May 30, 2018

In This Issue: 
  • President Trump Signs S.2155 Reg Relief Bill Into Law 
  • Senate Confirms McWilliams As New FDIC Chair 
  • NYS State Legislative Session: Headed For An Early End?
  • Three Key IBANYS Meetings In June -- Are YOU Signed Up? 
  • Follow IBANYS On Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram!

Message From the President

John Witkowski, President & CEO
President Signs Major Community Bank Reg Relief Bill Into Law
. . .Some Important Follow-UP On What It Means For Your Bank

As you know, late last week -- before the long holiday weekend -- President Trump signed into law S.2155, the  "Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief and Consumer Protection Act." based on provisions in ICBA's Plan for Prosperity regulatory relief platform. It will give community banks their most meaningful regulatory relief since the Dodd-Frank Act was enacted back in 2010.  The results will prove enormously  beneficial not just to community banks, but also to the customers and communities we serve. 

Many IBANYS member banks have fought long and hard to help achieve regulatory relief, even before  the enactment of Dodd-Frank in 2010. Your tireless efforts through your personal visits, phone calls and emails played a vital role with  the New York congressional delegation. All nine New York House Republicans (Lee Zeldin, Peter King, Dan Donovan, John Faso, Elise Stefanik, Claudia Tenney, Tom Reed, John Katko and Chris Collins) and three New York House Democrats (Sean Patrick Maloney, Kathleen Rice and Tom Suozzi) voted in favor of the bill. 

While this is a very big win for community banks, we still have more work to do. Congress is out on recess this week, but rest assured that IBANYS and  ICBA will continue to work  toward providing additional legislative and regulatory measures to build on this achievement -- both during the remainder of the current session, and in the future. 

Meanwhile, we are pleased to share with you some important resources provided by ICBA regarding S.2155 going forward. 
Currently in Albany,  the legislative days are winding down. The session is set to end June 20, but there's some talk it may wrap up a week earlier. 


Is Your Bank You Signed Up For IBANYS' 3 Important Events In June? 

Our Lending, Human Resources, and Security Conferences are fast-approaching, but there is still time to register! These programs will keep you informed on the very latest trends, issues and developments in these fields. 
Contact Linda Gregware at with questions on these these upcoming IBANYS meetings:
    • IBANYS and T. Gschwender are co-hosting our Lending Conference in Fairport, NY on June 5-6 with a focus on commercial lending, commercial real estate lending, CECL, and a loan review process for lenders, portfolio managers and analysts. Please urge your commercial, mortgage, small business and consumer lending teams to attend. Brochure, Registration Form, Sponsorship Opportunities
    • IBANYS' Regional Human Resource Conferences are June 12 in Rochester, NY and June 13 in Troy, NY. They will address sexual harassment, FMLA, PFL, talent acquisition and retention, benefits, identity theft, and much more. Please urge your HR directors and those in supervisory roles to register. Brochure, Registration Form
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

Follow IBANYS On Social Media!

Have you found and followed IBANYS on social media yet? Connect with us today!


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2018 Meetings


              Lending Conference

June 5-6, 2018
Woodcliff Hotel & Spa
199 Woodcliff Drive
Fairport, NY 14450



                                                     Human Resources Conference

  June 12, 2018             June 13, 2018
 Hilton Garden Inn           Hilton Garden Inn
Rochester/Pittsford                    Troy
800 Pittsford Victor         235 Hoosick Street
Pittsford, NY 14534           Troy, NY 12180


              Security Conference

   June 19, 2018              June 20, 2018
   Hilton Garden Inn            Hilton Garden Inn
  Rochester/Pittsford                    Troy
  800 Pittsford Victor         235 Hoosick Street
  Pittsford, NY 14534            Troy, NY 12180



                                                      2018 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:
New Feature!
Spotlight Bank of the Week

Spotlight Bank of the Week is a new feature that we are adding 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

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.

