• IBANYS Grass Roots Effort For Sen. Schumer On Regulatory Relief Bill For Community Banks (S.2155) 
  • Are You Following IBANYS On Social Media? Visit us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Linked in!
  • IBANYS' Spring Schedule Of 

    Meetings, Conferences, Webinars. . .Sign Up Now!

  • Latest News From Albany & Washington
  • Industry Trends & Updates. . .News On Community Banking
Your IBANYS Team: 
Working To Make 2018 Another Great Year 
For New York's C ommun ity Banks !

IBANYS Webinars:
CLICK HERE to learn more about how  IBANYS' webinars can help your bank's officers, directors and employees.
Quick Links

Have You Contributed to NYSIBPAC This Year?
If not, now is the time! We need your help! 2018 is a statewide election year, with every member of the NYS Legislature on the ballot, as well as all statewide officials. Let's support those who understand the needs and priorities of community banks. 
Can we count on you?
for our 2018  PAC contribution form. Help support IBANYS' political action efforts in New York State.

VISIT IBANYS' Preferred Providers. . .  CLICK HERE to learn more about IBANYS' preferred providers and what they can do for New York community banks.
February 14, 2018
This week, the Governor began amending his state budget proposal, with taxes front and center. The Legislature continued its budget hearings, and will soon begin responding to the Governor's proposal with its own recommendations and plans. Then, negotiatios will ensue, and -- with any luck -- we'll have a 2018-19 State Budget approved before the April 1 deadline.  Meanwhile, IBANYS has launched an all-out grassroots effort to emphasize to senator Schumer why the bipartisan regulatory relief legislation in the Senate (S.2155) is important to New York's community banks -- and why we are counting on him to support it and help pave the way for its passage without amendments that could jeopardize its bipartisan support. O ur Board of Directors wrote to the Senator on this issue as well.   Click here to read the letter.  

We continue to plan and tweak our spring 2018 IBANYS meetings. Many now have program agendas and registration forms for your use.  Whether you are a member bank, or an IBANYS preferred partner and associate member: These meetings provide valuable information and unique networking opportunities. We really hope you'll join us! 

IBANYS is YOUR association. Make it work for you! 
-- John

Are YOU Following IBANYS On Social Media? Now Is The Time!

Have you found and followed IBANYS on social media yet?  Connecting couldn't be simpler:
  • Facebook: @ibanys1 | Twitter: @ibanys1 | Instagram: @ibanys1 | LinkedIn: IBANYS 

2018 Is A KEY Election Year In New York:
Support NYSIBPAC! 
IBANYS' 2018 PAC Contribution Brochure  is now available. By donating to our state political action committee, you demonstrate support for New York community banks. Your contributions  help support the election campaigns of individuals who support community based banking, and who share an interest in improving the business climate for independent banks in New York. NYSIBPAC contributions are made only to candidates for New York State offices. This year, every statewide official and all the seats in the NYS Legislature are on the ballot in November. Please click the link above and support NYSIBPAC.

Attend IBANYS'  2018 Meetings
IBANYS 2018 Calendar shows dates & locations for our 2018 meetings.  
  • Regional 
    Compliance Conferences
    will be held March 20 (Rochester/Pittsford)
    and on March 21 (Troy). . .presentations by OCC, NYS DFS, industry experts and a peer bankers panel discussion. Click here for program details and to register. 
  • Our first three 
    CEO Forums 
    will be on 
    March 26 (Albany), March 27 (Syracuse)
    and March 28 (Rochester/Buffalo market). Please CLICK HERE for program flyer, and  CLICK HERE to register. 
  • The 2018 ICBA Capital Summit  at the Grand Hyatt Hotel, Washington, DC will be held  Sunday, April 8 - Wednesday, April 11 . "Hill visits" with the New York congressional delegation will be Tuesday, April 10 & Wednesday, April 11.
  • Our Regional Directors Conferences are  April 10 (Rochester/Pittsford) and April 11 (Troy)
  • Our Human Resources Conferences will take place April
    24 (Rochester/Pittsford) & 
    April 25 (Troy)
Member banks: Share this information with your senior management teams, officers, directors, compliance, security and human resources  officers.  Preferred providers, associate members and business show exhibitors:  Now is the time to plan to attend, participate, sponsor/exhibit. Contact Linda Gregware: Lindag@Ibanys.net 

