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.


March 15, 2017


The Federal Reserve increased its benchmark interest rate a quarter point,  taking the overnight funds rate to a target range of 0.75% to 1%. Analysts expect the next hike in June, with another in December. The Fed forecast for GDP gains in 2017 remains 2.1%; 2018 was pushed up one-tenth to 2.1%. Longer-run growth estimates remained at 1.8%. Inflation expectations remained in check: the Federal Open Market Committee sees a slight uptick in 2017 from 1.8% to 1.9%, but the longer-run tending toward 2%. 

By John Witkowski,
President & CEO

As we head into spring, IBANYS enters our "busy season": launching our full menu of educational programming; continuing to monitor and take action on key federal and state issues, and preparing for an important visit to Washington, D.C.
  • More than 40 registrants from nearly 20 banks are signed up for our Regional Compliance Conferences March 22 in Rochester and March 23 in the Capital District. A terrific group of speakers from federal and state regulatory agencies and the consulting world will examine key issues and challenges facing community banks.
    There is still time to sign up: To review the program and register,  CLICK HERE.
  • We are also finalizing details for our two Regional Bank Directors Conferences set for April 11 in Rochester and April 12 in the Capital District. These key sessions will address many of the risks and responsibilities facing community bank board members in a changing world of regulatory, business and competitive challenges. To review the program and register, CLICK HERE.  
  • Later this spring, we'll hold our Lending Conference May 9-10 in Syracuse, and  CFO Senior Management Conference June 7-9 at West Point . Then, in the fall, we will host our Annual Convention September 25-27 in Niagara Falls, and Regional Security Conferences October 24 in ´╗┐Rochester and October 25 in Albany.
  • Another important meeting I want to flag for your attention is ICBA's Capital Summit April 30 - May 3 in Washington, D.C. It's a once-a-year chance to hear from senior policy makers and meet with our New York Congressional Delegation "on the hill" to advance our agenda. Register with ICBA. Then, email Steve Rice ( to sign up for congressional visits. As always, we'll continue to keep you posted on all activities and developments impacting new York community banks. 
. . .For your convenience, we have provided more details on these and other upcoming meetings and events below. As always, thanks for your continued participation and support!

IBANYS' Regional Compliance Conferences Next Week -- Sign Up Today. . .
Community bank compliance officers face a number of significant challenges in 2017 and beyond. Federal and state regulatory burden, "hot button" examination issues, data security, ERM, risk management, corporate governance, ADA website compliance, incentive compensation, vendor management and so much more. 
IBANYS' Regional Compliance Seminars March 22 in Rochester and March 23 in the Capital District  are one-day programs featuring senior federal and state regulators and outside consultants. Through stand alone presentations, Q&A sessions and a concluding panel discussion, we'll focus on top compliance concerns as identified by IBANYS' Compliance Peer Group. Speakers will include:  FDIC New York Regional Director & Deputy Director Vogel and Strockoz;  OCC National Bank Examiner Castrichini and Northeast District Community Bank Compliance Officer Lewis;  NYS DFS Deputy Supt./Community & Regional Banks Ford and Director of Consumer Compliance Kent;  Steve King & Peter Rossi (Wolf & Company);  Charlie Graham (Volum8), and  Jeffrey Cardone & Ben Azoff (Luse Gorman).

IBANYS April Regional Directors Conferences:  Focus On Solutions. . .   

Community bank directors are coping with evolving customer demands, contending with shrinking margins and reduced fee income -- and dealing with increased regulatory burdens and costs. Bank directors must help banks navigate 2017's new landscape.  IBANYS' Directors Conferences on Tuesday, April 11 (Rochester) and Wednesday, April 12 (Capital District) are one-day sessions that will focus on a number of these timely issues, as well as the latest Enterprise Risk management (ERM) developments to help directors identify what they must know concerning regulation, oversight and strategic planning to enhance their banks' growth and profitability. They are designed for bank directors, CEOs, CFOs and other senior bank officers. Note: Attendees can earn up to 7.5 CPE credits. Speakers include 

ICBA Capital Summit April 29-May 3
In Washington, D.C. 
-- Key Congressional Visits! 
IBANYS will bring a contingent of community bankers to D.C. Join us 
"on the hill" for meetings with members of the New York Congressional Delegation.
With six New Yorkers on the House Financial Services Committee, and Senator Schumer now the Democratic Leader in the Senate, we need a significant delegation of New Yorkers to help make "the community bank case" in terms of our issues and priorities. We'll also hear from House Financial Services Chairman Jeb Hensarling (R-TX), and Vice President Pencehas been invited.  released as soon as next week. Can we count on you? Register below. Then, email Steve Rice ( to sign up for a congressional visit.  

