• A Message From President Witkowski: House's "Choice" Act Approval Is A Win For Community Banks, ICBA, IBANYS
  • IBANYS' Annual Convention: The Power Of Community Banking  September 25 - 27 In Niagara Falls 
  • Latest Updates From Albany & Washington: Credit Unions, Reg Relief, Exam Cycles
  • Economic, Banking & Business Trends Impacting Community Banks
  • Fed Raises Interest Rate Again
  • And Much More!

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

Quick Links

Have You Contributed to NYSIBPAC This Year?
If 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?
for our 2017 PAC contribution form. Help support IBANYS' political action efforts in New York State.


June 14, 2017

IBANYS thanks the following associate members for renewing their membership with us. We appreciate your confidence, and look forward to continuing our work together!
  • BBN: Wholesale Correspondent Bank with an array of services to over 190 Financial Institutions throughout New England and New York. FDIC insured, member of Federal Reserve, and Federal Home Loan Bank. www.bbnfirst.com
  • EscapeWire Solutions: Managed IT Solutions service provider with 13-plus years experience and a reputation built on trust, expertise and customer service. www.escapewire.com
  • Jack Henry & AssociatesOffers products & services to help customers process financial transactions, automate businesses. www.jackhenry.com

Message From The President

House Passage Of Financial "CHOICE" Act: 
A "Win"  For Community Banks, ICBA & IBANYS

Last week, the U.S. House of Representatives passed  H.R. 10, the Financial "CHOICE" Act of 2017", by a vote of 233-186. It was a milestone in the House GOP's ongoing efforts to reform Dodd-Frank -- and in community banks (led by ICBA and IBANYS) longtime advocacy of the same.  The CHOICE Act would repeal or significantly modify major parts of Dodd-Frank (and other non-Dodd-Frank-Act-related regulatory measures). It includes many provisions from ICBA's "Plan for Prosperity" regulatory relief program, including reforms to mortgage-lending requirements, relief from call report and data ciollection mandates, and greater accountability in the bank exam environment. 

Final passage in the House is a tribute to the tireless efforts by New York community banks and their peers across the nation. While much remains to be done, IBANYS thanks our member banks for all their hard work and commitment over the past months and years in support of the CHOICE and CLEAR Acts. Together, we are leading the battle to provide community bank regulatory relief and stimulate economic growth in the communities we serve!

The bill now  heads to the U.S. Senate, where the Banking Committee may opt for  a more targeted approach. The Community Lending Enhancement and Regulatory Relief Act ( "CLEAR" Relief Act, S.2002) sponsored by Sens. Moran (R-Kan.) and Tester (D-Mont) is designed to help community banks promote economic and job growth by relieving them of unnecessary regulatory burdens. There is the potential for bi-partisan support. The bill  promotes regulations tiered to the size and complexity of regulated institutions; exempts community bank portfolio loans from a variety of new mortgage rules (e.g., "qualified mortgage" and escrow regulations); exempts community banks with less than $10 billion in assets from the Volcker rule; provides a regulatory safe harbor for good-faith compliance with the TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosure rule, and provides relief from costly and duplicative Sarbanes-Oxley section 404(b) internal control reporting and attestation requirements for community banks with assets of $1 billion or less.

A few notes to reflect on as we move forward:
  • ICBA and IBANYS worked long and hard in support of the CHOICE Act, working with House Financial Services Chairman Hensarling (R-TX), who authored and introduced the legislation. It incorporated a number of provisions from ICBA's Plan for Prosperity, which IBANYS strongly endorsed. Chairman Hensarling met with us at ICBA's Capital Summit last month. IBANYS actively supported the legislation "on the hill" during our meetings with New York's Congressional Delegation. We also coordinated "action alerts" asking IBANYS members to contact their local Representatives and urge them to vote for the CHOICE Act. 
  • The CLEAR Relief Act also incorporates many provisions from ICBA's Plan for Prosperity. IBANYS met with Senator Schumer (and, with Senator Gillibrand's top banking aide) to discuss the bill and ask for their support. CLEAR has a companion bill in the House (H.R. 2133) by Rep. Luetkemeyer. During our Washington meetings, IBANYS succeeded in persuading Reps. Faso (R-19) and Reed (R-23) to co-sponsor the bill. Please see our action alert under the Washington Update section, urging New York community banks to continue their grassroots afforts on CLEAR.

