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 25, 2016

A Message From The President 

By John Witkowski, President & CEO
As we are nearly one month into the new year, it's a good time for me to touch base and take stock of where we at IBANYS are on a number of important fronts. This includes advocacy, educational programming, and member services and benefits -- in short, on the ways that IBANYS works to provide value to our membership. 
  • On advocacy, there has been a great deal of government relations activity on regulation and legislation at both the federal and state levels. In Washington, a new administration has taken over. There is a growing contingent of New Yorkers in the White House and in important executive branch positions, as well as in key congressional leadership and  committee posts. IBANYS has been engaged in following up on issues such as the State Department of Financial Services' (DFS) new regulations on cybersecurity and abandoned and vacant ("zombie") properties. We've been reviewing new legislative introductions and activity, and analyzed the Governor's proposed state budget for 2017-18 for provisions particularly relevant to New York community banks. We're also working with ICBA, our allies in Washington, to carefully monitor legislative and regulatory activity on the federal level as well. Our Government Relations Committee is active in providing input and guidance on state and federal issues, and ICBA has released their updated "Plan for Prosperity" community bank regulatory relief agenda which IBANYS supports. We will be going to Washington April 30-May 3 to meet with members of the New York Congressional Delegation and participate in ICBA's Capital Summit. With all the change taking place, and with New Yorkers playing key roles, it's more important than ever that we have a strong presence of IBANYS members with us.  Watch for details on the program and meetings in the near future. 
  • Meanwhile, the work goes on in planning and finalizing our 2017 meetings and conferences. We'll have our Regional Compliance Seminars in March, Regional Directors Conferences in April, Lending Conference in May, CFO/Senior Management Conference in June, Annual Convention in September and Regional Security Conferences in October. Of course, we continue to offer a large menu of webinars as well. We encourage New York community bankers to participate.
  • Lastly, we continue to enhance our efforts to identify and offer products and services that provide value to our membership. We have been highlighting the "My Wellness Resource" health and wellness program, the .bank program, the Excelsior Growth Fund online lending program through NYBDC and the "Cure the Blue" effort to battle prostate cancer. These programs can provide value to your banks, employees and communities. We provide links below to each. If you have questions, please call or email me directly: (518) 436-4646, 
As you can see, 2017 is off to a very busy start, with a great deal of activity!  Today's newsletter is packed with important updates on these subjects -- and much more. As always, we look forward to working together on behalf of our membership on all fronts. Thanks for your continued support and participation! 

-- John

IBANYS is pleased to welcome aboard our newest associate member: BSG Financial Group, providing revenue-enhancement and compliance solutions for financial institutions. Welcome to the IBANYS family!  See additional details in the "Spotlight" section below in today's newsletter.



C orrect Email Address To 
Submit Your Zombie Property Exemption Forms. . .
Last week, we provided an email address we received from the New York State Department of Financial Services for community banks to use in submitting exemption forms for the new DFS Abandoned and vacant ("zombie") properties regulation.  Please note: Unfortunately, that original email address provided by DFS last week had a typo and was incorrect. We have now received an updated version from DFS. 

The correct email address to use in submitting your exemptuion forms is:

Summary Of State Budget Bill Relating To 
New York Community Banks
IBANYS has reviewed the Governor's 2017-18 State Budget legislation, and has prepared the following summary of the proposed sections that impact New York community banks. We have scheduled a Government Relations call for Monday morning, January 30 at 9:00 a.m. to discuss the budget, and develop IBANYS' policies and positions, and encourage IBANYS member bank CEOs and/or designated representatives to participate. Watch for an email from John Witkowski with details.

