December 19, 2018

In This Issue: 
Message From the President

By John Witkowski, President & CEO

This is IBANYS' final newsletter of 2018. We will not be publishing during Christmas week. Our first newsletter of 2019 will be on Thursday, January 3, 2019.

Melody Beattie once said, "The new year stands before us, like a chapter in a book, waiting to be written...". While the year comes to a close, IBANYS and other organizations are preparing their own agendas as 2019 begins a new chapter. Change is on the horizon for not only IBANYS and New York community banks, but for community banks everywhere as new state and federal representatives will take their places in Albany and Washington, D.C. in January. IBANYS is ready to face these new challenges and seize opportunities in this new legislative climate: 
  • In Albany, the Governor has previewed some of his legislative priorities, and it appears he plans a dynamic and ambitious first 100 days. We also now know the top committee chairs and senior staff of the new State Senate Democratic majority - and expect a dramatically different set of priorities in the Senate Banks Committee. In addition, the Assembly named a new Majority Leader and announced committee chairs. 
  • In Washington, Congress is hoping to conclude the 2018 session by passing the spending bill to avoid a shutdown of the federal government - and, perhaps, to include some positive provisions for community banks. We also know the 2019 session will feature a very different agenda in the House Financial Services Committee. 
  • At IBANYS, we are continuing planning our various activities for 2019. We've held strategic planning sessions with our Government Relations Committee and Compliance Peer Group. In addition, our CFO Peer Group will meet tomorrow morning at 9:00 am (learn more). As for our 2019 educational meetings, they continue to take shape along with our other programs. As always, IBANYS remains committed to our goal of providing real value to all of our members and protecting the interests of community banks. Together with our engaged membership and preferred partners, IBANYS looks forward to continuing to build on a strong foundation in the new year.
We look forward to working together with and for you to make 2019 a memorable year for the industry and association. We wish you a Merry Christmas a happy and healthy New Year. 

Enjoy the holidays. . .then, let's get to work!
Remember: IBANYS is YOUR association. Make it work for you!

- John

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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.



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 has added more than 140 webinars to the IBANYS webinar calendar, covering all the essential topics (listed above). 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. 



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. 
The Legislature officially convenes to begin the 2019 legislative session on January 9 when Governor Cuomo will deliver his "State of the State" address and present his proposed 2019-20 State Budget.

Governor Outlines His Agenda For First 100 Days Of Session

Governor Cuomo
The 2019 state legislative session is due to convene Wednesday, January 9 with the Governor's State of the State and 2019-20 State Budget presentation. The pacing of the 2019 legislative session may we be different from recent years, when much of the first three months in Albany was consumed by budget negotiations between the Democratic Governor, Assembly and Republican Senate. With both chambers now under Democratic control (and by significant majorities), this year's legislative action may well start early. 
This week, the Governor unveiled his agenda for the first 100 days of the new session -his plan to outline Albany's path until the state budget is due in March. 

His agenda includes :
  • Keeping the millionaires' tax
  • Cutting taxes for working families
  • Getting the Equal Rights law passed in New York
  • Increasing the firearm waiting period from three days to 10 days.
  • The Governor also renewed his fight against the $10,000 annual limit on the federal deduction for state and local taxes (SALT) provisions, which have hit New York taxpayers harder than in many other states.
  • The Governor wants to keep the property tax cap and make it permanent next year.  It limits the amount school districts and local governments can raise their property tax levy to 2 percent or the rate of inflation, whichever is lower. 
The large Democratic majorities in both the Assembly and Senate could enable the passage of a number of provisions long-supported by progressive Democrats. The Governor plans to focus on such issues as:
  • Election reform (e.g., by allowing early voting and making Election Day a state holiday);
  • Overhauling campaign finance laws; climate change;
  • "Countering the impact of the policies of the Trump administration and the federal government" and 
  • Legalizing recreational marijuana. (As of today, ten states and the D.C. have legalized recreational marijuana, and it is legal for medical purposes in 33 states and Washington, D.C.)
Meanwhile, the Governor has hired Dana Carotenuto Rico, the former chief of staff for the now-defunct State Senate Independent Democratic Conference (IDC) as his Deputy Secretary for Legislative Affairs and Policy.

State Senate Majority Leader Names Top Staff

Incoming State Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart Cousins (D-Yonkers) has named her senior staff leadership for the coming legislative session. 

From left to right: Alejandra Paulino, Shontell Smith & Todd Scheuermann
  • Alejandra Paulino, who has served as a lawyer for Senate Democrats, was named to the powerful post of Secretary of the Senate, the first Hispanic woman to hold the position. The Senate secretary oversees the administrative side of the chamber.
  • Shontell Smith, the first black woman to be named counsel to a state legislative conference, was promoted to Chief of Staff and Head CounselSmith will be the first African American to serve as a majority conference chief of staff.
  • The powerful role of Senate Finance Committee Secretary  goes to Todd Scheuermann, who has worked in the state budget office under the last five governors. 
  • Mike Murphy, who has served as State Senate Minority Communications Director, will now serve in the same role for the Senate Majority. 

