Februay 6, 2019

In This Issue: 
Message From the President

By John Witkowski, President & CEO

It is hard to believe that January has come and gone, however it is only the beginning of a busy and exciting year working for the advancement of New York community banks. In collaboration with our members, IBANYS continues to stay informed on important news/issues and finalizing the details of our various upcoming meetings:
  • Registration and brochures are now available for our Compliance and Directors' Conferences (Brochures for our additional meetings will be released at a later date). Assembled with timely topics and expert speakers, these conferences provide your bank/organization with valuable information, networking opportunities, as well as continuing professional education (CPE) credits. 
  • Whether you plan to attend one or several of our conferences, now is the time to review the program materials and share with your fellow co-workers. Register early to ensure your bank/organization is represented.
Meanwhile, the legislative and regulatory challenges continue in Albany and Washington. From the Governor's update on the state budget and the shortfall facing New York, to the President's State of the Union address, there has already been a great deal of news to take in this week:
IBANYS will continue to assess these and other legislative and regulatory matters as time progresses. We also continue seeking new associate members to provide the products and services essential to New York community banks. With your active participation in our meetings, policy discussions and member engagement, both IBANYS and community banking will continue to thrive throughout the year. 

Follow IBANYS On Social Media!

 Connect With Us Today!

 Facebook: @ibanys1 | Twitter: @ibanys1

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2019 Meetings

Get Ready For 2019 Annual Convention!Convention19




June 10-12, 2019


5218 Patrick Rd, Verona, NY 13478


Attend One of Our Educational 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:


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

                            View Brochure                        View Registration Form

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

                           View Brochure                         View Registration Form

                           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


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

Banking Executive SymposiumBankExecSymposium

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

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 lindag@ibanys.net or me at johnw@ibanys.net with your thoughts and/or comments. 

IBANYS Education/WebinarsWebinars

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. 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

Choose From The Following:

            Credit Analysis & Underwriting Series                        Regulation E-Series
                             4-Part Series                                                     6-Part Series 

                       ACH Specialist Series                            Mortgage Lending Hot Spots Series
                             6-Part Series                                                     6-Part Series

                     Board Reporting Series                                     Teller Training Series
                             4-Part Series                                                     6-Part Series

                               BSA Series                                                      C-Suite Series
                            4-Part Series                                                      4-Part Series

                          Call Report Series                                       Consumer Collection Series
                             4-Part Series                                                      4-Part Series

                               IRA Series
                             4-Part Series



Protecting Against Potentially Dangerous Decreasing Rates

When: February 26, 2019

Time: 2:00-3:00 P.M. EDT

Scott Hildenbrand, with the Financial Managers Society, will discuss the emerging theme of down risk and its impact on community banking. Tactical balance sheet repositioning, off-balance sheet hedging, and liability restructurings will be covered, among other actionable ideas.

If you have any questions, please contact your Sandler O'Neill representative or email us at bankstrategyinsights@sandleroneill.com.



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!

Government Relations


State  Faces $2.3 Billion Shortfall, Personal Income 
Tax Collections DownNYBillionShortFall-Hearings

From left to right: Robert Mujica, Governor Cuomo & Tom DiNapoli
Governor Cuomo is the latest in a growing list of public officials in high-tax states to express alarm that big earners are departing their states for ones with lower taxes, as new data suggests. "SALT encourages high-income New Yorkers to move to other states. Even if a small number of high income taxpayers leave the state, it would harm state revenues." In a press conference this week with State Comptroller DiNapoli and State Budget Director Mujica, the Governor at least partially blamed the $2.3 billion state shortfall on the new federal tax law. (That's in addition to the $500 million in tax receipts that did not materialize at the end of last year and were factored into the Governor's $175.2 billion 2019-20 budget proposal.) Cuomo warned that "With state personal income tax receipts are $2.3 billion below projections, this is worse than we anticipated." DiNapoli added: "This is the most serious revenue shock that the state has faced in many years."

There has been a steep revenue decline over the last several weeks, which Cuomo warned could lead to changes in the state budget. ("You have legislative proposals, then you have budget realities. Welcome to the government.") The Legislature is now holding budget hearings to examine and review the Governor's proposed budget - including discussions with the various state agencies involved and impacted. The Senate and Assembly - both controlled by Democrats - will then pass their respective one-house budget bills next month, and hope to negotiate a final agreement by the April 1 deadline. 

