• Just Two Weeks Until IBANYS' CFO/Senior Management Conference 
  • Latest News From Albany & Washington
  • Action Alert: Urge Congress To Support CLEAR Regulatory Relief Act
  • Updates On Economic, Banking & Business Trends Impacting Community Banks 
  • Community Banking Service Awards -- Nominate By June 2
  • IBANYS Annual Convention: "The Power Of Community Banking" and The Majesty Of Niagara Falls

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.


May 24, 2017

It's Just Two Weeks From Today!
New York Community Banks:
Have You Signed Up For. . .
IBANYS' CFO/Senior Management Conference? 

Community bank senior management teams face bigger challenges than ever. Whether growing loan  portfolio or finding new fee income, the challenge  to create acceptable ROA  and ROE performance is as diffi cult as it has been for two decades.  IBANYS' CFO & Senior Management Conference will be held at the historic Thayer Hotel at West Point from June 7-9, 2017.   
The agenda is packed with great speakers  who w ill focus on strategic insights and provide timely updates to help community banks achieve a profitable and successful future. It will be an informative and enjoyable few days -- and will
provide  outstanding opportunities to not only network, but also to earn CPE credits for continuing education requirements.

Presentations Will Address:
  • State and national economic trends
  • Tax and accounting principles 
  • Interest rate risk 
  • Capital planning 
  • CECL 
  • Other timely subjects identified by IBANYS' CFO Peer Group. 
Who Should attend?  Community bank CEOs, COOs, CFOs, Presidents, EVPs, Senior Managers, controllers, ALCO teams, cashiers and members of the board of directors.  NOTE: Attendees can earn up to 10 CPE Credit Hours (1.0 in taxation).

CLICK HERE to register/for  UPDATED program  
CLICK HERE for  UPDATED sponsorship details

Special thanks to these firms that have already signed up to sponsor: 
  • Federal Home Loan Bank of New York
  • Wolf & Company, P.C.
  • New York Business Development Corporation (NYBDC)
  • Pentegra Retirement Services
  • Sandler  O'Neill + Partners, L.P.
  • Bankers Healthcare Group
Please note: Our room block at the Thayer Hotel is now sold out, but we have other hotel choices close by to the event.

We look forward to seeing you and your Senior Management team at Thayer Hotel in June.
If you have any questions or need additional information, please do not hesitate to call Linda Gregware, Director of Administration and Membership Services at 518.436.4646, or email her at Lindag@ibanys.net.

It's Time To Plan To Attend

Our annual convention will once again bring together the leaders of New York's community banking industry, senior executives and senior managers of our member banks, associate members, preferred providers and a truly outstanding array of speakers. Watch this space for details on the program and sponsorship opportunities. Niagara Falls provides a spectacular venue for our annual conference.  Click here to learn more about the many activities available!   

2017 Annual Convention Trivia: Did you know that the Falls are c omprised of three waterfalls - American Falls, Horseshoe Falls and Bridal Veil Falls? Or, that Niagara Falls water stems from the upper Great Lakes, and the river is estimated to be 12,000 years old?  

  . .. .  

2017 Legislative Session Entering 
Home Stretch
With the New York State Legislature scheduled to adjourn for the year on June 21, there are now only 11 session days remaining after today. Among the bills reported recently is A.1752 (Weinstein). The  "Consumer Credit Fairness Act" include a provision to reduce the statute of limitations on consumer credit transactions. It would limit the available time for past due debt resolution.  Also, A. 7167, Kavanaugh S.5601, Carlucci that would update the state's data breach notification law -- broadening the scope of covered information and notification requirements in event of a breach. It could impact post-breach reissuing of credit and debit cards. 

DFS Superintedent Vullo: 
Time To License Online Lending Sites
Superintendent Maria Vullo testified at a Joint Legislative Hearing earlier this week that online  lending sites should by licensed by DFS if they want to do business in the state.  She noted New York's longstanding usury laws should apply to online marketplaces just as  they govern brick-and-mortar institutions.  "Many online lenders today are engaging in lending activity in New York without licensure, which is of great concern to DFS. The fact that they utilize the Internet - as do many of our state-chartered banks, and of course many of our state-licensed money transmitters - does not exclude these entities from New York's licensing requirements and consumer protections."  Gov. Cuomo proposed language in his executive budget that would have tightened the definitions within the state banking law to explicitly capture online regulators, but the Legislature rejected the proposal because they felt it gave DFS too much lattitude.  Superintendent Vullo also proposed lowering, from 16% to 7%, the threshold at which lenders must be licensed, and said  online marketplaces lwere "evading" and "disclaiming" their activity in New York by partnering with banks located in other states - which in some places are not subject to any cap - creating a "serious competitive disadvantage" for licensed and regulated banks.  CLICK HERE to read her full testimony.

