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 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 29, 2017

Over the next three months, IBANYS will host: 
  • Regional Directors Conferences April 11 in Rochester and April 12 in the Capital District: CLICK HERE for details and to register.
  • our Lending Conference May 9-10 in Syracuse. CLICK HERE for details and to register, and CLICK HERE for sponsorship opportunities.
  • and, our CFO/Senior Management Conference June 7-9 at The Thayer Hotel at West Point. CLICK HERE for details and register. Watch for sponsorship opportunities.
  • PLUS: With the new federal political landscape in Washington, and momemtum building for tax reform and regulatory relief, New York community bankers travel to our nation's capital to join IBANYS in Washington, D.C. for ICBA's Capital Summit April 30 - May 3 in Washington, D.C. It's a once-a-year chance to meet with New York Congressional Delegation in their offices "on the hill" on Tuesday, May 2 to advance our agenda. We will be meeting with Senator Schumer as well as with the office of Senator Gillibrand...and, with a number of key Representatives, including several members of the House Financial Services Committee. Please signup at, then email Steve Rice ( to sign up for congressional visits. 
Sign Up Today For IBANYS Regional Directors Conferences On April 11-12   

Next up for New York Community bankers: IBANYS' bank directors' regional conferences, designed for bank directors, CEOs, CFOS and senior management teams. Community bank directors must cope with evolving customer demands, contending with shrinking margins and reduced fee income -- and dealing with increased regulatory burdens and costs. Bank directors need to help their institutions navigate 2017's new landscape.  IBANYS' Directors Conferences on Tuesday, April 11 (Rochester) and Wednesday, April 12 (Capital District) are one-day sessions on a number of timely issues, including the latest Enterprise Risk management (ERM) developments. We'll provide tools to help directors identify what they must know concerning regulation, oversight and strategic planning to enhance their banks' growth and profitability. Note: Attendees can earn up to 7.5 CPE credits. Speakers include.
CLICK HERE to register. 

board conference
. . .And, Don't Forget These Upcoming Webinars  & Seminars

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,



Crunch Time For State Budget Negotiations 
One-house budget bills from the State Senate and Assembly are out, and serious negotiations will now proceed among legislative leaders and the Governor's office. T he Budget is due by April 1. Click here for an update on the current status of some of the key provisions that would directly impact New York community banks. Gov. Cuomo has announced agreements are essentially completed with legislative leaders on budget-season policy items. (Although Assembly Speaker Heastie cautioned, "I would say progress has been made . . .but we haven't really agreed to anything."  The Governor warned that uncertainty about potential federal cuts to the state had complicated the final weeks of the budget negotiation. "It is a different calculation that we've ever had before, because it's not just spending versus your anticipated revenues: It's spending when you don't know what the revenues are going to be." He raised the possibility of a placeholding "extender" budget that would basically push current spending levels into the new fiscal year, but noted "if we can get a financially reasonable budget that could handle cuts from the federal government, that would be my first option."  The Governor had sought executive powers to allow him to make mid-year changes in budgeting should the fiscal climate change.  An extender budget would likely mean most non-fiscal policy issues would be jettisoned from the final negotiations, but could be taken up later in the legislative session.


ICBA To Congress: Community Bank Reg Relief Will Help Consumers, Economy
ICBA Chairman R. Scott Heitkamp (President & CEO of ValueBank Texas) told the House Subcommittee on Financial Institutions and Consumer Credit that addressing overly burdensome community bank regulations would help consumers and the nation's economy. He cautioned that regulatory overkill is cutting off access to credit, and noted that community banks are outsized small business lenders, and cited examples of creditworthy borrowers who have been harmed by regulatory lending restrictions. He urged Congress to pass the ICBA's Plan for Prosperity platform to achieve relief. IBANYS has strongly endorsed that plan, and will advocate for its passage April 30-May 3 at ICBA's Capital Summit.

