December 12, 2018

In This Issue: 
Message From the President

By John Witkowski, President & CEO

While last minute shopping and family gatherings may be on the mind of most, the incoming new year brings thoughts of new resolutions and goals. Government advocacy, educational meetings, the Annual Convention, membership engagement, etc. are just some of the many goals we have set for 2019. In addition, IBANYS is utilizing our membership in various capacities. The Government Relations & Compliance Committees, as well as the CFO Peer Groups have been instrumental in planning new policies and strategies. Member banks and associates helped shape our 2019 educational meetings and annual convention. Our membership is vital to us, as we count on you to provide your input and feedback. Every idea and thought is valuable, but we need you to make it known. IBANYS would like your opinion(s) on the following:
  • Do you have suggestions on topics or speakers for a meeting?
  • Do you have any referrals for prospective new associate members or preferred partners?
  • Do you have recommendations for a state or federal policy initiative?
  • What state/federal legislative and regulatory issues are most important to your bank? We may include them in our policy planning.
  • What topics, issues, or trends would you most like to see addressed at our 2019 conferences? They may help shape our planning sessions.
  • What product or service (existing or new) do you believe might be beneficial to your bank?
Tell us your thoughts and what issues are your priorities. Make your voice heard.  View more about our  2019 plans in today's newsletter, such as our  government relations outreach program , 2019 committees/peer groups and webinars .

As always, thank you for your support of IBANYS and all that you do on behalf of New York community banks. With 2019 marking our 45th year of service, we are proud to be the only trade association in New York that solely represents the interests of local community banks. 

Remember: IBANYS is YOUR association. Make it work for you!

- John



IBANYS is pleased to welcome Consiliarium Group, LLC as our newest associate member! Consiliarium Group, LLC is a full service employee benefits insurance consulting firm. They work with all sizes of companies to develop the appropriate plan offerings for their employees. To learn more about Consiliarium Group and their services, contact Keith Willaims, Managing Partner at (585) 441-0460 or at . Welcome aboard!


Follow IBANYS On Social Media!

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Looking At 2019

Get Ready For Next Year's Convention!




June 10-12, 2019


5218 Patrick Rd, Verona, NY 13478


Get Ready for 2019 Meetings!  Meetings2019

Our 2019 Meeting dates and locations are now available! These educational conferences cover various subjects that are important within the community banking industry, spoken by the experts. T hey are also a great opportunity to network and earn CPE credits. Here is what we have planned for 2019:

Compliance Conference

                 March 12, 2019                                               March 13, 2019
                DoubleTree by Hilton                                                 Hilton Garden Inn
                1111 Jefferson Road                                                 235 Hoosick Street 
                Rochester, NY 14623                                                   Troy, NY 12180

Directors Conference

                   April 16, 2019                                                 April 17, 2019
           RIT Inn & Conference Cente                                  Hampton Inn Poughkeepsie
              5257 W.  Henrietta Road                                                  2361 South Rd.
                 Henrietta, NY 14467                                           Poughkeepsie, NY 12601

Security Conference

                   May 7, 2019                                                     May 8, 2019
           RIT Inn & Conference Center                                Hampton Inn Poughkeepsie
              5257 W. Henrietta Road                                              2361 South Rd.
                 Henrietta, NY 14467                                         Poughkeepsie, NY 12601

Lending Conference

May 21-22, 2019
Harbor Hotel Watkins Glen
16 North Franklin Street
Watkins Glen, NY 14891

Banking Executive Symposium

September 9-11, 2019
Location TBD

IBANYS' meetings provide insight into relevant issues spoken by experts in the field. They are also a great opportunity to network and earn CPE credits.

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 at or me at with your thoughts and/or comments. 


IBANYSCommitteesPeerGroupsHave You Signed Up for IBANYS' 2019 Committees & Peer Groups?

Has your bank signed up to participate on IBANYS' 2019 committees and peer groups? They provide member banks with direct input on policy development, offer a peer forum to share information and offer a prime feedback opportunity for your bank. IBANYS committees and peer groups are crucial as they help shape many aspects of our organization.

