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 30, 2016

By John Witkowski, President & CEO

As we begin the final month of what has been a very eventful 2016, we at IBANYS are busy preparing to build on this year's success and make 2017 the best year ever for the New York community banking industry. We closed out November by submitting comment letters to the New York State Department of Financial Services (DFS) on two proposed regulations that would have a significant impact on community banks.  After extensive input from IBANYS member banks, IBANYS and ICBA submitted a  joint letter on the proposed DFS cybersecurity regulation, and IBANYS submitted our comment letter on the Department's proposed regulation regarding abandoned or vacant "zombie" properties.  Both letters explain community banks' concerns and suggest a  path forward. We are now preparing for the 2017 State Legislative and Congressional sessions that begin in January.
Click here to read the cybersecurity comment letter.
Click here to read the "zombie properties" letter.

We are also currently finalizing our 2017 education calendar, which will soon be published with dates and locations for IBANYS' major meetings and conferences. It will include our Regional Compliance, Security, Bank Directors and Lending Conferences, as well as our CFO/Senior Management Conference and the 43rd Annual Convention. Of course, we will also continue offering top-drawer webinars specifically designed for community banks.  We are continuing to build our partnerships with our preferred providers and associate members to bring value to our member banks, our partners and the Association through innovative as well as tried-and-true products and services. 

As we look forward to the holiday season and the new year, we at IBANYS are excited about the opportunities that lie ahead, and ready to work together on behalf of our members, our industry and your Association.

- John



GOP To Keep Control Of State Senate?
The recount continues in the Long Island State Senate race between incumbent Republican  Sen. Michael Venditto and Democrat John Brooks. If Brooks wins, there would be 32 senators elected on the Democratic line in the 63-seat chamber. However, Democrat Sen. Simcha Felder (Brooklyn) has already announced he will continue to vote with the Republican conference, and seven members of the Independent Democratic Conference, which has partnered with the GOP for the past four years, may well continue doing so. The GOP, led by Senator John Flanagan (L.I.), would then continue to govern in a coalition arrangement with the IDC, led by Sen. Jeff Klein, Bronx). 

Governor Signs "Mortgage Consummation Definition"
Governor Cuomo has signed legislation (S. 7183) into law (Chapter 491). It amends the New York State Banking law to define the term "consummation of a mortgage loan" to mean "when the applicant for the mortgage loan executes the promissory note and mortgage." IBANYS had been involved in suggesting language to make this amendment during the 2016 state legislative session. The Governor said the amendment "provides certainty to consumers regarding when their mortgage loans are consummated," but he noted there is a "technical concern" in that it "does not expressly consider what happens when the documents are executed by electronic means". He has obtained an agreement with the Legislature to address that concern.


New Yorkers To The Forefront
At Treasury, Commerce
As New York's first President-Elect in decades, Donald Trump is planning to bring a number of his fellow Empire State residents into his administration. Today, he announced Steven Mnuchin and Wilbur Ross as his  nominees for Treasury Secretary and Commerce Secretary, respectively. 
Mnuchin  spent 17 years at Goldman Sachs, where he was a partner, and is chief executive of Dune Capital Management, a privately owned hedge fund. He s erved as Mr. Trump's campaign finance chief. Mr. Trump called him "a world-class financier, banker and businessman, (who) has played a key role in developing our plan to build a dynamic, booming economy that will create millions of jobs." Mnuchin stated: "Our number one priority is going to be the economy, get back to three to four percent growth, we believe that's very sustainable and focus on things for the American worker, that's absolutely our priority."   On MSNBC's "Squak Box" this morning, Mr. Mnuchin discussed Dodd-Frank:  "The number one problem with Dodd-Frank is it's way too complicated and it cuts back lending, so we want to strip back parts of Dodd-Frank that prevent banks from lending and that will be the number one priority on the regulatory side...The number one priority is going to be make sure that banks lend." 

Mr. Ross  was chairman and chief strategy officer, as well as the founder, of the private equity firm WL Ross and Co. It was sold to Invest, but he remained involved. He has been an investor and turnaround specialist specializing in restructuring failed companies. Mr. Trump called him  "a champion of American manufacturing (who) knows how to help companies succeed...(and)  knows that cutting taxes for working families, reducing burdensome government regulations and unleashing America's energy resources will strengthen our economy..." 

New U.S. Senate Banking Chair: 
Community Bank Reg Relief Among 2017 Priorities
Sen. Mike Crapo (R-Idaho), presumptive incoming chairman of the U.S. Senate Banking Committee, discussed his top priorities for the committee in 2017. T he agenda may include h ousing market reforms, specifically legislation he has co-authored to get rid of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. He also listed c hanges to Dodd-Frank and efforts to reduce regulations on small community banks and credit unions. Regarding Dodd-Frank, Sen. Crapo noted:  "I strongly opposed it when it was being debated on the floor and voted against it. I have been working to reform its excesses for a long time."  As an example of a debate that could play out in the committee next year, some Republicans are calling for major changes to, or even abolishing, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Sen. Capo has, in the past, expressed concerns about the powers the law gives the CFPB to collect data on consumer spending habits.  As for reducing regulations on smaller banks and credit unions, Sen.  Crapo said his home state of Idaho "has lost a pretty significant percentage of its community banks" due to regulations, and added, "ultimately this damage ripples through to small businesses and individuals alike."

