• Tax Reform Passes In House, Senate
  • All The Latest Updates From Albany & Washington
  • Sign 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 20, 2017
. . .From the Independent Bankers Association of New York State. . .

From IBANYS President & CEO John Witkowski

There are just a few updates I'd like to share with you today.
  • First, I am pleased to introduce the newest member of our IBANYS team. Natalie Rowan has joined our staff as Marketing and Social Media Assistant and will focus on, among other responsibilities, enhancing IBANYS' presence on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat. She brings a fresh, new perspective to our team, and we know you will join us in welcoming her aboard. Natalie may be reached at (518) 436-4646, or e-mail her at Natalier@ibanys.net.
  • There have been letters sent to banks regarding the use of USAA's Remote Deposit Capture product.  I have asked for assistance from ICBA. They are in the process of creating a "best practice and FAQ" document regarding this issue, and will have it completed in the first quarter of 2018. In the meantime, ICBA recommends that each bank that receives the letter should seek legal counsel from a patent attorney.  Patents have very specific language attached to them, and the best way to respond to these letters is through a patent styorney. 
  • This is our last IBANYS e-newsletter of 2017, as we will not publish the week between Christmas and New Year. We will return January 3 with our first 2018 newsletter, which will include a look at Governor Cuomo's State of the State speech and the beginning of the 2018 legislative session.
Finally, as we celebrate the holidays and prepare for the new year, we at IBANYS send you our warmest wishes and seasons greetings. We look forward to another successful year of working for and with you to make the world of New York community banking even better in 2018!

John Witkowski
Linda Gregware 
Steve Rice 
Bill Crowell
Natalie Rowan.

Sign Up Today 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. 

Mark Your Calendars For IBANYS' 
2018 Meetings  
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: Plan early to attend, participate, sponsor and/or exhibit. 

Please note an important change. 
Because of scheduling conflicts with the 2018 spring congressional recess, the dates for the 2018 ICBA Capital Summit have changed.
It will now be held  Sunday, April 8 - Wednesday, April 11, 2018 ( new dates ) at the  Grand Hyatt Hotel, Washington, DC (same location). During the first quarter of 2018, IBANYS will schedule "hill visits" for New York community bankers on Tuesday, April 10 and Wednesday, April 11 with members of our New York congressional delegation. Stay tuned.


How Should New York Respond To 
New Federal Tax Reform?
Responding to the new federal tax reform bill, the state's Business Council criticized the fact that that deductions of state and local taxes will be restricted to a $10,000 cap. It also called on the State to  pare back spending relative to other states, and  scale back regulations and revise policies that impair  economic growth, innovation and job creation. The group stated New York should receive more of its fair share of federal spending. "Currently, we are a donor state, contributing nearly $50 billion more in taxes than we receive. This tax reform legislation will make that disparity even worse." 

DiNapoli Warns Of Impact On State Budget
State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli called the tax reform bill a "bad deal" for New York that will make the state budget more difficult.  The budget  is due to have a deficit of at least $4 billion. DiNapoli noted:  "The legislation will drive up the cost of borrowing for state and local governments' capital investments by eliminating the option for advance refunding of outstanding debt. In the past four years alone, this option has generated approximately $1.1 billion in total long-term savings for the state."  He said  capping state and local tax deductions at $10,000 would force cuts to programs such as Medicare and put spending at risk in other areas, including the Social Services Block Grant, federal highway aid and the Consumer Protection.

Latest On Vacant & Abandoned Property Law
The Department of Financial Services announced  its first enforcement action for failing to maintain a vacant and abandoned property under the state's new Vacant and Abandoned Property Law. DFS reminded banks (as well as mortgage servicers) about their responsibilities to maintain vacant and abandoned properties across the State. 

Meanwhile, the State Senate Independent Democratic Conference (IDC) released its own report, entitled "Nightmare Neighbors: How Badly Maintained Homes Damage Neighborhoods." The study focused primarily on properties in New York City. The report notes: "... the IDC believes that the state should take steps to bring bank-owned properties into the same process recently created for so-called zombie properties. In doing so, we will give the state and municipalities greater tools to hold companies that allow their properties to become nightmare neighbors accountable for what they have done to neighborhoods across the state."  Click here to read the full report.   


Tax Reform Finalized
Congress is expected to finalize tax reform legislation today. The Senate voted early today along party lines to pass the legislation. Because of small changes the Senate made to the bill to comply with the chamber's budget rules, the House today again voted to approve it, the measure was sent to President Trump to sign into law. He called it a "historic victory for the American people." Congressional Republicans will go to the White House later today to celebrate its passage, but a spokesperson said: "This is not a signing event as the bill would still need to be enrolled and that will happen at a later date." Five of New York's nine Republican Representatives (Peter King, Lee Zeldin, Dan Donovan, John Faso and Elise Stefanik) voted against the House bill due to concern over capping the combined deduction for state and local income tax and property taxes at $10,000. Senators Schumer and Gillibrand also opposed the bill. Here is an  ICBA summary of the bill which analyzes both  favorable outcomes for community banks, and some remaining tax challenges. The legislation includes ICBA-advocated tax relief and numerous improvements benefiting community banks, including a small-business carveout from limits on the business interest deduction and enhanced treatment of Subchapter S community banks.