TED Article VII
Part X
The DFS Superintendent is empowered to:
a)  Bring an action against an unlicensed entity or individual as if the entity or individual were licensed and as such subject to the same penalties; and
b)  Retain control over initiation and prosecution of civil actions against a regulated entity rather than the Attorney General.
Part Z
This bill provides DFS with the authority to license and regulate the student loan industry.  Banks are exempted from the licensing requirements for student loan servicers provided that the Superintendent is notified by the bank that it is acting as a loan servicer and complies with provisions relating to prohibited practices and responsibilities and any regulations promulgated by the Superintendent.
Part AA
This bill is directed at protecting vulnerable adults from financial exploitation.  A vulnerable adult is defined as an individual who because of physical or mental impairment is unable to manage their own resources or protect themselves from financial exploitation.  A banking institution is authorized to place a transaction hold on the account of a vulnerable adult under circumstances where there is a reasonable basis to suspect financial exploitation.  The bank must notify adult protective services and law enforcement of the transaction hold and inform them of the basis for such action.  Provision is made for an account holder to have access to funds for ongoing housing, living and emergency expenses during the transaction hold.  The bank and its employees are provided immunity from criminal, civil and administrative sanctions for good faith actions.
Part BB
The Superintendent of DFS based on a disqualifying event may serve charges against a person operating under a DFS license or serving as an employee, owner, director, trustee, officer, member or partner of a DFS licensee based upon a disqualifying event.  A disqualifying event is defined and includes certain criminal acts, engaging in any unsafe or unsound practice and other such acts are delineated.  The disqualification may be for a lifetime or a shorter period as determined by the Superintendent.
Part CC
This bill would create an exemption under the Banking Law for an entity to engage in limited lending activities without being subject to licensing requirements.  Such entities can only engage in making zero-interest loans and must be exempt from federal income taxes as 501c(3).  An application to operate as an exempt entity must be filed with the Superintendent. Such registration may be suspended or revoked by the Superintendent.
Part EE
This bill expands the prohibition of doing the business of making loans without a license to on-line lenders who either make loans or otherwise arrange or facilitate the funding of loans.  This applies to non-business loans of less than $25,000 and business loans of less than $50,000.
Part FF
This bill makes reverse mortgages subject to prior notice requirements and settlement conferences which are currently applicable to other mortgage products subject to the mortgage foreclosure process.
Part GG
This bill would allow the expenses of every examination of the affairs of a regulated entity by DFS to be paid for by such entity so examined.  It also provides that regulated entities would be assessed for operating expenses solely attributable to the regulated entity in proportions determined by the Superintendent to be just and reasonable.
Revenue Article VII
Part U
This bill provides that the financial institution data match system would be available when past due for liabilities become fixed and final.  It currently requires a docketed judgment with a tax warrant filed with the county clerk.  It also permits the disclosure of debt and debtor information to the financial institutions and the third party operator of the data match system.
PPGG Article VII
Part C
This bill would amend the Penal Law to provide increased penalty level based on the amount of aggregate financial damage done by computer tampering.  It also provides increased penalties for mass identity theft.

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

Other Albany Legislative Activity To Date
The state budget will be the primary focus of the Legislature during the first quarter. Budget hearings that began this week, possible amendments from the Governor, and the Senate and Assembly submitting their own respective budget bills. Following negotiations, the deadline for approval is April 1.  However, there has been some other legislative activity. Click here    here  and here  to review bills introduced so far this session that are of potential interest tio community banks. IBANYS' Government Relations Committee and staff will be monitoring legislative introductions and activity, and will be meeting with the new chairmen of the State Senatre and Assembly Banks Committees, Sen. Jesse Hamilton (IDC-Brooklyn) and Assemblyman Ken Zebrowski (D-Rockland County).

Gov. Cuomo: Legislature Must Approve 
Tax Cuts Again
Governor Cuomo said this week that the middle-class tax cuts approved by the Legislature in last year's state budget -- and which he presented as a key to his proposed $152 billion budget for 2017-18 -- must be approved this year: "It must be approved this year. Every year is a new year." The cuts, phased in over several years, will impact New Yorkers earning between $40,000 and $300,000 annually. The Governor also wants to extend a tax surcharge on the wealthy that is set to expire at yearend; the Senate is opposed to extending the so-called "millionairres tax".  

Debate Over New Fees, Surcharges
The State Senate Republicans said that the Governor's proposed $152 billion budget contains $803 million in new fees and surcharges for the year, which would grow to $4.5 billion by 2021. The Governor's office accused the Senate of using "fuzzy" math. Meanwhile, the Assembly analysis found  $830 million in "revenue actions" (taxes) in the budget, which it says  would result in an additional $683 million in revenue in SFY 2017-18, growing to $4.5 billion in SFY 2019-20.

State Senate IDC Adds Eighth Member
The Independent Democratic Conference, which partners with Republicans in the governing coalition in the State Senate, has
increased its membership to eight with the addition of Sen. Jose Peralta of Queens. He is the third "regular" Democrat toi switch to the IDC in the past few months, joining Sen. Jesse Hamilton of Brooklyn (the new Senate Banks Committee Chairman) and Sen. Marisol Alcantara of Manhattan/Bronx). The IDC is chaired by Sen. Jeff Klein (Bronx).


Federal Judge Dismisses ICBA's Suit Against 
Credit Unions' Commercial Lending Rule 
A federal Judge has granted NCUA's motion to dismiss ICBA's case against the credit union commercial lending rule. The court found the suit to be time-barred based on the original 2003 rule, and also found lack of standing due to insufficient competitive harm to community banks. In addition to the procedural grounds, the Judge opined on the merits, finding that the NCUA's interpretation of an ambiguous statute was a r easonable one. ICBA is , with counsel, evaluating the decision and its options. ICBA, and IBANYS, greatly appreciate the support of community bankers in this case, and will continue to fight for parity/equity with tax-exempt credit unions.  ICBA President & CEO Cam Fine issued the following statement:  "ICBA is deeply disappointed in today's decision from the U.S. District Court for the Eastern Division of Virginia granting the NCUA's motion to dismiss ICBA's lawsuit challenging the NCUA's commercial lending rule.  If the decision stands, tax-exempt credit unions will be permitted to exceed Congressional limitations on commercial lending activity under relaxed regulatory oversight, thereby posing a tangible threat to community banks, consumers and the financial system at large.  Along with our counsel, we are evaluating the decision and our options. Regardless of today's decision, ICBA will continue to pursue efforts to level the tax and regulatory playing fields between community banks and credit unions through all appropriate avenues."

