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.


October 19, 2016

This Is Benefits Season! 

. . .It's time to sign up for health benefits for 2017. Please take a look at our healthcare partner, My Wellness Resource" for an addition to your existing benefit package. The  Teledoc  program is an exciting new way you can provide value to your institution and your employees. It gives you 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.  The  program offers community banks a low-cost, non-traditional program to help save time and money, and offer employees on demand health care. The program is designed to improve productivity, decrease absenteeism and boost morale -- without straining your bottom line.  It's an exciting new way for community banks to provide additional health care benefits options, reduce cost and retain employees. C ontact Alan Justin, Managing Partner at (716) 907-5500 or call the IBANYS office at (518) 436-4646. 

Have You Heard About Our "New Leaders In Banking" Award  & Conference 

The Independent Bankers Association of New York State (IBANYS) and Banking New York magazine want your help identifying outstanding banking professionals.  Financial professionals are commonly recognized for generating significant revenue. We're looking for those who think beyond the bottom line and regularly "go the extra mile". 
  • Are you a banking professional who wants to recognize a peer? 
  • Are you a manager who wants to congratulate an employee for always going the extra mile? 
  • This is your chance to make a submission for a New Leaders in Banking award.  
Winners will be honored during the Banking New York Conference on December 14th in Albany, New York. Please join us and enjoy a day recognizing New Leaders in Banking, networking with peers, learning about new products and services to strengthen your institution, and hearing from industry thought leaders during numerous motivating and educational sessions. 

To nominate someone, visit: and then click on the New Leaders Nominations tab on top.

Questions? E-mail, or call  
(617) 896-5373.

Government Relations

IBANYS Meets With Senate Majority 
 Leader John Flanagan

IBANYS President & CEO John Witkowski met last week with New York State Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan (R-L.I.). The discussion included the vital role New York's community banks play in the success of our state and local economies, and the significant -- and growing --impact of regulatory and compliance burden. The Senate is currently governed by a coalition of Republicans and Independent Democrats, and control of the chamber is at stake in next month's general election.


Proposed State Regs Would 
Impact Community Banks 
. . .IBANYS Developing Responses 
Over the past month, Governor Cuomo and the State Department of Financial Services have announced three new proposed regulations that could have a significant impact on community banks -- and, in some cases, set a precedent for standards both nationally and in other states. IBANYS has been meeting with member banks to develop our comment letters and responses. We have had significant representation from bankers, and appreciate the strong responses and suggestions. Community banks are concerned these proposals would place an even greater regulatory burden on local banks, which do not have the resources to commit to this compliance process. It would impose severs financial and compliance demands.  

The proposed regulations include:
  • A new guidance instructing banks to monitor incentive compensation practices "to ensure any employee incentive arrangements do not encourage inappropriate corporate practices." The Governor cited "inappropriate institutions like Wells Fargo...the same ones that led to the 2007 financial crisis," and said "there must be zero tolerance for reckless policies...banks are now on notice of their obligations and it is their responsibility to ensure their employees are acting in the best interests of their customers." DFS Superintendent Hullo added: "DFS will take swift enforcement action...Board members and executive staff at regulated banks are responsible for making certain that sufficient controls are in place to safeguard against the inherent risks and conflicts of interest associated with cross-selling and referral bonus arrangements."
  • A proposed cybersecurity regulation requiring banks and other financial services institutions regulated by the DFS to establish a cybersecurity program, adopt a written cybersecurity policy, designate a Chief Information Security Officer and have policies and procedures designed to ensure the security of information systems and nonpublic information accessible to, or held by, third-parties. It also includes a variety of other requirements to "protect the confidentiality, integrity and availability of information systems."
  • A proposed "zombie properties" regulation requiring banks and mortgage services to report vacant and abandoned properties in accordance with the new law signed in June. The law, effective December 20, would focus on expediting foreclosure proceedings, improving efficiency and integrity of mandatory settlement conferences and obligating banks to secure, protect and maintain vacant and abandoned properties before and during foreclosure proceedings. IBANYS worked hard to protect the interests of community banks in the process, including "carve outs" to exempt the vast majority of community banks based on a formula of their percentage of one-to-four family mortgage loans compared to the total number of such loans in New York State. 

Federal Regulators Plan New 
Cyber Standards  For Large Banks
F ederal regulators want new standards for big banks' planning and testing for possible cyberattacks. The move was announced today by the Federal Reserve, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. and OCC and is designed to get banks' senior executives and directors to pay closer attention to cybersecurity. Under the new rules, banks would have to employ the most effective controls available and be able to recover from a cyberattack within two hours. The proposals will focus on the 35 or so banks that have assets of more than $50 billion, and could be finalized in January.  "Covered entities would be required to be capable of operating critical business functions in the face of cyber-attacks," the regulators said in a statement.

DFS, Comptroller Battle
A New York State Department of Financial Services report strongly criticized the $2.9 trillion hedge fund industry and New York  State Comptroller DiNapoli's office, saying pension investments in hedge funds have been a major failure resulting in $2.8 billion in underperformance for the two state retirement systems. The report claims:  "The state pension system simply gave away tens or even hundreds of millions of dollars in fees every year for 10 years to hedge fund managers, and received no value in return."  DiNapoli's office responded that the comptroller has been reducing hedge fund exposure and paying lower fees, and stated:  "It's disappointing and shocking that a regulator would issue such an uninformed and unprofessional report."