Cuomo Tweaks Budget Plan,
Proposes New Tax Approaches
Governor Cuomo  began "tweaking"  his 2018-19 budget proposal. Among his amendments to his proposal are his plans to respond to  the new federal tax codes that limit state and local deductions. A primary component of the
Governor's plan would create 
a voluntary payroll tax that companies could adopt in lieu of the existing tax paid by workers. The Governor believes shifting to a state payroll tax instead of an income tax is seen as one way to reduce employees' federal tax liability. The administration says take-home pay would remain the same for workers, and businesses wouldn't see any additional taxes. The switch would be optional and the changes phased in to minimize confusion for workers and businesses. "We are taking action to protect hardworking New Yorkers from this attack in Washington," Cuomo said.  A second Cuomo proposal would create a tax credit for individuals who make charitable contributions to public education or health care programs. Taxpayers making such contributions would get a deduction on their federal taxes. Some business leaders said they aren't sure how many businesses
might sign up for a new, potentially confusing tax system. Senate Republican Majority Leader Flanagan (R-L.I.)  noted the Governor's budget recommendation includes $1 billion in new state taxes and fees, and commented:  "We should be cutting taxes, not raising them."
  • The NYS Senate has passed S.2421 (Griffo)/ A.2729 (Lavine), which would create the felony of bank robbery and increase the penalty for unarmed robberies.
  • The Senate Consumer Affairs committee passed S.1104 (Valesky) to require consumer notifications of data breaches to occur within 45 days, unless the Attorney General finds that more time is needed.
NYS Comptroller DiNapoli Assesses 
Proposed State Budget
NYS Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli said Governor Cuomo's proposed $168.2 billion 2018-19 State Budget proposes several measures to reduce the financial risks posed by 1) federal funding reductions, and 2) an uncertain revenue picture. However, he commented that it also weakens checks and balances over the use of public dollars.  "It is a high-pressure year for the state budget. Decisions made in Washington pose a real risk to New York's finances. Cuts from Washington, questions over state tax revenues and billions of dollars in out-year gaps pose significant threats. At a time of difficult financial challenges, transparency, accountability and oversight in the use of public dollars are more important than ever."  DiNapoli's report analyzes the Executive Budget submitted to the Legislature on Jan. 16.

NYS Attorney General Supports DFS Role 
In Regulating Student Loans
State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman's office endorsed the provision in Governor Cuomo's state budget proposal to create a licensing regimen for providers of student loans under a regulatory scheme to be drawn up by the NYS  Department of Financial Services (DFS). The letter notes the proposal "contains common sense protections for borrowers, including a provision prohibiting servicers from providing inaccurate credit information to credit reporting agencies, and requirements related to preservation of certain interest rate reductions promised to borrowers at the origination of the loan." It also emphasizes the importance of state legislation protecting student borrowers to make up for what the Schneiderman's office described as a regulatory void created by the Trump administration's rolling back federal consumer protections. California, Connecticut, Illinois and the District of Columbia have recently passed legislation regulating student loan providers.

Flanagan Endorses DeFrancisco
For Governor

NYS Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan (R-L.I.) "enthusiastically" endorsed Senate Deputy Majority Leader John DeFrancisco (R-Syracuse) for governor, describing him as a "smart, strong and principled leader" who "will make an outstanding governor." T he endorsement further cements DeFrancisco position. Last week, NYS  Assembly Minority Leader Brian Kolb withdrew from the race. Former Erie County Executive Joel Giambra is still running. DeFrancisco narrowly lost to Flanagan in the 2015 contest to succeed Dean Skelos as Senate Majority Leader. 

