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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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.


January 18, 2016



Here's How To Submit Your Zombie Property Exemption Forms!
As you know, the New York State Department of Financial Services has finalized its policy on abandoned and vacant ("zombie") properties -- including details on the potential exemption available for community banks.  The exemption form is attached below for your convenience. We have had several inquiries as to how and where the exemption form should be submitted to DFS.  Deputy DFS Superintendent Yolanda Ford informed us forms should be emailed to:

Governor Cuomo Proposes $152.3 
Billion 2017-18 State Budget
Gov. Cuomo unveiled his proposed $152.3 billion 2017-18 State Budget Tuesday night. Two prime initiatives (covering state college tuition for low-and middle-income New Yorkers earning up to $125,000 a year, and a package of middle-class tax cuts) would require a three-year-extension of a higher tax on those who make more than $1 million annually (the so-called "millionaires tax"  set to expire this year). He has noted without the $4 billion it generates, the State will not be able to close its $3.5 billion deficit Senate GOP Majority Leader John Flanagan (R-L.I.) the extension  would be "a major source of discussion," and indicated the Senate GOP also has  issues with the free college tuition plan.  Under the budget, the tax rate for those earning between $40,000 and $150,000 annually would see a decrease of their tax rate from 6.85% to 6.45% for the coming fiscal year. When cuts are fully phased in in 2025, the rate would be 5.5%.  For earners of $150,000 to $300,000, the tax rate would be cut from 6.85% to 6.65% for the coming year, and to 6% when cuts are fully phased in in 2025.  The Governor again proposed a spending cap of less than 2% over last year. The budget rollout was different from previous years. There was no major "nuts and bolts" presentation to the Legislature and press. Instead, he met privately with legislators in a series of private briefings.  Once budget legislation is introduced, there will be legislative hearings (yet to be scheduled). The Governor will have an opportunity to submit 30-day amendments to his proposal.  The next fiscal year begins April 1.  Gov. Cuomo also  meets with  President-Elect Trump today to discuss infrastructure, the Affordable Care Act and other  "issues of importance to New York."  

To read the 2017-18 proposed budget legislation, visit Click on Publications/Archive, then on FY 2018 Executive Budget and then on FY 2018 Executive Budget Legislation.

DFS Superintendent Vullo Opposes OCC's 
"Finch" Charter Plan
New York Superintendent of Financial Services (DFS) Maria Vullo announced she formally opposes a plan by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) to offer special-purpose charters to let online lenders and other "fintech" companies do business nationwide. Comptroller Curry last month outlined a proposal to let "finch" companies that provide banking products and services to get federal charters, to help them reach underserved communities and uphold consumer protections.  "Fintech" companies use innovative  technology to provide services for everything from banking and insurance to fraud security.  The Superintendent wrote to the OCC that  the charter proposal was a "highly problematic" attempt to usurp state laws, warning such  a charter would "invite serious risk of regulatory confusion and uncertainty, stifle small business innovation ... imperil crucially important state-based consumer protection laws and increase the risks presented by nonbank entities." 


Who Are Your Congressional Contacts?
ICBA, IBANYS Need Your Input!
ICBA and community bankers are kicking off a promising new year in Washington. An important first step is to get a comprehensive picture of the industry's relationships with members of Congress. ICBA is asking New York community bankers and directors to complete a brief "State of Advocacy" survey that allows community bankers, from the C-suite to the frontline, to list their personal and professional relationships and contacts with members of Congress. It's important information that can prove instrumental in advancing regulatory relief and other advocacy goals. ICBA President & CEO Cam Fine believes that with so much promise in the new Congress and administration, ICBA needs your help to make the most of the community banking industry's reputation and common-sense policies.  Please complete the survey today and encourage participation throughout your bank and board room. Together, we can maximize our effectiveness in Washington to ensure meaningful change that will benefit community banks and the communities we serve.  Take Action Today! ICBA has asked for your surveys to be returned by this Friday, January 20. Click on the link below:

Community Bankers Ready To Move On 2017 Reg Relief Through  "Plan For Prosperity"
IBANYS strongly supports ICBA's 2017 "Plan for Prosperity" (PFP) community bank regulatory relief agenda. The plan has been shared with key congressional offices and with members of President- Elect Trump's Transition Team. IBANYS will be in Washington, D.C. April 30-May 3 to participate in ICBA's "Capital Summit" and to meet with members of the New York Congressional Delegation to advocate for the PFP agenda. With six New Yorkers on the House Financial Services Committee, and Senator Schumer now the Democratic Minority Leader in the Senate, we need to bring a significant delegation of New York community bankers with us to make our case. Please mark your calendars, plan to join us and watch for further details! 
Click here to read the 2017 "Plan for Prosperity"

Senate Banking Committee Names Key Chairmen, Rankers On Subcommittees
The Senate Banking Committee, chaired by Sen. Mike Crapo (R-ID), named Sen. Pat Toomey (R-PA) Chairman and Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) Ranking Democrat on its Subcommittee on Financial Institutions and Consumer Protection.  Senators Tim Scott (R-SC) and Robert Menendez (D-NJ) will take those positions on the Housing Subcommittee; SenatorsDean Heller (R-Nev) and Mark Warner (D-Va) on the Securities Subcommittee; Senators Ben Sasse (R-Neb) and Joe Donnelly (D-Ind) on the National Security Subcommittee, and Senators Tom Cotton (R-Ark) and Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND) will on the Economic Policy Subcommittee.

