August 14, 2019

In This Issue: 
Message From The President

By John Witkowski, President & CEO

While summer can be a busy time, it is never too early to plan ahead for the fall. With that in my mind, there are two important subjects I would like to share with you that are essential to both IBANYS and community bankers.

First, IBANYS needs your help with a special outreach effort during the remaining days of August. We are encouraging member banks to invite their local state legislators (Senate and Assembly), in addition to members of Congress, to visit their institutions and meet their employees. This is a great opportunity to help legislators learn more about community banks and the value they provide to both their customers and communities. Read more on reaching out to your legislators in today's newsletter. 

Second, is to register for our upcoming  Banking Executive Symposium on September 9-11 at the 1000 Islands Harbor Hotel in Clayton, New York. This is an insightful program designed for CEO's, CFO's, COO's, Presidents, senior managers, bank directors and ALCO teams. The conference will address several banking issues, in addition to providing attendees with effective strategies to meet their bottom-line. Expert speakers will discuss trending topics such as Cybersecurity, Performance Reviews, Banking Do's & Don'ts, CECL and more! 

IBANYS has also been authorized by the New York State Department of Education to 
award up to 12 Continuing Professional Education (CPE) credits to participants. Furthermore, there are various sponsorships available. Sponsoring an event demonstrates your support for community banking  while enhancing the visibility of your organization to attendees.

Full details can be found in the  Banking Executive Symposium brochure , as well as on our  website T he IBANYS hotel room cutoff date is this Friday, August 16,  after which we cannot guarantee the room rate. Hotel reservations can be made by calling the hotel directly at (315) 686-1100 and referring to the Independent Bankers Association of New York State.  Don't miss out on IBANYS' final event of the year on the beautiful St. Lawrence River.

Please take a moment to review the information on both of these updates and share details with your colleagues. 

As always, thank you for everything you do to support and advance community banking in New York State!

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2019 Meetings

Banking Executive SymposiumBankExecSymposium

September 9-11, 2019
200 Riverside Drive
Clayton, NY 13624

CPE Credits Available  = 12

Hotel Information

Village View - $169
River View - $189
River View with Balcony - $209


After this date, we cannot guarantee room rate.

Reservations can be made by calling the hotel directly at (315) 686-1100 and refer to the Independent Bankers Association of NY. 


Of course, you also won't want to miss our full calendar of our IBANYS webinars on a wide range of operational, governance and strategic issues. 

Have an idea for one of our meetings? Want to see a meeting or forum on a different subject? We want to hear from you! 
Contact Linda Gregware or John Witkowski with your thoughts and/or comments.

IBANYS Education/WebinarsWebinars

Have you reviewed our 2019 Webinar Calendar? The Independent Bankers Association of New York State (IBANYS) partners with CBWN to bring you more than 150 webinars each year covering compliance, lending, regulations, security, operations, new accounts, collections, fraud, security and other topics. Even better, each time you purchase a webinar, you support IBANYS, because a portion of your registration comes directly to us. Thank you!  

You can view the 2019 Webinar Schedule here or by category here. In addition, CBWN has made some recent updates to provide better service to its consumers. Unfortunately, some changes may have caused you to miss important webinar announcements. Please read the IBANYS letter to view the updates and ensure that you do not miss another webinar.


CBWN has added more than 140 webinars to the IBANYS webinar calendar, covering all the essential topics. Start the new year off right by gaining the knowledge and tools to make 2019 the best year yet! 

CBWN and IBANYS thank you for your continued support of the education in the community banking industry. 


Webinar WednesdayWebinarWednesday

Prepare your C-Suite for today's most important strategic discussions with this series of informative webinars!

Regardless of title, executives are expected to have a working knowledge of strategic concepts that affect the whole institution, such as CAMELS, enterprise risk management (ERM), and asset liability management (ALM). With major changes and looming deadlines, preparations for the current expected credit loss (CECL) model often go beyond the CFO and COO. The C-Suite series will cover important topics for today's financial institution executives and provide the insight needed to actively engage your colleagues in strategic discussions.

C-Suite Series Topics

  • CAMELS Rating for Executives 
  • Strategic Decisions Regarding CECL Methodologies, Processes & Governance
  • Enterprise Risk Management: Three Key Risk Assessments
  • Asset Liability Management Strategies in a Rising Rate Environment

Purchase Webinars Individually or Purchase the Series to Save 10%!

