June 20, 2018

In This Issue: 
  • Legislature Set To Adjourn Today Credit Union Legislation On Table
  • Kraninger Is Nominee To Head BCFP
  • IBANYS, ICBA Oppose Harmful Crop Insurance Amendments
  • DFS Superintendent Vullo Will Address IBANYS Convention In September
  • Follow IBANYS On Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram!

Message From the President

John Witkowski, President & CEO
Legislative Session Ends Today

The 2018 state legislative session is set to end at some point today, as lawmakers will adjourn until next January. When they do, it could be in a very different political landscape. The battle for control of the state Senate seems closer and more competitive than ever. Democrats currently hold 32 seats, Republicans  31, but one of the Democrats caucuses with the GOP. It will be an extremely challenging election year, and IBANYS' state political action committee (NYSIBPAC) will need to be actively engaged to match the efforts of our competitors. 

The closing days of the session have also presented challenges. In the closing days, legislation (S.9094, Hamilton/A.6949-c, Zebrowski) to allow credit unions to participate in the municipal deposits business was pushed to the front burner. IBANYS immediately issued a memo in opposition, and launched a grassroots effort asking member banks to contact their state legislators. Tax-exempt credit unions  should not be permitted to accept public deposits.  Click here   to read IBANYS' memo in opposition.

In Washington , IBANYS joined with ICBA in urging community banks to oppose harmful crop insurance amendments to the farm bill. The current farm law is  set to expire on September 30. Also in Washington, President Trump has nominated Kathy Kraninger to serve as Directror of the BCFP (previously called the CFPB), pending Senate confirmation.

This week, we held our Security Conference, which featured outstanding presentations on a wide range of threats facing community banks. The Security Conference completed a very busy and productive first half of the year for IBANYS. It followed on the heels of our Lending Conference, Human Resources Conferences, Banking Executive Symposium, Directors Conferences, CEO Forums and Compliance Conferences. Attendance has been up across the board, and I am pleased to note that feedback from bankers, preferred partners and associate members alike has been extremely positive. 

IBANYS has had a lot on our plate. . .but as we all know, we keep moving the ball downfield. We are now hard at work putting the final touches on our 2018 Annual Convention & Trade Show that will take place September 25 - 27 in Albany at the Hilton Albany Hotel.  Hotel information is now available and more information will be released soon! We do have one bit of news: New York State Financial Services Superintendent Maria Vullo -- the industry's top state regulator -- will address our conference Wednesday, September 26.

As always, thank you for your support of IBANYS and all you do or community banking.

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

- John

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2018 Meetings

                                                      2018 IBANYS Annual Convention

            September 25-27, 2018
                         Hilton Albany
                      40 Lodge Street
                    Albany, NY 12207

                    Hotel Information
A block of rooms has been reserved at the Hilton Albany. Reservations can be made by the following: 

Arrival Date:
 September 25, 2018
Departure Date:  September 27, 2018

           Price of Rooms & Exclusive Deals                    Refer to Group Code:  1IBANY

                      Web:  Click Here                                             Phone:   1-866-691-1183

*More Convention information will be released soon, so watch your emails, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram,& LinkedIn!

Member banks:   Share this information  with your senior management teams, officers, directors, compliance, security and human resources officers.  Preferred providers, associate members and business show exhibitors:  Now is the time to plan to attend, participate, sponsor/exhibit.  Contact Linda Gregware:   lindag@ibanys.net  

Convention Update: DFS Superintendent Vullo To Speak 

New York State Department of Financial Services Superintendent Maria Vullo will address IBANYS' Annual Convention as our luncheon speaker on Wednesday, September 26. Ms. Vullo was confirmed by the New York State Senate as Superintendent in June of 2016 after being nominated by Governor Cuomo earlier that year. 

She replaced Acting Superintendent Anthony Albanese, and is the second full-time Superintendent, following Benjamin Lawsky. DFS was created in 2011 with the merger of the former NYS Banking and Insurance Departments. Prior to joining DFS, Ms. Vullo was a partner at Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP, and also served as Executive Deputy Attorney General for Economic Justice Division in the Office of then Attorney General Cuomo. 

New Feature!
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!