Sanders (D-Queens) Is New State Senate Banks Chairman

Senator James Sanders
The new Senate Banks Committee Chairman is Senator James Sanders (D-Queens). He was Ranking Democrat on the Committee in 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."  

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.

Assembly Leadership, Committee Chairs Announced

From left to right: Helene Weinstein, Kenneth Zebrowski & Crystal Peoples-Stokes

Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie (D-Bronx) has announced that Assemblywoman Helene Weinstein (D-Brooklyn) and Assemblyman Kenneth Zebrowski (D-Rockland County) will continue to serve as chairs of the powerful Assembly Ways &  Means Committee and Assembly Banks Committees , respectively. Heastie also announced that the new Assembly Majority Leader (the number two leadership spot) will be Assemblywoman Crystal Peoples-Stokes (D-Erie County). The first woman and first African-American to hold the position, she will succeed former Majority Leader Joe Morrelle who was elected to Congress. 

Other key Assembly committee chairs include:
  • Fred Thiele, Jr. (D-Suffolk County), Local Government
  • Jeffrey Dinowitz (D-Bronx), Judiciary
  • Michael DenDekker (D-Queens)Consumer Affairs;
  • Kevin Cahill (D-Hudson Valley), Insurance;
  • Steven Cymbrowitz (D-Brooklyn), Housing;
  • Amy Paulin (D-Westchester County) Corporations;
  • Donna Lupardo (D-Broome County), Agriculture
View the full listing of all new Assembly committee chairs.

Muni Collateral Requirements Bill Sent To Governor

Legislation (A.2881B Brindisi/ S.2420B Griffo) was sent to the Governor for consideration last week would update State collateral requirements for municipal deposits to conform with Federal guidelines. The Governor has ten days from the day he received the bill to consider it before making a decision.

Have You Reached Out To Your New Representatives Yet? GROutreach

The 2019 New York State legislative session and congressional session are now just 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!

Washington, D.C.WashingtonGR

Congress hopes to conclude its 2018 session this week and officially close out the 115th Congress. They need to approve the spending bill by Friday to avoid a partial government shutdown.  

FDIC Board Meeting Addresses Major Issues

FDIC Chairman Jelena McWilliams
The FDIC Board of Directors met yesterday to discuss final changes to the Volcker Rule, Current Expected Credit Loss (CECL) transition rules, the expanded exam cycle, brokered deposits, and other initiatives. The meeting also covered the agency's 2019 operating budget and Deposit Insurance Fund (DIF) projections. 
The board approved a $2.04 billion agency  operating budget  for 2019, down 2.3 percent from the 2018 budget, and authorized a 2019 staffing level of 5,901 positions, a net reduction of 182 positions from the 2018 authorization of 6,083.  "I am pleased to report that we can sustain and improve our operations while achieving a year-over-year decrease in our 2019 operating budget. This budget supports the FDIC's core mission to protect the stability of the U.S. financial system, while ensuring that the FDIC can increase the pace of innovation as the banking industry evolves," said FDIC Chairman Jelena McWilliams.

ICBA To Congress: Create An Improved Examination Environment

ICBA is urging Congress to include in the year-end spending legislation a bill to improve the examination environment. It would create a workable appeals process. In letters to both the House and Senate appropriations subcommittees, ICBA advocated inclusion of a bill to 1) create an Office of Independent Examination Review and 2) give financial institutions the right to an expedited review of material supervisory determinations.

Hold The Dates & Join Us In Washington, D.C.

The 2019 ICBA Capital Summit will be held April 28 - May 1 in Washington. Community bankers from around the nation will travel to Washington to meet with their Members of Congress in their offices "on the hill" and hear federal financial regulators to discuss key issues. We'll hear firsthand from financial and policy leaders, and influence the policy-making process. New York community bankers: Mark your calendars and hold the dates. 

IBANYS will be scheduling meetings with the members of the New York congressional delegation. With a Democratic House of Representatives, a new agenda in the House Financial Services Committee, a number of new Representatives from the state and several key New Yorkers now holding key positions in a number of committees, the dynamics have changed dramatically. All this makes it more important than ever to bring your voices, your priorities and your stories to their attention. 

Kraninger Reverses Name Change at CFPB

Kraninger (left) & Mulvaney (right)

Kathy Kraninger, the new director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) is reversing the proposed name change of the bureau promoted by her predecessor, Mick Mulvaney. Mulvaney had proposed changing the name to the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection (BCFP). 

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.


Fed Hikes Rate For Fifth Straight Quarter

The Federal Reserve today increased the benchmark rate into a range between 2.25 and 2.5 percent - the fifth consecutive quarter it has moved to raise borrowing costs. 