We're making progress. We're making a difference. Now, let's be sure to stay the course!


Mark Your Calendars & Plan To Attend
IBANYS' annual convention will gain bring together leaders of New York's community banking industry -- the senior executives and senior managers of our member banks -- with IBANYS preferred providers, associate members and a truly outstanding array of speakers. Watch this space for details (coming soon) on program and registration, and on sponsorship opportunities.

Niagara Falls provides a truly spectacular venue for our conference.  Click here to learn more about the many activities available!   

2017 Annual Convention Trivia: 
  • Who was the first person to "go over Niagara Falls" in a barrel?
  • Who were the stars of the 1953 major motion picture, "Niagara"?
No "googling". . .Answers next week.

  . .. .  

IBANYS: Don't Allow Credit Unions To Join 
State BDD  (Muni Deposits) Program
IBANYS continues to oppose the Department of Financial Services bill (A.6946-A, started/ S.5308, Hamilton), sponsored by the two legislative Banks Committee Chairs, which  would extend the State's Banking Development Districts Program to credit unions. The BDD program  provides real property tax benefits and state funds to participating banks that establish brick-and- mortar branches in underserved areas. This is the first time DFS and the Governor are on board.  IBANYS is reminding state legislators: 
  • tax-paying community banks provide a disproportionately high percentage of small business and agricultural loans in New York State vis-a-vis the amount of deposits they hold
  • the loss of municipal deposits would have a negative impact on business and balance sheets. IBANYS is considering a number of options. 
As we go to press, due to recent amendments there are no longer identical companion bills in the Senate and Assembly. With time growing short, IBANYS is closely monitoring the situation and will keep members fully informed if and when further  developments occur. CLICK HERE  to read IBANYS' Memo in Opposition to this legislation.

Other Legislative Issues
With only five more scheduled session days remaining in the 2017 legislative session (the Legislature plans to adjourn on June 21), there is the usual end-of-session "all hands on deck" vigilence in monitoring any new developments. IBANYS believes there is reason to be optimistic over the possible passage of one of our legislative agenda bills: the extension of the state examination cycle from 12 to 18 months, and the increase the threshold from $250 million to $1 billion. IBANYS played a large role in developing and writing the proposal, and has met with DFS leadership and with two successive State Senate and Assembly Banks Committee Chairs to build support for the initiative. CLICK HERE to reda IBANYS memo in support of this bill.


New York Community Bankers:
Contact Your Representatives On CLEAR ACT
IBANYS joins ICBA in urging community banks to contact their members of Congress to urge them to co-sponsor the CLEAR Relief Act (H.R. 2133, S. 1002) by  Rep. Blaine situation (R-MO), and alert the Senate (S. 1002), by Sens. Jerry Moran (R-KS) and Jon Tester (D-MT). We need to take action to advocate for  congressional support for this comprehensive community bank regulatory relief legislation. The CLEAR Relief Act bills include relief from, among other things, mortgage rules, the Volcker rule, the TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosure rule and Sarbanes-Oxley requirements.  New York community bankers: Use ICBA's "Be Heard" Grassroots site (icba.org) to contact your Representatives.  

Warren, situation Address Community 
Bank Regulatory Relief
Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) is willing to support easing regulations imposed on community banks.  "There are places where we should do targeted changes in laws and regulations to make sure community banks don't have to endure regulations."  She  said it is likely unfair for community banks to endure heavy regulations imposed on large banks when they "don't pose" the same kind of threat to the economy if the endure a crisis.  Warren would not support rolling back regulations on Wall Street, or dismantling the Consumer Financial Protections Bureau. Treasury Secretary Mnuchin said the first of the reports ordered by President Trump on overhauling financial regulations  features relief for community banks and credit unions. Testifying to the House Appropriations Committee, Mnuchin said:  "These banks are not what created the financial crisis. These banks know how to lend in the community, they know how to make loans, they know the people in the community - these banks fuel the engine of growth in this economy, which is small and medium-size companies." Mnuchin noted: 
"We support Chairman barrel Choice Act, but what we were primarily focused on was: What are the things we can do to unlock burdensome regulations and overlapping regulations."

