January 8, 2020

    • Human Resource Conference
    • Compliance Conference (NYC)
    • Directors Conference (NYC)

By John J. Witkowski, President & CEO

. . .2020. . .
A New Year For New York Community Banks

Happy New Year! We hope everyone enjoyed a safe and happy holiday season, and that you have returned re-energized for 2020. Let's work together to make it a successful year for New York's community banks. 

Does your bank's Human Resources officer need additional insight into the myriad of issues, demands and challenges he or she will face in the coming year? I encourage you to register for one of IBANYS' two regional  Human Resources Conferences -- January 14 in Rochester, and January 15 in Poughkeepsie! 

How about your compliance officers? With all the changes coming down the pike from both federal and state regulators this year, this is no time for your bank to be caught uninformed.  Register for one of IBANYS' three Compliance Conferences -- January 28 in New York City, March 3 in Rochester, and March 4 in Poughkeepsie.

Are your board members fully informed and up-to-speed on the responsibilities, challenges and issues of the day? Sign them up for IBANYS' Directors Conferences February 4 in New York City, April 7 in the Rochester area & April 8 in Poughkeepsie.

IBANYS is pleased to be expanding our footprint in the downstate region this year, as we will offer programming for compliance officers and bank directors in New York City. We have additional information on our upcoming meetings and conferences in Rochester, Poughkeepsie and Manhattan in today's newsletter, and I strongly encourage you to review the conference agendas, share them with your officers and employees and sign up today! 

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Today, Governor Cuomo Kicks Off The 2020 Session Of The New York State Legislature With His Annual State Of The State Address
  • The Governor delivered his tenth annual State of the State address in Albany today, and included proposals regarding financial services focused on "expanding access to safe and affordable financial services, creating an Excelsior Banking Network and establishing a statewide Office of Financial Inclusion and Empowerment. 
  • Next week, the Legislature will begin dealing with a challenging agenda. The state faces a $6 billion budget deficit. We have already heard of a proposal coming from some Democratic legislators that could include, among other things, an effort to raise bank taxes. 
  • Significant issues are on the horizon. Some will directly impact our business. IBANYS' Government Relations Committe,e in late December, discussed the upcoming session and focused on our strategy for the coming year. We reviewed a number of proposals related to community banks. 
  • In the face of all this, there is a new Chairman of the Assembly Banks Committee: Thomas Abinanti (D-Westchester County), who succeeds former Chairman Ken Zebrowski. IBANYS will meet with him to acquaint him with our New York community banking industry, our concerns, priorities and background.
  • We have met with the Governor's office and State DFS to express our concerns on credit unions seeking to enter the overall municipal deposits business. With an enormous budget deficit, allowing tax-exempt credit unions into the bidding process would present a potential loss in state revenue of at least $18 million. For community banks, it would also pose a safety and soundness issue for those that lose their muni revenue, and could curtail their ability to lend. 
  • We also plan to pursue a number of "pro-active" bills, related to state CRA exemptions, enhancing the State Community Bank Deposit Program and establishing community bank service corporations. Clearly, community banks have our work cut out for us. We need your input and participation.


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Please participate in our government relations conference calls, our "action alerts" and legislative outreach efforts. Please also email me, Linda Gregware of Steve Rice if your bank is not currrently participating in our key committees and peer groups: Government Relations, Compliance, CFO, or Innovation.

As always, thanks for all that 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.
Follow IBANYS On Social Media!

 Connect With Us Today!

 Facebook: @ibanys1 | Twitter: @ibanys1

Instagram: @ibanys | LinkedIn: @ibanys

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 coming soon for March 3 & 4 Compliance Conference and April 7 & 8 for the Directors Conference.  

Human Resource Conference
January 14, 2020                                                                    January 15, 2020
DoubleTree by Hilton                                                              Poughkeepsie Grand Hotel
1111 Jefferson Road                                                               40 Civic Center Plaza
Rochester, NY 14623                                                              Poughkeepsie, NY 12601
585-475-1510                                                                          845-485-5300
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.