Local Sales Tax Collections Are Up

State Comptroller DiNapoli
State Comptroller DiNapoli reported local sales tax collections in New York State amounted to $17.5 billion in 2018, a 5.3 percent increase over the previous calendar year and the third consecutive year that growth in collections improved. 

The trend appears statewide: Every region's annual growth rate increased in each of the last three years with the exception of the Finger Lakes, which slowed from 4.9 percent in 2017 to 3.7 percent in 2018.  However, year-over-year growth has been particularly noticeable in the other upstate regions, especially the Southern Tier and Central New York. 

Lacewell Takes Over As State DFS Superintendent

Linda Lacewell
Linda Lacewell took over Monday as Superintendent of the State Department of Financial Services (DFS), succeeding Maria Vullo. She most recently was Governor Cuomo's chief of staff, and has also been a state and federal prosecutor.

When Cuomo was State Attorney General, she led his investigation of the private equity industry's "pay-to-play" approach to pitching investments to public pension funds, including the New York State Common Retirement Fund. The case resulted in a guilty plea from former New York State Comptroller Alan Hevesi. Governor Cuomo relied on Lacewell's counsel in various roles, including as chief risk officer. Former DFS Superintendent Benjamin Lawsky noted: "Linda understands what good public policy is and intuitively knows that markets work best when there's an even playing field with clear rules preventing fraud, abuse and unfairness."

There are 39 New State Legislators & 5 New Yorkers 
In Congress - Have You Reached Out Yet?

There are 39 new members of the State Legislature, the largest new class in years. IBANYS has provided lists of all the new State Senators, Assembly Members and Congressional Representatives. We ask you to reach out to them to provide information on community banks. These new legislators need to be informed and educated about New York community banks and the  essential role we play in the local and state economies. 

Please step up, reach out and play a key role in establishing new relationships. We also encourage you to join our IBANYS Government Relations Committee to assist in our advocacy and share your ideas. Your voice matters!

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 

Legislative Activity

  • A.1914 (Vanel ) S. 1194 (Sanders) would amend a chapter of the laws of 2018 establishing the digital currency task force, in relation to increasing the number of members to allow for legislative appointees. It is on the Assembly Banks agenda this week.
  • A3214 (Cook) No companion bill in Senate as yet. This legislation would amend the Financial Services Law Rin relation to immunity from civil liability for certain information from not-for-profit organizations. It has been referred to the Assembkly banks Committee. 
  • S.01864 (Gaughran) No companion bill in Assembly as yet. This bill would amend the real property tax law, in relation to the redemption of real property subject to a delinquent tax lien. The bill would lower the redemption period for vacant and abandoned properties which are certified as such by the municipality from two years to one year. It is on the Senate Local Government agenda this week.


Other News From Albany
  • "City & State" reports Governor Cuomo's rapid conversion on marijuana legalization - "from chief obstacle to chief advocate" - triggered a "gold rush mentality" among marijuana entrepreneurs, who are investing deeply "in what could quickly become one of the world's most important emerging markets."  In 2018, people spent an estimated $61.2 billion on illegal marijuana purchases in North America, according to Arcview Market Research in partnership with BDS Analytics. New York state's tightly controlled medical marijuana market, with just 30 dispensaries, pulled in nearly $264 million last year, and analysts project total marijuana sales could jump to more than $1.5 billion by 2022 with full legalization of the drug that is expected to come this session.
  • DFSCybersecurityRegThe New York State DFS recently issued guidance pertaining to the implementation timeline for its cybersecurity regulations. Regulated entities using third-party providers must put in place procedures and policies that ensure the security of their information systems and the nonpublic information held by or accessible to those providers.
  • State Attorney General Letitia James has announced the "Zombies 2.0" program, which will provide municipalities up to $9 million in grants for monitoring vacant or abandoned property, code enforcement "blight flight" and to "make sure banks and mortgage companies comply with state and local laws."
  • Former State Financial Services Superintendent Maria Vullo has been nominated by the Governor to serve on the board of the State of New York Mortgage Agency (SONYMA)
  • State Senate Republican Leader John Flanagan (R-L.I.) announced that longtime GOP Senate aide Frank Patience has been named chief of staff of the Senate Republican Conference. Patience was Secretary of the Senate (the chamber's top administrative official) during the GOP's 2011 to 2018 stint in the majority, and was Director of Administration for the Senate GOP Senate Minority in 2009-10.
Washington, D.C.WashingtonGR

Chairman Crapo Outlines U.S. Senate Banking 
Committee Agenda For 2019SenateBankCommitteeAgenda19