Community Banking Month Special

Celebrate Community Banking Month with a  FREE WEBINAR

Buy any  2 webinars and get a coupon code for  1 free until May 31st


Pricing starts at $230

  • 90 minutes of industry-leading webinar training
  • Take-away toolkit with supplemental materials, training log, and a knowledge-check quiz
  • Live and recorded options to view at your conveience
  • Viewable on desktop, mobile, or tablet

Add two webinars to your cart. Before completing your order enter "Send my free webinar code!" in the Comments box. A coupon code for your free webinar will be emailed to you within one business day. Choose your webinars here.

*Not applicable for full Series orders

Government Relations

Latest Legislative Update

  • A.6949B Zebrowski/S.6700, Hamilton would permit federal and state chartered credit unions to accept State and Local deposits through the BDD program (a program currently available only to banks and thrifts). The bill remains on third reading on the Assembly calendar. It has not yet moved in the Senate, where it remains in the Banks Committee. 
  • The Assembly Ways & Means Committee reported 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.
  • S.3755 (Savino), which IBANYS supports, helped draft and has on our legislative program, is currently on the Senate floor awaiting a vote after being reported by the Senate Banks Committee. It would provide regulatory relief by allowing state chartered banks under $8 billion to invest in (and utilize) service corporations to achieve economies of scale when complying with regulations by permitting community banks to use such corporations to provide shared services among member banks to reduce compliance costs. IBANYS continues to seek support in the Assembly. 
  • Another bill on IBANYS legislative programS.3756 (Savino), would exempt banks from state CRA examinations if they have assets of less than $1 billion and received a satisfactory or better CRA rating in their most recent CRA exam by its primary federal regulator. That bill has passed the Senate, and IBANYS seeks support in the Assembly.

2018 Session Dwindling Down: 13 Days Left -- Maybe Even Fewer?

The 2018 New York State legislative session has just 13 days remaining until the scheduled adjournment date of June 20. Overall, the agenda is relatively thin. There are congressional primaries in June and the state primaries are in September. There is some speculation that the Legislature may actually end the session early this year; legislative leaders have discussed ending the session on June 14. Senate Republicans are reportedly urging the plan, in part because Sen. Tom Croci (R-Suffolk County) has now returned to military service and likely won't be back for many- if any - of the remaining session days. Without Croci, Republicans lack the minimum 32 members needed for a majority vote, making it virtually impossible for them to pass any controversial legislation. There are no hard deadlines for them to reach agreements. At any rate, high-profile issues not yet resolved include the Child Victims Act, sports betting, teacher evaluations and marijuana legalization.  

New Role For Former Banks Chair Savino?

Former Senate Banks Chair Diane Savino (D-S.I.)
Former State Senate Banks Committee Chair Diane Savino (D-S.I.), who was a member of the now-defunct Senate's Independent Democratic Conference (IDC), is now being mentioned as a potential candidate for New York City Public Advocate in the event that the current incumbent,  Letitia James, is elected State Attorney General in November. James is considered the front runner. If she wins, there would be a  special election held for the NYC Public Advocate position. Savino's Spokesperson said she is currently focused on reelection to the state senate. 

Washington, D.C.

President Signs S.2155 Reg Relief Into Law

President Trump S.2155,
the "Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief and Consumer Protection Act" into law. It will provide  the most important regulatory relief for community banks since the enactment of  Dodd-Frank eight years ago.   S. 2155 is an key step toward tiered and proportionate community bank regulations. Here is what S. 2155's passage entails:
  • It addresses easing "qualified mortgage," escrow, capital, call report, exam, appraisal, Volcker Rule, Home Mortgage Disclosure Act, and reciprocal deposit requirements. 
  • It expands access to the Federal Reserve's Small Bank Holding Company Policy Statement, allow federal savings associations with $20 billion or less in assets to operate with national bank powers, and provide relief for larger community banks; including higher asset thresholds for systemically important financial institution designations and easier stress testing and formal risk committee requirements.

Busy Summer Ahead For Senate?