Most importantly, you can bring back information that can help keep your employees stay fully informed and up-to-date.  Take a look at the list below, and email President & CEO John Witkowski ( or Director of Administration and Membership Linda Gregware ( to let us know who will represent your bank on each committee/peer group.
  • Government Relations Committee
  • Compliance Peer Group
  • Security Peer Group
  • CFO Peer Group
  • Innovation Committee
IBANYS CEOs: Sign up yourself, or designate someone from your senior team to represent your bank in these efforts!  Contact IBANYS' Government Relations Director Steve Rice at  or President/CEO John Witkowski at  to join. NOW is the time!



IBANYS is always open to new ideas. If you have suggestions about a committee, product or service, program topic or speaker, tell us! IBANYS is member driven and we work together to make the community banking industry better each day.

IBANYS Education/WebinarsWebinars

IBANYS Webinars ListofIBANYSWebinars

Are you participating in IBANYS' webinars? Your peers are!  They provide timely, important information on subjects of interest to New York community bankers including operations, business development, investment, compliance and security. They are valuable not only for their content, but for their convenience and low-cost. Take part from the comfort and privacy of your office, without leaving the bank.  Our Webinar Series  offers many topics in the following categories:
  • Audit & Accounting
  • Collections
  • Compliance
  • Directors
  • Frontline & New Accounts
  • Human Resources
  • Information Technology
  • IRA
  • Lending
  • Operations
  • Security & Fraud
  • Senior Management
We are always adding more programs based on needs and requests of our members,
who drive our focus!  Take a look at the various series of webinars we offer by clicking each of the links below.


2019 Webinar Schedule  WebinarSchedule2019

The 2019 Webinar is now available! The Independent Bankers Association of NYS (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 and IBANYS thank you for your continued support of the education in the community banking industry. 



2019 Webinar Series - Available Now

6 Webinars  for the Price of 5


10% off a 4-Part Series

Credit Analysis & Underwriting Series - Designed for credit analysts and loan officers of all experience levels, this series will give your lending staff the tools to make consistent, sound lending decisions. 


Regulation E Series - Regulation E is a confusing, complex array of rules and requirements applicable to any transaction involving an electronic fund transfer. This series will address an array of areas, including fundamentals, debit card error resolution, provisional credit, and auditing for regulatory compliance.


ACH Specialist Series - This series will cover a wide variety of topics, including operating rules, dispute resolution, exceptions, adjustments, and return deadlines. Don't miss this opportunity for ACH specialists to enhance their hands-on practical skills.


Mortgage Lending Hot Spots Series - Mortgage lending has recently undergone some of the most sweeping changes in history. Now is the time to focus on your mortgage lending program and the "hot spots" of greatest concern.


Board Reporting Series - Good decisions begin with good information. This series will explain what board members should look for in reports from various sources.


Teller Training Series - Regulations, operations, loss prevention, compliance... today's tellers must possess broad knowledge and provide excellent service. This series will provide tellers with the information and tools needed for success.


BSA Series - This comprehensive job-specific series will provide the most current BSA rules, trends, and guidance to ensure compliance. This series is one-stop shopping for lending, operations, board, and frontline employees' BSA required compliance training.


C-Suite Series - Regardless of title, executives are expected to have a working knowledge of strategic concepts that affect the whole institution. 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.


Call Report Series - Correctly completing Call Reports is essential. Once the reports are filed, they become public information and are often used by examiners, investors, and even consumers to monitor your institution's current performance and historical trends. This series will give you the tools you need to get it right the first time.


Consumer Collection Series - When a loan becomes delinquent, it is important for loan officers and loss-mitigation specialists to understand all available mitigation options. This series will provide the broad knowledge needed to make informed, effective decisions about the legalities, compliance issues, and best practices for consumer debt collections.


