August 7, 2019

In This Issue: 
Message From The President

By John Witkowski, President & CEO

The Countdown to IBANYS'
Banking Executive Symposium Is On!

Just as a contractor needs various tools on a construction site, a community bank's CFO and senior management teams require effective strategies and techniques to meet their bottom-line. But knowing what methods to use can be difficult.

Gain insight into several strategies and current issues at IBANYS' Banking Executive Symposium on September 9-11! Hosted at the breathtaking 1000 Islands Harbor Hotel in Clayton, New York, t his conference is designed to help guide your bank towards future profitability and success. Expert speakers will discuss topics such as Cybersecurity, Deposit Gathering Strategies & Liquidity Management, Balance Sheet Strategy, CECL and more! 

Share the brochure and agenda with your senior management teams, in addition to:
  • Chief Executive Officers
  • Chief Financial Officers
  • Chief Operating Officers
  • Presidents & Senior Managers
  • Bank Directors & ALCO Teams
Furthermore, IBANYS has been authorized by the New York State Department of Education to  award up to 12 Continuing Professional Education (CPE) credits to participants. There are also various sponsorships available.  Sponsoring an event demonstrates your support for community banking, in addition to 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 Please note that the hotel room cutoff date is on 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! Priceless networking and learning opportunities await, so reserve your room and send us your registration form today!



Welcome to our newest Associate Member, The Bailyn Law Firm! The Bailyn Law Firm is  a New York creditors' rights law firm assisting all creditors and secured lenders with compliance training, outsourced collections, drafting and review of financial agreements and representation in all NYC, NYS and federal courts including bankruptcy court. 

Welcome to IBANYS!


It's August:  Time To Meet With Your 
Federal & State Legislators  Back Home!

In 2019, a new political environment in both Albany and Washington was established, producing a very different legislative agenda. Many new 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 representatives in order to: 
  • Build and strengthen the relationship between community banks and legislators
  • Explain the importance community banks have to consumers and their communities
  • Communicate the role community banks play in both our local and state economies 
August is the ideal time to plan a meeting with your representatives as members of Congress are on recess and will be back in their districts until after Labor Day. In addition, the State Legislature is adjourned until January. Contact your representatives and invite them to visit your banks. IBANYS has  provided talking points on community banking for your use  when meeting with your local members of the Congress and State Legislature. Please keep us advised on who you meet with, and how the discussions went.

. . .As another part of our ongoing outreach, I recently met with DFS Superintendent Linda Lacewell to continue our dialogue on the importance of community banks in New York State. IBANYS will continue to work with DFS to protect and advance the interests of New York community banks and the customers and communities we serve.
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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. 

Government Relations


The New York State Legislature is adjourned for the year, and will not return to Albany until January, 2020.  IBANYS' Government Relations Committee will be developing policies and positions regarding our 2020 state legislative program .


Where New York Ranks Among The 50 States For Business Climate

CNBC's "2019 America's Top States for Business" graded all 50 states based on more than 60 measures of competitiveness in 10 broad categories. Each category is weighted according to how frequently states use them as a selling point in economic development marketing materials. The study then ranks the states based on the attributes they use to sell themselves.  Virginia ranked first, and Rhode Island was last.  New York State ranked 27th out of 50 overall.  The study found that capital in New York "is plentiful; innovation abounds, schools are great. . .But when it comes to costs, it ranks low on the list." 

The New York findings included:
  • The Unemployment rate (as of May 2019) was 4%
  • The Top corporate tax rate: 6.5%
  • Top individual income tax rate: 8.82%
  • Gasoline tax: 45.35 cents/gallon
  • Bond rating (Moody's/S&P): Aa1, stable/AA+, stable

IBANYS Working On 2019 Bills For Governor, 
Developing 2020 Policies & Positions

IBANYS' Government Relations Committee and Board of Directors discussed strategies on how to proceed on legislation of interest to community banks that passed both the State Senate and Assembly and may now be sent to Governor Cuomo for his signature or veto.  The list includes bills  related to credit unions, foreclosure/"zombie" properties and CRA. IBANYS' President & CEO John Witkowski, Legislative Counsel Bill Crowell and Government Relations Director Steve Rice reviewed the list of bills. Note:  Bill Crowell will be at our September Banking Executive Symposium in Clayton, New York to provide an update on the 2019 session and a preview of what likely awaits in 2020.