State Of The State Includes Proposal To Expand "Access To Safe 
& Affordable Financial Services"

Governor Cuomo (Photo from Governor's 
Facebook site)

Governor Cuomo delivered his 10th Annual State of the State Address today in Albany, kicking off the 2020 state legislative sessionThe message included a  proposal for "expanding access to safe and affordable financial services." The Governor urged creating an "Excelsior Banking Network" to "increase access to safe, affordable bank accounts and small-dollar loans in underserved low-income communities," and establishing a statewide Office of Financial Inclusion and Empowerment "to meet the financial services needs of low-and middle-income New Yorkers."  To read the full proposal, visit:

Abinanti Is New NYS Assembly Banks Chairman
Chair Abinanti (NYS Assembly Photo)
NYS Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie (D-Bronx) announced the chamber's Democratic leadership and committee chairs for 2020. There is a new Chairman of the Assembly Banks Committee:  Thomas Abinanti (D-Westchester County). He was elected to the Assembly in 2010 after serving in the Westchester County Legislature. Abinanti has chaired the Assembly Committee on Oversight, Analysis and Investigation, and served on the Committees on Codes,Judiciary, Environmental Conservation and Health. IBANYS will meet with Chairman Abinanti to discuss the New York community banking industry, our concerns, priorities and background. For a full list of all 2020 Assembly leadership positions and committee chairmanships, click here.

 Could State Budget Deficit Lead To Revisiting Bank Taxes?
A group of Democratic legislators is planning to propose a revenue package which include raising income taxes on the wealthy and reassessing levies on banks, hedge funds and private equities as well as scaling back corporate incentives. The state faces a potential $6 billion Medicaid-induced budget hole, and the lawmakers say their proposals  could raise an estimated $30 billion annually, and fund large-scale investments in a guaranteed right to housing for all New Yorkers, the Green New Deal and other ambitious priorities that progressive advocates want to see in the state budget. However, Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins (D-Yonkers) has expressed skepticism when it comes to raising revenue through new taxes, noting: "Our first fall back isn't 'let's raise taxes.'" 

State DFS: February 7 Is Deadline To Submit Plans 
Addressing End Of LIBOR  
DFS Superintendent Lacewell (DFS Photo)
The New York State Department of Financial Services (DFS) is requiring its regulated banks and non-depository financial institutions, insurance companies and pension plans to submit a written response describing the institution's plan to address the risks posed to it by the likely end of LIBOR. The response must be submitted to the DFS by February 7, 2020 -- less than five weeks from today. Specifically, on December 23, 2019, the DFS issued an industry letter directing. 
DFS-regulated institutions to submit responses describing each institution's plans to address its LIBOR cessation and transition risk, detailing aspects from operational readiness to consumer and counterparty communication to corporate  governance. 

Visit https://www.arnoldporter.com/en/ and click on the publications & presentations tab to read ab advisory. 

Other State Updates:
  • Assemblyman William Barclay (R-Oswego County) was unanimoiusly elected by Assembly Republicans to serve as Minority Leader. He succeeds Brian Kolb (R-Geneva)  resign from that leadership post he has held since 2009 following his DUI arrest on New Year's eve. 
  • The Rochester-based business group  "Unshackle Upstate" has released a 2020 agenda.  The group's agenda would "reject anti-growth measures, stop nickel-and-diming hardworking families and improve the state's harsh business climate. That's what New York taxpayers and job creators need."
Washington, D.C.WashingtonGR

ICBA Lays Out 2020 Agenda
With Congress is back in session,  ICBA published an open letter emphasizing top-priority legislative initiatives for the session. The full-page ad in Politico urges Congress to:
  • Modernize the Bank Secrecy Act
  • Establish a cannabis-banking safe harbor
  • Close the industrial loan company loophole and
  • "Wake Up" to credit union and Farm Credit System practices. 
ICBA President & CEO Rebeca Romero Rainey stated. "With each congressional district home to at least one of the nation's more than 50,000 community bank locations, it's easy to see why these important legislative reforms offer common ground for lawmakers of all political perspectives."