Chairman Mike Crapo
U.S. Senate  Banking Committee Chairman Mike Crapo (R-ID) outlined his committee agenda for the 116th Congress with an emphasis on housing-finance reform and data security. The agenda also included capital markets, credit bureaus, fintech, and access to credit among its top policy priorities. In addition, Chairman Crapo noted that the Committee will:
  • Continue to identify and move bipartisan legislative solutions that promote economic growth; 
  • Build a record for legislative action on the collection, use and protection of personally identifiable information by financial regulators and financial companies; 
  • Advance presidentially-appointed nominees; 
  • Ensure that federal agencies implement the Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief and Consumer Protection Act (EGRRCPA), Foreign Investment Risk Review Modernization Act (FIRRMA), and the Countering America's Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA) and ensure they are consistent with congressional intent;
  • On housing finance reform, Chairman Crapo's outline would privatize Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac; non-depository private companies would be guarantors of mortgages securitized through a platform operated by Ginnie Mae. The Federal Housing Finance Agency would be governed by a bipartisan board of directors instead of a single director. The current affordable housing and duty-to-serve requirements would be replaced by a Market Access Fund to provide grants and loans to underserved communities. The White House said last week that it will work with Congress to develop a plan for housing-finance reform and will issue a framework "shortly." ICBA will continue working with Congress and the administration to ensure housing-finance reform preserves community bank access to the secondary market, adequately capitalizes Fannie and Freddie, and minimizes disruptions to the housing-finance system.
  • Other issues to be addressed will include establishing appropriate levels of taxpayer protection, preserving the 30-year fixed rate mortgage, increasing competition among mortgage guarantors and promoting access to affordable housing.  

Fed Chairman Powell Meets With President, Reiterates 
Reasons For Fed's Monetary Policies

President Trump & Chairman Powell
Federal Reserve Chairman Powell had a dinner meeting with President Trump at the White House this week, joined by Fed Vice Chair Clarida and Treasury Secretary Mnuchin. (Meetings between a president and a Fed Chair are rare, but not unprecedented.) 

Powell reportedly reiterated that monetary policy was aimed at supporting the Fed's mandate of maximum employment and stable prices, and that decisions were "based solely on careful, objective and non-political analysis."  The meeting followed  repeated public criticism of Powell by the President over Fed rate increases, and on the eve of Powell's first anniversary as Fed Chair. 
Meanwhile, according to the Federal Reserve's survey of senior loan officers, banks tightened standards for commercial real estate loans in January as demand for business loans generally weakened.  Banks reported weaker demand for loans to households and said standards were basically unchanged, except for tighter standards on credit cards. Banks also expect to tighten standards for all categories of business loans, credit card loans and jumbo mortgages in 2019.

House Hearing On Banks & Cannabis BusinessesHouseHearingMarij 

The House Financial Services Committee reportedly expected to hold a hearing next week to examine problems banks face when trying to serve marijuana businesses that are now permitted in a growing number of states. The hearing, the first of its kind at Financial Services, is tentatively set for February 13 and could be a step toward easing federal restrictions that have led to complications for lenders, and resolving legal conflicts that have left lenders uncertain about serving cannabis clients in parts of the country where recreational marijuana use is allowed. Current federal law bans the sale of marijuana. 

Committee action could be a precursor to the full House eventually taking up cannabis banking legislation such as the bill introduced by Reps.  Ed Perlmutter  (D-C).) and  Denny Heck  (D-WA.) to  shield banks and credit unions from federal penalties for serving marijuana-related businesses in states where cannabis is legal.

ICBA Advocacy Survey Due This FridayICBAAdvocacySurvey

Advocacy is everyone's responsibility. Whether you're a community bank president, employee, or director, you have a direct stake in making sure lawmakers in Congress hear your voiceTo more effectively advance our collective mission to create and promote an environment where community banks flourish, ICBA and IBANYS need your help. The following survey seeks to refine the tools and resources ICBA can offer you to better enable the important conversations and relationships required to drive positive policy outcomes for the community banking sector. Additionally, ICBA is seeking to build greater visibility of the existing personal or professional relationships that you as a community banker or director may already have with returning or new lawmakers. The deadline for completing and returning your survey is this Friday, February 8.
This survey should take less than 10 minutes to complete. Please contact Ryan Hadley at ryan.hadley@icba.org with any questions regarding this survey. 