Federal Banking Regulators Extend 
Cyber Comment Period 
The Federal Reserve Board, OCC and FDIC have extended from January 17 to February 17, 2017 the comment period for the advance notice of proposed  rule making on enhanced cyber risk management standards for large and interconnected entities under their supervision (and those entities' service providers). The regulatory entities are considering five categories of cyber standards: cyber risk governance; cyber risk management; internal dependency management; external dependency management; and incident response, cyber resilience and situational awareness.

Sen. Schumer Opposes CFPB Restructuring, Replacing Director Cordray
New York's Senior U.S. Senator and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schemer and Senate Banking Committee Democratic Members Sherrod Brown (OH) and Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) Mass.) opposed changing the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau (CFPB) structure, warning that converting it to a bipartisan commission could bring the agency's operations to a halt.    They also said they will fight any efforts to dismiss CFPB Director Richard Cordray and appoint a replacement. The CFPB is engaged in an appeals process to overturn a federal district court ruling that the President can fire the agency's director at will. Sen. Warren said that ruling is currently stayed, and t he timing of a final ruling is unclear. There were recent reports that President-Elect Trump recently met with former Rep. Randy Neugebauer (R-TX), an outspoken CFPB critic, and may consider him to replace Cordray.

One thing that could potentially impact implementing financial regulatory reform is the fact that many current Obama-appointed financial regulators do not plan to depart once the Trump administration begins Friday. Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen, whose term expires in February of 2018. FDIC Chairman Martin Gruenberg's term does not expire until next November; the OCC's Thomas Curry plans to remain at least until April, and F FHFA Director Mel Watt's term lasts until January 2019.


Register For ICBA Securities 
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. The Balance Sheet Academy  advanced seminar is designed to expose seasoned community bank portfolio and balance sheet managers to advanced products and concepts, particularly those who have attended the Bond Academy.  It incorporates balance sheet strategies into day-to-day management of an institution's investment portfolio. 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.  The objective of this seminar is to enable attendees to consistently outperform their peers.  The dynamics of a community bank balance sheet require an investment professional to be versed in a widening range of topics. Balance Sheet Academy provides discussion and practical classroom exercises.  Attendees will learn how the changing economic data impacts the bond market from the Vining Sparks Chief Economist and will also hear first-hand testimony from a fellow experienced community banker about 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 provided below, or contact ICBA Securities' Jim Reber at (800) 422-6442,

Updates From The Fed: Positive Signs
Federal Reserve Bank of New York President William Dudley said yesterday that the U.S.  Federal Reserve
is unlikely to take actions that would "snuff out" the current economic expansion anytime soon because inflation is "simply not a problem."  Dudley is optimistic the current expansion will continue even though it is "long in the tooth" by historical standards. Meanwhile,  Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen said late last week the U.S. economy is doing well and faces no serious obstacles in the short term, with the labor market looking pretty strong.  In the "short term I would say I don't think there are serious obstacles. I see the economy as doing quite well," Yellen said. She did add that she was worried about longer-term issues like widening income inequality and weak growth in labor productivity.

Consumer Prices Up
U.S. consumer prices rose in December, as households paid more for gas and rental accommodation. It lead to the largest year-on-year increase in two-and-a-half years, a possible sign  inflation pressures could be building.  The U.S. Labor Department's Consumer Price Index  rose 0.3% last month after gaining 0.2% in November. In the 12 months through October, the CPI increased 2.1%, the biggest year-on-year gain since June 2014. The CPI rose 1.7% in the year to November.  The CPI rose 2.1% in 2016, up from 0.7%  in 2015.