IRA Series - IRAs continue to be an essential part of retirement planning. This series will clarify multiple IRA issues, including rollovers, distributions, error resolution, and other misunderstood areas.



Target Marketing - Activation at the Point of Excitement

Visit the Vetter webinar archives page to view/download recording and presentation materials from previous webinars:



What the New Law Means for Banks
Thanks to the newly signed regulatory relief bill, most reciprocal deposits are no longer brokered. This comes as banks face intense and increasing competition for deposits.

Join Us for a Webinar
Join Promontory Interfinancial Network-- the nation's leading provider and inventor of reciprocal deposit placement services-- for a free webinar that outlines key provisions of the new law and the impact ICS®, or Insured Cash Sweep®, and CDARS® can have on banks' balance sheets. The webinar will also cover how banks can use ICS and CDARS to capitalize on the opportunities at hand; presenters will discuss cost-effective ways to use the services to attract high-value relationships (even as deposit competition intensifies) and to lock-in more low-cost funding (even as interest rates continue to rise.) This webinar is a "must" for decision-makers at banks of all sizes, especially for community banks that utilize collateralized deposits and/or listing services.

Choose a date and time that works for you!


Reg relief makes most reciprocal deposits nonbrokered, providing banks the opportunity to attract even more deposits. Thanks to the newly signed regulatory relief bill, most reciprocal deposits are no longer brokered. This comes as banks face intense and increasing competition for deposits.

Join Promontory Interfinancial Network - the nation's leading provider and inventor of reciprocal deposit placement services - for a free webinar that outlines key provisions of the new law and the impact ICS®, Insured Cash Sweep®, and CDARS® can have on banks' balance sheets. The webinar will also cover how banks can use ICS and CDARS to capitalize on the opportunities at hand; presenters will discuss cost-effective ways to use the services to attract high-value relationships (even as deposit competition intensifies) and to lock-in more low-cost funding (even as interest rates continue to rise). This webinar is a "must" for decision-makers at banks of all sizes, especially for community banks that utilize collateralized deposits and/or listing services.

Numerous new banks are joining the Promontory Network. In order to give these newly on-boarded banks an opportunity to begin transacting, we have decided to extend this incentive program through March 31, 2019. 

Choose a date and time that works for you!


Presents a  Complimentary Recorded Webinar for
Our Valued Webinar Participants


GDPR is a hot topic! The General Data Protection Regulation is the European Union's new data protection and privacy regulation that became effective May 25, 2018. Although these EU rules were developed a continent away, don't underestimate how they might affect you.

Privacy is a fundamental human right under the EU Charter. GDPR is intended to protect EU residents' data privacy rights even outside the EU. Mandatory compliance may be closer than you think. A few states have introduced similar legislation and others are following suit. This free webinar will explain how to analyze when and how your institution will be affected by GDPR, and how it differs from your existing privacy rules.

Click the image below to access this complimentary webinar.

This free webinar is available until December 31, 2018.

View full information, including info about the presenters.

Government Relations


Governor Cuomo will deliver his third-term  inaugural speech on New Year's Day, and has reportedly decided to merge his subsequent State of the State and Budget Addresses rather than deliver them separately. He previously used that combined format in 2015 and 2016.

James Sanders (D-Queens) To Chair State Senate Banks Committee

Senator James Sanders
Incoming State Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart Cousins (D-Yonkers) announced Senate committee chairs for the 2019 legislative session. The new Senate Banks Committee Chair will be Senator James Sanders (D-Queens). Senator Sanders was the Ranking Democrat on the Committee during 2018. He commented: "I will use my position to ensure that banks are held accountable while protecting homeowners. New York is the financial capital of the world and we need to support smart legislation that prevents misfortune caused by greed and speculation. I look forward to working with my colleagues in government to better the lives of all New Yorkers. The Senate Committee on Banks is crucial in ensuring the financial stability and strength of our state's economy and in my role as Chairman. I will be fully committed to be a strong voice for the people." 