Credit Unions Push To Join State BDD 
(Muni Deposits) Program
IBANYS is closely monitoring a Department of Financial Services bill (A.6946, Zebrowski/ S.5308, Hamilton) sponsored by the two legislative Banks Committee Chairs.  It 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. The idea may also have support in the Senate's Independent Democratic Conference (IDC). Senate Banks Chairman Hamilton is a member. The IDC is the Senate GOP's partner in the majority coalition.  IBANYS is reminding legislators that 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, and that the loss of municipal deposits would have a negative impact on business and balance sheets. IBANYS is considering a number of options. Meanwhile, we have  prepared a memorandum in opposition to the current legislation.   Click here to read the memo. 

Democrat Scores Upset Win In 
Assembly Special Election
Democrat Christine Pellegrino won an upset victory in yesterday's special election to fill a seat vacated by retirement. Pellegrino won 58% to 42% in what has been a traditional GOP stronghold district: No Democrat had won more than 33% over the past two decades. Meanwhile, in no surprise, Democrat Brian Benjamin won an uncontested special election to fill the Harlem State Senate seat vacated by the retirement of Democrat Bill Perkins. Benjamin's win brings the number of Democrats in the Senate back to to 32, However, with the eight breakaway Democrats joining the Independent Democratic Conference, and with Democrat Simcha Gelder (Brooklyn) voting with the GOP, the governing coalition of Republicans, IDC and Felder has ruled the Senate chamber. 

UPDATE: At press time, Sen. Felder has written to the IDC, led by Sen. Jeff Klein (Bronx), urging them to now "unconditionally" join with the mainline group of state senate Democrats. 
Stay tuned!


Contact Congress: Support 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 Luetkemeyer (R-MO), and 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 bills include The bills include relief from, among other things, mortgage rules, the Volcker rule, the TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosure rule, Sarbanes-Oxley requirements. 
New York community bankers: Use ICBA's "Be Heard" Grassroots site (icba.org) to contact your Representatives. 
Hensarling On CHOICE Act: Some Now, 
Some Later?
Congress could pass separate legislation based on concepts included in the House Republican plan to replace the 2010 Dodd-Frank Act, House Financial Services Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling said Tuesday.  "I think there are, frankly, very significant portions of the Financial CHOICE Act that I hope, and expect, to get signed into law in this Congress. Others are larger ideas, and it may take several Congresses to see these ideas come to fruition.  It's important to play both ... a long game and a short game." did not specify which elements of the bill, H.R. 10, are likely to be part of the "short game." While Democrats have pointed to providing community bank relief (or in some cases, changing the CFPB's structure) as possible areas of cooperation, every Democrat on the Financial Services Committee voted against the bill (H.R. 10) at the markup. Hensarling has acknowledged that differences between the House and Senate make it unlikely the CHOICE Act will be enacted in entirety. The House is on track to consider the CHOICE Act in June at the earliest. 
A disagreement among House Financial Services Committee Republicans over whether to keep in the repeal of the Durbin amendment could reportedly delay House consideration of the Act. Chairman Hensarling noted: "I stand ready to negotiate at any time any issue but at the end the day, I expect to get CHOICE off the floor," Hensarling said in an interview. "I've made my views known on Durbin. Others will make their views known. Stay tuned."

