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

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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.


February 8, 2017



State Budget Holds Center Stage In Albany
The Legislature continues its Joint  Legislative Budget hearings  (they will continue through February 28) to review the Governor's budget, and meet with it with state agencies imapcet by the proposal. Once the Legislature completes its hearing process, the next phase -- negotiations among legislative leadership and the Governor's office -- on a final budget will commence. The deadline for enacting a final 2017-18 state budget is   April 1

Tax Update: The Millionaire Tax Debate
Governor Cuomo wants to extend the current tax rates for upper echelon tax brackets, set to expire this year, seeking an 8.82% tax rate for those making more than $2,155,350 annually, in addition to a payment of $145,720. The Governor says without the so-called "millionaires' tax" the state will not be able to fund various services, including the beginning of a phase-in of an income tax cut for middle class taxpayers and his proposed free state college tuition proposal, and he projects New York would lose out on billions of dollars in revenue in the coming years. His position is essentially the middle ground between the State Assembly's and Senate's. Senate Republicans, under Majority Leader Flanagan (R-L.I.) oppose tax increases of any kind, even extending the current top tax rate. Assembly Democrats, under Speaker Heastie (D-Bronx) want to keep the millionaires' tax and expand it, creating new tax brackets for millionaires and higher rates for the new upper brackets. 

Meanwhile, non-budget-related legislation continues to be introduced, including bills impacting municipal deposits, savings accounts for first time homebuyers and regulation of motor vehicle financing and regulation. 
  • State Sen. Sanders (D-Queens) has introduced S.4101, to amend the general municipal law and state finance law allow credit unions (and savings banks, savings & loan associations and federal savings and loan associations) to accept and secure deposits from municipal corporations. It is in the Local Government Committee. There is no Assembly companion bill as yet
  • Sen. Betty Little (R-Glens Falls) introduced S.4058 to establish the "New York State First Home Savings Program" to authorize first-time home buyers to establish savings accounts to purchase a home, and amend the state tax law to create a personal income tax deduction for deposits into that account. It is in the Housing, Construction & Community Development Committee. 
  • Assemblyman Blake has introduced A.4619 to grant the State DFS jurisdiction over the financing of motor vehicles, and amend the vehicle and traffic law to require motor vehicle dealer finance managers to be licensed by DFS. It is in the Banks Committee. There is no Senate companion bill as yet.
  • Assemblyman Blake also introduced A.4619, which would authorize the State DFS Superintendent to oversee and regulate car dealer transactions with consumers, amend the personal property law to regarding the content of motor vehicle retail installment contracts, and require motor vehicle dealers to provide credit applicants with copies of all loan application documents. It is in the Consumer Affairs and Protection Committee. There is no Senate companion bill as yet.
Click here to see the most recent introcuctions, and here to see other recent legislative activity.


Credit Union Tax Exemption Growing
The Congressional Joint Committee on Taxation reports the value of the credit unions' tax exemption will be $14.4 billion for the period of 2016-20. Cost to taxpayers is expected to climb nearly 25%, from last year's $2.6 billion to $3.2 billion in 2020.

Federal Cybersecurity Update
An executive order to make federal agency heads more accountable for the cybersecurity at their departments could come this week after going through delays and revisions since President Donald Trump took office on Jan. 20. ( Politico)

CFPB, Cordray In Congressional Focus
House Financial Services Chairman Hensarling (R0TX) and Senate Banking Committee members Sasse (R-NE) and Lee (R-UT) have urged the Cordray testifies President to "fire" Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) Director Richard Cordray. Chairman Hensarling is sponsoring the "Financial CHOICE" Act to replace Dodd-Frank. It  would rename the CFPB the Consumer Financial Opportunity Commission, replace the single director with five commissioners and subject it to congressional appropriations.  Sen. Sasse, in an op-ed in USA Today, wrote:  "The bureau's mission to prohibit "abusive practices" sounds great. But all that power has little accountability. The bureau can unilaterally write rules for major sectors of our economy (that's a legislative power) and unilaterally slap penalties on whom it chooses (that's executive power). Its budget is on autopilot, with funding from the Federal Reserve completely outside Congress' budget process. Atop this unaccountable mess sits Director Richard Cordray.  Our Founders would ask: How is it possible that Cordray doesn't report to anyone elected by the people? The CFPB works overtime to crank out regulations. These rules can hurt folks on Main Street, families and local businesses that depend on community lenders and can't afford well-connected lobbyists or armies of lawyers.