Fed officials now forecast two hikes next year, down from the three previously projected. However, the Fed continues to include in its statement that further "gradual" rate hikes would be appropriate. GDP is now seen as rising 3 percent for the full year of 2018, down one-tenth of a percentage point from September, and 2.3 percent for 2019, a 0.2 percent point reduction.


Homebuilder Confidence Lowest In Over Three-And-A-Half Years

According to the National Association of Home Builders' monthly index, b uilder confidence in the market for new single-family homes fell by four points to 56 in December. Confidence was down most sharply in areas with high home prices. The index fell to its lowest reading since May 2015.


Retail Sales, Industrial Production Up

According to the U.S.  the  Census Bureau, r etail sales rose 0.2 percent in November and were up 4.2 percent from a year ago . Meanwhile, the Federal Reserve said that industrial production increased 0.6 percent in November after having declined 0.2 percent decline in October.

Mortgage Appraisal Relief

A proposal supported by ICBA by the federal banking agencies would provide relief from mortgage appraisal requirements that raise loan-processing times and costs for consumers. ICBA's Ron Haynie noted the plan to raise the appraisal threshold is long overdue.


Cyber Security Tips Newsletter Available

The NYS Office of Information Technology Services Chief Information Security Office (NYS ITS CISO) announced that this month's Cyber Security Tips Newsletter is now available. It contains a few tips to follow while building your smart home with IoT devices.  

The information is intended to increase the security awareness of an organization's end users, and to 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.

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

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


Tompkins Bank of Castile Opens First Buffalo Branch in Amherst
Expands Growing Western New York TeamTompkinsCastileNewBranch

BATAVIA N.Y., December 17, 2018 - In a strategic effort to support its growing team in Western New York, Tompkins Bank of Castile is opening its first Erie County branch today at 1 Hopkins Road in Amherst.

Tompkins Bank of Castile at 1 Hopkins Road in Amherst, NY
This location is a full service branch of Tompkins Bank of Castile, as well home to partners from Tompkins Insurance Agencies and Tompkins Financial Advisors. "We are excited to expand our Buffalo presence with our first bank location in Amherst," says John McKenna, President and CEO of Tompkins Bank of Castile. "This strategic move is the result of our effort to complement our existing commercial lending presence with holistic banking, insurance, and wealth management services in the region."
Plans for the branch have been in the works for the past two years, as Tompkins officials researched and identified a prime location, and recruited experienced financial professionals to join the growing the team. The nine-person Buffalo staff has been working out of a temporary office while renovations were made to the 5,000-square-foot space, formerly a medical office, at the corner of Hopkins Road and Sheridan Drive.
"Our first branch is intentionally smaller in size to reflect the community-based, family-style approach that Tompkins has long been noted for," explains Adam Desmond, Buffalo Regional Market Leader. "Our homegrown team is looking forward to providing personalized services for our Buffalo-area customers, with whom we live and work every day."
A grand opening is being planned at the new location to coincide with Tompkins Bank of Castile's 150th anniversary in Spring 2019. Plans are also underway to add more branch locations in the region.

About Tompkins Bank of Castile:

Tompkins Bank of Castile is a community bank with 17 offices in the five-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. 

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...


Genesis PPG  is a merchant service company headquartered in upstate New York and has a unique approach to servicing bank clients. Their attention to customer service and credit card security is second to none. 

Genesis PPG is in the business of saving companies money. Their  rates and fees help our clients retain more revenue, increasing profitability. Their services  include: 
  • Merchant Services
  • Credit Card Processing
  • Card Security
  • POS
  • E-Commerce
  • Mobile Solutions.
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?


Evergreen fir trees have been used to celebrate winter festivals (pagan and Christian) for thousands of years? Pagans used branches of it to decorate their homes during the winter solstice. Here are some fun facts about the history of Christmas trees:
  • While it's uncertain when fir trees were first used as Christmas trees, it likely began about 1000 years ago in Northern Europe. Many early Christmas Trees seem to have been hung upside down on chains from ceilings, chandeliers or lighting hooks). 
  • The first person to bring a Christmas Tree into a house, in the way we know it today, may have been the 16th century German preacher Martin Luther.
  • The first Christmas Trees came to Britain in the 1830s, and became very popular in 1841 when Prince Albert (Queen Victoria's German husband) had a Christmas Tree set up in Windsor Castle. In 1848, the drawing below of "The Queen's Christmas tree at Windsor Castle" was published in the Illustrated London News.

  • In Victorian times, the tree would have been decorated with candles to represent stars, and in parts of Europe candles are still used to decorate Christmas trees. 
  • The first electric lights on a tree occurred in 1882 Edward Johnson, a colleague of Thomas Edison, hand-strung 80 red, white and blue bulbs together and put them on his tree in his New York apartment. In 1890, the Edison company offered lighting services for Christmas.
  • In 1895 when President Grover Cleveland has the tree in the White House decorated with lights. 
  • The tradition of the National Christmas Tree on the White House lawn started in 1923 with President Calvin Coolidge.

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