To apply, just fill out our registration form and email it to Natalie Rowan at natalier@ibanys.net.

IBANYS Education/Webinars
IBANYS Webinars

Are you participating in IBANYS' webinars? Your peers are! They provide timely, important information on subjects of interest to New York community bankers. They are valuable not only for their content, but for their convenience. 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.
Government Relations
IBANYS Battling Credit Union  Public Deposits Legislation:
Issues Memo In Opposition, Gears Up Grassroots Effort 

The Legislature will adjourn for the year at some point today and IBANYS is busy through the closing hours -- working to fend off initiatives that would benefit credit unions by permitting them to get "a nose under the tent" in the public deposits business. (S.9094, Hamilton/A.6949-c, Zebrowski). IBANYS immediately circulated a memo in opposition  to the bill, responding strongly that tax-exempt credit unions should not be permitted to accept public deposits. We also initiated a grassroots action alert asking member banks to call their local state legislators to urge them to oppose the bill. For the past several years, IBANYS has defeated similar legislation to advance credit union powers and authorities. This year has proven extremely challenging, as the credit union industry has returned to the well in a politically charged year, with control of the Senate -- which has traditionally provided a firewall for community banks on such issues -- very much up for grabs.   

Also, A.10232, Jean-Pierre/ S.7100, Kavanaugh, would allow low- income credit unions in New York City to join the Banking Development District (BDD) program. Credit unions in those branches within the BDD could accept municipal deposits (for the BDD program.) So far, it does not have support in the Senate. IBANYS was able to stop these initiatives last year, and we are opposing them this year as well. It would be inappropriate for credit unions, which pay no taxes, to have the additional ability to accept taxpayer deposits. IBANYS continues to work diligently to stop these efforts from being passed in the session's closing days.

In other news from Albany:
    • The State Senate passed S.7973 (Marchione)/ A.10754 (Hunter) to prohibit financial institutions from charging fees on non-customer checks drawn on an account from that financial institution. The Assembly had not yet acted.

    • The Senate introduced two bills related to state taxation in the aftermath of the Federal Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. S. 9029 (Senate Banks Chair Phillips) would preserve the New York tax treatment of FDIC premiums that existed before the enactment of the federal law in 2017. S. 8991A (Flanagan) would address global intangible low-taxed income ("GILTI") inclusions and related deductions. There were no similar bills  introduced in the Assembly.
    • IBANYS is reviewing legislation (S.6277A) that would treat manufactured housing as real property if it is permanently affixed to a foundation.

    • The New York Public Interest Research Group said Tuesday that approximately 300 bills had passed in both chambers so far, compared to around 400 bills passed at this time in 2016.  "These are two-year sessions, so the second year of the session tends to be more productive. To compare this year to 2016, the actual activity level is down."
    IBANYS will provide an end-of-session update on key issues once the Senate and Assembly leave Albany and the dust begins to settle.


    Former Syracuse Mayor Miner To Run For Governor
    As Independent
    Former Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner
    The political landscape changed again this week, as former Syracuse mayor Stephanie Miner announced she will run an independent race for  governor on the new "Serve America Movement" party line. A former political ally of Governor Cuomo, Miner said: "The price of politics as usual and the cost of corruption is weighing us all down. That's why I'm running for governor - not as a Democrat, not as a Republican, but as a citizen of New York." She plans to run on  ending corruption scandals, eliminating anonymous political contributions through the so-called "LLC loophole," creating non-partisan redistricting, and implementing voting reforms. Governor Cuomo and activist Cynthia Nixon are running in the Democratic gubernatorial primary in September, and Nixon also has the Working Families ballot line. Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro is the Republican nominee.

Washington, D.C.
Farm Bill: Community Banks Oppose Harmful 
Crop Insurance Amendments

IBANYS is joining with ICBA in urging New York community bankers to  sign a petition  opposing harmful crop insurance amendments that are expected to be offered when the full Senate considers its version of the farm bill next week. The deadline to add names to the petition is close of business today 
(Wednesday, June 20).  Consistent with ICBA's farm bill  infographic  and "Focus on Farm Policy"  white paper , the letter urges senators to oppose all harmful amendments to crop insurance, including those that would reduce or limit participation, make insurance more expensive for farmers, or harm private-sector delivery.  The Senate Agriculture Committee voted 20-1 to pass the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018 (S. 3042) last week.