Small Bank Dodd Frank Exemption Discussed 
At a Senate Banking Committee hearing yesterday, Republicans and Democrats alike asked expert witnesses (including several former regulators) whether institutions with assets under $10 billion should be exempt from Dodd Frank regulations. Some believe It could be a signal some form of bipartisan compromise on regulatory relief could be possible. Several of the witnesses spoke favorably of the idea.  "That is a very good idea that really needs to be explored," said former Federal Reserve Board Gov. Robert Heller. "I am in favor of exempting them from the regulations as long as they are well managed as determined by the regulators and they have a sound level of capital. Former FDIC Chairman Donald Powell also endorsed the idea, noting: "The burden of Dodd-Frank needs to be exempt to these smaller institutions without compromising capital ratios and compromising liquidity." He cited the qualified mortgage rule and data collection requirements as particularly unnecessary for community banks.  However, not everyone agreed a Dodd Frank roll back would be a good idea. Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) supported cracking down on the biggest banks, but not rolling back regulations. "Reining in the big banks is good for financial stability and avoiding bailouts, and it's good for the economy ...There is no trade-off here between regulation and growth. They work hand in hand if done right."  House Financial Services Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling's Financial Choice Act, as introduced in the previous Congress, would grant banks an "off-ramp" from complex regulations in return for holding a 10% leverage ratio.  

Path To Tax Reform?
President Trump is reportedly leaning toward moving tax reform and an infrastructure package at the same time. Analysts said the strategy could possibly bring some Democrats on board, and allow the administration to circumvent the more conservative Republicans in the House who played a role in sinking efforts by the administration and Speaker Ryan to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, aka "Obamacare".
Congressional Republicans face tough decisions about what procedural steps to take toward overhauling the tax code, with three main options: A fast-track plan to yield quick action this year, but limit how aggressively they can cut corporate and individual rates; a slower path to a more ambitious rewrite of the tax system, which risks another intraparty fight; and working with Democrats. Meanwhile, bipartisan legislation to prevent small businesses from paying a higher tax rate than large corporations will be spopnsored by Sens. Nelson (D-FL) and Collins (R-ME). 

ICBA Won't Appeal NCUA Lawsuit
ICBA President and CEO Cam Fine released a statement on ICBA's lawsuit against the National Credit Union Administration. "ICBA has decided not to file an appeal in its lawsuit challenging the National Credit Union Administration's commercial lending rule. Instead, ICBA will explore all avenues for redress of NCUA's unjustified and outrageous expansion of limitations on credit union commercial lending activities under current congressional statutes. We remain deeply concerned with the tangible threat this poses to community banks, consumers and the financial system at large. The case illustrates the difficulty in challenging agency rules in light of the Chevron doctrine, which gives deference to agency rulemaking and determinations. ICBA will continue to call on Congress to prevent credit unions and their captive regulator from continuing to unreasonably expand their activities beyond any limits justified by their tax exemption, especially at the expense of taxpaying community banks."

Other Federal News Updates
  • On Tuesday, 10 of the 12 Republicans on the Senate Banking Committee, including Chairman Crapo (R-ID), told Treasury Mnuchin, who heads the Financial Stability Oversight Council (FSOC) that the council's process for designating nonbanks systemically important financial institutions "lacks transparency and accountability, insufficiently tracks data, and does not have a consistent methodology for determinations." Meanwhile in the House, Rep. Ann Wagner, who chairs of the Financial Services Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations, said that ending such nonbank designations "should be, at the very least, where we start" the process of changing FSOC practices.
    She said she would be open to a presidential executive order essentially barring FSOC from declaring nonbank companies systemically important, and urged Secretary  Mnuchin to use the House GOP's Financial CHOICE Act as a basis for changes to FSOC operations. 
  • Staffers for Senate Banking Committee members Mark Warner (D-Va.) and Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) are meeting with outside groups to discuss overhauling Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Committee Chairman Mike Crapo (R-Idaho) has also had meetings about finding a path forward on the issue. 
  • Congressional Democrats are deeply divided over whether to work with Republicans to revamp the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). Some Democrats are reportedly open to working with the GOP on proposals to restructure the bureau, but many others are opposed to changing the agency. Republicans want to replace the single director with a commission, and plavce the CFPB under congressional appropriations. 

