• In Albany: Governor Signs Key IBANYS Agenda Issue Into Law
  • In Washington: U.S. Senate Approves Repeal Of CFPB Arbitration Rule

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.


This Week's "Quote To Remember" About Community Banks. . .

as the banking industry has expanded and then consolidated during the past century...as large bank and non-bank competitors have risen in prominence, community banks have continued to fill a vital niche in our financial system. 
Their role is inextricably connected to the small business sector where most new jobs are created. And community banks have been essential in providing banking services to local communities that often are not served by larger banks or non-bank financial institutions. 
We should not underestimate the continuing challenges community banks face: low interest rates, regulatory compliance, information technology, succession planning, and recruitment. But the underlying strength of community banking also should not be underestimated...
I assure you that the future of community banks will continue to be a top priority for the FDIC."

-- FDIC Chairman Martin Gruenberg, 

October 25, 2017

A Note From The President
As you know, IBANYS' Fiscal Year begins on November 1, so this  is the last weekly newsletter of our 2016-17 fiscal year. I would like to thank our board of directors, our member banks, preferred partners, associate members, committee members, GR partners, sponsors and the fantastic IBANYS team (Linda Gregware, Steve Rice and BillCrowell) for their support over the course of a very busy and successful year.  With your involvement, we continue to see great momentum moving into our 2017-18 fiscal year. Together, we will continue to advance and protect the interests and priorities of New York's community banks -- in 2017-18, and in the future!


Action Alert On Tax Reform For Sub-S 
Community Banks

Yesterday, ICBA  announced a grassroots call to action asking Subchapter S banks to let their voices be heard on a tax reform measure being debated in Congress.  Subchapter S community banks are closely-held businesses dedicated to creating prosperity in their communities through the provision of customized loans and other financial services. One half of all small business loans nationwide are extended by community banks in both the C and S corporate model. 
As a Subchapter S bank, it is imperative that you weigh in on the tax reform debate. Tell Congress to ensure that the proposed maximum 25% pass-through tax rate is available to the nation's more than 2,000 community banks organized under Subchapter S of the tax code.  To access the "Action Center" page, visit www.icba.org

Senate Passes Repeal Of CFPB 
Arbitration Rule
With Vice President Pence cast the deciding tie-breaking vote last night, the Senate passed the Resolution repealing the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau arbitration rule. The resolution had already approved the House, and the president is expected to sign it soon. It also bars regulators from instituting a similar ban in the future.  ICBA President & CEO Fine thanked Congress for moving swiftly to preserve community banks' contractual right to pursue fair and timely resolution through arbitration and avoid prohibitively expensive and protracted litigation. "Community banks' livelihood depends on their fair and equitable treatment of customers. Arbitration is a well-established and tested process that offers better results for consumers and helps avoid frivolous class-action suits, which serve the interest of trial lawyers at the expense of community banks and consumers."  Acting Comptroller of the Currency Keith Norieka said the Senate's action stopped a rule "that would have likely increased the cost of credit for hardworking Americans and made it more difficult for small community banks to resolve differences with their customers." CFPB Director Cordray called the repeal "a giant setback" for consumers.


Governor Signs Key IBANYS Legislative Priority  Into Law
IBANYS and New York community banks realized a significant victory this wee. Governor Cuomo signed into law S. 3758-A, Hamilton (A. 8129-A, Zebrowski), and it is now Chapter 380 of the Laws of 2017. This initiative was a major component of IBANYS state legislative program. It permits the Superintendent of Financial Services (DFS) to extend the bank examination interval from 12 to 18 months for banks with assets of under $1 billion, up from the previous $250 million threshold. The legislation was developed with strong input from IBANYS' Government Relations Committee and Board. We worked hard for more than two years with the DFS and the State Senate and Assembly to bring our ideas to fruition. The legislation was sponsored by the Chairs of the Senate and Assembly Banks Committees, supported by DFS and signed by the Governor. It marks a big step in our ongoing effort to ease the regulatory burden on community banks  at the federal and state levels. To be eligible for the extended cycle, a bank must demonstrate it is well capitalized, that the most recent exam determined it was well managed, that its composite condition was outstanding or good, and that there was no pending enforcement proceeding. 

As IBANYS informed legislators, community banks face major challenges from increased regulatory demands. Many  Dodd Frank regulations apply to banks regardless of size or business  model. Community banks have additional costs and staffing needs to respond to compliance requirements. This increased regulatory burden has been reflected in the continuing loss of community banks in New York State,  and there is continuing pressure to consolidate -- in part to achieve scale to meet compliance requirements in a cost-effective manner.   The new law will not only benefit community banks, but  will also permit DFS to more effectively deploy examiners bank examiners. IBANYS thanks the members of our Government Relations Committee and Board for their input and support in achieving this success.