Join IBANYS In Washington, D.C. At
2019 ICBA Capital SummitICBACapSummit

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 members of the New York congressional delegation. With a Democratic House of Representatives, a new agenda in the House Financial Services Committee, five new Representatives from New York and six New Yorkers on the House Financial Services Committee, it is more important than ever to bring our New York community bankers' voices, priorities and stories to the forefront. Email John Witkowski or Steve Rice  to confirm your participation and indicate which Representatives with whom you would like us to arrange meetings with.  

Other News From Washington
  • President Trump reportedly plans to announce David Malpass, a former official in the Reagan and George H.W. Bush administrations, as the American nominee to be the next leader of the World Bank. Malpass has criticized institutions like the World Bank, so it is possible other nations may oppose his leading it.
  • John Roscoe is the new Chief of Staff at the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA). Roscoe was most recently Special Assistant to the President in the White House Office of Presidential Personnel. 
  • The Senate Banking Committee is expected to consider President Donald Trump's nomination of Mark Calabria as the director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency as early as Feb. 14, according to people familiar with the matter. Calabria currently serves as the chief economist to Vice President Mike Pence and has been critical of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, which he would oversee as FHFA director.
  • The OCC announced Grovetta Gardineer will become Senior Deputy Comptroller for Bank Supervision Policy upon the retirement of Grace Dailey on March 2. Gardineer will direct the formulation of policies and procedures for supervising and examining national banks and federal savings associations. She is the current Senior Deputy Comptroller for Compliance and Community Affairs and has more than 31 years of experience in banking policy.

Industry Trends & Updates

Hybrid Asset Based Lending: Controls Are Necessary  CEISReviewArticle
Senior Consultant With CEIS Review, Inc. 

John has over 35 years' experience in the commercial banking industry and is an experienced manager and senior credit officer.

As an independent loan review provider to approximately 150 foreign and domestic lending institutions, CEIS Review has the benefit of being able to gain insights towards the emerging and prevalent developments within the banking arena regarding commercial lending activities. One such is the entrance or expanded interest of some banks to engage in hybrid asset-based lending operations with varying levels of success and effectiveness. While portfolio and income fee diversification is important, the increased activity should be fully vetted before the additional risk is added to the portfolio.  

Hybrid asset-based loans involve a unique credit structure designed to solve certain specific credit needs of customers by combining cash flow and asset-based lending in one credit facility. While the portion of the loan approved on a cash flow coverage basis is often managed with financial covenants, the asset-based loan portion is supported by collateral coverage that is monitored with a monthly borrowing base. Read the full article.


T. Gschwender & Associates Preparing Banks' Loan Portfolios 
For The Next Economic Downturn TGschLoanPortfolioNewsletter

IBANYS' preferred partner T. Gschwender & Associates, Inc. has begun publishing  a monthly newsletter to help prepare clients' loan portfolios for the next economic downturn. The firm will be making several recommendations for clients to be pro-active in preparation for such event. Below is the first issue of the newsletter.

"By now, it's pretty much accepted that some sort of an economic downturn is coming over the next 24 months. Unfortunately, there are plenty of signs.  Below are several steps you can take to prepare. We will address each in more detail over the upcoming months.

1. Ensure you know how much risk is in the loan portfolio and where the risk resides by quantifying the risk. Then, set appropriate risk tolerance limits to ensure this risk does not increase in 2019 and 2020.

2. Pay particular attention to loans in your highest pass risk rating (Pass/Watch). These loans are typically comprised of loans where financial statements are outdated, loans approved based on projections, or loans where the primary source of repayment is weak and the loans are dependent on owners/guarantors (secondary source of repayment). Make these loans a priority for annual reviews and mitigate risk where possible.

3. Identify which income producing commercial real estate (IPCRE) properties, which you have taken as collateral, are not generating sufficient Net Operating Income (NOI) to service their debt. Take additional collateral in cases where the NOI does not, or increase your loan loss reserve for these loans.

4. Review all construction loans to determine possible impact on the projects if NOI will not stabilize before mid-2020. New construction loans should be closely scrutinized given forecasted economic environment.

5. Stress test the Debt Service Coverage Ratio (DSCR) for loans where the interest rate is set to readjust over the next two years. In addition, stress test the Loan to Value (LTV) for IPCRE loans by increasing the Cap Rate.

6. Consider selling Special Mention and Substandard credits in the secondary market if they comprise more than 25% of your capital, especially if your Workout Department is low on staffing. Get more credit individuals trained in workout procedures.
Stay proactive and start addressing these items now. If you would like to discuss these steps further, contact T. Gschwender & Associates or  President & CEO Bharpur "Bo" Singh.