Kraninger Nominated To Be BCFP Director

President Trump formally nominated Kathy Kraninger to head the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection. She is currently serving in the Office of Management and Budget 
Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection Nominee Kathy Kraninger
(OMB) as program associate director for general government. If confirmed by the Senate, Ms. Kraninger would replace acting director Mick Mulvaney, who has held that position since November and is also the OMB Director. Before joining OMB in March 2017, Kraninger was the clerk for the Senate Appropriations subcommittee on Homeland Security and served as deputy assistant secretary for policy at the Department of Homeland Security. While critics noted Kraninger lacks financial services industry or regulatory experience, the White House said she
 "will bring a fresh perspective and much-needed management experience" to the consumer bureau. Some observers believe  the nomination means Mulvaney can  stay on the job for the forseeable future.  Under a time limit in the law by which he was appointed in November, he would have been required to leave the consumer bureau job this Friday if there was no nominee to be the permanent director.  Mulvaney will now serve until the Senate confirms or rejects Kraninger's nomination, which could take months.

Latest On Fannie & Freddie Capital Rules

Federal Housing Finance Agency Director Mel Watt
Federal Housing Finance Agency Director Mel Watt proposed issuing new capital rules for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. ICBA applauded his move, and has urged him to go further. Civil rights organizations and trade associations urged Watt to direct the enterprises to develop capital restoration plans and to suspend the systematic sweep of the GSEs' revenues into government coffers to increase their capital buffers. has long called for 
allowing the GSEs to rebuild their capital buffers, noting that after 10 years in conservatorship, only a strongly capitalized secondary market and an end to the revenue sweep can protect taxpayers and provide the liquidity needed to support the mortgage market, the groups wrote.
Industry Trends & Updates
First Quarter Mortgage Performance Unchanged

The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) reports that mortgage performance was unchanged during the first quarter of 2018 from the same period a year ago. The OCC said that 95.6 percent of mortgages included in its "Mortgage Metrics Report" were current and performing at the end of the quarter -- the same as one year earlier. Servicers initiated 37,300 new foreclosures during the quarter, an 8.1 percent increase from the previous quarter and a 21.5 percent decrease from a year ago.

Housing Starts Are Up -- Mortgage Applications, Too

The U.S. Commerce Department reported that housing starts rose 5 percent in May to an 11-year high and were up 20.3 percent from a year ago. Single-family starts were up 3.9 percent month-to-month. Building permits were down 4.6 percent from the previous month but up 8 percent from the same time last year.  Meanwhile, the Mortgage Bankers Association reported that mortgage application volume increased 5.1 percent from the previous week -- d riven by applications to refinance a home loan, which rose 6 percent for the week but were still 31 percent lower than a year ago.  The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with conforming loan balances ($453,100 or less) remained unchanged at 4.83 percent, with points decreasing to 0.48 from 0.53 (including the origination fee) for 80 percent loan-to-value ratio loans.  Mortgage applications to purchase a home rose 4 percent from the previous week, and were 3 percent higher than a year ago.

In other housing market news, the National Association of Realtors reported existing home sales slipped 0.4 percent in May, to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.43 million units. That marked the second straight monthly decline in sales. April's sales pace was also revised down, to 5.45 million units, from the previously reported 5.46 million units. Sales rose in the Northeast, but fell in the West, South and Midwest. Existing home sales make up about 90 percent of U.S. home sales. 

Consumer Sentiment On Economy Exceeds Expectations

The University of Michigan's Friday report on consumer attitudes about the economy hit 99.3 in a preliminary June reading, higher than the 98.3 expected by a survey of Reuters economists. The index was more than a point above May's reading of 98 and rose to its highest level since hitting 101.4 in March.  Consumers surveyed by the University of Michigan viewed both their current financial situation and the current buying conditions for household durables more favorably.