President's Budget Includes Ag Cuts 
The President's proposed $4.1 trillion budget for FY 2018 would reduce crop innsurance by $28.5 billion between 2018 and 2027 -- setting an adjusted gross income limit of $500,000, establishing a limit of $40,000 for individual premium subsidies and eliminating the subsidized harvest price revenue coverage option. It would raise slightly funds for guaranteed farm loan programs, but would eliminate funds for the guaranteed Business and Industry program. It would increase funding for direct community facilities lians (from $2.2 billion to $3 billion) -- competing against private sector lending 

Federal Tax Reform: This Year? Next Year?
Treasury Secretary Mnuchin reiterated the Trump administration hopes to pass a plan to overhaul the U.S. tax system by the end of the year. "Our objective is to get that done this year, and I'm still hopeful that that's the case." He again stated "We're not going to get that done by August," backing away from the White House's original timeline. Significantly, Senate Majority Leader McConnell says he hoped to get tax reform passed "in the current Congress" (which lasts through December 31, 2018), hinting he may not be hopeful about it passing this year. 

Community Bank Service Awards Nominations Open Through June 2
ICBA is seeking nominations for the 2017 ICBA National Community Bank Service Awards. They recognize all types of community service efforts from community development, to financial literacy, to everything in between. IBANYS encourages member banks to nominate a New York community bank. Banks are allowed to nominate themselves. The nomination period is open now and, as I mentioned, self-nominations are accepted. The nomination period closes Friday, June 2, 2017.  

Award criteria categories include:
  • Impact and program success
  • Creativity and innovation
  • Employee involvement
  • Time donated.

FDIC: Lending Slows, Industry Profits Up
The FDIC today reported that the pace of U.S. bank lending slowed in the first three months of the year - the second consecutive quarter of such easing - but profits across the industry were higher. "C harge-offs' increased 13.4%, or $1.4 billion, compared to one year-ago. It was the sixth consecutive quarter that charge-offs posted a year-over-year increase.  Credit card defaults and delinquent auto loans accounted for much of the charge-offs, while commercial and industrial loans saw fewer defaults than a year ago. There were also signs of health for the banking industry overall. The FDIC noted the amount of tardy loans decreased for the 27th time in the last 28 quarters, leaving the banking sector with more resources to cover the costs of future loan losses. Across the banking industry, quarterly profits rose 12.7%, higher than a year earlier. Meanwhile, an SNL Financial analysis of bank earnings reports noted that loan issuance declined in the first quarter of 2017 from the previous quarter for the first time in four years. The total of recorded loans and leases fell to $9.297 trillion, down from $9.305 trillion in the fourth quarter of 2016. Commercial and industrial lending, usually up this time of year as companies prepare for the construction season, were up just 0.9% -- which couldn't offset the normal seasonal drop in credit card loans. Auto loans also fell for the first time since banks started reporting on them in 2011. However:  the decline in lending did not stop banks from having a strong quarter otherwise. 
  • Net income rose 1.7% on a quarterly basis and 12.7% from a year ago, to $43.97 billion. 
  • Net interest margin increased three-tenths to 3.13%.
  • Despite falling from the previous quarter, loans grew on an annualized basis, increasing 4%, while deposits rose 1.5% from the fourth quarter and 5.3% from the year-ago period.
Three IBANYS Members On NYBDC Board
Recent appointments to the NYBDC Board of Directors include Robert Fisher , President and Chief Executive Officer of Tioga State Bank Mark Lavarnaway , President and Chief Executive Officer of Watertown Savings Bank and  Kevin O'Connor , President and Chief Executive Officer of Bridgehampton National Bank

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: Designed 
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:

. . .New York Business Development Corporation (NYBDC). . .
NYBDC, formed in 1955, is a consortium of 124 banks and 83 economic development agencies. NYBDC  promotes and advances the business prosperity and economic welfare of New York State by providing small business loans. Throughout its 61-year history, NYBDC has provided thousands of small businesses, including start-ups, mature businesses, and minority- and women-owned businesses, with access to loans when they do not meet the requirements for traditional financing.  Together with affiliates Excelsior Growth Fund and The 504 Company , NYBDC offers small businesses access to suite of financing options that includes SBA 504, 7a and Community Advantage loans, as well as online alternative loans. Patrick (Pat) MacKrell is President & CEO. For details or additional information, call 518-463-2268. Email mackrell@nybdc.com.

. . .That the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation ( FDIC) was created by the  1933 Banking Act   to restore trust in the American banking system?More than one-third of banks failed in the years before the FDIC's creation. The insurance limit was initially $2,500 per ownership category. As of May 1, 2017, the FDIC provided deposit insurance at 5,844 institutions.[


 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