House Financial Services Comittee Announces Hearings Schedule
House Financial Services Committee  Chair Maxine Waters (D-CA) released a schedule of  January hearings, including sessions on the Community Reinvestment Act, Financial Accounting Standards Board oversight, interest rate caps, mobile payments, and more. 

Feds Set New CRA Asset Thresholds
Federal regulators released their annual adjustments to the  asset-size thresholds  that they use to define "small intermediate banks and savings associations" under the  Community Reinvestment Act  (CRA). 
  • A "small" institution is now defined as one that had assets of under $1.305 billion on December 31 of either of the previous two calendar years. 
  • An "intermediate small" institution is one that had assets of at least $326 million and under $1.305 billion on December 31 either of the two previous calendar years.

FDIC Proposal On Brokered Deposits Reg Framework
On December 12, 2019, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (the "FDIC") issued a notice of proposed rulemaking (the "Proposed Rule") to modernize certain aspects of the FDIC's brokered deposit regulatory framework so that the classification of a brokered deposit appropriately reflects technological changes in the banking industry. The Proposed Rule would create a framework for how the FDIC would analyze certain prongs of the definition of a "deposit broker" under Section 29 of the Federal Deposit Insurance Act and establish an application and reporting process for fintech and other third-party entities to ensure their exemption from being classified as deposit brokers. To read an analysis by IBANYS preferred partner firm Luse Gorman, PC, click here.

Fed Approves Changes To Same Day ACH 
The Federal Reserve Board  approved  modifications to the Reserve Banks' National Settlement Service and Fedwire Funds Service to support enhancements to Same Day ACH. The update moves the NSS closing to 6:30 p.m. (Eastern time), the Fedwire closing to 7 p.m., and the Fedwire third-party cutoff to 6:45 p.m.

Community Groups Opposing  Plan To Overhaul CRA
Community groups are planning a major public awareness campaign to oppose Comptroller of the Currency Joseph Otting's plan to overhaul the Community Reinvestment Act. The coalition will argue the joint OCC and FDIC proposal would weaken the law designed to offset discriminatory lending. The House Financial Services Committee will hold a hearing January 29 on the issue, and Comptroller Otting will testifiy.

ICBA To Congress: Credit Unions "Splurging" With Tax Exemption
ICBA told Congress credit unions are using their tax exemption to buy community banks, pay undisclosed salaries to top executives, and name sporting venues after themselves. The message was drawn  from ICBA's "Do They Know They're Tax-Exempt?" research paper, and notes credit unions with more than $1 billion in assets saw their share of the tax subsidy increase by 260% over the past two decades. ICBA is conducting an ongoing campaign urging policymakers and the public to "Wake Up" to the risky practices, costly tax subsidies, and irresponsibly lax oversight of the nation's credit unions.

Carranza Confirmed To Head SBA
The U.S. Senate yesterday confirmed Jovita Carranza to head the Small Business Administration (SBA). Carranza, a Treasury Department official who served as deputy SBA administrator under President George W. Bush, was confirmedby a vote of 88-5, and enjoys widespread support from the business community. 
ICBA Action Alerts & Grassroot EffortsICBA

Support ICBA Action Alerts Regarding Credit Unions
New York community bankers: Please participate 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. 


For ICBAs White Paper One-Pagers that are condensed infographic representations of portions of the ICBA Credit Union White Paper Do They Know They're Tax Exempt ?  
For all the information regarding ICBA and the Wake Up Campaign click: https://www.icba.org/advocacy/industry-issues/credit-unions

Visit www.icba.org and click on the advocacy tab. 
Banking NewsBankingNews
Tioga State Bank recently donated $1,000 to Inspire S-VE to help support the great work they do in the Spencer-Van Etten communities. As Tioga State's President & CEO Bob Fisher  likes to say: BankLocal

IBANYS Preferred PartnersPreferred
For more information on IBANYS Preferred Partners - click here: https://ibanys.net/preferred-partners/
Industry Trends & UpdatesTrends
Don't Miss Tomorrow's Important Webinar:
vining sparks seminar 

Vining Sparks/ICBA Securities 2020 Economic Outlook Webinar
SIGN UP NOW for tomorrow's 2020 Economic Outlook Webinar by Vining Sparks/ICBA Securities. This quarterly economic outlook  has proven very popular in the past, and is a good time to get an update on the economy and interest rate landscapes.