CLICK HERE to see the 2018 New York State Legislative Session Calendar


Push Is On For Senate Reg Relief Bill:
 IBANYS Urges Sen. Schumer To Support
  • IBANYS' Board of Directors sent a letter to Senator Schumer (click here to read) urging him to do everything possible to ensure the Senate's bipartisan regulatory relief bill (S.2155) is considered and enacted quickly by the full Senate.
  • An ICBA letter signed by all ICBA affiliated state association partners, including IBANYS, was sent to members of the U.S. Senate. It urges approval of S. 2155 without amendments that could risk its current bipartisan support. CLICK HERE to read. 
  • ICBA and a coalition of other financial trade groups also urged Senate leaders to take up S. 2155. The joint letter was also from the American Bankers Association, Credit Union National Association, and National Association of Federally-Insured Credit Unions. It noted: "At a time of frequent congressional gridlock in Washington, this bipartisan legislation is a shining example of how our elected leaders can advance necessary solutions by working together and across the aisle."
  • ICBA offers a "one-stop shop" regulatory relief webpage, with resources on how to support S.2155. It includes: ICBA's new regional ad campaign urging key senators to vote to pass S. 2155 while thanking those who have already signed on to the bill; a list of co-sponsors, and links to ICBA's "Be Heard" grassroots action center, which allows community bankers to email and tweet their senators in support of S. 2155. Click here to access the webpage.
House Approves Small Bank Holding Company Bill 
The House has approved legislation to allow more community bank and thrift holding companies to raise capital. H.R. 4771, "The  Small Bank Holding Company Relief Act"-- co-sponsored by Rep. Gregory Meeks (D-Queens) -- would raise the Fed's Small Bank Holding Company Policy Statement asset threshold from $1 billion to $3 billion.  would allow more community bank and savings-and-loan holding companies to raise capital. It passed on a bipartisan 280-139 vote. Identical language (based on ICBA's Plan for Prosperity regulatory relief platform, endorsed by IBANYS) is included in the bipartisan S. 2155 awaiting a Senate vote.

Trump Administration Calls For Cuts 
In Crop Insurance
The Trump administration's budget proposal calls for significant cuts to crop insurance and the business-and-industry loan program. The USDA's budget proposes restricting crop insurance to producers if they have more than $500,000 in adjusted gross income; limiting reimbursements to private-sector deliverers; limiting underwriting gains to companies, and reducing producer premium subsidies by 10-15%. It also proposes to eliminate the USDA's B&I guaranteed loan program, which last year provided more than $800 million in guaranteed loans. It would reduce guaranteed farm operating loan volume from $1.87 billion to $1.6 billion, but maintain the no-cost guaranteed ownership real estate program at $2.75 billion.

Powell: Fed Will Monitor Financial Stability Risks, Preserve Regulatory Gains 
At his ceremonial swearing-in ceremony yesterday as Federal Reserve Chairman, Jerome Powell said the Fed would "preserve the essential gains in financial regulation while seeking to ensure that our policies are as efficient as possible. Powell said the Fed remains alert to any developing risks to financial stability while it gradually normalizes its interest rate policy and balance sheet.  Chairman Powell officially took over last week. Click here to read
the full text of his remarks.

Federal Tax Reform Scorecard
For details on how the new federal tax changes could impact community banks, the 
ICBA tax reform scorecard for community banks summarizes the new tax law's favorable outcomes as well as remaining tax challenges. The law includes ICBA-advocated tax relief and numerous improvements benefiting community banks, such as a small-business carveout from limits on the business interest deduction and enhanced treatment of Subchapter S community banks.

