• Tax Reform Deal Close In Washington--Passage Next Week?
  • Fed Raises Interest Rates A Quarter Point
  • All The Latest Updates From Albany & Washington
  • 2018 Is Nearly here--Have You Signed Up For 2018 Committees?
  • Have you visited our newly updated website at www.ibanys.net yet?

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.


December 13, 2017

"The bipartisan proposals on which we have agreed (the Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief and Consumer Protection Act) will significantly improve our financial regulatory framework and foster economic growth by right-sizing regulation, particularly for smaller financial institutions and community banks.
-U.S. Senate Banking Committee Chairman Crapo 

Fed Raises Interest Rates
The Federal Reserve today raised its benchmark interest rate by a quarter point, to the range of 1.25% to 1.50% today. It is the Fed's fifth rate hike since it cut the rate to nearly zero during the 2008 financial crisis. The Fed pointed to a strong economy, steady growth, limited inflation and the lowest unemployment since 2000. Members of the Federal Open Market Committee raised its GDP estimate from 2.1% in September to 2.5%. The inflation forecast for 2018 also got a modest boost, from 1.6% to 1.7%.  The statement noted that the jobs market "will remain strong."  The Fed sees the federal funds rate at 2.1% by the end of 2018, unchanged from its September forecast, and  maintained its 2019 projection the benchmark rate will be at 2.7%.

Please read the email below from ICBA regarding malware attacks on community banks from a group called Money Taker. The U.S.  Department of Treasury would like to gather some information if you were attacked. ICBA is reaching out for assistance in identifying banks that might have been targeted so that they can share the Treasury Department message. If you have any questions, or require further information, please contact Jeremy Dalpiaz, ICBA Assistant Vice President, Cyber and Data Security Policy at: jeremy.dalpiaz@icba.org.

"MoneyTaker Group and Community Banks"  
Earlier this week, a paper was released that stated several community banks were hit with a certain type of malware. The paper claims that at least 20 companies were victims of the so-called "MoneyTaker group," 16 of which are located in the US. The vast majority of them are small community banks, where hackers attacked card processing systems. The average damage from each successful attack was 500,000 USD baseline. A subsequent article from American Banker was run about this group. In the wake of the article, the Department of the Treasury has reached out to (ICBA) to see if we know which banks were hit by this attack. . .Per Treasury:  "It would be interesting to understand what had occurred from the institution's point of view and what vulnerabilities existed that were exploited (other than the malware itself, since there had to be additional breakdowns for the malware to be active) so that we can work both with these specific firms and community banks generally to make them and the sector more secure. Please let us know what we can do to help."
According to the report, the states where banks were targeted include: UT, NY, VA, CO, FL, IL, WI, CA, MO, OK, SC. I would like to reach out to the state execs for these states to determine if they know which banks were targeted and share the Treasury message with them. Also, to appease some concerns, if banks would prefer not to be identified, they can provide anonymized information ... and we can share it that way, without attribution.

Sign Up For IBANYS' 2018 committees!   
Committees play a vital role in IBANYS' success. They  review and help formulate legislative and regulatory policy positions. . .they are involved in  designing our educational meetings programs
. . .they p rovide opportunities for peer networking and dialogue. . . and, they  recommend new, innovative products and services to benefit New York's community banks.  Sign up today to serve on these IBANYS Committees:
  • Government Relations Committee 
  • CFO/Senior Management Peer Group 
  • Compliance Peer Group 
  • Security Committee
  • Our new HR and Operations Committee 
  • Innovation Committee
E-mail John Witkowski and/or Linda Gregware (Johnw@IBANYS.net, Lindag@IBANYS.net) to tell us which committees your bank wants to serve on. 

IBANYS 2018 Member Bank Dues Notices Have Been Mailed! 
All IBANYS member banks by now should have received their 2018 member bank dues notices, mailed earlier this month. Please take a moment to review, and call John Witkowski or Linda Gregware (518-436-4646) with any questions you may have. As always, thank you for your continued support.