Stay up-to-date with our webinar features by following us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn! You can also follow the hashtag #WebinarWednesday on Instagram! 
Government Relations


The New York State Legislature is adjourned for the year, and will not return to Albany until January, 2020. We will resume our weekly updates on Albany activities after Labor Day with our September 4th newsletter.


IBANYS' Plan of Action for 2020 

IBANYS' Government Relations Committee is developing positions and policies in preparation for the 2020 state legislative session that begins in January. We will also prepare a new program for member banks: a strategy for meeting with their local legislators and to continue to inform them on issues important to community banks, and the vital role they play in New York State.

New York To Take On U.S. Census Bureau 

New York Attorney General Letitia James revealed Monday that she will lead a group opposing Alabama's plans for the 2020 Census. This comes as a result of a lawsuit filed in 2018 by Alabama that questioned the U.S. Census Bureau's policy of counting the country's population. 

The purpose of James' coalition is to defend the practice of counting non-citizens, with the press release referencing President Trump's recent statements. Trump had tried to add a citizenship question to the Census in the past. In a statement, James stated 
"We are intervening in this case and taking on the role of defendant because the values enshrined in the U.S. Constitution deserve better than a halfhearted and inadequate defense". Various other states have joined James' effort including California, Colorado, Connecticut, Illinois, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, and Washington D.C.

Health Insurance Premiums in New York to Rise in 2020

Health insurance premiums will increase next year for New York residents. It is estimated that they will rise 6.8% for individuals and 7.9% for employers who utilize New York's insurance marketplace. The rising rates are due to increasing drug and hospital costs.

The Department of Financial Services approved the rate hikes, stating that they have prevented rate insurers from seeking the amount they initially requested. Rate insurers originally wanted to increase premiums to 9.2% for indivduals and 12.2% for employers. The agreed upon rate increases will save consumers approximately over $50 million and small businesses more than $313 million. 

Washington, D.C.WashingtonGR

Congress On Recess Until After Labor Day

Congress is now out on its annual summer recess through Labor Day. We will resume our weekly updates on Albany activities after Labor Day with our September 4th newsletter.


Morgan Stanely Predicts Fed Rate Cuts In The Fall

According to CNBC, analysts at Morgan Stanley have predicted the Federal Reserve will cut rates in the fall, beginning in September. It is also anticipated they will be cut again in October. "Trade's 'simmer' has begun to boil, business sentiment and capex (capital expenditures) have softened further, global growth remains weak and inflation expectations have fallen," even though the disparity between 3-month and 10-year U.S. government bonds indicates an overly restrictive monetary policy.  It was previously predicted that a cut would only occur in October.

There's Still Time To Meet With Your Legislators!


August is the ideal time to plan a meeting with your local members of Congress and the State Legislature. Congress is on recess through Labor Day, and your representatives are back in their districts. The State Legislature is adjourned until January, so your local State Senators and Assembly members are also back home. 

With the new political environment in Albany and Washington, a different legislative agenda has been produced. Many members of our New York Congressional Delegation, the New York State Senate and Assembly (including those appointed to banking committees), do not have longstanding relationships with community banks. IBANYS needs your help in reaching out to your representatives to: 
  • Build and strengthen the relationship between community banks and legislators
  • Describe the differences between tax-paying, CRA-regulated community banks and tax-exempt credit unions that have no CRA mandates
  • Explain the importance community banks have to consumers and their communities
  • Communicate the role community banks play in both our local and state economies 
IBANYS has provided  talking points on community banking for your use when meeting with your local members of the Congress and State Legislature. 

You still have two weeks left to reach out to your local State Senator, Assembly Member or Member of Congress. Please keep us advised on who you meet with, and how the discussions went.

Additional News From D.C.

Industry Trends & Updates
New Cyber Security Tips Newsletter Available
This month's "Cyber Security Tips Newsletter" is now available from the NYS Office of Information Technology Services Chief Information Security Office (NYS ITS CISO). The monthly newsletter is developed by the Multi-State Information Sharing and Analysis Center (MS-ISAC). 

The new issue provides details on how to manage your information and data, and safely dispose of those pieces you no longer need. The information provided in the Monthly Cyber Security Tips Newsletters is intended to increase the security awareness of an organization's end users, and help them behave in a more secure manner within their work environment. While some of the tips may relate to maintaining a home computer, the increased awareness is intended to help improve the organization's overall cyber security posture. End users should adhere to the direction provided by their organization's policies.