IBANYS is also developing positions and policies in preparation for the 2020 state legislative session which begins next January. Lastly, we will soon launch a new and revitalized program to provide our member banks with 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 Siena Poll Assesses Cuomo, Schumer, Gillibrand, Issues 

According to a new Siena College Research Institute Poll, 51% of New Yorkers say Governor Cuomo has improved the state since taking office in 2011, but the number of voters who actually like him has fallen to an all-time low.  51% of registered voters said Cuomo has "made New York a better place," while 39 said he's made it "worse."  Yet the Governor's favorability rating was just 43% (to 50% unfavorable, down from 52% in June) and his  job approval hit its lowest rating ever in the poll, down to 34%. 

Voters were split on whether New York is on the right track: 45% said it is; 44% said it is not. As for the favorability of New York's two U.S. Senators:  Senator Schumer had a 53% 39%  favorable rating, and Sen. Gillibrand, a presidential candidate, holds a 41% - 36% favorability rating. 60% had no opinion of three-term State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli.The poll also found that Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-Queens) has emerged as a polarizing figure:  Forty-one percent of New York state voters view her favorably, the same percent view her unfavorably, and the rest were undecided. 

As for the State Legislature and the major issues it addressed during 2019, voters largely approved, with one exception: They opposed a law to allow undocumented immigrants to apply for driver's licenses. 
Washington, D.C.WashingtonGR

Congress On Recess Until After Labor Day

Congress is now out on its annual summer recess through Labor Day. Upon its return, among the issues on the horizon that are of interest to community banks will be:
  • A Senate Banking Committee hearing in September on cannabis legislation
  • House consideration of the SAFE Banking Act 
  • A Senate hearing on Bank Secrecy Act / Beneficial Ownership Data
  • Collection, including discussion of the bill by Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-Manhattan) and draft Senate legislation

Fed Decides To Develop Real-Time Payments SystemFedRealPaymentSystem

After years of ICBA-led advocacy on behalf of a real-time payments system that ensures access and choice for community banks, the Federal Reserve on Monday announced plans to build a real-time gross settlement service.  The real-time payments system called FedNow  is currently being developed and will be available by 2024. The Fed stated it will be "ubiquitous, safe and efficient."   The Fed system will ensure universal access to real-time payments, avoid a megabank monopoly, and encourage innovation that will benefit consumers nationwide. Fed Governor Brainard noted:  "FedNow will permit banks of every size in every community across the country to provide real-time payments." 

Rebeca Romero Rainey
Photo: ICBA
ICBA President & CEO Rebeca Romero Rainey commented: 
"ICBA and the nation's community banks strongly support the Fed's decision to develop a real-time settlement system. As we have said all along, the Fed is uniquely positioned to provide equitable access to real-time payments. Today's decision by the Fed will benefit consumers nationwide and serve as a launchpad to future payments innovations. Now, the hard work begins as the Federal Reserve must move quickly to establish the service."  ICBA noted a Fed-operated real-time settlement system will ensure industry-wide access and is consistent with the roles it already serves in providing payments services to nearly 11,000 financial institutions of different sizes and charter types. Fed involvement will also avoid the risk of having only one, for-profit settlement service run by the nation's largest and riskiest financial institutions. Furthermore, expanding access beyond this private-sector monopoly will encourage innovation and avoid a fragmented marketplace.

September Senate Vote On Full Fed Term For BowmanBowmanSenateVote

Michelle "Miki" Bowman

Before the U.S. Senate left for its annual August recess, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell set up a September vote to approve Federal Reserve Board Governor Michelle "Miki" Bowman's nomination for a full 14-year term.  Bowman is serving a partial term that expires Jan. 31, 2020. If reconfirmed, her full 14-year term would begin Feb. 1, 2020.  ICBA has strongly advocated for a full term for Bowman, who is the first Fed Governor to hold a seat reserved for someone with experience in community banking or community bank supervision. Bowman is ca former Kansas State Bank Commissioner and a former community banker herself. 

FDIC's McWilliams: Better Communications Needed On SARs

Jelena McWilliams

FDIC Chairwoman Jelena McWilliams said that federal agencies should develop better ways to communicate the value of suspicious activity reports (SARs) to banks that incur the costly burden of the reporting. Chair McWilliams said Bank Secrecy Act (BSA) rules impose significant compliance costs on the entire financial system, even though SAR information can help authorities detect and stop crime, and noted the FDIC has encouraged banks to evaluate innovative approaches to help reduce the cost of compliance.

CFPB Issues New Reg Z Rule 

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) issued a final rule with its annual amendments to dollar amounts for several provisions in Regulation Z. The annual threshold adjustments apply to provisions implementing Truth in Lending Act, CARD Act, Home Ownership and Equity Protection Act, and Dodd-Frank Act policies.

Other Notes From D.C. 

Industry Trends & Updates
Hemp Headaches?