Senator Sanders also served on the Committees on  Commerce, Economic Development & Small Business and led  the Senate Task Force on Minority and Women-owned Business Enterprise.  He was first elected in 2012, and previously served as a member of the  Queens School Board and then the  New York City Council, where he " authored the toughest anti-predatory lending bill in the country." He sponsored S.3172 to establish "a commission to study the feasibility of establishing a bank owned by the state of New York and report thereon within 2 years." It passed the Senate in 2018 and was held in the Assembly Banks Committee. 

Other Key Senate Committee Chairmanships Of Interest To Community Banks: 
  • Finance (Liz Krueger, D-Manhattan)
  • Judiciary (Brad Hoylman, D-Manhattan)
  • Local Government (James Gaughran, D-Nassau/Suffolk Counties)
  • Consumer Protection (Kevin Thomas, D-Nassau County)
  • Corporations (Leroy Comrie, D-Queens)
  • Agriculture (Jen Metzger, D-Hudson Valley)
  • Housing (Brian Kavanaugh, D-Brooklyn/Manhattan)
  • Insurance (Neil Breslin, D-Albany) 
View the full listing of all new State Senate committee chairs.  

Have You Reached Out To Your New Representatives Yet? GROutreach

The 2019 New York State legislative session and congressional session are now just three short weeks away and there will be a significant number of new members in the State Senate, State Assembly and New York Congressional Delegation. All will need to be informed and educated about New York community banks, their essential role in the local and state economies and their legislative/regulatory needs. We encourage IBANYS members to step up, reach out and play a key role in establishing new relationships.

Last month, IBANYS mailed our outreach program to all member banks and encouraged you to meet with your new members of the State Senate, State Assembly and New York Congressional Delegation. The program materials include:
  • Talking points for your use in your meetings, emails and phone calls to introduce yourselves and to help inform them about New York's community banks.
Please let us know which state and federal lawmakers you have reached out to and update us on the results of those meetings by emailing both John Witkowski ( and Steve Rice ( As always, when a new legislature and congress are seated, IBANYS will provide a full directory of ALL state legislators and New York congressional representatives in early 2019. We also encourage you to join our IBANYS Government Relations Committee to assist in our advocacy and share your ideas. Your voice matters!

Cuomo Considers Linda Lacewell as Superintendent of DFS

Linda Lacewell
According to press reports, Gov. Cuomo is considering nominating his current chief of staff, Linda Lacewell, to be Superintendent of the Department of Financial Services (DFS). Maria Vullo presently serves as the state's top financial-services regulator, and has not publicly indicated plans to leave the position. The Governor is revamping his top aides as he prepares to begin his third term. He  has brought in one-time staffers to former President Obama, former NYC Mayor Bloomberg and the now-defunct State Senate Independent Democratic Conference (IDC), while also promoting from within. 
  • Timothy Hartz will be Director of Executive Operations; 
  • Laura Edidin will be Chief Special Counsel/Ethics, Risk and Compliance; 
  • Richard Azzopardi, was promoted to senior adviser to the governor, focusing on broad communications, policy and political strategy;
  • Caitlin Girouard is the new press secretary; and
  • Dana Carotenuto Rico will be Deputy Secretary/Legislative Affairs & Policy. 
More senior level and agency commissioner appointments are expected soon.

Washington, D.C.WashingtonGR

Act NOW On These Two Grassroots Alerts

The deadlines for submitting comments on two key community bank grassroots initiatives are rapidly approaching:
  • Faster Payments: Urge the Federal Reserve Board to support access to faster payments for community banks of all sizes. ICBA offers tips for submitting personalized letters supporting equitable and universal access. Deadline: Friday, Dec. 14.
  • Small Business: Use ICBA's Be Heard grassroots action center to tell the Small Business Administration to reconsider a proposed rule that could harm SBA small-business and agricultural lending. Deadline: Tuesday, Dec. 18.