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ICBA Capital Summit April 29-May 3:
  • N.Y. Congressional Meetings 
  • House Financial Services Chair Hensarling
House Financial Services  Chairman Jeb
Hensarling (R-TX) will address ICBA's  2017 Capital Summit (April 29-May 3) in Washington, D.C.  ICBA is working with Hensarling to advance his "Financial CHOICE Act" regulatory relief bill, which may be released this week.  Previously known as the ICBA Washington Policy Summit, the Capital Summit will feature remarks from top policymakers, and include the new "Future of Banking" Symposium. Registration is complimentary. 
There will also be advocacy meetings "on the hill" with Congress, and IBANYS will bring a group of 
ew York community bankers to meet with members of 
New York Congressional Delegation. 
With six New Yorkers  on the House Financial Services Committee, and Senator Schumer now the Democratic Leader in the Senate, we need to bring with us a significant delegation of New Yorkers to help make "the community bank case" in terms of our importance, issues and priorities. Can we count on your bank to join us? Register at the link below. Contact IBANYS' Steve Rice ( to sign up for a congressional visit.
To register:

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Urge Your Member Of Congress:
Repeal Durbin Amendment!

ICBA President & CEO Cam Fine has noted "price controls have eroded community bank interchange revenues while retailers have pocketed profits alert promised to consumers. Congress has an opportunity to correct this bad public policy, so we need to do everything in our power to make our voice heard on Capitol Hill." The executive director of the Electronic Payments Coalition recently wrote that price controls have harmed community banks despite an exemption for institutions with less than $10 billion in assets. Additionally, a coalition of conservative groups sent a letter urging House Financial Services Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling (R-TX) to include a Durbin amendment repeal in the Financial CHOICE Act. The joint letter made the case that price controls are anti-market and have harmed consumers.  ICBA is urging community bankers to contact their Members of Congress and urge them to support a repeal of Durbin amendment price  controls on debit interchange. Visit, click on advocacy then on "Grassroots: Be Heard" tabs  to advocate support for a repeal.  
ICBA Securities Investment School's 
Balance Sheet Academy
ICBA Securities will hold its investment school, the Balance Sheet Academy, April 24-25, 2017 in Memphis, Tennessee. It complements the Bond Academy held last October, and is for more experience financial managers.  The Academy has a capacity of 75 bankers.  Bank personnel with an intermediate level of understanding of investments who are integral to the investment process will benefit the most from this advanced course. New directors serving on the investment or asset-liability committee will also find this course beneficial.  Balance Sheet Academy provides both discussion and practical classroom exercises.  Attendees will learn how the changing economic data impacts the bond market, and hear testimony from an experienced community banker on successful balance sheet management.
There is potential for up to 12 hours CPE credit.
Curriculum includes the following topics:  
  • Bond Markets and Investment Product Review
  • Asset / Liability Management and Impacts to Portfolio Management
  • Using Interest Rate Products to Manage Balance Sheet Exposure
  • Active Loan Portfolio Management
  • Mortgage Investing: CMO's in Detail
  • Navigating the Municipal Market
  • Understanding Municipal Credit
  • Day-To-Day Portfolio Management
  • Economic and Interest Rate Environment
  • Building and Executing Investment Portfolio Strategies
  • Formulating Balance Sheet Strategies 
For details (or to register) click on the link below, or contact ICBA Securities' Jim Reber at (800) 422-6442,

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March 22, 2017 - Compliance Conference - Rochester

March 23, 2017 - Compliance Conference - Albany

April 11, 2017 - Directors Conference - Rochester

April 12 2017 - Directors Conference  - Albany 

April 30-May 3, 2017 - ICBA Capital Summit, Washington D.C. ( meetings "on hill" with New York Congressional Delegation)

May 9-10, 2017 - Lending Conference - Syracuse (tentative)

June 7-9, 2017 - CFO/Sr. Managment Conference - West Point, NY

September 25-27, 2017 - 43nd Annual Convention - Niagara Falls, NY  

October 24, 2017 - Security Conference - Rochester, 

October 25, 2017 - Security Conference - Albany

IBANYS Board of Directors Meetings:
  • March 2, 2017 
  • June 9, 2017
  • July 20, 2017 (conference call meeting)
  • October 19, 2017
To view details on our 2017 education calendar, visit, click on education tab, then on upcoming meetings for full details.


February 2017: Economic Outlook
by Alan S. Blinder
Vice Chairman and Co-Founder, 
Promontory Interfinancial Network 
Professor of Economics and Public Affairs, Princeton University

Following each meeting of the Federal Reserve's Federal Open Market Committee, Promontory Interfinancial Network co-founder, former vice-chair of the Fed, and Princeton economist Alan Blinder provides an analysis of the proceedings and implications for future policy and economic activity.  IBANYS is pleased to share his most recent column.

"The Federal Open Market Committee meeting that ended Wednesday was probably not as boring as the official statement made it appear. The most "exciting" thing in the statement was a new sentence: "Measures of consumer and business sentiment have improved of late." Markets snap to attention on new sentences and seem to have read this one correctly: The FOMC is getting happier about the economy. But that's pretty small beer. 

Two things that did not appear in the statement probably occupied most of the meeting time. 