With many states beginning to legalize marijuana (New York decriminalized it this week), and with the passage of the 2018 Farm Bill, the hemp industry has begun to bloom as various states are already issuing licenses for growers, processors and distributers. In an  article entitled "Hemp Headaches," Compliance Anchor's  Nancy Lake and  Kevin Martin  look at the current situation, and examine  what financial institutions should be considering. 


Credit Card Interest Rates At 25-Year High

A "Financial Times" article notes U.S. consumers are paying higher interest rates on their credit card balances than they have in more than a quarter-century. The average rate on interest-bearing card accounts topped 17 per cent in May, according to Fed data, the highest in the 25 years that the central bank has been making the calculation.  


Former Fed Chairs: "America Needs An Independent Fed"FormerFedChairs

From left to right: Paul Volcker, Alan Greenspan, Ben Bernanke & Janet Yellen

In an op-ed in the "Wall Street Journal" former Federal Reserve Chairs Paul Volcker, Alan Greenspan, Ben Bernanke and Janet Yellen wrote: "(W) e are united in the conviction that the Fed and its chair must be permitted to act independently and in the best interests of the economy, free of short-term political pressures and, in particular, without the threat of removal or demotion of Fed leaders for political reasons. Collectively, we served our nation across nearly 40 years and were appointed and reappointed by six presidents, both Republican and Democratic.


The Economy "By The Numbers"
  • The U.S. Labor Department reported that employers added 164,000 jobs in July, and the unemployment rate was unchanged at 3.7%. June's previously reported gain of 224,000 jobs was revised down to 193,000. Separately, the University of Michigan's Consumer Sentiment Index rose slightly to 98.4 in July, up from 98.2 the previous month.
  • The U.S. Census Bureau reported that construction spending decreased 1.3% in June and was down 2.1% from a year ago. The decline was led by public construction, which sank 3.7%, while private construction dipped 0.4%. Separately, the Institute for Supply Management's index of manufacturing activity fell 0.5% in July.
  • According to Mortgage News Daily, t he average rate on the 30-year fixed mortgage hit 3.70% last Friday, the lowest since November 2016.  The drop last week meant that 8.2 million 30-year mortgage holders could likely qualify for a refinance and save at least 0.75% off of their current interest rate by doing so, according to a new tally by Black Knight, a mortgage software and analytics company.
  • The Federal Reserve's "senior loan officer survey" reported that banks generally left standards unchanged for commercial and industrial loans to large and middle-market firms, and eased standards for small firms. The survey also found that banks tightened standards over the past three months on commercial real estate loans and credit card loans. 

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

New Hires at Tompkins Bank of CastileNewHiresAtTompkins

  • Todd Masters has joined Tompkins Bank of Castile as Vice President & Business Development Officer for its Community Banking Group. Based in the Pittsford office, he will serve clients in Rochester and Monroe County. He brings more than 15 years of experience in banking and finance to his new role, and plans to partner with local businesses and institutions to build relationships and help identify solutions and efficiencies. 
  • Ryan Smith has recently joined Tompkins Bank of Castile as Marketing and Communications Business Partner. Based in the Batavia office, he will serve clients in Rochester and Monroe County and be responsible for facilitating marketing needs for all of Tompkins banks, as well as Tompkins Financial Advisors. He previously worked at Tompkins Financial Customer Care Center. 

Tompkins Bank of Castile is a community bank with 17 offices in the six-county western New York region. Services include complete lines of consumer deposit accounts and loans, business accounts and loans, and leasing. In addition, insurance is offered through an affiliate company, Tompkins Insurance Agencies. Wealth management, trust and investment services are provided through Tompkins Financial Advisors. Further information about the bank is available on its website.


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...

Accume Partners has a long history of providing internal audit, regulatory compliance and risk management services to banks and financial institutions. As the level of regulatory and business complexity has surged, so has the need for specialized knowledge and focus. 

Accume has organized the firm to achieve that goal, providing clients with deep knowledge, expertise and approaches in the following areas:
  • Internal Audit
  • Regulatory Compliance
  • Enterprise Risk Management
  • Technology Risk Management & Cybersecurity Solutions
  • Operations and Process Improvement
Through these key areas of focus, Accume is able to stay in front of change, bring balanced perspectives and the specialized knowledge demanded by today's banks and financial institutions. 

To learn more, contact Pamela Lipschutz at:

Phone: (856) 914-9500

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 when the Independent Bankers Association of New York State was established 45 years ago this month in August,1974 the Yearly Inflation Rate in the United States was 11.3%? Did you also know that during 1974:
  • The year end close Dow Jones Industrial Average  was 616? 
  • That the average cost of new house $34,900? 
  • That the average Income per year $13,900? 
  • That the average monthly rent $185? 
  • That the cost of a gallon of Gas 42 cents?  
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