IBANYS 2018 Meeting Dates Set -- 
Save These Dates!
IBANYS 2018 meeting dates are set. Please review this IBANYS 2018 Calendar. Member banks: Please share with your senior management team, key officers and personnel and directors. Preferred providers, associate members and business show exhibitors: Mark your calendars and plan early to attend, participate, sponsor and/or exhibit.  



DFS Lawsuit Against OCC Dismissed  
-- For Now 
A New York District Court judge dismissed the lawsuit by the New York State Department of Financial Services (DFS) lawsuit challenging the
Office of the Comptroller of the Currency's federal charter for financial technology (fintech) firms. The judge noted the suit was premature because charter doesn't exist yet. "Since the OCC has not reached a final 'fintech charter decision,' defendants' ... motion is granted as plaintiff has suffered no injury in fact ... and because plaintiff's claims are not ripe," Judge Naomi Reice Buchwald said in her ruling.

Schneiderman Leads Opposition To 
Mulvaney At CFPB
Led by New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, Democratic Attorneys General from 16 states and the District of Columbia criticized President Trump's temporary pick of White House Budget Director Mick Mulvaney to lead the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). In a letter yesterday, the group said Mulvaney should be disqualified from leading the Bureau and vowed to fight any attempt by the Trump administration to "weaken" the CFPB. Their letter noted: 
"The CFPB has been a critical partner in protecting American consumers and holding fraudsters accountable. It deserves a leader who actually believes in its mission.  However, Attorneys General won't hesitate to protect those we serve - with or without a partner in Washington."

Would Fed Tax Reform End 
"Millionaires Tax" Push In New York?
Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie (D-Bronx) said the effort to pass a "millionaires tax" in New York would likely be off the table if the GOP tax bill passes in Washington. Speaker Heastie and Assembly Democrats have argued the wealthy in New York should pay more of their fair share, and proposed a higher income tax rate for millionaires. The State Senate has consistently opposed the idea. Democrats hope to take control of the Senate in 2018 and, with New York facing a projected budget deficit of at least $4.4 billion, hoped to pass the increase. However, Speaker Heastie noted:  'It would be very difficult to ask those same people (who lose their federal deductions and could pay tens of thousands of more in taxes) to then pay an additional state income tax where that addition is not federally deductible." 
Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan (R-Suffolk County) recently told The News that his Republican conference is against any hikes in taxes or fees.

Latest On Senate Democrats-IDC 
Unity Deal
A potential deal to reunify State Senate Democrats and the eight-member breakaway Independent Democrats Conference (IDC) will be off the table if the Party is not in charge of the Senate by the end of the 2018 legislative session in June. The recent deal said the two sides would seek to form a new leadership coalition if the Party wins two spring state senate special elections. If the GOP wins at least one of those races - or, if Democrats win both, but still don't grab control of the chamber - Senate Democratic Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins (D-Westchester) said that the deal would be off. 


Kolb Announces Gubernatorial Run
Citing his private sector and public service experience, NYS Assembly GOP Minority Leader Brian Kolb (R-Canandaigua)  became the first Republican to formally announce plans to run for Governor next year. Governor Cuomo is expected to seek a third term. "I know how Albany works. I think I can navigate the minefields. I've established I can work with both sides of the aisle in both houses. I am excited."  Kolb has served in the Assembly since 2000 and has been GOP minority leader since 2009.  H e said will not resign his leadership post unless he gets the GOP nod . Others Republicans considering a run include: NYS Senate Deputy Majority Leader John DeFrancisco (R-Syracuse); businessman and  2010 State Comptroller candidate Harry Wilson; Dutchess County Executive Marcus Molinaro, and former Erie County Executive Joel Giambra.