. . .For These Outside Webinars 
& Seminars

"American Banker" 
Web Seminar March 16 On
NYS DFS Revised Cybersecurity Regulation 
On December 28, 2016 the State Department of Financial Services (DFS) issued a revised regulation on its Cybersecuroty Requirements for Financial Services Companies.  The American Banker is offering a webinar on March 16 at 2:00 PM, moderated by Mike Sisk (Contributing Editor, American Banker) and featuring Brad Keller, Senior Director, Third-Party Practice Lead Prevalent). The webinar will address w ho is covered; k ey areas covered; h ow to approach compliance; o verall impact on cybersecurity and third party risk assessments
To register:

Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer Seminar:
"The OCC Fintech Charter --
Opportunity With A Twist"
Thursday, March 16, at Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer, 250 West 55th Street, New York, N.Y. 10019. (4:30 p.m. Registration; 5:00 p.m. program; 6:30 Reception.) 
The recently proposed OCC expansion of the special purpose national bank charter for Fintech companies creates a very interesting opportunity for single source supervision of companies that provide consumer financial services without offering insured deposits. . . But at what price?   This two-part seminar will explore issues critical to an evaluation of the OCC's proposed innovation. They include p ermitted activities; i mpact of ongoing OCC supervision and enforcement; o ngoing compliance expectations; t he extent of preemption of state laws; c orporate governance requirements; i mpact on day to day transactions; i mpact regarding state licensing requirements; e ffect on usury caps, and i mpact on strategic transactions, including capital raising and M&A.
To register or for details, call (212) 836 8000

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.  It  provides both discussion and practical classroom exercises, and examines how  changing economic data impacts the bond market.  There is potential for up to 12 hours CPE credit. Contact  ICBA Securities' Jim Reber: (800) 422-6442, To sign up:

New England College of Business 2017 
Online Consumer Credit Course:
"Make Better Consumer Lending Decisions"  
Designed for banks and credit unions with small credit departments, this online Consumer Credit course from New England College of Business (NECB) is a convenient training option focusing on how to make appropriate consumer loans using a decision-making process that includes interviewing, investigating and loan product knowledge.  This special eight-week course is offered only once in 2017, starting May 1.  If applicable, three credits may be awarded toward an academic degree program. NECB is offering this special course at a reduced cost to IBANYS member banks --  a one-time opportunity you won't want to miss.  Registration deadline is April 15.  Using the College's award-winning online learning platform, consumer lending basics will be covered, including regulations, credit policy, operations and loan closings/servicing.  For details, contact Mike Gunther: (518) 331-9677

"CRA Training 101 For Bankers"
Mark your calendar for the "Interagency CRA 101 Training for Bankers" on Thursday, April 20 (8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.) -- offered jointly by the FDIC, OCC and NYS DFS. It will be held at the FDIC offices at 350 Fifth Avenue in Manhattan (Suite 1200). Watch for formal invitations from the regulators. For information, contact Yulitza Franklin, Principal Community Development Analyst at NYS DFS: 
(212) 709-1699,



Budget Negotiations Head For 
Final Weeks
Due to a major winter storm impacting the state, including Albany, the Legislature was closed on Tuesday -- ordinarily a session day. The 2017-18 state budget process continues, and over the next two weeks negotiations will step up in pace. One-house budget bills from the State Senate and Assembly are expected to be passed this week in response to the Governor's proposal. T he Budget is due by April 1. The Senate version claims the construction of the Governor's budget bills "constrains the Legislature in its ability to fully effectuate its intent in amending the Governor's budget impermissible and unconstitutional over-reach by the Executive, infringing upon the independent role of the Legislature." Also of note: The eight-member Independent Democratic Conference (IDC) today unveiled its own budget resolution, separate from the Senate GOP Conference's. Among other things, it calls for extending the tax rates on millionaires that expire at yearend. It's the first time the IDC has released its own one-house budget resolution. IDC Leader Sen. Klein (Bronx) has a seat at the budget negotiating table with Gov. Cuomo and other legislative leaders. 


Community Banks At The White House!
ICBA and a delegation of community bankers met with President Trump and other senior officials -- including Treasury Secretary Mnuchin, Chief of Staff Priebus, National Economic Council Chair Cohn -- 
at the White House last week  to discuss targeted regulatory relief that will "unleash the power" of community banks. ICBA Chairman Rainey, President & CEO Fine and their leadership team shared examples of how excessive regulatory burdens affect lending and economic growth. The meeting covered the most burdensome rules, and ICBA's "Plan for Prosperity" regulatory relief platform, which IBANYS has strongly endorsed. The President said community banks "play a vital role in helping create jobs by providing approximately half of all loans to small businesses" and pledged to continue taking on regulatory burdens that inhibit lending. He concluded, " Community banks are the backbone of small business in America. We are going to preserve our community banks."

