Your IBANYS Team: 
Working Together To Make 2016 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?
CLICK HERE for our 2016 PAC contribution form. Help support IBANYS' political action efforts in New York State.


November 16, 2016

An Important Message From
President John Witkowski:

I want to share with you the following two important messages regarding our government relations efforts in Albany and Washington on behalf of New York community banks. 

IBANYS Submits Comment Letter On  
State DFS Cybersecurity Regulation 
After extensive research and input from IBANYS member banks, IBANYS and ICBA have submitted a joint, detailed comment letter on the proposed Department of Financial Services cybersecurity regulation. Our letter discusses community banks' concerns and views, and provides suggestions as to a path forward. Among the issues covered are the fact that the proposed regulation would significantly increase reporting requirements, require bank board chairs to certify adherence with the proposal, and mandate employment of a chief information security officer, among other burdensome requirements. The proposed rule does not account for the size, scope and complexity of financial institutions. ICBA and IBANYS asked the NYDFS to suspend the rule, urged DFS to collaborate with federal regulators, allow community banks to adopt a reasonable risk assessment tool, consider certification of third-party cybersecurity vendors, and eliminate mandatory information reporting, among other policies. 

IBANYS is also preparing a comment letter on the DFS proposed regulation on "zombie properties." We expect to finalize our comment letter on this as well in the very near future, and plan a government relations conference call early next week to complete the process.  

Please Contact Congress:
Urge Community Bank Reg Relief During 
"Lame Duck" Session!
Congress has now returned to Washington for a post-election lame duck session, and is now considering what issues to take up (other than extending government funding authority) before adjourning. IBANYS and ICBA are asking community bankers to contact your local Members of Congress to help position our legislative priorities during this session. Please support this  concerted effort to enact meaningful regulatory relief in this brief window of opportunity. ICBA has primed several bills for consideration aligned with the "Plan for Prosperity" which IBANYS has strongly endorsed. 

We need your help in drawing renewed attention to these bills.  ICBA has drafted a letter and list of priorities for bankers to send to their members of Congress. Your voice is critical in making our efforts effective. Contact your Representatives: Support meaningful regulatory relief to allow community banks to reach their full potential.  Take Action today!

Visit to find your local Representatives and to send the letter.

As always, thanks to IBANYS member banks for your participation, providing your input and sharing your concerns.

- John

New York Community Banks: 
It's Benefits Season --
Have You Checked This Out? 
It's approaching the time to sign up for health benefits for 2017. We suggest you take a look at our healthcare partner, My Wellness Resource" as an addition to your existing benefit package. The  Teledoc  program is an exciting new way to provide value to your institution and employees. It provides 24/7/365 access to a doctor through the convenience of phone or video consults. It is an affordable option for quality medical care.  Click here to read how high deductibles can lead to health care avoidance,  
and here to learn how this program can help you in planning your health care benefits package. Community banks can take advantage of a low-cost, non-traditional program to help save time and money, and offer employees on demand health care. It's an exciting new way for community banks to provide additional health care benefits options, reduce cost and retain employees -- designed to improve productivity, decrease absenteeism and boost morale without straining your bottom line.   C ontact Alan Justin, Managing Partner at (716) 907-5500 or call the IBANYS office at (518) 436-4646.  For more details on the benefits of the My Wellness Resource Card, visit: 

IBANYS Members: 
Sign Up To Serve On Our Committees
IBANYS relies on our member banks to play a pivotal role in our policy formulation, operations and programming. We need YOUR bank represented on our committees, to make sure we are addressing the issues, programs, products and services important to your institution, and our industry. Why not sign up for one of the following Committees or Peer Groups?
  • Government Relations Committee 
  • CFO Peer Group
  • Compliance Peer Group
  • Innovation Committee
E-mail IBANYS' Director of Operations Linda Gregware ( for details/to sign up.



Update: Who Will Control The 
NYS State Senate?
Two too-close-to-call State Senate races on Long Island remain resolved, and it could be weeks before it's definitively determined whether Republicans or Democrats will control the Senate in 2017. the new year. A review of absentee ballots is underway, and a likely recount could delay the outcome for weeks. In the end, control of the State Senate may depend on which side that the seven members of the Independent Democrats Conference (led by Sen. Jeff Klein, D-Bronx) and Sen. Simcha Felder of Brooklyn (who ran on both the Democratic and GOP lines) decide to align with in 2017. They have conferenced with the GOP in recent sessions. This week, Senate Republicans re-elected Sen. John Flanagan (R-L.I.) as their Leader
a position he has held since Dean Skelos resigned in May 2015. Senate Democrats re-elected Sen. Andrea Stewart-Cousins (D-Westchester) as their Leader, putting her in position to become the first woman to serve as Majority Leader if the two recounts break the Democrats way.  Stewart-Cousins has been Democratic Leader in 2012. 