Credit Unions Face Liquidity ChallengeCreditUnionLiquidity

Credit unions are facing a liquidity challenge.The loan-to-savings ratio is currently 86%, its highest level in 40 years, Bill Hampel, an economic consultant said last week during the CU Leadership Convention in Las Vegas. It has increased over the past six years largely because of loan growth, he added. "Since 2012, credit union lending has doubled, led by a huge increase in auto lending," Hampel said. "Loan demand is likely to slow even without a recession, because the auto market is slowing."


Small Business Lending Up

Approval rates for small business loan applications rose to another post-recession record (27.7%) at big banks ($10 billion+ in assets), and climbed above 50% at small banks, according to the Biz2Credit Small Business Lending Index. 

"Small business lending remains strong and is growing at big banks and at regional and community banks. Entrepreneurs who have a good credit history are having success in securing capital in 2019," said Biz2Credit CEO Rohit Arora. Small bank approvals of small business loan applications inched up one-tenth of a percent to 50.1% from 50% in June. Credit unions  fell below the 40% mark in July for the first time since Biz2Credit began analyzing small business loan approval percentages in 2011. Currently, credit unions are approving 39.9% of loan applications, which represents a record low point.


OCC'S Otting: Regulators Consider Change To CRA CreditOCCOtting

Loans to high-income earners living in lower-income neighborhoods may no longer get Community Reinvestment Act credit under a proposed revamp of the law, a top regulator said Friday. Currently, banks can help their CRA performance with mortgages to anyone in a distressed neighborhood, but Comptroller of the Currency Joseph Otting said that officials crafting a reform plan are considering limiting that to lower-income borrowers.


Focus On Small Business Reg Relief 

More than two dozen local and statewide business groups urged Gov. Cuomo to sign a pair of bills meant to spur regulatory relief for small businesses in New York.  "New York's tax burden is well known, but just as challenging for small, independent businesses that drive New York's economy and define its communities is the state's archaic, cumbersome, and often punitive regulatory environment," said the National Federation for Small Business. "Small businesses consistently cite aggressive and arbitrary enforcement of newly enacted or poorly communicated regulations as a serious problem."


The Economy "By The Numbers"
  • Wholesale inventories were virtually unchanged in June and remained up 7.6% from a year ago, the Census Bureau reported. Sales of merchant wholesalers declined 0.3% from the previous month and were down 0.2% from a year ago.
  • Falling bond yields have pushed mortgage rates to their lowest level in nearly three years, spurring a rush by homeowners to refinance. The rate on a 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage fell to 3.6%, mortgage-finance giant Freddie Mac said 


The Bond Academy
Learn Bond Basics with your Peers!

When: October 21, 2019

Where: Embassy Suites
1022 S. Shady Grove Road
Memphis, TN  38120

The Bond Academy is designed to provide community bankers with the basic knowledge needed to help plan and create effective investment portfolios.  A high performance investment portfolio can provide a noticeable increase to your bank's bottom line. The learning objectives of Bond Academy are aimed at providing you with the tools to understand how debt instruments work and their overall role in complementing the entire balance sheet.  This all new curriculum has been specifically designed to equip a new portfolio manager with basic portfolio management issues. Specifically, fundamentals of bond pricing, valuation, and selection will be covered extensively.  You'll learn the basics of the bank portfolio investment process. There is also an opportunity to earn up to 12 CPE credits!

Who Should Attend?

CPAs and those new to their roles as investment officers, cashiers, controllers, and internal control professionals will benefit the most from Bond Academy. New directors serving on the investment or asset-liability committee will also find this course beneficial. No advance preparation is necessary.

You Will Learn:
  • Bond basics, including bond pricing, duration, and price volatility
  • Bond types, including agencies, municipals, mortgage securities, and floating rate instruments
  • The composition of a high performing portfolio
  • How to understand the rate market: yield curves, spreads, monetary policy
  • How economic data affects the bond market
  • The impact of interest rate risk on portfolio management
  • Portfolio strategies of laddering, barbells, riding the yield curve
  • Day-to-day portfolio management techniques
  • Evaluating investment portfolio performance

  • ICBA Members - $595 / session
  • Nonmembers - $695 / session
  • Members & Non-Members: Save $150/session for each additional registration from your bank.