Consumer Prices, Household Debt Up;
Retail Sales,  Mortgage Applications Down
  • The U.S. Labor Department reported this morning that consumer prices rose more than expected in January. The Consumer Price Index rose 0.5% against projections of a 0.3% increase. Excluding food and energy prices (which tend to be more volatile), the index was up 0.3% against estimates of 0.2%. Meanwhile, the U.S. Commerce Department reported that retail sales unexpectedly fell in January, recording their biggest drop in nearly a year. Retail sales decreased 0.3% last month, the largest decline since February 2017. Economists polled by Reuters had forecast retail sales climbing 0.2% in January. Retail sales in January rose 3.6% from a year ago. 
  • Meanwhile, the Mortgage Bankers Association also reported a 4.1% weekly drop in mortgage application volume. The seasonally adjusted count from the Mortgage Bankers Association was just 3.5% higher than a year ago. Homebuyers  drove the drop, with purchase applications falling 6% for the week, although they were still higher by 4% from last year. Mortgage applications to refinance a home loan were also lower, falling 2% for the week. They were 2.8% higher than the same week one year ago.
  • The Federal Reserve Bank of New York's Center for Microeconomic Data has reported that total household debt rose by $193 billion to an all-time high of $13.15 trillion at year-end 2017 from the previous quarter. It was fifth consecutive year of annual household debt growth, with increases in the mortgage, student, auto and credit card categories. Mortgage debt balances rose the most, rising by $139 billion, to $8.88 trillion, from the previous quarter. Outstanding mortgage balances reached levels not seen since 2009. Credit card debt had the second largest increase of $26 billion to a total of $834 billion. Student and auto loan balances also surged to new heights. 
Latest On Fed's Board Expectations
ICBA has commended the Federal Reserve for reviewing regulations and supervisory expectations relating to boards of directors, and encouraged other banking agencies to join the review. In a comment letter, ICBA said a truly comprehensive review of all agency guidance would find that much is redundant or outdated.
ICBA said it looks forward to reviewing the second phase of the Fed's initiative that will focus on supervisory expectations in Fed regulations and require collaboration with the FDIC and OCC. "ICBA believes that a more flexible, principles-based approach to board responsibilities will encourage community bank board members to spend less time on routine matters and more on core board responsibilities." Click to read letter.

Possible Choices For Fed Vice Chair 
According to press reports,  Cleveland Federal Reserve President Loretta Mester is being considered for Federal Reserve Vice Chair.  Mester "impressed White House officials" during an interview,  but the administration said there is no front-runner.  The position has been vacant since Stanley Fischer retired last October Mester has been President of the Cleveland Fed since June 2014, and spent more than 30 years with the Philadelphia Fed. It was previously reported that San Francisco Fed President John Williams was  also being considered The Fed Vice Chair post is traditionally at the center of U.S. rate-setting, along with the Fed Chair and the President of the New York Fed. (New York Fed President William Dudley will retire this year. A search is underway for his successor.) 

Equifax Data Breach:
"Worse  Than Disclosed"
Equifax told the Senate Banking Committee that its data breach was even worse than previously disclosed. Its document submitted to the Committee added tax identification numbers, email addresses and phone numbers to the personal information illicitly accessed last year. 
Equifax previously announced that names, Social Security numbers, birth dates and other information were compromised in the 2017 breach of 145.5 million consumers and 209,000 payment cards. ICBA last month issued frequently asked questions on its lawsuit against Equifax as community banks continue to file cases against the credit bureau, citing Equifax's failure to heed warnings about the security of its U.S. website and seeking monetary relief for community banks affected by the breach. Community banks interested in filing a complaint can learn more by visiting ICBA's Data Breach Information Center, or e-mail gary@garylynch.com.

FinCEN Updating SAR Report
The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) in June is updating the Suspicious Activity Report available on the Bank Secrecy Act E-Filing System. Batch filers will be required to submit the updated FinCEN SAR data in an XML-based file, rather than the current ASCII fixed-length delimited file format. The new format also will include a new "cyber event" category, new subtype selections and text fields, and other updates.