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell
Congress is out on recess this week, but Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is planning an "aggressive" summer legislative agenda including floor time for spending bills and three major authorizations. He said he would prioritize the fiscal 2019 defense authorization, a new farm bill and updated water resources development legislation. 

McConnell advised people who serve and work on the Senate side of the Capitol not to make firm summer vacation plans, given the possibility that the chamber will remain in session, noting  "I'll have more to say definitively about that the week after next." 

Industry Trends & Updates

IBANYS Members Discussed S.2155 In The Press

Earlier this month, two capital district IBANYS member bank CEOs were interviewed by The Albany Business Review about S.2155, the Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief and Consumer Protection Act that was signed into law by President Trump last week. John
Tom Amell- President & CEO, Pioneer Bank
Buhrmaster, President & CEO of First National Bank of Scotia,
John Buhrmaster- President & CEO, First National Bank of Scotia
and Tom Amell, President & CEO of Pioneer Bank, explained how the regulatory relief legislation will benefit community banks and the customers and communities they serve. 
Buhrmaster, a Past Chairman of both IBANYS and ICBA, said the bill would provide regulatory relief for community banks, which provide 60 percent of all small business loans. "It's meaningful relief, real actual time savings and money savings for the consumer and the small business person and the bank. All put together in one and it was passed on a bipartisan level."  Amell, currently serves as IBANYS Vice Chairman, said the bill would benefit community banks, which have been lobbying for changes to the laws put in place after the 2008 financial crisis. "When regulators impose banking regulations, they impose them as one size fits all. Community banks say that's not fair. We're in different markets. We don't have the same resources. We know our customers better. It's tiering the system, so there's less regulation on community banks that have a less complex business model. It makes it easier for us to do business in our communities." The interview appeared in the May 10 issue.

McWilliams Confirmed As FDIC Director 

President Trump's nominee for FDIC Chair, Jelena McWilliams, has been confirmed by the
FDIC Chair Jelena McWilliams
U.S. Senate as Director of the FDIC by a vote of 69-24. McWilliams succeeds
 Martin Gruenberg,  who has served on the FDIC board in various capacities since 2005. McWilliams most recently was the chief legal officer at Cincinnati-based Fifth Third Bancorp, and previously worked as a Republican staffer on the Senate Banking Committee and for its current chairman, Sen. Mike Crapo (R.-ID).  McWilliams joins Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell, and Comptroller of the Currency Joseph Otting, among President Trump's senior financial industry regulators. Meanwhile, t he Senate has also confirmed George W. Bush's former federal housing commissioner  Brian Montgomery  to head the Federal Housing Administration (FHA).

Fed Beige Book Updates Economic Conditions In Nation, New York Region 

The Federal Reserve today issued its "Beige Book" -- the periodic review of economic conditions in each of the Fed's districts nationwide. The Fed said the U.S. grew "moderately" from late April to early May. In every region, Fed officials characterized the economy as performing well. Manufacturers raised production, banks reported stronger demand for loans and home builders were very busy, among other things. In the  New York  Region, e conomic activity has continued to grow at a modest pace. The labor market has shown further signs of tightening, with some reports of accelerating wages. Input price increases have become increasingly widespread, and consumer price inflation appears to have picked up slightly. Growth has remained fairly brisk in the manufacturing sector and has picked up somewhat in the service industries. Consumer spending has been steady to stronger in April and early May, buoyed by increased tourism. Housing markets have firmed slightly, while commercial real estate markets have shown scattered signs of slackening. Finally, banks continued to report rising loan demand and no change in delinquency rates. Read the full report.

Home Prices, Consumer Confidence Both Up

According to the Case-Shiller national index, home prices rose 6.5 percent in March from the same time last year, up from a 6.4 percent gain in February. Also, the Conference Board's Consumer Confidence index showed that consumer confidence increased in May. The index measures American's sentiment on current economic conditions and expectations for the next six months. Consumer spending accounts for about 70 percent of U.S. economic activity, drawing economists' attention to the numbers. The index rose to 128.0 from a downwardly revised 125.7 for April. A spokesperson noted: "Consumers' assessment of current conditions increased to a 17-year high, suggesting that the level of economic growth in Q2 is likely to have improved from Q1."