House Cancels Today's Actions After Shooting
The House canceled all votes today. Many hearings  or bill markups, including those scheduled in the Financial Services Committee, were also delayed. The announcement came after a gunman opened fire at a congressional baseball practice field in Virginia, wounding multiple people including  Majority Whip Rep.  Steve Scalise,  the third-ranking House Republican. He is in stable condition and underwent surgery. According to news reports, the assailant is deceased.

  • The Federal Reserve this afternoon raised its benchmark interest rate for the third consecutive quarter, to a range from 1% to 1.25%. The Fed has increased its benchmark interest rate by a full percentage point since 2015. The American economy has added an average of 190,000 jobs a month over the last two years. The unemployment rate dropped in May to 4.3%, the lowest level since 2001. The latest rate increase brings the Fed one step closer to ending the economic stimulus campaign it began during 2008 financial crisis. The Fed projects by the end of the year, its benchmark rate will be at a neutral level, neither stimulating nor damping economic growth.
  • The White House reportedly plans to launch a search for the next Federal Reserve Chairman. The search will likely be led by the President's top economic advisor Gary Cohn. While there has been speculation Cohn himself might be a candidate, he has denied those claims. The administration has not commented whether current Fed Chair Janet Yellen, whose term expires at the end of January 2018, might be re-appointed. The President has said he does "like her" and "respect her," and also said, "I do like a low-interest rate policy." 
  • U.S. retail sales in May recorded their biggest drop in 16 months and consumer prices unexpectedly fell, suggesting a softening in domestic demand. The U.S. Commerce Department said retail sales fell 0.3% last month. Retail sales rose 3.8% in May on a year-on-year basis.
  • America's small-business owners are highly confident about their prospects for the next year and optimistic about the state of the U.S. economy, according to the first-ever CNBC/SurveyMonkey Small Business Survey. 1) Male small-business owners were found to be more optimistic than females; 
    2) Owners with less than four employees have a confidence level of 58. Those with 50 or more employees scored 9 points higher, at 67.  Data was collected in April from more than 2,000 small-business owners.
"The Emerging Digital and Mobile Lending Opportunity for Community 
Financial Institutions" 
- - Wednesday, June 20, 11:00 AM
CLICK HERE to register!

Community financial institutions do not make money on small business loans under $100k or consumer loans under $30k. Now, with digital lending technology, you can! 

Today most checking customers hold these loans elsewhere, which puts existing relationships and growth at risk. Cloud-based digital lending technology enables you to increase efficiency 80% and profitability deliver these loans, while providing an exceptional customer experience in just minutes-online or on any mobile device. Attend this FREE, one-hour webinar on Tuesday, June 20 at 11 am EST to learn how several community banks are using digital lending to enhance the customer experience and achieve efficiencies and growth - all under your brand, with your underwriting, your compliance and your control, with loans on your balance sheet. Attend this webinar to learn how your bank can streamline lending processes, grow your loan portfolio and recapture loans lost to non-bank lenders using digital lending technology. 
The webinar will cover:
  • The $30 billion income opportunity for community banks documented by multiple studies, AND the potential ROA your institution could enjoy.
  • The requirements of customers today for a digital and mobile lending experience.
  • How digital lending streamlines your lending processes and reduces the cost to underwrite and service loans for less than $250 annually! 
  • Why digital lending provides sound underwriting and automated risk rating & credit monitoring.
  • How digital lending manages loan applications, adverse action, Reg B and other compliance efficiently and with no paper or staff time.
  • How database design keeps your customer tax ID or account number data safe outside your firewall.
  • How digital marketing drives digital loans for small business and consumer segments.
CLICK HERE to register! Questions? Contact  BSG Financial Group  Marketing Manager Michele Rehm:

Have You Contributed To NYSIBPAC?
This year brings a challenging legislative session, with new chairmen of both the State Senate and State Assembly Banks Committees. Many of our competitors within the financial services industry operate very well-funded political action committees, and we need your support to ensure community banks remain an important part of the political process and debate. We have placed an updated 2017 NYSIBPAC contribution form in the column along the left border of this newsletter.  Can we count on your support?