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:

Latest "Q" Poll Approval Ratings
A new Quinnipiac poll found that New York State voters approve of the job Gov. Cuomo is doing by 52% - 31%, up slightly from December's 49% - 34% percent rating. It's his best job approval score since December, 2014.  New York City voters gave him a 60% - 23% percent approval; downstate suburban voters, a 54% - 31%, and upstate voters a 43%-41% rating. By a margin of 53%-40%, voters said Gov. Cuomo should not run for president.
The poll also provided the following approval ratings for other New York State leaders:
  • Sen. Schumer: 58% - 34%, down from 67% - 23% in December
  • Sen. Gillibrand:56% - 22%, essentially unchanged from December
  • Comptroller DiNapoli: 41%-19%
  • Attorney General Schneiderman: 55% - 22%.
President Trump received a negative 29% - 67% score, with Republicans approving by 79% - 16%. Among white voters with no college degree, 47% approved and 49% disapproved. Every other party, gender, age, racial, area and education group surveyed disapproved. 

Congratulations To USNY Bank!
Congratulations to USNY Bank in Geneva, New York and President & CEO Mike Briggs (IBANYS' Vice Chairman). USNY Bank has been rated by S&P Global Market Intelligence as one of the 100 best performing community banks in the nation with assets of under $1 billion based on financials for the year ended December 31, 2016. S&P Global Market Intelligence provides financial and industry data, research, news, and analytics to investment professionals, government agencies, corporations, and universities. S&P Global Market Intelligence was established in 2016 with the integration of S&P Capital IQ and SNL Financial.

 Consumer Confidence Way Up
Consumers' attitudes to current conditions jumped in March, according to a monthly survey out on Tuesday. A ccording to data from The Conference Board, t he Consumer Confidence Index hit 125.6 in March, its highest level since December 2000.  Economists had expected the Conference Board's consumer confidence index to hit 114 in March, according to a consensus estimate from Reuters. The survey is a closely followed barometer of consumer attitudes, measures confidence toward business conditions, short-term outlook, personal finances and jobs. The director of economic indicators at The Conference Board, noted:  "Consumers' assessment of current business and labor market conditions improved considerably. Consumers' also expressed much greater optimism regarding the short-term outlook for business, jobs and personal income prospects. . .consumers feel current economic conditions have improved over the recent period, and their renewed optimism suggests the possibility of some upside to the prospects for economic growth in the coming months." In the survey, those saying business conditions are "good" rose to 32.2%  from 28.2%, while those saying business conditions are "bad" fell to 12.9% percent from 13.4%. Respondents' outlook for the labor market was also upbeat.

New Home Sales Up -- So Are Prices
New U.S. single-family home sales jumped to a seven-month high in February, suggesting the housing market recovery continued to gain momentum despite the challenges of high prices and tight inventories.  The Commerce Department said on Thursday new home sales increased 6.1 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 592,000 units last month, the highest level since July 2016. However, new single-family homes sales slumped last month 21.4% in the Northeast region. Meanwhile, according to the S&P/Case-Shiller U.S. National Home Price Index, U.S. home price gains reached a 31-month high in January. The index measures all nine U.S. census divisions, and found home prices rose 5.9% year-over-year in January, up from December's 5.7% annual gain. 

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. 
V isit 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 webpageWe hope you join us in promoting Community Banking Month. Let us know if you have any questions or require additional information.

Please Support 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:

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:

The SHAZAM Network was founded in 1976 and is one of the last remaining national member-owned financial services providers and debit processors in the industry. SHAZAM's vision is to be THE trusted partner providing answers, choice and innovation through delightful experiences. SHAZAM is a single-source provider of the following services: core, risk management, card, ATM, marketing, merchant, mobile and automated clearing house (ACH). SHAZAM'S board of directors are leaders from community financial institutions, and strive to make decisions that will benefit you and your customers. Their mission is to strengthen community financial institutions. 
SHAZAM is a not-for-profit corporation, and believes all financial institutions are entitled to the same features, services, and affordable rates. They remain committed to providing cost-effective products and services that help you compete effectively and meet your business goals, including:
  • Core Services
  • Platform Services
  • Compliance Services
  • ATM Services
  • Card Services
  • Mobile Services
  • Brand Services
  • Fraud Services
  • Merchant Services
  • Marketing Services
  • Risk Management Services
  • ACH Services
  • Data Services
  • Support Services
For additional information contact  James Ghiglieri, Jr. at  (309) 678 9021, . . or, visit

. . .that 28 different individuals have served as FDIC Chair since the agency was created in 1933? Did you know there have been 15 Chairs of the Federal Reserve since its inception in 1914, and 31 Comptrollers of the Currency since the office was established in 1863?


 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