Kraninger Confirmed As New CFPB Director

Kathy Kraninger
The Senate confirmed along party lines (50-to-49) the nomination of Kathy Kraninger for a five-year term as Director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (aka BCFP). As Director, she will have sole control of the bureau's budget and can unilaterally decide the CFPB's enforcement of consumer protection and fair lending laws and regulations. Kraninger previously held senior roles at the White House Office of Management and Budget, the Department Homeland Security and the Senate Appropriations Committee.

Other News From Washington: 
  • The Senate approved by a vote of 87-13 the final version of the farm bill following the release of the conference report earlier in the day. The Agriculture and Nutrition Act of 2018 (H.R. 2) could be on the House floor later this week. for a final vote that would send it to the President to be signed into law. ICBA reports that the bill includes important commodity price protections that will provide greater business-planning certainty to producers and community banks over the next five years. It would maintain a strong crop insurance program, increase USDA guaranteed farm loan limits to $1.75 million, and provide for the possible increase in guaranteed USDA rural development loans-all ICBA and community bank priorities.
  • Last week, the House and Senate last week approved and President Trump signed a two-week spending bill to avoid a federal government shutdown. The bill expires December 21, so Congress now has additional time to negotiate an agreement on the key controversial issue of increased spending for border security.
  • The report issued by the presidential task force on reforming the U.S. Postal Service opposes the idea of the postal service offering banking services because of its "narrow expertise" in that area. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) introduced a bill in July that would allow Post Offices to offer banking services - including checking and savings accounts - to help provide financial services in areas where there are few bank branches. That bill has not gained traction to date.
  • The Trump administration is reportedly considering Mark Calabria, chief economist for Vice President Pence, as Federal Housing Finance Agency Director, the lead regulator of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. If nominated and confirmed, he would replace Mel Watt whose term is up in January. The FHFA post will become the final financial regulatory post to turn over to Trump administration control. Calabria has been skeptical about Fannie and Freddie's role in the mortgage system, and could seek to significantly constrain their footprint. He has called for eliminating the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage, advocated for banks to hold more of the loans they originate, urged policies that would dramatically reduce the government's role in housing policy and pushed to put Fannie and Freddie into receivership.
  • ICBA urged the Senate to approve the nomination of Justin Muzinich for Deputy Treasury Secretary. Senators advanced Muzinich's nomination on Monday, with a final vote expected as early as this week. Muzinich played a key role in writing the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act and met with ICBA on how to ensure the law's 20 percent tax deduction for Subchapter S banks is available for the full range of services offered by community banks, including loan sales, fiduciary services, and wealth management.

Industry Trends & Updates

EGF: 3 Client Success Stories
When banks partner with Excelsior Growth Fund (EGF), everyone wins. As a U.S. Treasury-certified Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI), EGF offers responsible and affordable financing options to small businesses.  By partnering with EGF, banks not only help their clients access capital, they also connect them to all the business services and support they need to become eligible for traditional financing in the future. 

Clients receive the funding they need to grow their business and banks get to help their clients succeed while keeping the door open with them for the future.  EGF values the critical role that their banker partnerships play in their mission. With the support of those partners, they're able to help small businesses and strengthen communities. To show their thanks and demonstrate the power of partnerships, EGF is sharing three success stories that were made possible by their banking partners.


Vining Sparks & ICBA Securities Balance Sheet AcademyBalanceSheetAcademy

Registration is now open for Vining Sparks and ICBA Securities' Balance Sheet Academy seminar in Memphis, Tennessee from Monday, April 29 to Tuesday, April 30 2019. This  advanced seminar is designed to expose seasoned community bank portfolio and balance sheet managers to advanced products and concepts.  The objective is to enable the attendees to consistently outperform their peers. The dynamics of a community bank balance sheet require an investment professional to be versed in a wide range of topics.  Balance Sheet Academy  provides discussion and practical classroom exercises to equip the attendees for these demands. Examples of these topics include: 
  • Advanced interest rate risk management strategies;
  • Low cost funding strategies; and
  • Strategies for serving bank customers while managing interest rate risk.  
Attendees will learn how the changing economic data impacts market interest rates from Vining Sparks' Chief Economist. The Balance Sheet Academy is structured for more experienced investment managers, particularly those who have attended Bond Academy.  
It incorporates balance sheet strategies into the day-to-day management of an institution's investment portfolio, wholesale funding and interest rate risk management. Bank personnel with an intermediate level of understanding of investments who are integral to the investment and balance sheet management process will benefit the most from this advanced course. New directors serving on the investment or asset-liability committee will also find this course beneficial. 

