August 21, 2019

In This Issue: 
Message From The President

By John Witkowski, President & CEO

Please note: The next IBANYS newsletter will be published Wednesday, September 4, right after Labor Day. We will not publish the week of August 28. We wish our member banks, preferred partners & associate members a safe, happy holiday!

As summer begins to transition into fall, IBANYS is preparing its own transformation. We are developing various events and strategies for the remaining months of 2019, in addition to planning for 2020.

First on our list is IBANYS' final conference of the year, the signature Banking Executive Symposium (formerly known as the CFO & Senior Management Conference). It will be held on September 9-11 at the 1000 Islands Harbor Hotel in Clayton, New York. The symposium is designed for CEO's, CFO's, COO's, presidents, senior managers, board members, and ALCO teams. In addition, the meeting will provide valuable insight into current economic trends, CECL, cybersecurity, and more. Read more about the conference in today's newsletter. 

Next, IBANYS is working on developing our positions and policies for the 2020 state legislative session that begins in January. IBANYS' Government Relations Committee and bank leadership are leading this effort, but we want to ensure we are representing the priorities and concerns of our membership. IBANYS is seeking out your suggestions and ideas as to what issues are important to your institution. Please email me with your comments at

Similarly, IBANYS is also planning our 2020 meetings. Conferences will be on topics such as compliance, security, lending, senior management and directors. Please send us ideas on any topics or speakers you would like to see on the agendas.


As always, thanks for everything you to to 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

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

This comprehensive job-specific series will provide the most current BSA rules, trends, and guidance to ensure compliance.

Some of the more challenging concerns facing the financial profession today are Bank Secrecy Act (BSA/AML) compliance, due diligence, monitoring, and reporting. Constant effort is needed to stay ahead of the curve. Enforcement actions have increased, and regulators expect financial institutions to have a strong "culture of compliance." This series is one-stop shopping for lending, operations, board, and frontline employees' BSA required compliance training.

BSA Series Topics:

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

View or Purchase the Webinar

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/Twitter!

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.

Cuomo Nominates New Head of ESDCuomoESDNomination

Governor Cuomo has nominated U.S. News & World Report Executive Chairman Eric Gertler as the new president and CEO of Empire State Development. Gertler will take the place of Howard Zemsky, who announced his resignation this past May. Gertler has also been the head of several technology companies, in addition to have written and spoken about economic development policy.

New Head of State Technology Services Office Announced 

Joseph J. Rabito has been named the interim director and chief information officer of the state's Office of Information Technology Services. Rabito replaces Robert Samson, who left the agency this month. Rabito has previously worked as Governor Cuomo's deputy secretary for intergovenmental affairs. While he lacks information technology experience, Rabito states that " Under Gov. Cuomo's leadership many of my prior assignments in New York have focused on leading effective large-scale change, streaming processes, cutting red tape and creating efficiencies in complex organizations very similar in scale to ITS." Rabito's main goal will be to evaluate how state agencies acquire technology. 

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.


ICBA: Stop Credit Union SBA Program ParticipationICBACreditUnionParticipation

ICBA is calling upon the Small Business Administration to end its recent memorandum of understanding with the National Credit Union Administration. In a letter to Acting Administrator Chris Pilkerton, ICBA stated that credit union participation in SBA programs contradicts the spirit of the Small Business Act. The Small Business Act promotes private enterprise and free competition, as well as restricts doubling-up on tax subsidies. 

ICBA wrote " indeed, the 'essence of the American economic system of private enterprise is free competition' then SBA should no longer encourage and enable credit unions to participate in SBA loan programs; credit unions do not exhibit the traits of 'free competition' that underlie the Act." ICBA has repeatedly challenged NCUA attempts to exceed limitations on commercial lending activity established by Congress.

FHFA Establishes  Final Rule on Credit Score Models

The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) published a final rule on the verfication and approval of third-party credit score model(s) that can be used by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. The rule fulfills the requirements in Section 310 of S. 2155, the Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief, and Consumer Protection Act. 

The rule requires a four-phase process for validation and approval of credit score model(s):
  • Solicitation of applications from credit score model developers;
  • Submission and initial review of submitted applications;
  • Credit score assessment; and,
  • Enterprise business assessment.
FHFA Director Mark Calabria stated that "One  of my priorities is to ensure that the American people have a safe and sound path to sustainable homeownership, which requires tools to accurately measure risk. The final rule we are publishing today is an important step toward achieving that goal." The rule will become effective 60 days after publication in the Federal Register.

HUD Proposes Rule Change to Disparate Impact

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) released  an amendment last Friday to its Fair Housing Act's disparate impact rule. The proposed rule change would provide additional guidance on what is considered unlawful disparate impact that better reflects the Supreme Court's 2015 ruling in Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs v. Inclusive Communities Project, Inc. HUD Secretary Ben Carson stated that the "proposed rule is intended to increase legal clarity and promote the production and availability of housing in all areas while making sure every person is treated fairly under the law...This rule not only increases Americans' access to fair and affordable housing, but also permits businesses and local governments to make valid policy choices."