Six New York GOP Reps
Targeted By Dems In 2018
Democrats are reportedly targeting a half dozen Republican House members in New York: Reps. Chris Collins (Erie County), John Faso (Hudson Valley), Tom Reed (Southern Tier), Elise Stefanik (North Country, Claudia Tenney (Central New York) and Lee Zeldin (Long Island).  Click here for an analysis by  three leading election analysts.


Tax Conference Committee Deal Close:
Improvemnets Still Needed --Act Today
The U.S. House-Senate Conference Committee on congressional tax reform convened today.  House Ways and Means Chairman Brady (R-TX) expects the conference committee to reach a final agreement.  Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-UT) said, " I think we have a deal," and a White House source separately confirmed a tax deal is in place.  The  plan for next week is to vote first in the Senate, then the House, and send it to the President before Christmas.  The current bills include an ICBA-supported reduction of the top C-corporate tax rate from 35% to 20%, but agreement has reportedly been reached to make that rate  21%, the top individual rate 37%. It was not clear if the final bill would expand state and local tax deductions beyond the limited $10,000 in property tax deductions proposed in the bills already passed by the House and Senate.   The  Senate version includes an ICBA-opposed provision  to disallow stock of pass-through companies held in trusts from receiving the 23% pass-through deduction. ICBA and IBANYS are urging Subchapter S community banks to   go to ICBA's "Be Heard" grassroots website . Urge Representatives   to ensure trusts and estates receive the 23% pass-through deduction I CBA focused on Subchapter S and other tax reform priorities in this  letter to conferees

 Action On Exam Reform, Credit Unions?
The "Financial Institutions Examination Fairness and Reform Act" (H.R.4545, co-sponsored by Rep. Carolyn Maloney, D-Manh.) is scheduled to be marked up today by the House Financial Services Committee. ICBA expressed support for the bill, which would improve the exam environment by creating a workable appeals process, create an Office of Independent Examination Review and give financial institutions a right to an expedited review of material supervisory determinations. In a letter to the Committee, ICBA also opposed H.R.4464 (Posey, R-FL) to repeal the National Credit Union Administration's risk-based capital rule for credit unions because it runs counter to ICBA's (and IBANYS') push for comparable regulatory capital requirements for community banks and tax-exempt credit unions.

Senate Reg Relief Update
After last week's Senate Banking Committee markup of S.2155 to provide substantial community bank regulatory relief, ICBA is urging urge full Senate passage. New York community bankers: use ICBA's Recipe for Regulatory Relief and ask our senators to take up and pass the Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief and Consumer Protection Act (S. 2155). It includes provisions from ICBA's "Plan for Prosperity" regulatory relief platform, endorsed by IBANYS, that would promote community bank mortgage lending, simplify capital requirements, reform examination and supervision, and more.

House Passes Rep. Tenney's Mortgage 
Relief Bill
The House passed legislation supported by both ICBA and IBANYS that would ease mortgage regulations on community banks. The Community Institution Mortgage Relief Act (H.R. 3971) was introduced by Rep. Claudia Tenney (R-Central New York) was approved on a bipartisan 294-129 vote. It includes ICBA "Plan for Prosperity" provisions on escrow and mortgage-servicing rules. It would exempt mortgage loans held in portfolio by financial institutions with assets of $10 billion or less from mandatory escrow requirements, and increase the CFPB's small-servicer exemption limit from 5,000 loans to 20,000 loans serviced annually. The bill is consistent with provisions of S. 2155 passed last week, and the Financial CHOICE Act (H.R. 10) passed in June.


Mortgage Applications Down. . .
T otal mortgage application volume fell 2.3% last week, according to the Morgage Bankers Association.  Applications to refinance fell 3%, while  applications to purchase a home fell 1% -- but  are still 10% higher than a year ago.  The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with conforming loan balances of $424,100 or less increased to 4.20% from 4.19 percent, with points decreasing to 0.39 from 0.40, including the origination fee, for 80 percent loan-to-value ratio loans.