Or Contact:
Kert Johnson,  SVP/Marketing at (901) 762-5340 or

FDIC Updates Affordable Mortgage Lending Guide

The FDIC has updated its guide on the mortgage products offered through Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. "The Affordable Mortgage Lending Guide" is designed to allow community banks to compare different products and identify next steps to expand or initiate a mortgage lending program. View more details from the FDIC.

2018 A Year of "Numerous Meaningful Advocacy Successes" For Community Banks

Rebeca Romero Rainey
As she wraps up her first year as President & CEO of the Independent Community Bankers of America (ICBA), Rebeca Romero Rainey said ICBA and the nation's community banks "achieved numerous meaningful advocacy successes in 2018." In her message to community bankers, which included a video on the year in community banking advocacy, Romero Rainey noted achievements that provided regulatory and tax relief, improved the regulatory environment, and strengthened the Small Business Administration. "As I finish my first year as ICBA CEO, I am proud and humbled to pursue ICBA's mission of creating and promoting an environment where community banks flourish. Alongside the nation's community bankers and our affiliated state associations, I look forward to continuing our meaningful work in 2019."


Data, Netflix and and the Banking Customer ExperienceVetterArticle

By Bryan Adler, CEO of Vetter

Bryan Adler
The conversation around the benefits of data analytics, AI and machine learning always centers on how it will improve the quality of service and lead to a better customer experience.

Financial institutions have been talking about this for years, but how many can honestly say they've revolutionized their customers' banking experience? The answer lies in your culture. Research by McKinsey & Company found that getting the organizational culture right first is key to success in a digital service oriented world.

Eliminate silos, both departmental and functional, in order to achieve a trust customer-centric culture. As the term implies, silos create too narrow a view of your customers. The result is an inability to respond effectively to evolving customer needs because information was sent to the wrong department and
key signals were missed. Read the full article.

Vetter is a digital loan platform built specifically for community banks, in partnership with a couple of NYS banks. The Vetter platform is a combination of a loan-type agnostic online loan application along with a management workspace that allows the bank to generate fee income on all loans, collect updated financials from borrowers automatically, enhance the customer experience and stay compliant.

Banking News

Further Your Education at Barret Graduate School of Banking BarretGradSchool

Barret and IBANYS are aligned with a common interest: to represent the interests of the industry through effective advocacy and high quality educational offerings.

Located in Memphis, TN, Barret Graduate School of Banking offers a comprehensive graduate learning program for professionals in the financial services field. IBANYS has established partnerships with key industry educators including the Barret Graduate School of Banking. The school provides community bankers with an opportunity for a graduate degree in banking. 

We are currently endorsed by ICBA, ICBA Securities, Arkansas Community Bankers, CBAofGA, Indiana Bankers Association, CBAofKS, MIBA, CBAofOH, CBAofWV - with a couple more on the way. 

To learn more about Barret Graduate School of Banking, please visit


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. 

Spotlight Bank of the WeekSpotlightBank

Corporate Headquarters in Rochester, NY
Five Star Bank has a long history in Western and Central New York dating back to our origin in 1817. Our predecessor banks each operated in a rural area and they played important roles in helping to meet the credit needs of these communities. We currently have 53 branches in 15 contiguous counties, with our headquarters in Warsaw and regional offices in Rochester and Buffalo.