In Other News:
U.S. House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady (R-Texas) reportedly plans to move on a  Republican tax reform plan next year.  The plan will be based on the "Better Way" tax plan House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI.) has been promoting.


Mortgage Updates
Mortgage application volume grew 0.6% on a seasonally adjusted basis last week from the previous week, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association. The tally includes an adjustment for the Columbus Day holiday. Applications are 18.5% higher than a year ago.  Mortgage applications to purchase a home increased 3% from the previous week, seasonally adjusted and are now 13% higher than the same week one year ago. Homebuying has slowed as price gains accelerate and consumer confidence in housing wanes. Refinance applications, more interest rate-sensitive, fell 1% from the previous week (seasonally adjusted) but are up 22.4% from a year ago. The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with conforming loan balances ($417,000 or less) increased to 3.73%, its highest level since June. The refinance share of mortgage activity decreased to 61.5% of total applications (from 62.4% the previous week), and the adjustable-rate mortgage share of activity remained unchanged at 4.1% of total applications.

Housing Updates
September housing starts came in 9% below August and 12% below September 2015, according to the U.S. Census. However, some analysts think those drops may belie a huge improvement for the market. The numbers are totals based on both single-family homes and multifamily apartments, which have seen a construction boom over the last three years.  The drop in housing starts  was driven entirely by a big swing lower in multifamily construction. Single-family home constructions, rose 8% for the month and 5% from a year ago. Last month, single-family home construction jumped 20 percent in the Northeast. Nationally, it rose by its quickest pace since February, but is still only about 75% of the way back to historically normal levels.

Consumer Price Index Update
The U.S. Labor Department said yesterday its Consumer Price Index increased 0.3% last month after rising 0.2% in August. In the 12 months through September, the CPI accelerated 1.5%, the biggest year-on-year increase since October 2014.
The CPI increased 1.1% in the year to August.  Economists had forecast the CPI rising 0.3% last month and increasing 1.5% from a year ago.  The "core CPI", which does not include food and energy costs, gained 0.1% last month after climbing 0.3% in August. That slowed the year-on-year increase in the core CPI to 2.2% after a 2.3% rise in August.

Focus On Reg Relief For Community Banks, 
Boosting De Novos
The incoming Chair of the ABA, Dorothy Savarese (Cape  Cod Five Cents Savings Bank)  said her priorities include promoting "safe banking" for seniors, lightening the regulatory burden on small banks and preventing the "homogenizing" of financial services. She is concerned that the regulatory environment "puts everybody into sort of this box, we're homogenizing banking," and noted "nearly half of all business loans are done by community banks." She also observed that "since 2010, we've lost 1,708 banks and as far as my understanding is, we've only approved three new banking charters. . .I think we need to have an environment that is supportive of de novos." 


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.
ICBA & Dell Offering 
Member Banks Preferred Pricing 

Do you know that the Independent Community Bankers of America (ICBA) and Dell Computers have an agreement in place that  allows community banks that belong to ICBA to take advantage of
preferred pricing on computer equipment such as work stations, servers and laptops?
Participating banks will also have access to a dedicated account executive familiar with ICBA's program to advocate for them with appropriate Dell teams, including technical experts.  To check the October 2016 specials  Click here 

 .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.
  • IBANYS and NYBDC have announced a partnership with Excelsior Growth Fund (EGF), a nonprofit Community Development Financial Institution formed by New York Business Development Corporation (NYBDC). EGF is endorsed by IBANYS as the exclusive online lending partner for association members.  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 1-2 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 is seeking 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! 

New Siena Poll: Strong Leads For 
 Clinton, Schumer In New York
Hillary Clinton leads Donald Trump, 54-30 in a Siena College Research Institute poll of New York's likely voters released today.  10% plan to vote for somebody else, and 5% have no opinion. In a four-way race, Clinton leads Trump by 51%-30%. "In this year's election...we see how unbelievably polarized the electorate is when it comes to Trump and Clinton," said Siena spokesman Steve Greenberg, who spoke at IBANYS' Annual Convention earlier this month. "We don't often see that kind of mirror image to the extreme."  Clinton has strong support among men and women and across geographic regions of the state. In upstate, 43% of likely voters support Clinton and 37% support Trump. "New York is poised to be a blue presidential state for the eighth consecutive election," Greenberg said. "Clinton gets stronger support from Democrats than Trump 
gets from Republicans and Clinton has now opened a 17-point lead with independents, up from just two points last month." Incumbent Democratic U.S. Sen. Chuck Schumer retained his big lead (66% to 27%) over Republican-Conservative challenger Wendy Long. As for Gov. Cuomo,  56% viewed him favorably to 41% unfavorably.

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:

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 is a single-source provider whose  board of directors are leaders from community financial institutions. SHAZAM'S mission is to strengthen community financial institutions.  SHAZAM is a not-for-profit corporation that believes all financial institutions are entitled to the same features, services, and affordable rates. . .
SHAZAM  provides 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 details, contact SVP James P. Ghiglieri, Jr : (309) 678-9021, or visit


...that of the 76 individuals who have served as U.S. Treasury Secretary, 14 (Alexander Hamilton, John Spencer, John Dix, Charles Folger, Daniel Manning, Charles Fairchild, George Cortelyou, William McAdoo, Ogden Mills, William Woodin, Henry Morgenthau, Robert Rubin, Timothy Geithner and Jacob Lew) have been from New York State? 


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