FHLBNY Approves Dividend For 1Q 2018

FHLBNY President & CEO Jose Gonzalez 
On May 24, the Federal Home Loan Bank of New York (FHLBNY) Board of Directors approved a dividend for the first quarter of 2018 of 6.50% (annualized). The dollar amount of the dividend will be approximately $105.3 million. The cash dividend will be distributed to member financial institutions on May 25, 2018. FHLBNY President & CEO Jose Gonzalez noted: "
Our cooperative has performed well to start 2018, with strong earnings and the solid performance of our core business throughout the first quarter. These results position the Federal Home Loan Bank of New York to enhance member value by providing an attractive dividend for the quarter."

Latest Update On Volcker Rule Changes

The Federal Reserve Board meets today to discuss proposed changes to the Volcker Rule, which prohibits proprietary trading and restricts banks' ability to own or invest in so-called covered funds, such as hedge or private equity funds, to prevent their indirect exposure to risk. The changes are expected to allow more flexibility with regard to market making and holding short-term positions. Meanwhile, the FDIC will vote on the proposal Thursday afternoon. ICBA will review the proposals to ensure that they don't present any sort of system risk. As outlined in S. 2155, community banks with $10 billion in assets or less and with total trading assets of less than 5 percent of total assets are exempt from the rule.

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: 

Spotlight Bank of the Week

Generations Bank traces its heritage back to 1870, since that time we have been serving the financial needs of people and businesses across the Finger Lakes region. In addition to being a full service bank, Generations Agency provides insurance services to families and businesses. We employ a unique blend of traditional service and technology to deliver an experience available when, where and how the customer wants to do their banking.

Our products and services often go beyond what you might expect. For example, our MyGenMortgage is specifically designed to help enable home ownership in our communities. The GO PREMIUM and GO PREFERRED checking accounts offer extra benefits to customers by delivering value added features like ID Theft Aid / Credit Monitoring, Roadside Assistance, Cell Phone Protection and EZ Saver account rounding at no additional cost. GO PREMIUM and GO PREFERRED customers also have access to discounts at retailers, shops and restaurants locally and nationally.
2018 "Right To Run" 19k
Generations believes it is important to give back to the communities where we work and live, we support many local causes and charities with special emphasis on affordable housing and benefitting children. In addition to financial support, bank employees donate their time to charitable causes with more than 62% participating.

Headquartered in Seneca Falls, one of our neighbors is the National Women's Hall of Fame. For the past three years, the Bank has been the organizing sponsor of the "Right to Run" 19k - celebrating the women's movement. The race's unusual distance - 19 kilometers, is a nod to the 19th Amendment whereby women secured the right to vote. Proceeds from the event support the Women's Hall of Fame.
Tastes & Tunes 2017
Generations also hosts "Tastes and Tunes" an annual event featuring Finger Lakes wineries, breweries, food and music. The event supports local food banks and charities that fight hunger in our community.

The Bank also takes pride in being named one of Central New York's "Best Places to Work" each of the last four years.

As Generations continues to grow, we never lose focus on opportunities to strengthen our communities - through the products and services we offer as well as corporate involvement.

To learn more about Generations Bank, please visit

IBANYS Spotlight Is On...

T. Gschwender & Associates, Inc. is a diversified consulting company that has been providing services to financial institutions and businesses since 1984. Financial institutional clients include small community banks and credit unions with less than $100 million in assets to much larger regional institutions with over $5 billion in assets. For financial institutional clients, they operate as a highly sophisticated "Credit Department," able to handle all functions from initial borrower due diligence to collateral liquidation and everything in between. The goal is to provide these services in a timely and cost effective manner, allowing clients to tap into resources they would not otherwise be able to employ internally. 

