fast, simple and secure online lending platform. Its core product is the EGF SmartLoan™, which features amounts up to $100,000, approvals within one-to-two days, and disbursements within one week. Importantly, interest rates a fraction of those typically offered by online lenders.  EGF offers banks a unique customer retention solution when a customer either does not qualify for a bank's loan offerings, or seeks the fast,  transparent process available through online lenders. To facilitate retention, EGF shares performance information on the referred loan portfolio on a quarterly basis and offers the opportunity for the bank to purchase referred loans at par at any time.  Additional details on the EGF SmartLoan, including eligibility criteria, are available at:
For details, or to make a referral, contact Bryan Doxford, Chief Lending Officer at Excelsior Growth Fund:  bryan.doxford@excelsiorgrowthfund.org or  (212) 430-4512.

We also joined the  "Cure the Blue" effort to raise funds and awareness regarding prostate cancer in New York State. We are partnering with the Buffalo Bills Alumni Foundation, and hope to see a number of IBANYS members participate. Please join us in supporting this worthwhile cause. Visit www.curetheblue.com to get involved!  
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IBANYS Webinars For 
New York Community Banks 
New York's community banks face a wide range of challenges. Officers, board members and employees need to understand their responsibilities -- and, potential liabilities -- are not about to diminish. They require the information and tools required to meet their responsibilities, and properly prepare the bank for the future.  One way to assure this is to participate in  IBANYS' webinars -- tailored to the needs of New York community banks. The programs are both effective and cost-effective, and couldn't be more convenient! Community banks' officers, directors and employees participate directly from their offices. Over the past two years, the number of bankers participating in IBANYS webinars has risen dramatically increased.  Find out why. Join  your industry and association peers and take full advantage of these timely webinars.  Review  our upcoming programs by clicking the link below:
https://financialedinc.com/a/ibanys/category/live



. . .Wolf & Company, P.C,
Wolf & Company understands that the  role that community financial institutions play in the recovery and growth of the local economy has never been greater. The current trend of merger and acquisition activity and the cost of compliance are just two of the many challenges facing community and regional banks. You need a resource that has experience assisting institutions in the many phases of growth of their organizations and has the ability to grow with you. From initial public offerings to acquisitions of other banks or financial service entities, you need an advisor who has seen it before and has hands-on experience in dealing with the current issues affecting banks. 

Risk Management Services:  An accurate and holistic view of risk can give your organization more time for analysis and strategic planning, while ensuring your resources are utilized efficiently. WolfPAC is a secure, online suite of enterprise risk assessment tools and risk management plans that incorporate the elements of enterprise-wide risks into a single, integrated solution . Our solutions are regularly updated to reflect changes in business practices, regulations, and examination standards, so you can be sure you're meeting regulatory requirements. Find out how we can simplify your process and assist you in developing a thoughtful, strategic ERM program.
 
  • IT Assurance & Security Services
  • Outsourced/Co-sourced Internal Audit Services
  • Regulatory Compliance Services
  • WolfPAC Risk Management Services
For details, please contact: 
Gerald R. Gagne
Director, Risk Management Services
(617) 428-5455;  ggagne@wolfandco.com, or 
Stephen R. King
Director, Regulatory Compliance: (617) 428-5448;
sking@wolfandco.com



 

. . .That  In 1791, the New York State Legislature authorized a charter for the first state bank, the Bank of New York.  A law in 1829 set up a "Bank Fund" (later renamed the "Safety Fund"), to guarantee the payment of debts of insolvent state banks. All State-chartered banks were required to make an annual contribution to the fund, which was managed by the State treasurer. That same law provided for the appointment of three bank commissioners to examine the financial status of these banks and to report annually to the legislature. 
The New York State Banking Department was created by the Legislature on April 15, 1851, and was the oldest state banking regulator in the country until it was merged with the State Insurance Department to form the State Department of Financial Services (DFS). 



 


 
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 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