ICBA has regularly challenged NCUA attempts to allow credit unions to exceed limitations on commercial lending activity established by Congress.

Additional News From D.C.

Industry Trends & Updates

The Latest on Postal BankingPostalBanking

Key executives met recently to discuss the future of the U.S. Postal Services. While the agency has had another quarter of net losses, leaders have suggested that the USPS be "bold and creative" in saving the agency, as well as pay down the more than $10 billion in debt it owes to the U.S. Treasury. Democrats like Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) have offered the solution of "postal banking" where consumers and businesses could deposit their money at post offices. They could also receive loans from the agency. 

Consumers can currently store and send money at post offices, but USPS money order revenue has declined approximately 30% in the past 10 years. In addition,  current USPS financial services are experiencing revenue decline and solutions like loans would not make a difference. The U.S. Treasury stated in their task report on USPS finances that "expanding into sectors where the USPS does not have a comparative advantage or where balance sheet risk might arise, such as postal banking, should not be pursued." 


CFPB Appoints Private Education Loan Ombudsman CFPBAppointment

Robert G. Cameron has been appointed by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) to serve as the Bureau's prviate education loan ombudsman. Cameron previously worked at the Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency, where he was an executive responsible for litigation, compliance, and risk mitigation efforts. 

The Dodd-Frank Act established a private education loan ombudsman position. The ombudsman is responsible for "receiving, reviewing, and attempting to resolve complaints from private student loan borrowers." They are also responsible for "compiling and analyzing complaint data on private education loans and making appropriate recommendations to the Secretary of the Treasury, the Bureau Director, the Secretary of Education, and Congress." 


The Economy By The Numbers   

  • According to the University of Michigan's preliminary consumer sentiment survey, consumer sentiment declined from 98.4 in July to 92.1 in August. This is the lowest level since January 2019. Economists originally predicted more than twice the decline in August. The Current Conditions Index also decreased from 110.7 in July to 107.4 in August, the lowest since late 2016. Current trade and monetary policies have influenced consumers' uncertainty about their financial future. In addition, the first interest rate cut from the Fed foreshadowed a possible recession, causing consumers to reduce spending. 
  • The National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index (HMI), builder confidence for single-family homes rose one point to 66 in August. However, builders are not meeting demand due to rising constructions costs that are a result of economic uncertainty and trade concerns. Despite that, the HMI index that measures sales conditions rose two points to 73. Three-month averages for regional HMI scores varied; the Northeast decreased three points to 57, the South rose one point to 69, the West rose one point to 73, and the Midwest also rose one point to 57. 
  • Consumer spending at retail stores and restaurants rose 0.7% in July despite slow global economic growth, according to the U.S. Commerce Department. Consumer spending has remained positive, even as trade concerns between the U.S. and China continue. With job growth steady, a low unemployment rate, and wages rising slightly, spending ability among consumers has strengthened. 
  • U.S. productivity grew 2.3% in the second quarter (April-June), the Bureau of Labor Statistics said. This is down 3.5% from the first three months of 2019. If gains continue, higher wages are possible as companies will be able to increase worker pays without raising consumer prices.
  • The number of unemployment benefits applications rose higher than expected, according to the U.S. Labor Department. The weekly report showed that for the week ending August 10, 220,000 claims were filed- an increase of 9,000 from the previous week. Economists had previously predicted 214,000 claims. Even though unemployment benefit applications increased, the trend indicates a strong labor market.  

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

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...

New York community banks can rely on M&T Bank's experience, and financial and technological resources, to serve as a single source for your correspondent needs

M&T's Correspondent Banking Services include:  
  • Public Fund Collateral Custody
  • Check Image Clearing
  • Fed Funds
  • International Trade Services
  • Holding Company Facilities
  • Letters of Credit
  • Foreign Exchange Services
  • Bank Insurance Services
  • Loan Participations
  • Domestic and International Funds Transfers
  • Pension Services
  • Wholesale Mortgage Products and
  • Investment Management Services
For more information:

Contact: Steven R. Schumer, CTP, Vice President, Financial Institutions Division

Phone: (716) 848-7332


Contact: David Gordan, Vice President, Financial Institutions Division

Phone: (516) 391-7629

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 the New York State Banking Department was created by the New York State Legislature   on April 15, 1851?
  • The first Superintendent was Daniel St. John, who served until 1854. The NYS Banking Department was the oldest bank regulatory agency in the United States. 
  • In 2011, Governor Andrew Cuomo merged the Banking Department and the State Insurance Department to create the New York State Department of Financial Services. The first DFS Superintendent was Benjamin Lawsky, who served until 2015.
Did you also know that the first bank in New York State was the Bank of New York , founded  in 1784 by a group that included both Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr? The Bank for Savings in the City of New York, the state's first savings bank, was established in 1819? William Bayard served as President. 
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