With over 25 years of experience assisting financial institutions and businesses, they understand challenges and pressures you face. Bank presidents, regulators, CPAs, appraisers, business advisors, and environmental experts are just a few of the professionals that you can immediately add to your team. Regardless of your credit related needs, chances are they have already "been there and done that."
Their consultants all have extensive banking and corporate management experience. Some of their associates have been there since the company was started, and the current staff provides a wide depth of experience, having held high level positions within banking, accounting, and regulatory institutions. With expertise spanning "both sides of the street", the company's Associates provide a well balanced and thorough approach to all that we do.
For more details, contact  Bharpur "Bo" Singh,  President & Owner:  (315) 701-1293, 

*T. Gschwender & Associates will co-sponsor IBANYS' Lending Conference June 5-6 at the Woodcliff Hotel & Spa in Fairport, New York.

IBANYS Endorsed Services
IBANYS identifies offers products and services that provide value to your banks, companies, employees communities. These brief summaries provide links for information. Please contact IBANYS President John Witkowski with questions.

Health & Wellness

My Wellness Resource & TELADOC

The health and wellness landscape continues to evolve. "My Wellness Resource" can be a nice addition to your existing benefit package. 

Teladoc can save your banks time and money, and provide real value to your employees as this testimonial from a New York community bank CEO proves:
"I wanted to let you know that some of our employees and I have been using "Teladoc" and it is one of the best things we have done for the bank. We all love it: We are saving time, avoiding waiting in an urgent care center or a doctor's waiting room for non-emergency related illnesses . . .and it is easy to use and convenient. Once you use it, you are hooked! This was a great find! Would recommend it to all banks."

Mario Martinez 
Chairman & CEO
Catskill Hudson Bank

Contact Alan Justin: (716) 907-5500. 

"Cure the Blue" Helps Banking Industry Battle Prostate Cancer!

The "Cure the Blue" program sponsored by the Buffalo Bills Alumni Foundation allows New Yorkers to participate in one of the most comprehensive efforts to help promote prostate cancer awareness and research in the United States.  Lake Shore Savings Bank has provided prostate cancer literature and Cure the Blue information at all eleven of its branches and their headquarters in Dunkirk. The bank also offered Cure the Blue ceramic lapel ribbon pins for a $5.00 donations to Cure the Blue to all their customers. "We fully understand the severity of this disease and the devastating effect it can have on families" said Lake Shore Savings Bank President and CEO Dan Reininga. "Our support of the Buffalo Bills Alumni Foundation's "Cure the Blue" initiative is something that we are taking very seriously and are proud to support." Buffalo Bills Wall of Famer and Alumni Foundation President Booker Edgerson, a two time prostate cancer survivor, said the bank has been a tremendous longtime supporter, noting: "They have really stepped up to the plate with their unwavering support of our Cure the Blue initiative." 

IBANYS urges all of our member banks, associate members and allies to join the effort. Cure the Blue" raises funds and awareness regarding prostate cancer in New York State. Visit  to get involved! Of all new cancer cases in the nation, prostate cancer represents 9.6%. In 2017, there were an estimated 161,000 new cases, and more than 26,000 fatalities due to the disease. Support IBANYS' "Cure the Blue" campaign to help New Yorkers participate to promote prostate cancer awareness and research.

Secure. Enhanced Internet Presence

The .bank program by fTLD operates trusted, verified, more secure, easily-identifiable internet locations for financial companies and  customers. 

Did You Know?

. . .That with last week's confirmation of Jelena McWilliams, there have now been 17 individuals who have served as FDIC Chair since IBANYS was established in 1974?They include: 
  • Frank Wille (former NYS Banking Superintendent)
  • James Smith
  • Robert Barnett
  • George LeMaistre
  • John Heimann (former NYS Banking Superintendent)
  • Irvine Sprague
  • William Isaac
  • L. William Seidman
  • Andrew "Skip" Hove
  • William Taylor
  • Ricky Tigert Helfer
  • Donna Tanoue
  • John Reich
  • Donald Powell
  • Sheila Bair

  • Martin Gruenberg
  • Jelena McWilliams 
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
Connect With Us!