January 15, 2020

By John Witkowski, President & CEO

A Busy Start To The Year

Just two weeks into 2020, IBANYS is off to a busy beginning of the new year. 
  • This week, we held Regional Human Resource Conferences in Rochester & Poughkeepsie 
  • We are preparing for our January 28 Compliance Conference in New York City
  • We're also finalizing two additional Compliance Conferences, and three Directors Conferences scheduled for February, March and April
Today's newsletter includes a summary of the Human Resource Conferences and updates on our upcoming meetings and a review of the latest from Albany and Washington.  Please contact us with any questions or comments that you may have.  As always thank you for everything you do for community banking in New York State.
IBANYS is pleased to announce that we are offering both our Compliance and Directors Conference in NYC - January 28 & February 4 respectively.  Both meetings will be held at Pryor Cashman LLP, 7 Times Square, 40th Floor, New York, NY.  See complete details and registration information in the meetings section below.
  • Take a moment to review our 2020 IBANYS Meetings Calendar below, including the printable attachment. Mark your calendars, share it with your colleagues, and plan to join us for these important educational and networking sessions. 
  • I also encourage you to review our Webinar schedule, which offers a wide array of programs designed for community banks and their officers, directors and employees.
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Mark Your Calendars For These Upcoming 2020 IBANYS Conferences: 

Click here for IBANYS -   2020 Meeting Dates & Locations   (printable version)

IBANYS' 2020 Meetings Calendar is now available (see printable document above)
. . . Please note we are introducing new meeting locations in New York City. We encourage all New York community bankers and IBANYS associate members, preferred providers, potential vendors, sponsors & exhibitors to print it out, share it with your colleagues and "save the date." 

Detailed agendas and registration information is attached for March 3 & 4 Compliance Conference and April 7 & 8 for the Directors Conference coming soon.  

Compliance Conference
January 28, 2020                    March 3, 2020                         March 4, 2020
Pryor Cashman                       DoubleTree by Hilton              Poughkeepsie Grand Hotel
7 Times Square, 40 th Fl.         1111 Jefferson Road               40 Civic Center Plaza
New York, NY 10036               Rochester, NY 14623             Poughkeepsie, NY 12601
212-421-4100                          585-475-1510                         845-485-5300
Directors Conference
February 4, 2020                                April 7, 2020                           April 8, 2020
Pryor Cashman                       RIT Inn & Conf. Center           Poughkeepsie Grand Hotel
7 Times Square, 40 th Fl.         5257 West Henrietta Rd.        40 Civic Center Plaza
New York, NY 10036               Henrietta, NY 14467               Poughkeepsie, NY 12601
212-421-4100                          585-359-7746                          845-485-5300
  • Have an idea for one of our meetings? Want to see a meeting or forum on a different subject? We want to hear from you! 
    Contact Linda Gregware or 
  • John Witkowski with your thoughts and/or comments
IBANYS Education/WebinarsWebinars

The Independent Bankers Association of New York State (IBANYS) partners with CBWN to bring you more than 150 webinars each year covering compliance, lending, regulations, security, operations, new accounts, collections, fraud, security and other topics. Not only that, but every time you purchase a webinar, you support IBANYS, because a portion of your registration comes directly to us. Thank you!  

You can view the 2020 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.

CBWN and IBANYS thank you for your continued support of the education in the community banking industry. 

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

View or Purchase the Webinar

Stay-up-to-date with our webinar features by following us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn! You can also follow the hashtag #WebinarWednesday on Instagram/Twitter!

Government Relations

Click here for the 2020 New York State Legislative Calendar.

From The State Of The State
As previously noted, during last week's State of the State address the Governor proposed establishing the Excelsior Banking Network. It would provide $25 million in new funds (over a period of five years) for Community Development Financial Institutions. The speech also called for the creation of an Office of Financial Inclusion at DFS to prevent financial elder abuse and for a more comprehensive definition of abusive or unfair practices involving financial products. The full State of the State presentation is available by visiting https://www.governor.ny.gov and selecting the "State of the State" icon.

Legislative Activity

New Introductions
S.7104 (Mayer), establishing a set 90-day grace period for the use of credit card reward points of when an account is modified, cancelled, closed or terminated.

A.8686 (Kim)/S.6792 (Salazar) , would establish the "empire state inclusive value ledger establishment and administration act" to create a master account and system of individual wallets to make and receive payments to state entities and residents of the state. The legislation was referred to Assembly Banks and Senate Finance Committees.
On the Senate Banks Committee Agenda 
A.4618 (Wright)/S.2106A (Sanders), to require banks to disclose negative consequences on credit scores due to alternative loan payment schedule

A.6070 (Seawright)/S.2397 (Comrie), would direct the State Department of Financial Services and the Department of State's Consumer Protection 
Division to conduct a study on consumer awareness and financial education  and make recommendations. 

A.1935 (Zebrowski)/S.4188 (Kennedy), would require financial institutions to notify customers prior to charging them a  fee based on account inactivity

Majority Rules
State Senate Democrats raised about $5 million in 2019, including $2.4 million in the last six months and have a combined $3.7 million in cash on hand. Assembly Democrats  reportedly hold a combined $4.3 million in their campaign coffers, including $3.5 million cash on hand in its main campaign account. Democrats control 40 of the 63 seats, and control 105 of the 150 seats in the Assembly.