We remain committed to serving the needs of the communities in our rural legacy footprint as we focus on expanding in Rochester and Buffalo. We believe that we have significant opportunities to grow deposits, loans and fee-based businesses in these cities. As a locally-headquartered and community-focused bank, we can provide the personal attention and local decision-making leadership that retail and commercial customers seek.

Buffalo, NY Branch/Financial Solution Center
Our new branches are designed to serve as financial solution centers, meeting evolving customer needs and accommodating a wide spectrum of customer preferences with no teller lines, no barriers between bank associates and customers and hands-on support. We have opened four financial solution centers in Rochester and Buffalo and are remodeling traditional branches to remove barriers and provide new technologies.

We have transformed our branch staff from traditional teller and platform roles to a universal banker role - our Certified Personal Banker, or CPB. Five Star Bank CPBs are experts, trained to assist customers with nearly all their needs - transaction processing, product opening, service or education. As customers are often seeking financial counseling or financial solutions when they visit a branch, our new universal staffing model means that everyone in the branch is well-trained and ready to assist.

Five Star Bank is committed to the omnichannel concept, where all channels are available to the customer - branch, web, mobile, call center and ATM - and all offer the same high-quality experience. We are working to tailor our digital solutions to leverage the convenience of the digital experience without losing the human or emotional connection that comes with face-to-face interaction.

In February 2018, we launched a brand campaign designed to increase awareness of Five Star and the depth of services we offer in community banking, wealth management and insurance. Our campaign line of "Today is tomorrow in progress" conveys our customer promise and reinforces our goal of providing solutions today that lead to financial well-being in the future.

As a community bank, we understand that our success is directly linked to the success of our communities. We invest in and support our communities in many ways, including volunteer activities, charitable investments and product offerings.
  • Our employees support more than 400 different community and professional organizations as volunteers, trustees and committee members.
  • We are proud to support many organizations in the markets we serve through donations and community sponsorships.
  • Our comprehensive product offerings include several products tailored to meet the needs of the under-banked or low-to-moderate income residents.
At Five Star, we continue to evolve our banking, wealth management and insurance offerings to help people build financial security for today and the future. We understand that access to bank accounts, home ownership, small businesses and community development projects are integral to sustainable economic growth.

Additional Five Star Bank information is available at, on Twitter, and on Facebook.

Five Star Bank, Member FDIC

Insurance and investment products and services are not FDIC Insured, are not a deposit or bank guaranteed, are not insured by any Federal governmental agency, and are subject to investment risks, including possible loss of the principal invested.


About Spotlight Bank of the Week

Spotlight Bank of the Week is a new feature that we have added to our website and e-newsletter. It is an opportunity to promote anything about your organization, such as fun facts, organization news, special events, etc. The Spotlight Bank of the Week will be featured on our homepage slider, e-newsletter, and our social media platforms for one week. So don't miss out on this exceptional opportunity to showcase your bank to thousands of people!

View banks that have been featured as our Spotlight in the past!

To apply, just fill out our registration form and email it to Natalie Rowan at

IBANYS Spotlight Is On...

Consiliarium Group, LLC

Consiliarium Group is a privately-owned employee benefits brokerage and consulting firm located in Rochester, NY. They bring customized employee benefit solutions to employer groups nationwide. Their team has more than 150 years of combined employee benefits and human resource expertise. 

Additionally, they maintain strategic alliance relationships with top industry experts in technology, wellness, property & casualty insurance, and financial planning & investments. With Consiliarium's expertise in employee benefits and alliance collaborations, they offer their clients comprehensive solutions to support their organization's overall strategies and goals. 

For more information, visit or contact Keith Williams, Managing Partner at: (585) 441-046 or

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.

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Did You Know?

. . . That in 1974, the year IBANYS was established, the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed the year at 616? Did you know that the inflation rate in the United States that year  reached 11.3 percent? Did you know average cost of a new house was $34,900, the
average income per year $13,900 and the average monthly rent was $185.00? 
Did you know that gas was selling at .42 cents a gallon? 

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