First, there was almost certainly lots of discussion about the fiscal policy that the Trump administration is likely to propose and the Republican Congress is likely to deliver. At this juncture, with the economy roughly at full employment, fiscal stimulus is unnecessary for the economy and unwanted by the Fed; it will almost certainly hasten the pace of interest rate hikes. FOMC members are aware of all that, but they don't know any more about future fiscal policy than we do. So it was an ideal subject for uninformed speculation inside the meeting room, but entirely inappropriate to say anything about it in the statement. 

Second, the Committee almost certainly spent a lot of time ruminating about its future balance sheet policy-in particular, how best to reduce its asset holdings when the time comes. But that time is probably still far in the future, so there was no reason to say anything about it in Wednesday's statement. Indeed, there was every reason not to say a word-which is exactly what the Committee did. I never understood why some market participants had speculated that the Fed would drop some hints this month about its future balance sheet policy. But some of them did, and they were disappointed. 

The March meeting could be far more interesting-if the fiscal picture has been clarified by then. It might even bring another 25 basis points of tightening. We'll see."

ADA Web Site Compliance: AN Analysis 
As you know, banks have recently faced a growing wave of claims and lawsuits alleging that their websites do not comply with Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). While this is a federal law, IBANYS has been trying to determine whether there is a solution on how to best handle the letters banks are receiving from law firms, and are seeking guidance from the national trade associations. Meanwhile, in an effort to keep you fully informed on the issue, we are pleased to share the following article provided by Charlie Graham, President of IBANYS associate member Volum8 -- the firm is well versed in web design and on ADA compliance standards.  
Here is a link to the article. 

Please Support NYSIBPAC. . .
Watch your inboxes for our 2017 NYSIBPAC solicitation request. This year brings a challenging legislative session that will feature new chairmen of both the State Senate and State Assembly Banks Committees. With many of our competitors within the financial services industry operating very well-funded political action committees, 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?

. . .And Also, The ICBPAC 
Silent Auction
Bob Fisher, President & CEO of Tioga State Bank, is Co-Chair of the 28th Annual ICBPAC Silent Auction to be held Tuesday, March 17, 2017 during ICBA's Community Banking LIVEā„¢ in San Antonio, Texas. BobFisher It is a vital part of the ICBA PAC program. Bob is asking his fellow new York community bankers to help to make this year's event the biggest yet.
Please consider supporting it through sponsorship or a gift donation. Your bank may use corporate funds to help make the Auction a success.  Even if you don't attend, a sponsorship or donation would be appreciated. V isit  for details. P lease note the deadline to be recognized as a sponsor or gift donor in the Auction Program is  Friday, February 3 . If you have any questions regarding the event or ICBPAC, contact Courtney Schoenborn or Martina Egerer at  (800) 422-8439  or email

ICBA's Annual national convention "Community Banking LIVE" in San Antonio, Texas March 15-19  is the largest community banking convention in the country. Devoted solely to the needs of America's independent community banks, it provides community bank decision-makers nationwide the opportunity to network and gain valuable insight into their business, competition in the marketplace and the special financial challenges we are facing today. Visit for details.


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:

Secure, Enhanced Internet Presence
The .bank program by fTLD operates trusted, verified, more secure and easily-identifiable locations on the Internet for financial companies and the customers they serve. Visit<
> page  

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

Battling Prostate Cancer
Cure the Blue" raises funds and awareness regarding prostate cancer in New York State. Visit to get involved!  

IBANYS 2017 Webinars Designed 
For  New York Community Banks 
In 2017, New York's community banks will face an array of challenges -- and, opportunities! Bank officers, board members and employees must be sure they are fully informed and up-to-date on their responsibilities -- and, about their potential liabilities. Community bankers require the proper information and tools to effectively meet their responsibilities, execute their business and strategic plan, and prepare the bank for the future.  One important -- and convenient --way to do so is by regularly participating in  IBANYS' 2017 webinars. These presentations are specifically tailored to the needs of New York community banks. The programs are effective and cost-effective, and to participate couldn't be easier! Community bankers can do so directly from their own offices. Over the past few years, the number of New York community bankers participating in IBANYS' webinars has dramatically increased.  Is your bank among those who have benefited? If not, why not find out why so many of  your industry and association peers are taking advantage of these timely webinars? Take a moment to r eview our upcoming programs by clicking the link below:

. . .  Volum8 
Volum8 is a highly specialized branding, web des ign/development, and local search optimization company. They focus on user experience and storytelling with a strong understanding o f the millennial market.
With their creative edge and technical mindset, they have become the perfect partner for banks looking to maintain current customers and appeal to millennials. They have built custom tools that help make managing sites and gaining new customers effortless.  For details, contact President  Charles Graham : (845) 202-2206, e-mail or visit the website at

. . .that the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) was created under President Obama in 2010, and authorized by Dodd-Frank? CFPB jurisdiction includes bankscredit unions, securities firms, payday lenders, mortgage-servicing operations, foreclosure relief services, debt collectors and other financial companies operating in the United StatesThe agency was originally proposed in 2007 by then Harvard Law School professor Elizabeth Warren. Richard Cordray is the only Director the CFPB has had since its inception. 


 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