Fed's Powell: "Strong" Case For More Interest Rate Hikes

Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell
In remarks earlier today, Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell emphasized the Fed's commitment to further interest rates. ""Earlier in the expansion, as the economy recovered, the need for highly accommodative monetary policy was clear. But with unemployment low and expected to decline further, inflation close to our objective, and the risks to the outlook roughly balanced, the case for continued gradual increases in the federal funds rate is strong." Last week, the Fed voted to raise interest rates by 0.25 percentage points -- the sixth such increase since the Fed began normalizing policy in December 2015 after seven years of keeping its benchmark rate target anchored near zero. 

New FDIC Chair Reviewing CAMELS

FDIC Chair Jelena McWilliams
Jelena McWilliams, the new Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) Chair, plans to review the decades-old system for measuring lenders' financial health, which banks say is outdated. McWilliams, who was sworn in as FDIC chair this month, said she wants the regulator to be more transparent about how it rates banks' financial health using the so-called CAMELS rating system. She told an industry conference that 
CAMELS has not been modernized in more than 20 years:  "The more transparent and accountable we can be in the process of how we do things, I think, the more likely regulated agencies can give us genuine feedback." 

Banking News
Online Lending

Excelsior Growth Fund (EGF) is NYBDC's nonprofit Community Development Financial Institution and IBANYS' exclusive online lending partner. Their  mission is to help businesses in New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania grow by providing small business loans and advisory services. As a nonprofit organization and a U.S. Treasury-certified Community Development Financial Institution  (CDFI) , they're a responsible lender you can trust. Their  products are affordable and flexible, and their advisory services can help you reach your business goals. Their signature product, the EGF SmartLoan™, provides up to $100,000 through a streamlined online platform.  Loans are approved in 1-2 days and funded in a week.  For more details, please visit: http://excelsiorgrowthfund.org/egf_smartloan/ 

Spotlight Bank of the Week

First Office- Solvay, NY

Since 1949, Geddes Federal Savings and Loan has been serving the Central New York community with residential loans and savings products. Beginning with a staff of two Geddes Federal has since grown to a staff of 42 and over $529 million in Assets. For the past 69 years, the Association has expanded its product offerings and geography, but the original mission to provide our neighbors with quality savings and loan products, remains the same today.

Today we have two offices, with our main office located at the Westvale Plaza in the Village of Solvay just outside of the City of Syracuse and one branch office located at Limestone Commons in the Village of Manlius. We believe that our customers are our greatest assets, and we strive for their satisfaction. In this age of "bigger is better", we feel that customer service is the number one priority. For this reason, we service all of our customer's mortgages and accounts in-house.

With the addition of Mobile Banking services, enhanced Online capabilities, a group travel program for those 55 years of age or better and soon to offer a rewards program that includes identity theft protection. We continuously strive to meet the needs of our customers and members of our community. In addition, Geddes Federal recently invested One Million into the Home Headquarters Flexible improvement fund as an effort to provide funding for home improvement to those that qualify.

At Geddes Federal, we pride ourselves on customer service, competitive rates, and our community involvement. Our employees, Officers and Board of Directors are themselves members of the communities we serve. All willing to support and volunteer their time within the community. From helping to build, a home to facing a "Hot Pepper Challenge" to benefit ALS also called Lou Gehrig's disease. We are always there.

Geddes Federal Savings recognized as one of the Independent Community Bankers top 100 overall industry loan producers and rated five stars from Bauer Financial. It is our goal to make every customer experience with Geddes Federal Savings, better than the last.

Please visit www.geddesfederal.com  to learn more.
IBANYS Spotlight Is On...

Westover Strategy, Inc. works with companies in a variety of industries, including banking, healthcare, fine art and more on confidential strategy consulting engagements that are customized to fit clients' needs and priorities. Offerings include Strategy Maps, Strategic Planning, Board Performance Enhancement and Strategy Execution.

Contact:   Susan   Powell Byrd
Website:  www.westoverstrategyinc.com  for details, including client case studies and testimonials

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  46 of the nation's 50  state legislatures now meet  annually, but the remaining four ( Montana, Nevada, North Dakota and Texas) hold sessions every other year  in the odd year? 

Did you also know that Nebraska is the only state with a unicameral (one chamber) legislature? It changed from bicameral (two chambers) to unicameral in 1937, and is also the only state legislature that is entirely nonpartisan. 
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