DOJ: Can't Intervene In ADA
Demand Letters 
The U.S. Justice Department (DOJ) declined ICBA's request to intervene in unethical demand letters from plaintiff's attorneys to community banks alleging that their websites do not comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act. I n a letter to ICBA, the DOJ said it is not authorized to intervene and that the responsibility to address such behavior lies with the states. Responding to ICBA's calls for interim guidance on the ADA's online accessibility standards, the DOJ said it has not yet determined guidance but is likely to adopt the World Wide Web Consortium's Web Content Accessibility Guidelines. The DOJ said formal guidance remains on its regulatory agenda, though the department has said it isn't planning to finalize its ADA standards until 2018.In the meantime, the DOJ indicated that ADA requirements to provide accessible technology is an "already-existing obligation" and that compliance is expected unless a community bank can prove an undue burden. After  DOJ's response, ICBA updated its guidelines for community banks offering practical advice on how to respond to plaintiffs' demand letters. The updated document incorporates the DOJ's response and additional guidance on how to respond.
 Click here 
for the updated ICBA guidelines.

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"

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. 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 below, or contact ICBA Securities' Jim Reber at (800) 422-6442,

*     *     *     *     *


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.


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?

. . .And, Please Support 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.

In Other Industry News Of interest:
  • The New York Post writes that Governor Cuomo"is positioning himself to become the new sheriff of Wall Street." The article notes the Governor's proposed budget "proposes sweeping legislation to dramatically expand the regulatory and enforcement powers of his Department of Financial Services - in some instances allowing its superintendent to prosecute cases instead of going to the state attorney general, according to a state Senate GOP analysis. The package includes expanding the financial agency's authority to take action against an insurer without first obtaining a court order and allowing the superintendent to prosecute a civil action to recover a penalty or enforce an order "instead of having to refer such action to the attorney general for prosecution," the Senate review said.
    The proposal makes it easier to "unilaterally" disqualify "bad actors" from the banking and insurance Ā­industries without court order.  It also empowers the Financial Services superintendent to license and regulate student-loan servicers.  Other provisions expand oversight of lenders, including those from out of state who arrange or facilitate loans..."
  • U.S. home resales fell more than expected in December. The supply of houses on the market dropped to levels unseen since 1999.  The National Association of Realtors said existing home sales dropped 2.8% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.49 million units. 
  • President Trump's nominee for Treasury secretary Steven Mnuchin supports regulatory relief for regional, midsize and community banks."[T]aking a fresh look at all aspects of the Dodd Frank legislation should be one of our highest priorities and if confirmed I look forward to working with Congress on this important priority," he wrote. "It is important that we have a regulatory environment that supports credit flows to all aspects of our economy, particularly in rural and less populated areas, and that small- and mid-sized institutions are not suffering from an inappropriate regulatory burden." He said "we should examine whether it is appropriate for financial institutions that engage almost exclusively in traditional banking activities with consumers and businesses to be subject to measures intended for our largest and most complex financial institutions." His top priority in addressing financial sector regulation is to spur economic growth. He said any efforts to revisit the Dodd-Frank Act will be to address "regulatory issues that limit banks abilities to lend to small and medium-sized business that will create economic growth and create more jobs."
    Mnuchin reportedly wants to tighten the Volcker Rule's ban on banks' proprietary trading, and wants the rule to apply only to banks with federal deposit insurance. He also said banks should be regulated based on their "complexity and activity, not simply size". He also supported the Federal Reserve remaining independent. Meanwhile, Acting Under Treasury Secretary Adam Szubin will be Acting Secretary pending Mnuchin's confirmation and swearing-in. He will then leave government.
  • Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) suggested eliminating the corporate income tax and raising taxes on capital gains as an alternative to the House GOP tax reform plan, parts of which President Trump has called "too complicated."
  • The financial industry is watching whether the Trump administration will halt the Labor Department fiduciary rule slated to take effect in April. President Trump's newly announced regulatory freeze doesn't stop final rules like the one issued by the Labor Department under the Obama administration. 
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:

. . .BSG Financial Group.
BSG Financial Group is IBANYS' newest associate member. The company 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

For detaile visit or contact Senior V.P. Trevor Knott: (781)254-9647,

. . .That the New York State budget proposed by Republican Governor Malcolm Wilson in 1974 (the year that IBANYS was formed) was for  $9.38-billion? State government was in the hands of the Republicans back then, with the State Senate lead by Majority Leader Warren Anderson (R-Binghamton) and the State Assembly by Speaker Perry Duryea (R-Long Island).
(This year's proposed budget is $152 billion.)


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