• IBANYS' Annual Convention: The Power Of Community Banking  September 25 - 27 In Niagara Falls 
  • 2017's Successful State Legislative Session For Community Banks 
  • Invite Your Local Representatives To Your Bank This August
  • Congratulations To USNY Bank and Mike Briggs & To Peter Forrestel & Tony Delmonte of Bank of Akron
  • 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 28, 2017

. . .Congratulations To USNY Bank & President & CEO Mike Briggs! 

USNY Bank, headquartered in Geneva, opened its fourth branch this week, located in Penn Yan (Yates County) New York under its Bank of the Finger Lakes name. The new branch, in a multitenant building, combines a smaller footprint with a teller pod, cash recycler and full-function ATM. The branch will use a Universal Banker model, and will feature agricultural and commercial lending support. The formal ribbon cutting will be July 7. USNY Bank, which will celebrate its 10th anniversary July 31,  was ranked as one of the Top 100 Banks in the United States for 2016 by SNL Financial based on various measures of operating and financial performance for all banks with assets under $1 billion. USNY ranked 60th out of the 4,585 eligible banks nationwide. Congratulations to President & CEO (and IBANYS' Vice Chairman) Mike Briggs and his entire team!
* * * * *
. . .And, To Peter Forrestel & Tony Delmonte,  Bank of Akron
Peter Forrestel (l.) and Tony Delmonte
Congratulations to E. Peter Forrestel II,  who officially retires as President & CEO of Bank of Akron June 30. He is the third generation of the Forrestel family to operate the company. He joined the bank in the 1970s, and succeeded his father Richard Forrestel, as president in 1994. Peter's brother Stephen serves as Chairman. The Bank of Akron, founded in 1900, has five branches. Last year, the bank recorded net income of $1.9 million. Peter will stay on as Vice Chairman and Director. Tony Delmonte became President & CEO in April, and also serves as a Director. He joined the bank in 2009. IBANYS sends best wished and congratulations to Peter, Tony and the entire Bank of Akron team.

Where Will New York Community Bank Leaders, Industry Allies/Vendors & Expert Speakers Gather Together? 
Join leaders of New York's community banking industry, IBANYS preferred providers, associate members and an outstanding array of speakers. Watch this space for details (coming soon) on program and registration, and on sponsorship opportunities. This once-a-year conference will be a must-attend event!

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

IBANYS' end-of-session conference call on Monday briefed the Government Relations Committee on important state and federal developments.  The New York State Legislature has adjourned its 2017 session, although it returns today for a special session called by Governor Cuomo to address NYC Mayoral control of schools and county tax expiration deadlines in September. The Governor reserved the right to include  "other subjects as I may recommend," but IBANYS  does not anticipate actions on any specific issues impacting community banks. 

Overall, the 2017 session was a positive one for community banks -- including the passage of IBANYS-generated proactive legislation, and "playing defense" to stop initiatives that would have had a significant negative impact on our industry.
  • IBANYS was once again successful in battling back a proposal that would have allowed tax-exempt credit unions to participate in the State Business Development District program, and thus be allowed to receive real property tax breaks and to take municipal deposits. The legislation (A.6946, Zebrowski/S.5308, Hamilton) was introduced by the two legislative Banks Committee Chairs, Sen. Jesse Hamilton (IDC-Brooklyn) and Assemblyman Ken Zebrowski (D-Rockland County). We were successful despite the fact that for the first time ever, the initiative had the support of the NYS Department of Financial Services (DFS) and the Governor's office. It passed the Assembly by a vote of 126-17, but never made it to the Senate floor. (There was also an attempt to allow low-income credit unions in New York City to participate in the program, but that was also stopped.) Thanks to IBANYS member banks around the state for responding to IBANYS' alerts and requests and contacted their state legislators. This remains a high priority for credit unions and will likely resurface in 2018. Tax-exempt credit unions have long sought entry into municipal deposits. IBANYS will continue to meet with DFS and Legislature to emphasize tax-paying community banks take municipal deposits and re-invest them in their communities through small business, consumer and housing loans. Such deposits often represent a significant percentage of community banks' total deposits, and they would be negatively impacted if tax-exempt credit unions can compete for them. CLICK HERE to read IBANYS' Memo in Opposition to this bill. 
  • We are pleased the Senate and Assembly passed IBANYS-generated legislation to extend the state examination cycle for community banks, from 12 months to 18 months, and extend the threshold, from $250 million in assets to under $1 billion. This was a top IBANYS legislative priority the past few years, and we worked with legislative Banks Committee chairs, members and DFS to draft the language and advance the bill to final passage. The language in the legislation was amended to revise "shall extend" to "may" extend, and DFS supported the legislation. The legislation now goes to the Governor for his signature.
  • On other matters, a Task Force was established to study the issue of regulating online lenders -- an issue originally addressed in the Governor's Budget proposal but left unresolved. He updated on the issue of a realtors supported bill that would require savings accounts to be established for first-time home buyers, with a cap of $100,000.
  • Two IBANYS' supported bills that would have 1) established community bank service corporations, and 2) provided a community bank exemption CRA exam exemption to institutions that had achieved at least a satisfactory rating from their primary federal regulator were passed by the Senate, but not by the Assembly.
  • The Legislature explored legislation regarding the issue of convenience accounts as a way to address financial abuse of the elderly. The Senate passed a bill (S.5810) that would have required banks to offer convenience accounts when a joint account is opened, and provide information on how they differ from one another. The Assembly also passed a bill (A.8217A) that varied slightly. This issue will likely resurface in 2018.
On Federal Matters:
  • The House has passed the Financial CHOICE Act -- the regulatory relief (so-called "repeal and replace" of Dodd-Frank). In the Senate, the focus will likely be on the CLEAR Regulatory Relief Act, which is a smaller, more targeted approach that would provide regulatory relief to community banks, and incorporates provisions of ICBA's Plan for Prosperity platform that is endorsed by IBANYS. See the ongoing action alert on this issue under the Washington Update.
  • On the issue of flood insurance, the House Financial Services Committee recently marked-up flood insurance legislation. The current Act expires September 30, but could be extended. 
  • The CFPB's is moving ahead on its plan for small business data collection from banks (the "HMDA of small business lending"), and ICBA's intent to monitor and respond. 
  • President Trump has nominated candidates for several key banking regulatory agencies. Joseph Otting has been tapped for Comptroller of the Currency, and James Clinger for FDIC Chairman. He will reportedly nominate Chris Campbell, staff director for Senate Finance Committee Republicans, as Assistant Treasury Secretary for Financial Institutions. The administration also plans to move ahead in naming candidates for vacancies at the Federal Reserve and eventually the CFPB.