Cuomo Will Seek A Third Term In 2018
Amid speculation he may run for president in 2020, Gov. Cuomo told reporters he plans to seek a third term as Governor in 2018. "I'm planning to be the best governor I can for the people of the State of New York," the governor said.  "...A lot of the projects that we've undertaken are really massive, frankly - redoing airports, redoing bridges, tackling the whole upstate economy. So we're making a lot of progress, but we have more to do and I want to finish doing what I told the people of this state that I was going to do. So I plan to run for re-election and that's it."

In Other Albany News:
Senate GOP Leader Flanagan and Assembly Democratic Speaker Heastie criticized Gov. Cuomo's pay commission appointees for killing a legislative pay increase, saying lawmakers shouldn't have to cut a deal on legislation in order to get a raise from the panel which was supposed to look at the issue on the merits. The commission failed to act by Tuesday's deadline on recommending a legislative raise that would have had the force of law, unless disapproved by lawmakers.  Legislators haven't had a raise in their $79,500 annual base pay since 1999 -- although many earn more from stipends for extra duties such as heading legislative committees.


New York's Schumer New U.S. Senate 
Democratic Leader

U.S. Senate Democrats have elected New York's senior Senator Chuck Schumer as Minority Leader. They also chose Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.) as Assistant Leader, retained Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Il.) as Minority Whip and elevated Sen. Bernie Sanders (D-VT) to a post in the caucus' senior ranks. Senator Schumer will reportedly be followed in the Democratic leadership hierarchy by Senators Durbin, Murray and Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-MI). New York voters overwhelmingly re-elected Senator Schumer to his fourth term this year.

Other News From Washington:
  • Stephen Moore, one of Trump's economic advisers, discussed tax and infrastructure plans with the House GOP whip team. The meeting comes as House lawmakers aim to roll out a comprehensive tax overhaul bill in 2017. 

SEC's White To Step Down Early
Securities and Exchange Commission Chair Mary Jo White announced  she will step down when President Obama leaves office in January.  Republicans on the House Financial Services Committee urged her not to finalize White testifies any so-called "midnight rules" before she leaves office in January.  White told  this week's oversight hearing that the SEC is acting in accordance with an agenda set earlier this year.  She reiterated the SEC's priorities for the rest of the year - finalizing a proposed rule on asset managers' use of derivatives, and finishing rules under Title VII of Dodd-Frank that addresses derivatives - and noted the agency has finished almost 80% of its Dodd-Frank rules. Early peculation on her successor includes Paul Atkins, who is heading up Trump's transition team's financial regulation issues, or current Republican SEC Commissioner Michael Piwowar.


Sandler O'Neill & Partners'
Free Webinar:
"How to Prepare for the Unpredictable"
Wednesday, Dec. 7 at 3:30 pm ET
It has been six months since the last webinar, and with both the American election and Brexit behind us, we are now facing a different interest rate and banking environment. Sandler O'Neill wants to share bank strategies focused on positioning for success in the unpredictable months to come. Please join for a discussion on how 2017 will be fundamentally different than 2016, and what your institution can do to be prepared. To sign up for this webinar, please visit (Please note: Audio will be through your computer speakers; there is no dial in).
Contact Scott Hildenbrand: (212) 466-7865, e-mail

Trump Considering New "Infrastructure Bank"
President-elect  Trump's transition team is considering recommending an "infrastructure bank" to make investments in the nation's infrastructure. Trump adviser Steven  Mnuchin, a Wall Street veteran under consideration for Treasury Secretary, said the transition team was focused on "taxes... regulatory changes, looking at the creation of an infrastructure bank to fund infrastructure investments... I'd say the economic priorities are clearly taxes, regulatory, trade, infrastructure," he added.

Big Banks Post-Election Boost?
According to  Fortune, the five biggest U.S. banks - Bank of America Corp., Wells Fargo & Co., Citigroup Inc., Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. - have collectively gained $127.7 billion in market cap, or 15%, since Election Day, as investors seem to be betting that a Trump administration's deregulatory agenda will boost financial institutions. The banks are now worth nearly $1 trillion.

Mortgage Update: Rising Rates Post Election
The average contract rate on the 30-year fixed mortgage hit 4%, according to Mortgage News Daily --a level many observers didn't expect to see until the middle of next year. Rates have now moved nearly a half a percentage point higher since  Donald Trump was elected president. Higher mortgage rates may throw a wrench into a housing recovery. Home prices have been rising dramatically in the past few months, largely due to a lack of homes for sale. Economists at the Mortgage Bankers Association are now predicting that rates will, "trend higher than we had previously forecast, which will more quickly decrease refis." They still predict a strong home purchase loan market, but they say they will have to "assess the impact of policies as they are rolled out with respect to overall growth and housing market implications." 