Senate Reg Relief Updates
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.

ICBA also supports: 
  • H.R. 4648 to delay the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau's Home Mortgage Disclosure Act final rule. It would bar supervisory or enforcement actions for data collected before Jan. 1, 2019, or data reported before Jan. 1, 2020, and suspend new data-sharing requirements. Community bankers: use the ICBA Be Heard action center to urge your Representatives to support the bill, which needs to quickly be taken up before the new HMDA rule takes effect on Jan. 1. 
  • Legislation to require that Economic Growth and Regulatory Paperwork Reduction Act regulatory reviews include the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). The Comprehensive Regulatory Review Act (H.R. 4607) also would require EGRPRA reviews every seven years, instead of every 10 years.
  • Federal regulators' move to make improvements to Basel III provisions that affect community banks. ICBA has urged regulators to 1) finalize their proposed suspension of high-volatility commercial real estate assets without implementing planned exposure requirements on high-volatility acquisition, development, and construction loans; 2) allow all prudently underwritten AD&C loans to be risk-weighted at 100 percent, consistent with the provisions of Basel I; 3) recommended the individual cap on threshold deductions be raised further to 50% for key community bank assets such as mortgage-servicing rights, while risk-weighting them at 100% when they are not deducted.
In other news, the Democrats' Steering Committee voted in favor of Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-Manh.) to be the top Democrat on the House Judiciary Committee. The entire Democratic caucus will today. Nadler would succeed former Rep. John Conyers, who has resigned from Congress.

IBANYS Thanks Rep. Tenney For Leading Fight To Pass Mortgage Relief Bill
IBANYS Director & former Chairman Bob Fisher 
(Tioga State Bank) and Rep. Tenney discussed community bank regulatory relief

New York community banks are expressing their appreciation to Rep. Claudia Tenney (R-Central New York) for her leadership in introducing and leading the fight for "The Community Institution Mortgage Relief Act" (H.R. 3971.) The House passed the legislation, which was supported by both ICBA and IBANYS. It would ease mortgage regulations on community banks. It includes ICBA "Plan for Prosperity" provisions on escrow and mortgage-servicing rules, 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.

  • The FDIC board approved a $2.09 billion operating budget for 2018-- down 3% from 2017 despite a large investment in investment technology. The budget for next year that is 48% lower than the peak reached during the agency's crisis-era spending in 2010.
  • The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has named Marc Berger, a former federal prosecutor who led high-profile probes of insider-trading probes, to head its New York regional office. 
  • The National Association of Realtors reported today that U.S. home sales increased more than expected in November, reaching their highest level in nearly 11 years. Existing home sales surged 5.6%, to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.81 million units last month. Existing home sales, which make up about 90% of U.S. home sales, increased 3.8% on a year-on-year basis in November. 
  • The Mortgage Bankers Association said total mortgage application volume dropped 4.9% from the previous week, and are now 8% lower than the same week one year ago. Mortgage applications to purchase a home had their weakest showing since April. Volume fell 6% for the week, and was barely 1% higher than a year ago. Applications to refinance a home loan also fell, and were down 3% for the week.  

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 

. . .T. Gschwender & Associates, Inc.
T. Gschwender & Associates, Inc. (TGS) is a diversified consulting company that has been providing services to financial institutions and businesses in the Northeast United States since 1984. Financial institutional clients include small community banks and credit unions with less than $100 million in assets, to much larger regional institutions with over $5 billion in assets. 
For their financial institutional clients,TGS likes to describe itself as a highly sophisticated "Credit Department," able to handle all functions from initial borrower due diligence to collateral liquidation, and everything in between. The goal
is to provide these services in a timely and cost effective manner, allowing clients to tap into resources they would not otherwise be able to employ internally. TGS associates and c onsultants all have extensive banking and corporate management experience. Some have been with the firm since it  started, and current staff provides a wide depth of experience, having held high level positions within banking, accounting, and regulatory institutions. With expertise spanning "both sides of the street", the company's Associates provide a well balanced and thorough approach to all that we do. For details, please c ontact  Bharpur "Bo" Singh,  President & Owner:
(315) 701-1293, bsingh@tgschwender-assoc.com
. . .or, visit  www.tgschwender-assoc.com.

. . .That Governor Cuomo will deliver his annual "State of the State" address officially opening the 2018 session of the New York State Legislature on January 3, 2018? Do you know the first New York Governor to deliver a State of the State address? It was our  very first Governor, George Clinton, in 1777. He declared: "The state of our finances... claims your serious attention...We have thus accumulated a debt, which, if neglected, will not only prove burthensome to the state, but strike at the credit of our currency, which it behoves us so much to support." Clinton served as Governor of New York from 1777 to 1795, and again from 1801 to 1804. He later was the fourth vice president of the U.S.


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