Community Bank Relief Finds Support In D.C.
In an op-ed article in "The Hill" newspaper -- covering issues and activities for and about Congress and legislative/regulatory developments -- ICBA Chairman Scott Heitkamp wrote that the recent Treasury Department report on financial regulations "strikes common ground" shared by many policymakers: the need to reform laws affecting community banks. He notes community bank relief is a rare source of agreement at a time of hyperpartisanship in Washington. 
Click HERE to read the full op-ed.

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.

Seven New York GOP Reps To Mnuchin:
Tax Reform Must Retain Key Deduction
Seven of New York's nine House Republicans wrote to Treasury Secretary Mnuchin they are prepared to withhold support for tax reform legislation if it would eliminate the federal deduction for state and local tax payments. Only Reps. Tom Reed, a member of House Ways and Means) and Chris Collins did not sign. The deduction for state and local taxes amounts to a $1.3 trillion tax break over a decade, according to the Tax Policy Center. It is the biggest revenue-raiser that the Trump administration has endorsed in its effort to lower individual and business tax rates. The seven New York Republicans told Mnuchin "any reform package must equal the benefits that state and local tax deductibility have already provided for over 100 years." 

Invite Your Local Congressional Representatives To Your Bank This August
With summer at hand, we're only a few weeks from the August congressional recess, when Members of Congress return to their districts to meet with constituents. IBANYS joins ICBA in urging New York community bankers to invite your local Representatives (and their staff) to visit your banks to see first hand  the challenges of today's regulatory environment. You can help them to see the urgent need to find solutions to the regulatory overreach that hinders your ability to serve your local customers and communities -- and to understand the importance of community banking to their constituents.  To help you prepare, ICBA has developed a "Meeting on Main Street" guide to  help with planning and logistics for bank visits/in-district meetings.  T ake a step toward meaningful community bank regulatory relief. With questions, contact ICBA's Josh Habursky: Joshua.habursky@icba.org, (202)821-4355


  • U.S. Federal Reserve Chair Yellen does not believe that there will be another financial crisis for at least as long as she lives, thanks largely to reforms of the banking system since the 2007-09 crash. 
  • The U.S. Labor Department  sent the Office of Management and Budget a  formal request  for information on the overtime rule, which raises the overtime threshold from $23,660 to $47,476. The rule is currently enjoined by a federal appeals court that's hearing an industry lawsuit to block the regulation.  At a Senate Appropriations subcommittee overseeing the Labor Department's budget request, Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta said Tuesday's request will, when approved, kick off a notice-and-comment process that will inform DOL's decision-making process on changes to the rule.
  • Consumer expectations improved to a nearly 16-year high, according to Director of Economic Indicators at The Conference Board. "Expectations for the short-term have eased somewhat, but are still upbeat. Overall, consumers anticipate the economy will continue expanding in the months ahead, but they do not foresee the pace of growth accelerating."  Those saying business conditions are "good" increased to 30.8% from 29.8%. Those saying business conditions are "bad" declined to 12.7% from 13.9%.  Consumer's expectations for the labor market were also positive, with those saying jobs are "plentiful" rising to 32.8% from 30%. Those claiming jobs are "hard to get" dipping slightly to 18% from 18.3%.
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, easily-identifiable internet locations for financial companies and their customers. V isit  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:

Wolf & Company
An IBANYS preferred provider, Wolf & Company provides Risk Management Services:
  • IT Assurance & Security Services
  • Outsourced/Co-sourced Internal Audit Services
  • Regulatory Compliance Services
  • WolfPAC Risk Management Services
For details, visit www.wolfandco.com
You may also contact:
John Doherty
Financial Institution Audit and Tax
(617) 261-8172

Gerald R. Gagne
Director, Risk Management Services
(617) 428-5455

Stephen R. King
Director, Regulatory Compliance
(617) 439-9700 

. . .That 43 years ago this week on June 26, 1974 t he  Universal Product Code  (the barcode symbol now widely used for tracking trade items in stores) was scanned for the first time, to sell a package of  Wrigley 's  chewing gum  at the Marsh Supermarket in Troy, Ohio? 

Did you know that 1974 was the year IBANYS was formed to give New York community banks a voice of their own in the halls of government in Albany and Washington? 


 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