Latest From DFS
New York State Financial Services Superintendent Linda Lacewell has named Leandra English as a special policy adviser to her at DFS. English was briefly Acting Director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) before losing a leadership battle with Acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney to head the bureau. Lacewell has also named several members of the new DFS Task Force that will work to enhance regulatory oversight of debt collectors, protection against elder abuse, affordable banking services and consumer protection laws to defend against unfair, deceptive and abusive practices.
Washington, D.C.WashingtonGR

Cannabis Banking Safe Harbor & The Senate
ICBA responded to Senate Banking Chairman Crapo's request for feedback on legislation to establish a cannabis-banking safe harbor, noting it would ensure community banks can serve their communities and promote public safety without fear of legal and compliance risk. The bipartisan SAFE Banking Act (H.R. 1595/S. 1200) passed the House passed last fall, and would bar federal banking regulators from penalizing banks that serve these businesses in states where cannabis is legal.

Meanwhile, in the House the Financial Services Subcommittee on Consumer Protection and Financial Institutions met yesterday on the OCC-FDIC proposal to reform the Community Reinvestment Act. Consumer groups testified today, and a full Committee hearing is scheduled for later this month. Also, the Investor Relations Subcommittee will hold a Financial Accounting Standards Board oversight hearing today with testimony from FASB Chairman Russell Golden.

  Special Election Set For April 28
Governor Cuomo has reportedly (and unofficially) set April 28 as the date of the Special Election to fill the vacancy in the 27th congressional district in Western New York created by the resignation of Chris Collins. That is also the date of New York's presidential primary election.

ICBA Action Alerts & Grassroot EffortsICBA

Support ICBA Action Alerts Regarding Credit Unions
  • IBANYS urges New York community bankers to support ICBA's "action alerts" -- which oppose credit unions' efforts to further expand their powers and authorities, and seek to level the playing field on behalf of community banks. Make your voice heard in Washington. 
Visit www.icba.org and click on the advocacy tab. 
Banking Industry NewsBankingNews
Mortgage Bonds Keep Gaining Fans --  
Community Banks Add Weighting To Loan Surrogates
By Jim Reber, President & CEO,  ICBA Securities

If your community bank's bond portfolio looks like the rest of the industry's, you own more mortgage-backed securities (MBS) than ever. There are a bunch of reasons for this, most of which you're aware of, but some you may not be. The MBS that community banks tend to own are a small piece of the overall mortgage pie. . . Read the full article.

IBANYS Human Resources Conferences 
Addressed Key Topics

IBANYS' regional Human Resources Conferences this week were designed for H.R. officers and other senior executives -- e.g., training officers, branch managers, hiring officers and other supervisory staff. Speakers included Katherine McClung (Bond Schoeneck & King); Michael Jakowsky (Jackson Lewis); Joseph Pecoraro & Amy Luft, Consiliarium Group; Jeff Cardone (Luse Gorman), and Mario Pecararo (Alliance Worldwide Investigative Group). They shared their expertise and explored topics community bankers face in today's ever-changing workplace and regulatory environment. The agenda included: state & federal legal updates; leaves of absence & other accommodations; wage & hour mistakes; health care cost containment; bank employee & director compensation, and pre-employment background investigations. 

IBANYS Preferred PartnersPreferred
For more information on IBANYS Preferred Partners - click here: https://ibanys.net/preferred-partners/
Industry Trends & UpdatesTrends

The Economy: By The Numbers
  • According to the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) small-business optimism declined slightly in December, but ended 2019 historically strong. While the NFIB's optimism index declined two points to 102.7. More small-business owners reported better business conditions and expectations for higher nominal sales in the next three months.
  • The U.S. Labor Department reported that the Consumer Price Index rose  a seasonally adjusted 0.2% in December, after having risen 0.3% in November. The index of consumer inflation rose on a 2.8% increase in the gasoline index, and is up 2.3% over the past 12 months.
IBANYS Spotlight Is On...spotlight

Consiliarium Group is a full service employee benefit insurance consulting firm. We work with all sizes of companies to develop the appropriate plan offerings for their employees. Their mission:  Helping companies attract and retain talent by offering smart, employee-centric benefit programs.

For more additional information, contact Keith Williams, Managing Partner: 
kwilliams@consiliariumgroup.com , (585) 441-0606 
Did You Know?

. . .That current FDIC Chair Jelena McWilliam is the fourth woman to chair the agency? 
The first three were:  Ricky Tigert (1994-97);  Donna Tanoue (1998-2001) and S heila Bair (2006-11).

In New York State, six women served as Superintendent of Banking: Muriel Siebert (1977-82), Jill Considine (1985-91), Elizabeth McCaul (1997-2000), Barbara Kent (Acting, 2003), Diana Taylor (2003-07), Regina Stone (Acting, 2011). . .and following the merger of the Banking and Insurance Departments to form the Department of Financial Services, two women have served as DFS Superintendent: Maria Vullo (2016-19) and current Superintendent Linda Lacewell.  

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