Municipal Market Update:
"Strategies For Tax Reform & Credit"
ICBA Securities and its exclusively endorsed broker/dealer, Vining Sparks, will present this one-hour webinar on February 27 --  the first of the 2018 webinar series. The municipal bond sector continues to be a significant portion of community bank portfolios and year after year one of the better performing asset classes. Significant weightings in tax-free bonds can produce high tax-equivalent yields at a reasonable corresponding price risk.  The credit performance of the bank-qualified sector remains sound; however, investors must understand issuer credit dynamics and overall credit themes. The municipal market had an interesting 2017 as tax reform was the main driver/topic of the year and came to fruition in December with tax reform being enacted. This webinar will comment on how this affects the municipal market with an emphasis on community bank portfolios. It will also provide an update on the current state of the municipal market, of course highlighting the Bank Qualified market. Lastly, we will provide commentary on the outlook of State, Local Governments and water/sewer systems. 
Speakers will include: 
  • SVP Dennis Porcaro (municipal credit analyst in Vining Sparks' Strategic Solutions Group.
  • VP Justin Sparks (Vining Sparks trader specializing on the municipal market)
  • SVP Dan Stimpson, CPA (member of the Strategic Solutions group). 
You'll learn:
  • The current state of the market for tax-free municipal investments
  • Tax reform and the impact on the tax-exempt municipal bond market
  • 2018 outlook for state, local government and water and sewer sectors in the municipal market

Sign Up Now. . .Program Nearly Sold Out!
The Barrett Graduate School of Banking offers outstanding, innovative curriculum and an ICBA-endorsed superb faculty that includes nationally known speakers in the industry. The program's one-week resident session means bank employees spend less time away from job and family. 
The curriculum includes:
  • One week per year for three years
  • 128 hours of classroom study
  • Nine on-campus case studies
  • Eight home study problems.
Barrett has more than 40 years of existence (It was formerly known as the Mid South School of Banking.) Attendees come from over 20 states.
Click here for additional information.


IBANYS' webinars provide timely, informative sessions on important topics and issues of interest for community bankers. They are valuable not only for their content, but for their cionvenience: Participants can take part from the comfort and privacy of their offices, without leaving the bank.  Upcoming offerings include presentations on 2018 credit analysis and underwriting, IRAs, consumer debt, compliance, new accounts, call reports, programs for directors, marketing and cyber security.  Take a look at the schedule of all upcoming IBANYS webinars by clicking here

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 

My Wellness Resource & TELADOC
The health and wellness landscape continues to evolve. "My Wellness Resource" can be a nice addition to your existing benefit package.  Teladoc can save your banks time and money, and provide real value to your employees as this  testimonial from a New York community bank CEO proves:
"I wanted to let you know that some of our employees and I have been using "Teladoc" and it is one of the best things we have done for the bank. We all love it: We are saving time, avoiding waiting in an urgent care center or a doctor's waiting room for non-emergency related illnesses
. . .and it is easy to use and convenient. Once you use it, you are hooked! This was a great find! Would recommend it to all banks."
Mario Martinez 
Chairman & CEO
Catskill Hudson Bank
Click here to learn more, or contact Alan Justin: (716) 907-5500. 

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 


. . .
BSG Financial Group 
BSG provides revenue-enhancement and compliance solutions for financial institutions nationwide. 
Our solutions include:
  • Overdraft Management Solutions
  • Fee-Based Checking Accounts
  • Digital Lending Solutions
  • Vendor Management
  • Account Acquisition Strategies
  • Social Media Management

. . .That when IBANYS was formed in 1974, there were 39 Members of the New York Congressional Delegation in the House of Representatives? Of the 29, 21 were Democrats and 18 were Republicans Today, New York has 27 Representatives: 9 Republicans, and 18 Democrats. 


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  

Natalie Rowan
Marketing and Social Media Assistant