Take Action! Sign The Petition To Urge Meaningful  Regulatory Relief
ICBA wants community bankers, employees and customers to urge meaningful regulatory relief by signing a petition supporting the  Plan for Prosperity (PFP). IBANYS has endorsed the PFP, and we encourage all New York community banbkers to take action by clicking on the following link:

In other federal news, President Trump plans to nominate Goldman Sachs Group partner Jim Donovan as Deputy Treasury Secretary. He is expected to play a critical role helping to manage Treasury and push through major legislative goals including fundamental corporate and individual tax code reforms. The President also plans to name  J. Christopher Giancarlo to chair the Commodity Futures Trading Commission.

FDIC Vice Chair Hoenig said large financial services companies should split off their riskiest operations into individual, well-capitalized holding companies. He framed it as an alternative to the types of regulations in Dodd-Frank.

  • The U.S. Labor Department reported today that consumer prices rose 0.1% in February, down from the 0.6%  jump in January. 
    Consumer prices have risen 2.7% over the past year, and h ousing costs have risen 3.5%. 
  • The National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Market index hit 71 in March, up from 58 in March 2016. Anything above 50 is considered positive sentiment. ( On three-month moving averages regionally, the sentiment index i n the Northeast fell one point, to 48.)
  • Manufacturing in New York state expanded for a fifth straight month in March, but at a slower pace than in February, when activity reached its highest point in more than two years. The Federal Reserve Bank of New York's Empire State manufacturing index in March was 16.4, down from the two-year high of 18.7 reached in February. 
  • Total mortgage application volume rose 3.1% last week from the previous week. The Mortgage Bankers Association's seasonally adjusted tally is 12% lower than one year ago.  Refinance volume moved 4% higher for the week, to 45.6% of total applications (27% lower than a year ago). Applications to purchase a home rose 2% for the week (up 6% from a year ago.  The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with conforming loan balances of $424,100 or less increased to 4.46% with points down to 0.37 (including origination fee) for 80% loan-to-value ratio loans. The adjustable-rate mortgage share of activity increased to 8.2% of total applications, highest since October 2014.
  • U.S. savers are missing out on more than $5 billion annually by failing to take advantage of high-yield savings accounts, according to a new review from Nerdwallet, a website that provides comparisons of credit products. 
Survey: Nation's CEOs Optimistic
Capital investment, hiring and sales are all expected to increase over the next six months, according to this week's Business Roundtable's survey of chief executives. 
  • 78% of CEOs forecasted an increase in demand over the next six months, up from 67% in the fourth quarter of 2016;
  • 46% expect increased capital spending, up from 35%;
  • 41% see expanded hiring, up from 35%. 
  • 52% said tax reform is the best way to grow their companies; 27% listed regulatory reform, and 15% chose infrastructure investment. The survey's composite index rose from 74.2 points in the fourth quarter of 2016 to 93.3, its biggest gain since the fourth quarter of 2009.
 ICBA Securities's Jim Reber's Latest 
Investment Analysis
Answer:  The last year before 2015 that aggregate outstanding debt of U.S. government agencies totaled less than $2 trillion.  Jeopardy (double entendre) question:  What is 2000?  ICBA Securities President & CEO Jim Reber's latest column is always a great resource to help  informed community bankers make some good decisions on the behalf of their institutions. He just posted his latest update.
CLICK HERE to read the full column.

April is Community Banking Month 
...When we traditionally celebrate the many contributions of community banks throughout New York State, and across the country.  Each year, ICBA develops material designed for community banks to spread the word about the benefits and advantages of banking locally and supporting locally-owned businesses. For all the details, visit ICBA's GoLocal webpage to review information and stories on the value of banking, shopping and dining locally. ICBA has put together a "Community Banking Month Toolkit". . . Visit the webpage We hope you join us in promoting Community Banking Month. Let us know if you have any questions or require additional information.

Please Support NYSIBPAC. . .
Watch your inboxes for our 2017 NYSIBPAC solicitation request. This year brings a challenging legislative session that will feature new chairmen of both the State Senate and State Assembly Banks Committees. With many of our competitors within the financial services industry operating very well-funded political action committees, we need your support to ensure community banks remain an important part of the political process and debate. We have placed an updated 2017 NYSIBPAC contribution form in the column along the left border of this newsletter. 
Can we count on your support?


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 

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

IBANYS 2017 Webinars: 
For  New York Community Banks 

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:

. . .Bankers Healthcare Group.
Bankers Healthcare Group originates quality medical loans for hundreds of community banks nationwide. To date, no bank has experienced a loss with BHG- originated loans. Albert Crawford, Bob Castro and Eric Castro combined their vision and leadership to found Bankers Healthcare Group in 2001. As the company has grown from three to over 300, Bankers Healthcare Group has remained committed to providing the most innovative financial solutions in the industry.  For more details, call Brett Pugh : (866) 297-4664, or visit

. . .that in 1974, the year IBANYS was formed, the yearend close for the Dow Jones Industrial Average was 616? Inflation reached 11.3% in the USA. Gas cost 55 cents a gallon. The average cost of a new car was $3,750, while the average cost of a new house was $34,900. If you were born that year, you'll turn 43 years old this year. . .so will IBANYS!


 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