IBANYS Meetings Update: 
Planning Underway

IBANYS held a planning call for members of our CFO Peer Group late last week. The purpose was to begin planning for the June 7-9 CFO/Senior Management Conference at West Point. Among the topics identified and discussed for possible agenda segments were:
  • "NYS and National Economic Trends/Outlook" 
  • "The 2017 Federal & State Regulatory Environment/Outlook" 
  • The Federal Tax Landscape: 2017 & Beyond" 
  • Accounting Update: Best Practices For Community Banks" 
  • "Best Practices: Optimizing Net Interest Margins" (Strategies For Pricing Loans & Deposits") 
  • "Implementing CECL: Where Should Your Bank be Today?"
  • "Redefining Compensation: Trends & Strategies In The Post-Wells Fargo Environment"
  • "Capital Markets/Subordinate Debt: What Are The Options For Community Banks?"
  • "CRE Concentration: A Status Update"
  • New York Financial Performance  Marketplace: Evaluating Your Bank & Peers" 
  • Federal & State Regulatory Panel on "The 2017 Landscape"  (Zombie Properties, Cybersecurity, CRA, Safety & Soundness, Examinations)
  • "Managing Your Investment Portfolio: 
  • Luncheon Speaker: The New Legislative & Regulatory World In Washington, DC
We also previously held a planning call with our Compliance Peer Group to discuss our upcoming Regional Compliance Seminars  March 22 and 23 in Rochester and the Capital District -- as well as for inclusion during such other IBANYS educational meetings as Lending, Directors, CFO/Senior Management & Annual Convention. Preliminary discussion focused on:
  • Incentive compensation guidelines; 
  • HMDA; 
  • Private flood insurance; 
  • AML/BSA, and vendor & third-party oversight/management. 
  • Overall risk management 
Watch for news on specific program agendas and speakers soon.

We Need Your Support Of NYSIBPAC:
Please Contribute!
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?


. . .Hold The Dates For These 
IBANYS Meetings:
(Share with colleagues) 

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:
IBANYS will hold meetings of our Board of Directorson the following dates:
  • 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.

Don't Miss ICBA's Annual Convention: Community Banking Live!

ICBA wants you to know "the hottest show in community banking" is less than two months away. They hope to see many New York community bankers in San Antonio, Texas March 15 - 19 for the 2017 ICBA Annual Convention, ICBA Community Banking LIVE ( The program will feature all the staples that make this convention one of the premier events in the industry, and this year, have added new events that will once again raise the bar.  There will be three general sessions, more than 60 education sessions, dozens of networking opportunities, the largest trade show anywhere for community bankers, tours, the return of the popular Late Show and much more. There will be terrific entertainment, and so much to see and do in the Alamo City. 
Visit the following link for details:
For more information and updates, visit   
Questions? Call  (800) 422-7285 .

New York Community Bankers:
Support ICBPAC Silent Auction
Former IBANYS Chairman and current Board member Bob Fisher (President & CEO, Tioga State Bank) is co-chairing of the 28th Annual ICBPAC Silent Auction on Tuesday, March 17 during ICBA's BobFisher annual convention, "Community Banking LIVE(tm) in San Antonio, Texas.  I n a letter to New York community banks, Bob notes "In addition to being a lot of fun, the ICBPAC Silent Auction is a vital part of the PAC program and is our largest fundraising event of the year. I am reaching out today to ask for your help to make sure that this year's event is the biggest yet.  As a New Yorker and Co-Chair I'd like to make sure New York is well represented. Please consider supporting this year's event through a sponsorship or gift donation. This is an opportunity for your bank to use corporate funds to help make this year's Auction a success.  Even if you don't plan on attending a sponsorship or donation would be greatly appreciated.  Please visit  for more information or you may also send the attached forms to  or fax to  (202) 659-8619 .  

If you don't want to try to find an item for the auction, feel free to give money, which will be used to purchase an item. If you've already signed up to participate, thank you! If not, please note that the deadline to be recognized as a sponsor or gift donor in the Auction Program is  Friday, February 3 . Please be sure to submit your information now to be included!  If you have any questions regarding the event or ICBPAC, please contact Courtney Schoenborn or Martina Egerer at  (800) 422-8439  or . Thank you in advance for your support!"  Click here and here for more details.


IBANYS is working hard to continue providing important products and services  under our member services  initiative, with help from our new Innovation Committee, to benefit bankers  and  our associate members/ preferred providers. IBANYS initiatives can provide value and bottom line benefits to New York community banks. 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: 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 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:

. . .Bank Financial Services Group 
Bank Financial Services Group (BFS Group), a leading expert in the BOLI industry, is a national firm with an exclusive focus on community banks. Bank Financial Services Group supports the management of all BOLI portfolios -- with the primary goal of providing unparalleled customer support, increasing the bank's bottom line earnings, increasing shareholder value and funding meaningful benefits for all bank employees.
BFS Group is your bank's partner, not just another vendor.  For details contact David Schunke,  Associate Director: (212)  267.291.2130,email . . .or visit the website at

. . .That t he Division of the Budget officially came into existence on January 1, 1927 following two constitutional reforms that laid the foundation for a "strong executive" form of government?  In 1925, the State Constitution was amended to consolidate executive branch agencies and to subject the heads of many of those agencies to the appointive authority of the Governor. In 1927, the Constitution was again
Gov. Al Smith
amended to give the Governor responsibility for submitting an annual, comprehensive and balanced plan of revenues and expenditures and prohibit the Legislature from acting on other spending measures before acting on the Executive Budget. 
These reforms made the Governor the chief architect of the State's budget, accountable for the development and administration of the legislatively-approved budget, and led to the evolution of a strong centralized Budget Division. In January 1928, Governor Alfred E. Smith submitted the first budget prepared under the current Executive Budget process.


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