Online Lending 2017: What Small Business Bankers Need To Know
Tuesday, November 7, 9:00 AM 

  • In remarks delivered this week, FDIC Chairman Martin Gruenberg cited the importance of community banks, citing their small-business and farm lending and service to markets neglected by larger institutions. Chairman Gruenberg noted the nation's smallest banks have been especially resilient. Click here to read his speech.
  • The U.S. Commerce Department today reported that new home sales surged 18.9% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 667,000 units last month amid an increase in all four regions. It marked the highest level since October 2007--and the percent gain was the largest since January 1992. In September, new single-family homes sales raced to a more than 9-1/2 year high in the Northeast.
  • As interest rates rose last week, total mortgage application volume fell 4.6% from the previous week. The Mortgage Bankers Association's seasonally adjusted weekly index now stands down 19% from the same week one year ago. The decline impacted all types of applications. Applications to purchase a home fell the hardest, down 6% for the week. Mortgage applications to refinance a home loan fell 3% for the week and are down 36% from a year ago.
  • A new CNBC survey found that Wall Street believes President Trump will pick Federal Reserve Governor Jay Powell as the next Fed Chair -- but wants him to reappoint current Chair Janet Yellen45% think it will be Powell; Stanford Economics professor John Taylor is the second pick at 23%, followed by former Fed Governor Kevin Warsh, with 17%. However, 44 percent of the respondents (economists, fund managers and strategists) think the pick should be Yellen; Taylor is their second choice at 20%, then Powell at 17%.  
  • ICBA President & CEO Cam Fine wrote an op-ed in "The American Banker" responding to a recent statement by BB&T Chairman & CEO Kelly King that there are too many banks in the United Styates. Fine wrote: "The decades-long consolidation of the U.S. banking system has led to too few community banks. Unfortunately, this trend is amplified in areas where scarce capital is needed the most. This isn't good for the banking industry or consumers. It's a public policy issue that must be dealt with before it's too late, and the clock is ticking. Here are the facts: there has been a decline in the number of U.S. banks from more than 18,000 to less than 5,800 in just three decades. Just 0.2% of U.S. banks hold more than two-thirds of industry assets. These megabanks create system-wide risks that pose a continued threat of taxpayer assistance should they again reach the brink of failure. Here is the alternative: a diverse system of community banks. These local institutions operate a business model built on relationships and accountability to the customers they serve, not a transaction-based model designed to squeeze every last cent from their customers. 

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. 

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.
We are pleased to announce a new offer available to banks.  Offered through IBANYS' partner at My Wellness Resource is 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 our contact at My Wellness, Alan Justin, who will reach out to you. 
We only ask that if you are not currently participating in the My Wellness Resource program, that you 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 

Battle Against Prostate Cancer
Cure the Blue" raises funds and awareness regarding prostate cancer in New York State. Visit curetheblue.com t o 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 in this effort to promote prostate cancer awareness and research. IBANYS partners with the Buffalo Bills Alumni Foundation, which sponsors the program, and urges our member banks to participate. Lake Shore Savings Bank President provided prostate cancer literature and Cure the Blue information at its headquarters in Dunkirk and all eleven of its branches, and also offered"Cure the Blue" ceramic lapel ribbon pins to all customers for a $5.00 donation to Cure the Blue. Lake Shore President & CEO Dan Reininga stated: "We fully understand the severity of this disease and the devastating effect it can have on families. Our support of 'Cure the Blue' initiative is something that we are taking very seriously. We're proud to support it."  "Cure the Blue" continues to grow throughout upstate New York. Walmart stores and the Labatt brewery are on board with a major push in the Watertown and Buffalo areas! IBANYS urges all of our member banks, associate members and allies to join the effort.     

Main Street partners with underserved, community-oriented financial institutions that desire a personal customer service model in their checking, analytics, and marketing programs. Main Street's simplified approach provides the information, tools, and solutions needed to win in today's market. Whether you are trying to acquire, retain, or expand customer relationships, Main Street provides a cost-effective, straightforward, partnership to meet your goals. Contact V.P. 

. . .That  there are more than 5,700 community banks across the nation, with 52,000 locations 765,000 employees? Did you know community banks hold more than $4.9 trillion in assets, $3.9 trillion in deposits, and $3.3 trillion in loans to consumers, small businesses and the agricultural community? 


 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