Trade discussions between the U.S. and China deteriorated more than expected in 2019 weighing on global and U.S. economic growth and markets.  Against the backdrop of uncertainty and bedeviled by an inverted yield curve, the Federal Reserve quickly transitioned from a path of policy normalization to easing. Turning to 2020, the lagged impact of monetary easing should combine with the stable consumer and federal fiscal spending to keep growth on track, albeit at a slowing pace. However, risks to growth remain high including continued trade tensions, the U.S. presidential election, and an aging profit cycle. In our 2020 Economic Outlook, we will discuss our expectations for the year along with our projections for a period of range-bound interest rates. The  webinar is beneficial for Portfolio Managers, CFOs, CEOs/Presidents and is free of charge. 

The presenters will be Craig Dismuke, Executive Vice President and Chief Economist for Vining Sparks, and Dudley Carter, an Economist for Vining Sparks, a fixed income broker/dealer serving institutional investors. To register, click on the link below:

Barret Graduate School Of Banking Program May 17 - 22, 2020
- - Register Soon!
The Paul W. Barret, Jr. School of Banking  -- endorsed by the ICBA -- has scheduled its 
Annual May Graduate Program May 17 - 22, 2020 in Memphis, Tennessee. The program is presented one week per year for three years, and includes 130 hours of classroom study, nine on-campus case studies and eight home study problems. The Barret School  is a non-profit independent school created by and governed by a Board of Regents, whose members are executives from banks and other firms involved with the financial services industry.  The mission of the Barret School is to provide an adult learning experience for the career-oriented individual in commercial banking or a related financial services industry business.  The commitment at Barret is to assist the student in attaining an excellent educational experience of benefit to both the student and the sponsoring employer. Registration is filling up, so interested bankers should plan to register early.  To review the program, click here For details, email Executive Director Chris Kelley at ckelley@barret.ws or visit  https://barret.ws/programs/graduateschool/.

The Economy: By The Numbers
  • Federal Reserve rate-setters indicated support for maintaining current interest rate levels so they have time to assess the full economic effect of recent cuts. According to the Minutes from the Decembermeeting of the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting, participants said pausing rate adjustments could help cushion the economy from global developments that are slowing growth. 
  • The U.S. Commerce Department reported construction spending rose 0.6% in November, and 4.1% from a year ago. Private construction rose 0.4%, while public construction advanced 0.9%.
  • U.S. consumer confidence dipped slightly in December, according to The Conference Board. The metric came in at 126.5 for the month, down from 126.8 in November. 
  • The U.S. Commerce Department reported homebuilding increased more than expected in November. Permits for future home construction surged to a 12-1/2-year high. Housing starts rose 3.2% in November. Single-family homebuilding increased 2.4% nationally, and was also up in the Northeast. Starts for multi-family housing segment increased jumped 4.9%
  • According to the Institute for Supply Management, its manufacturing index fell  0.9 percentage point to 47.2%, the index's lowest reading since June 2009.
IBANYS Spotlight Is On...spotlight

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GRC provides a full range of training advisory services as required. They begin by analyzing clients' training needs based on their business activities, risk profile and regulatory requirements. GRC's analysis reveals any gaps in existing compliance training programs and procedures, allowing the firm to recommend, design and implement the appropriate training solutions. They also provide a variety of services to assist with specific regulatory and audit inquiries.
Contact Justin  Muscolino (646) 675-8109, justin.muscolino@grcsolutions.co, or visit the website at https://www.grcricksolutions.com.
Did You Know?

. . .That apparently the more things change, the more they remain the same? 
When Governor  George Clinton delivered the first "State of the State Address" in New York State in 1777, he stated: "The state of our finances...claims your serious attention...We have thus accumulated a debt, which, if neglected, will not only prove burthensome to the state, but strike at the credit of our currency, which it behoves us so much to support."

Today, 243 years later, Governor Cuomo's State of the State Address included a discussion of the state's budget deficit of more than $6 billion. 

Governor George Clinton 

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