Banking News

Cattaraugus County Bank Adds Doug Nelson 
To Management Team  CattaragugusCountyBankNewEmployee

Doug Nelson
Photo: CCB
Mike Wimer, President & CEO of CCB President & CEO of Cattaraugus County Bank (CCB), announced that Doug Nelson recently joined the management team at CCB as Vice President and Business Relationship Manager. President Wimer, who serves as Vice Chairman of IBANYS, noted: "We're very excited that Doug has joined our CCB Team. His experience in different areas of banking give Doug the insight and skills to develop the trust & confidence of clients. I am certain Doug will grow long-lasting, mutually beneficial relationships. He's a Team player who is a true community banker at heart!" 

Doug Nelson comes to CCB with 12 years of service in the banking industry, and his service to community is strongly evidenced by his involvement in several non-profit organizations. His addition to CCB's team will facilitate independent, community bank growth of CCB in many of the areas it serves. 

CCB is an FDIC insured New York State chartered independent, community bank. Since its founding in 1902, CCB has established an unprecedented record of fiscal integrity and sound financial growth, which now totals over 250 million in assets. CCB's main office is located in Little Valley. The bank operates seven branch offices, and maintains convenient ATMs. CCB is an equal housing lender. More information is available at


Keep The Door Open For Your Small Business Customers

Excelsior Growth Fund (EGF) is NYBDC's nonprofit Community Development Financial Institution and IBANYS' exclusive online lending partner. Join the growing number of banks that work with EGF to offer their customers an affordable and responsible option when they do not qualify for traditional financing. EGF offers loans up to $500,000 with a convenient, digital process. Loans under $100,000 are disbursed within 5 business days.

 EGF's experienced team can work hand-in-hand with yours to develop a customized process to make referring seamless. To learn more about offering your customers a second look through EGF contact Bryan Doxford, SVP, at at at (212) 430-4512.

IBANYS Spotlight Is On...

Bailyn Law provides comprehensive legal and advisory services in the fields of bankruptcy and out-of-court debt workouts. The firm's objective is to deliver faster, better and less expensive legal services in the following areas through the greater efficiency, scale and technology that our specialized role would permit.

  • training and compliance,
  • credit and collections,
  • structuring of financial transactions and litigation

The firm handles the full range of financial disputes, from negotiation to litigation and arbitration, to debt collection and judgement enforcement. Bailyn Law focuses on real estate and financial matters. Founder and sole practioner Bradley Bailyn began the firm with the mission of protecting and defending companies and individuals from financial abuse via the legal system. He previously co-founded and served as CFO and General Counsel to several successful technology-based companies. 

For more information:

Phone: (646) 326-9971
IBANYS Endorsed Services
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

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

Contact Alan Justin: (716) 907-5500. 

"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.  Lake Shore Savings Bank has 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  to get involved! Of all new cancer cases in the nation, prostate cancer represents 9.6%. In 2017, there were an estimated 161,000 new cases, and more than 26,000 fatalities due to the disease. Support IBANYS' "Cure the Blue" campaign to help New Yorkers participate to promote prostate cancer awareness and research.

Secure, Enhanced Internet Presence

The .bank program by fTLD operates trusted, verified, more secure, easily-identifiable internet locations for financial companies and  customers. 

Did You Know?

. . .That politics can often become a family business? Two father-son teams have served as President: John Adams (1797-1801) and John Quincy Adams (1825-1829) and George H.W. Bush (1989-1993) and George W. Bush (R, 2001-2009). 

The governor's chair can also be a family tradition. The following fathers and sons both served as governors in the modern era:
  • Mario Cuomo (NY, 1983-1994) & Andrew Cuomo (NY, 2011-present)
  • Pat Brown (CA, 1959-1967) & Jerry Brown (D-CA, 1975-1983, 2011-18)
  • Jim Folsom, Sr. (AL, 1947-1951, 1955-1959) & Jim Folsom, Jr. (AL, 1993-1994)
Did you also know that only one person has ever been elected governor in two different states: Sam Houston (Tennessee & Texas)? 

New York community banks play a key role in our state and local economies. Help spread the good news among our customers, business, elected leaders and the media!

John J. Witkowski
President & Chief Executive Officer

Stephen W. Rice
Director of Government Relations & Communications

Linda Gregware
Director of Administration & Membership Services

William Y. Crowell III
Legislative Counsel

Natalie Rowan
Marketing & Social Media Assistant