. . .Consumer Price Index Up
The U.S. Labor Department's Consumer Price Index  increased 0.4% last month. The index had risen 0.1% in October. The November numbers raised the year-on-year increase in the CPI 2.2% from 2.0 percent level in October. 

ICBA's Fine: 2017 A "Turning Point" 
For Community Banking
ICBA President & CEO Cam Fine says that 2017 has been a turning point for the community banking industry, and noted ICBA and community bankers are poised to deliver bipartisan regulatory through the Senate, capping a successful year.  "We can, and should, be proud of our many advocacy achievements in 2017. But we cannot let up now-not when it matters most." Click here to read his full message.



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. 

"Cure The Blue" Helps Banking Industry
Battle Prostate Cancer!
The "Cure the Blue" program sponsored by the Buffalo Bills Alumni Foundation allows New Yorkers to participate in one of the most comprehensive efforts to help promote prostate cancer awareness and research in the United States. September was National Prostate Cancer Awareness Month, and Lake Shore Savings Bank provided prostate cancer literature and Cure the Blue information at all eleven of its branches and their headquarters in Dunkirk. The bank also offered Cure the Blue ceramic lapel ribbon pins for a $5.00 donations to Cure the Blue to all their customers.  "We fully understand the severity of this disease and the devastating effect it can have on families" said Lake Shore Savings Bank President and CEO Dan Reininga. "Our support of the Buffalo Bills Alumni Foundation's "Cure the Blue" initiative is something that we are taking very seriously and are proud to support." Buffalo Bills Wall of Famer and Alumni Foundation President Booker Edgerson, a two time prostate cancer survivor, said the bank has been a tremendous longtime supporter, noting: "They have really stepped up to the plate with their unwavering support of our Cure the Blue initiative." IBANYS urges all of our member banks, associate members and allies to join the effort. Cure the Blue" raises funds and awareness regarding prostate cancer in New York State. Visit curetheblue.com to get involved! Of all new cancer cases in the nation, prostate cancer represents 9.6%. In 2017, estimates are there will be 161,360 new cases, and that more than 26,000 people will die of the disease. Support IBANYS' "Cure the Blue" campaign to help New Yorkers participate to promote prostate cancer awareness and research.

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: (716) 907-5500. They also offer  a unique program providing a $500 reba
te on any new Fiat, Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, Ram or Hyundai vehicle. It may only be offered though individual banks, not through IBANYS itself. If your bank and employees might be interested, drop us a line and we will forward it to Alan Justin, who will reach out to you. I
f you are not currently participating in the My Wellness Resource program, we encourage you to take a fair & objective look at the program!

Secure, Enhanced Internet Presence
The .bank program by fTLD operates trusted, verified, more secure, easily-identifiable internet locations for financial companies and 
customers.  www.icba.org

Online Lending
Excelsior Growth Fund (EGF) is NYBDC's nonprofit Community Development Financial Institution and IBANYS' exclusive online lending partner. Visit 

. . . Travelers Insurance/Bank Insurance Program
Meeting the insurance needs of depository financial institution clients, including community banks, can be a challenge. Fortunately, Travelers has many solutions for this varied client segment. Travelers offers a range of  insurance protection through Travelers SelectOne+®. This flexible product line provides a robust portfolio of insurance options, including D&O, cyber, bankers professional liability, financial institution bonds, ID fraud expense reimbursement and property/casualty coverages. Travelers' dedication to community banks has helped them become an IBANYS preferred provider, and earned an endorsement of the Independent Community Bankers of America (ICBA). Learn more about the SelectOne+® ICBA Insurance Program.  For details, contact  Mark Horton:  (800) 542-8770, or visit the 

. . .That when IBANYS was formed in 1974, the  Yearly Inflation Rate in the United States reached 11.3%, and that the Year End Close Dow Jones Industrial Average was 616?  


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 former 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