Join Us In Asking Congress To Enact Community Bank  Regulatory Relief Now!
ICBA and a coalition of 41 state community banking associations, including IBANYS, have asked Congress to enact meaningful regulatory relief for community banks during the current "lame duck" session.  
Our joint letter  advocates for several top-priority bills to strengthen community banks and promote local economic growth.  The list includes legislation to provide relief from Basel III capital standards, qualified mortgage rules and the Home Mortgage Disclosure Adjustment Act, among other pro-community bank bills inspired by ICBA's "Plan for Prosperity," which IBANYS has strongly endorsed and advocated for with the New York Congressional Delegation Congress is now back in Washington, and New York community bankers can ask their local Representatives to advance regulatory relief by visiting through ICBA's "Be Heard" grassroots website, which offers a custom message and list of priorities community bankers can send to their lawmakers. Visit


FDIC Quarterly Banking Profile:
Latest On Community Banks
According to the FDIC's latest Quarterly Banking Profile, community banks reported an 11.8% increase in net income in the third quarter from the same time last year.  The 5,521 institutions identified as community banks reported total loan and lease balances rose $31.1 billion during the quarter and are up $127.6 billion over the past year. Net operating revenue increased 8.5% to $23 billion. Higher loan-loss provisions and non-interest expenses also rose.
Overall, insured banks and thrifts reported an increase in aggregate net income of $45.6 billion (12.9%) since the third quarter of 2015. The increase was mainly attributable to a 9.2% increase in net interest income and a 1.9% rise in non-interest income.  Of the 5,980 reporting insured institutions, 60.8% reported year-over-year earnings growth. The proportion of banks that were unprofitable in the third quarter fell to 4.6% from 5.2% last year, the lowest percentage since the third quarter of 1997.  The number of banks on the FDIC's "Problem List" fell from 147 to 132 during the third quarter, the smallest number in more than seven years, and down from the peak of 888 in the first quarter of 2011.  The Deposit Insurance Fund's (DIF) Reserve Ratio increased $2.8 billion during the third quarter to 1.18%. Because the reserve ratio surpassed 1.15 percent on June 30, lower regular FDIC assessment rates went into effect in the third quarter.

Meanwhile, FDIC Chairman Martin Gruenberg said Tuesday the plans to serve his entire five-year term, which ends in November of 2017.

Big November Numbers For Private Sector Jobs
According to a report by today by ADP and Moody's Analytics, p rivate companies added a net 216,000 positions during November -- far exceeding the 165,000 estimate from economists who had been surveyed by Reuters, and marking the best month since June. The number was nearly double the 119,000 in October. Wall Street positions continued to increase, and there was a net 12,000 new hires in the financial services industry. The ADP/Moody's release comes two days before the federal government's non-farm payrolls report. Economists expect 173,000 total growth and 165,000 for private payrolls, according to FactSet. The unemployment rate is expected to stay unchanged at 4.9%.

Consumer Confidence Is Up. . .
The Consumer Confidence Index hit 107.1 in November, up from 98.6 in October, according to data from The Conference Board on Tuesday, the highest since July 2007.  Economists had expected the consumer confidence index to hit 101.2, according to a Thomson Reuters consensus estimate.  The survey is a closely followed barometer of consumer attitudes, as it measures confidence toward business conditions, short-term outlook, personal finances and jobs. The percentage saying business conditions are "good" increased to 29.2% in November from 26.5%, while those saying it was "bad" fell to 14.8% from 17.3%. 

. . .And So Are Home Prices
Tight supply and high demand pushed home prices in September to a new peak nationally, according to the S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller IndexPrices were 5.5% percent higher than September of 2015, up from the 5.1% annual gain in August. The index has surpassed its previous peak of July 2006. The nation's 20 largest cities reported a 5.1% annual gain, unchanged from August. 

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


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. . .

New York Community Banks: 
It's Benefits Season --
Have You Checked Into This Health Care Option? 

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.   Contact 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: 

 .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:

. . .First Data Corporation
. . .A leading cost effective provider of innovative Non-Core Community Banking  products.  First Data is committed to quickly growing your ROI and customer base. Today's bank customers demand more personalized, convenient services. That's why financial institutions partner with First Data to make every customer interaction more valuable. First Data's easy-to-use banking solutions help satisfy your customers' desires for greater convenience with technology that makes every transaction simpler and more secure. Deepen relationships and seize new opportunities for growth with their complete set of solutions for your merchant customers and consumers. From the best-in-class fraud protection of the TransArmor® Solution, to turn-key online banking, to one of America's leading PIN-secured debit networks, their offering empowers financial institutions to deliver easier, faster, safer and smarter electronic commerce. 
Contact Kurt Silvers, Business Consultant at  (585) 857-5411, Or, visit their website at


. . .That if Wilbur Ross is confirmed by the U.S. Senate as Secretary of Commerce, he will become the 9th New Yorker to hold that position? 

The others were, in chronological order:
William Redfield (under President Wilson); 
Harry Hopkins (President Franklin Roosevelt); 
W. Averill Harriman (under President Truman); Alexander Trowbridge (President Johnson); 
Cyrus Smith (President Johnson); 
Maurice Stans (President Nixon); 
Ronald Brown (President G.H.W. Bush);
John Bryson (President Obama).


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