IBANYS initiatives can provide value and bottom line benefits to New York community banks. Take a moment to review them.  We hope you take full advantage of these exciting opportunities.

 .BANK Toolkit & Digital Campaign. . .
IBANYS encourages New York community banks to take a look at  a digital campaign that fTLD has put together to raise the visibility of .BANK  in the marketplace.  ICBA asked us to pass along this opportunity for banks to join in with ICBA, ABA and the Financial Services Roundtable to promote .BANK. To view the campaign, view the toolkit and read nine different ads available for use, click on the link below, or cut and paste it into your browser. Click below:
E x celsior Growth Fund (EGF). . .
EGF is  a nonprofit Community Development Financial Institution formed by New York Business Development Corporation (NYBDC). EGF is endorsed by IBANYS as exclusive online lending 
partner for our 
EGF provides innovative financial solutions and business advisory services to underserved small businesses in New York State through a fast, simple and secure online lending platform. Its core product is the EGF SmartLoan™, which features amounts up to $100,000, approvals within one-to-two days, and disbursements within one week. Importantly, interest rates a fraction of those typically offered by online lenders.  EGF offers banks a unique customer retention solution when a customer either does not qualify for a bank's loan offerings, or seeks the fast,  transparent process available through online lenders. To facilitate retention, EGF shares performance information on the referred loan portfolio on a quarterly basis and offers the opportunity for the bank to purchase referred loans at par at any time.  Additional details on the EGF SmartLoan, including eligibility criteria, are available at:

For details, or to make a referral, contact Bryan Doxford, Chief Lending Officer at Excelsior Growth Fund: or  (212) 430-4512.

We also joined the  "Cure the Blue" effort to raise funds and awareness regarding prostate cancer in New York State. We are partnering with the Buffalo Bills Alumni Foundation, and hope to see a number of IBANYS members participate. Please join us in supporting this worthwhile cause. Visit to get involved!  

IBANYS Webinars For 
New York Community Banks 
New York's community banks face a wide range of challenges. Officers, board members and employees need to understand their responsibilities -- and, potential liabilities -- are not about to diminish. They require the information and tools required to meet their responsibilities, and properly prepare the bank for the future.  One way to assure this is to participate in  IBANYS' webinars -- tailored to the needs of New York community banks. The programs are both effective and cost-effective, and couldn't be more convenient! Community banks' officers, directors and employees participate directly from their offices. Over the past two years, the number of bankers participating in IBANYS webinars has risen dramatically increased.  Find out why. Join  your industry and association peers and take full advantage of these timely webinars.  Review  our upcoming programs by clicking the link below:

. . .Strategic Resources Management, Inc.
Founded in 1992, Strategic Resource Management, Inc. (SRM) is an independent professional services firm that draws on extensive experience, market insight, and a robust, proprietary benchmarking database to help clients all across the U.S. and Canada. SRM is currently serving over 200 financial institutions to reduce expenses, enhance revenue and maximize bottom line performance. Drawing on its extensive experience, market insight, and proprietary benchmarking database, SRM helps banks improve their bottom line, without sacraficing qulaity or valued vendor relationships.  SRM's mission is to help banks maximize bottom line performance by reducing expenses and enhancing revenue. They do this by bringing an industry-leading combination of objectivity, industry experience, customization and a singularly robust pricing knowledge base to contract negotiations.  While they are adept at gaining measurable savings and revenue gains for our clients, they make it a priority to maintain excellent relationships with valued vendors. They recognize that your vendors are your lifeblood. 

What does SRM provide to banks?

Cost Savings:
ATM, Debit and Credit Card Processing
ATM Purchases and Services
Armored Car Service
Credit Card Processing
Consumer and Business Checks
Core Processing
Equipment Maintenance
M&A Vendor Contracts
Merchant Processing
Online Banking and Bill Payment
Telecommunications (data, wireless, voice)

Revenue Enhancement:
ATM, Debit and Credit Card Optimization
Card Branding
PIN/POS Processing

Contact Ben Mrva, Executive Vice President:
(901) 681-0204, or visit the website at


. . . That according to the Davis Polk "Dodd Frank Tracker". . .as of July 19, 2016: 
  • 271 rulemaking deadlines have passed. Of the 271 rulemaking requirements with deadlines that have passed, 210 (77.5%) have been met with finalized rules and rules have been proposed that would meet 29 (10.7%) more. Rules have not yet been proposed to meet 32 (11.8%) passed rulemaking requirements.
  • Of the 390 total rulemaking requirements, 274 (70.3%) have been met with finalized rules and rules have been proposed that would meet 36 (9.2%) more. Rules have not yet been proposed to meet 80 (20.5%) rulemaking requirements.


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