IBANYS identifies offers products and services  that provide value to your banks, companies, employees communities. These brief summaries provide links for information. Please contact IBANYS President John Witkowski with questions. 

Health & Wellness 
The health and wellness landscape continues to evolve. "My Wellness Resource" can be a nice addition to your existing benefit package.   C ontact Alan Justin at (716) 907-5500  or visit:  http://nbibanys.phecard.com.

We are pleased to inform HR & Benefits Representatives of IBANYS member banks about a new offer available to their banks.  Offered through IBANYS' partner at My Wellness Resource is a unique program providing a $500 rebate on any new Fiat, Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, Ram or Hyundai vehicle. Those firms comprise approximately 19% of all car and truck sales in the US market.  The rebate is independent of, and may be combined with, any other offer available to your employees, so it's a true cash rebate that is not available through dealerships. Employees negotiate their best deal at the dealership of their choice including other rebates, cash back offers, etc., then apply for and receive this $500 rebate after their new car purchase or lease. The program may only be  offered though individual banks, not through IBANYS itself. Therefore, if it's something you think your bank and employees might be interested in, drop a line to us and we will forward it to our contact at My Wellness, Alan Justin, who will reach out to you with  the details.
We only ask that if you are not currently participating in the My Wellness Resource program, that you take a fair & objective look at the program!

Secure, Enhanced Internet Presence
The .bank program by fTLD operates trusted, verified, more secure and easily-identifiable internet locations for financial companies as well as for their customers. For more information, visit  www.icba.org/SRPArticles < http://www.icba.org/SRPArticles > page  

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

Battle Against Prostate Cancer
Cure the Blue" raises funds and awareness regarding prostate cancer in New York State. Visit www.curetheblue.com to get involved!  

IBANYS Webinars  For  New York 
Community Banks:
. . .Is YOUR Bank Participating? 
New York's community banks face an array of challenges -- and, opportunities! Bank officers, board members and employees need to stay fully informed and up-to-date. . . on their responsibilities -- and, their potential liabilities. Community bankers need the proper information and tools to effectively do so, and to execute their business and strategic plan to prepare for the future.  Here's one important, convenient way to do this:  IBANYS' 2017 webinars. These presentations are designed to meet the needs of New York community banks. The programs are both effective and cost-effective. . . and participating couldn't be easier! Community bankers can do so from their own offices. The number of participants has dramatically increased over the past few years. Is your bank among those who have benefited?  If not, find out why so many of  your industry and association peers are taking advantage of these webinars. R eview upcoming programs link below:

. . .ICBA Securities
ICBA Securities Corporation is a service of the ICBA Services Network┬«, a wholly owned subsidiary of the ICBA (Independent Community Bankers of America). ICBA Securities has seven directors, six of whom are community bankers. Vining Sparks serves as ICBA Securities' exclusively endorsed broker.  Products actively traded and carried in inventory include Treasuries and Agencies, Fixed Rate Mortgage Backed Securities, Adjustable Rate Mortgage Backed Securities, Collateralized Mortgage Obligations, Corporates, Municipals, SBAs and other securities suitable for community bank investments.  Vining Sparks (or subsidiaries) also offer a line of strategic products such as Whole Loans, Interest Rate Products, M&A and valuation advice, and portfolio management. 
For information, v isit  www.icbasecurities.com,  or contact Jim Reber, President & CEO:  (901) 762-5880, jreber@icbasecurites.com.

. . . That only 15 people have led the Federal Reserve since President Woodrow Wilson signed the Federal Reserve  Act into law in 1913? William M. Martin and Alan Greenspan served the longest tenures, from 1951-1970 and 1987-2006, respectively. Martin served during the administrations of five Presidents: Truman, Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson and Nixon. Greenspan served during four administrations, under Presidents Reagan, GHS Bush, Clinton and GW Bush. The shortest tenure? Eugene Black, just 14 months (1933-34). Current Chair Janet Yellen is the first woman to serve in the position.


 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