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. 

Contact:  Kert Johnson,  SVP/Marketing at (901) 762-5340 or kjohnson@viningsparks.com.


New Residential Sales Up

According to the United States Census Bureau, new-home sales rose 16.9 percent in November to an eight-month high - although they remained down 7.7 percent from a year ago.  Sales of new single - family houses in November 2018 were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 657,000.  The median sales price of $302,400 was down 12 percent from a year ago, which likely helped boost sales as the housing sector remains plagued by high prices and low inventories.
  • New Houses Sold657,000
  • New Houses For Sale: 330,000
  • Median Sales Price: $302,400

Home Prices Enjoy Smallest Annual Gain Since 2012

Home prices rose 4.7 percent in December, according to CoreLogic. That is the smallest annual gain since August 2012. Analysts believe that prices are still rising because of the shortage of homes for sale, especially on the lower end of the market. 

Of the nation's top 50 markets based on housing stock, 40 percent were overvalued, 18 percent undervalued and 42 percent were at value. A year ago, more than half of the nation's largest markets were overvalued. A market is considered overvalued when home prices are at least 10 percent above the long-term, sustainable level.


Mortgage Applications Are Down

According to the Mortgage Bankers Association's seasonally adjusted index, overall mortgage application volume fell 2.5 percent last week compared with the previous week. Volume was nearly 10 percent lower than a year ago.  Purchase volume pulled back the most; those applications fell 5 percent for the week and 2 percent annually. Applications to refinance a home loan increased 0.3 from the previous week but were still 19 percent lower than a year ago. 

Many borrowers already refinanced to rates in the 3 percent range a few years ago. The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with conforming loan balances ($484,350 or less) decreased to 4.69 percent from 4.76 percent last week, with points decreasing to 0.45 from 0.47 (including the origination fee) for loans with a 20 percent down payment. That was the lowest rate since April, and just 19 basis points higher than one year ago.

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 www.barret.ws.


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 bryan.doxford@excelsiorgrowthfund.org at at (212) 430-4512. 

Spotlight Bank of the WeekSpotlightBank

Alden State Bank was founded in 1916 and serves Alden, NY and surrounding communities. Alden State Bank is committed to providing innovative, state-of-the-art banking products and services with a focus on customer service. Some of their many services offered include personal and commercial deposit & loan products, debit cards, and online/mobile banking.

Alden State Bank has a strong community presence and is involved in numerous programs and activities. This year, Alden State Bank will again sponsor for 2018 a TQ Midget car that races at short-tracks and it will make several promotional appearances across Western New York. The bank is a primary sponsor of several prominent community events as well, such as Alden Winterfest and the 5K "Dollars for Scholars" Race. Alden State Bank also supports many non-profit fundraisers in Alden and neighboring communities. During the summer months, the bank holds annual customer appreciation hot dog roasts at both of their locations, which are always well-received by the community. Other recent promotional events include a "money booth", sponsored by their Kasasa rewards checking products, and appearances at the local farmers market. 

To read more information about Alden State Bank or to learn more about their products and services, please visit www.aldenstate.com.


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 natalier@ibanys.net.

IBANYS Spotlight Is On...

Customer Experience Solutions (CES) 

Customer Experience Solutions (CES) provides the insight you need when it comes to understanding banking customer benchmarks, From measurements of perception of overall quality and customer service to the ease-of-use of technology and bank practices to evaluation of levels of loyalty and vulnerability, Customer Experience Solutions creates custom CX programs that provide banks with a wide range of insights into the customer and prospect experience within their competitive environment. 

CES produces the biannual NY Banking Customer Experience Benchmarks, which include 100,000 + objective reviews by households and businesses about all banks they use. CES interviews customers at every institution in New York and gains their ratings on 53 different customer-centric metrics. Subscriptions provide banks with a best-in-class Customer Experience Measurement program with ongoing objective customer feedback and competitive benchmarking. 

For more information contact: 

Bruce Paul, CEO

Email:  bruce@cescx.com

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  curetheblue.com  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. www.icba.org 

Did You Know?

. . .That as of early January 2019: 
  • The earliest state to legalize it was Alaska, which in 1975 decided that its constitution's right to privacy protected the ability to use and possess a small amount (less than four ounces) of marijuana at home for personal use? 
  • At least 41 states have passed legislation related to industrial hemp, such as defining hemp and removing barriers, and at least 39 have allowed for hemp cultivation and production programs?
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