• IBANYS Urges Sen. Schumer To Help Pass Bipartisan Regulatory Relief Bill For Community Banks (S.2155) . . .Click here to read letter
  • Are You Following IBANYS On Social Media? Visit us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Linked in!
  • Be Part Of IBANYS' Busy Spring Schedule Of 

    Meetings, Conferences, Webinars. . .Sign Up Today!

  • Latest News From Albany & Washington
  • Industry Trends & Updates. . .News On Community Banking
Your IBANYS Team: 
Working To Make 2018 Another Great Year 
For New York's C ommun ity Banks !

IBANYS Webinars:
CLICK HERE to learn more about how  IBANYS' webinars can help your bank's officers, directors and employees.
Quick Links

Have You Contributed to NYSIBPAC This Year?
If not, now is the time! We need your help! 2018 is a statewide election year, with every member of the NYS Legislature on the ballot, as well as all statewide officials. Let's support those who understand the needs and priorities of community banks. 
Can we count on you?
for our 2018  PAC contribution form. Help support IBANYS' political action efforts in New York State.

VISIT IBANYS' Preferred Providers. . .  CLICK HERE to learn more about IBANYS' preferred providers and what they can do for New York community banks.
February 7, 2018
IBANYS is keenly focused on legislative and regulatory developments in Albany. The NYS Legislature and Governor Cuomo are in the midst of the 2018-19 State Budget process. At the same time, we are also working closely on federal issues with the Independent Community Bankers of America (ICBA).  This week, we sent a letter signed by our Board of Directors  to Senator Schumer's office urging him to do everything possible to ensure swift Senate consideration and approval of S.2155, (the bipartisan Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief and Consumer Protection Act) -- and, to help keep it free of amendments that could disrupt its bipartisan balance.   Click here to read the letter.  

New York community bankers: Join us April 8-11 in Washington, D.C. at ICB's Capitral Summit--and especially, for our April 10 meetings "on the hill" with members of the New York Congressional Delegation!  
On a separate note, I hope all our members -- bankers, associate members and preferred providers alike -- will take a moment to review IBANYS' upcoming IBANYS meetings and conferences. March and April will be packed with programs designed for community bank CEOs, Compliance Officers, Directors and Human Resources Officers. In May, our new Bank Executive Symposium (previously the IBANYS CFO/Senior Management Conference) will be held in Watkins Glen. IBANYS preferred partners and associate members: These meetings provide unique networking opportunities. Plan to join us! 

IBANYS is YOUR association. Make it work for you!  
-- John

Are YOU Following IBANYS On Social Media? Now Is The Time!

Have you found and followed IBANYS on social media yet?  Connecting couldn't be simpler:
  • Facebook: @ibanys1 | Twitter: @ibanys1 | Instagram: @ibanys1 | LinkedIn: IBANYS 

2018 Is A KEY Election Year In New York:
Support NYSIBPAC! 
IBANYS' 2018 PAC Contribution Brochure  is now available. By donating to our state political action committee, you demonstrate support for New York community banks. Your contributions  help support the election campaigns of individuals who support community based banking, and who share an interest in improving the business climate for independent banks in New York. NYSIBPAC contributions are made only to candidates for New York State offices. This year, every statewide official and all the seats in the NYS Legislature are on the ballot in November. Please click the link above and support NYSIBPAC.

Attend IBANYS'  2018 Meetings
IBANYS 2018 Calendar shows dates & locations for our 2018 meetings.   Member banks: Please share with your senior management team, key officers and personnel and directors. Preferred providers, associate members and business show exhibitors: Now is the time to plan to attend, participate, sponsor/exhibit.

 Join Us For A Busy IBANYS Spring. . .
  • Regional 
    Compliance Conferences
    will be held March 20 (Rochester/Pittsford)
    and on March 21 (Troy). . .presentations by OCC, NYS DFS, industry experts and a peer bankers panel discussion. Click here for program details and to register. 
  • Our first three 
    CEO Forums 
    will be on 
    March 26 (Albany), March 27 (Syracuse)
    and March 28 (Rochester/Buffalo market). Please CLICK HERE for program flyer, and  CLICK HERE to register. 
  • The 2018 ICBA Capital Summit  at the Grand Hyatt Hotel, Washington, DC will be held  Sunday, April 8 - Wednesday, April 11 . "Hill visits" with the New York congressional delegation will be Tuesday, April 10 & Wednesday, April 11.
  • Our Regional Directors Conferences are  April 10 (Rochester/Pittsford) and April 11 (Troy)
  • Our Human Resources Conferences will take place April
    24 (Rochester/Pittsford) & 
    April 25 (Troy)

Legislative Budget Hearings Continue
The Legislature has been holding a series of hearings for lawmakers, various state agencies , department heads and witnesses to weigh in on the Governor's proposed executive budget for 2018-19.  The hearings, announced by Senate Finance Committee Chair Catharine Young and Assembly Ways & Means Committee Chair Helene Weinstein, began in January and continue through February 13. The hearing on taxes will be held February 8. Each hearing focuses on a particular program area to provide the appropriate legislative committees with public input on the proposed $168.2 billion spending plan the Governor unveiled January 16. 

DFS: We'll Protect New York Consumers I n Wake Of CFPB's "Troublesome Shift"
New York State Department of Financial Services Superintendent Maria Vullo issued a statement saying DFS is prepared to step in to address the "troublesome policy shift away from consumer protection" by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau under Acting Director Mulvaney.  "Since its founding, the CFPB has been a strong and vital partner with the New York State Department of Financial Services and state regulators nationwide on many important consumer protection issues. I am disappointed by the new administration's sudden policy shift, which is clearly intended to undermine necessary national financial services regulation and enforcement. DFS remains committed to its mission to safeguard the financial services industry and protect New York consumers, and will continue to lead and take action to fill the increasing number of regulatory voids created by the federal government."

Cuomo: Federal Funding Deal Must 
"Protect New Yorkers"
As Congress tries to reach agreement on a deal to fund the federal government (Senate leaders did so today), Governor Cuomo made his sentiments known and urged Democrats involved in the negotiations: "Any deal being put together has to protect New Yorkers. It must restore the cuts to hospitals that threaten to devastate our health care system. It must rescue the federal low-income housing tax credit that has expanded affordable housing all across the state. And it must restore the elimination of state and local tax deductibility, which has been the foundation of the federal income tax law since its creation more than a century ago. . . Democrats must protect DACA and refuse to fund a wall as a political icon. . ."

DeFrancisco Running For Governor
NYS Senate Deputy Majority Leader John DeFrancisco (R-Syracuse) announced his candidacy for the Republican nomination for Governor. He has been endorsed by a number of his GOP Senate colleagues, including  Senators Amedore, Funke, Marchione, Robach, Serino, Seward and Tedisco,  Boyle, Bonacic, Akshar, Gallivan and Croci. Senator  DeFrancisco announced he will give up his seat in the State Senate to run for Governor. He was first elected to the Senate in 1992, and has also chaired the powerful Finance Committee. He faces Assembly Minority Leader Brian Kolb (R-Geneva) and former Erie County Executive Joel Giambra for the GOP  nomination to oppose Governor Cuomo. Faced with a heavy enrollment disadvantage, the Republican Party hasn't won a statewide election in New York since 2002, when George Pataki was elected to his third term as Governor. 

CLICK HERE to see the 2018 New York State Legislative Session Calendar

IBANYS Urges Sen. Schumer To Support S.2155 Reg Relief Bill
ICBA sent a letter signed by the entire IBANYS Board of Directors to Senator Schumer (click here to read) urging him to do everything possible to ensure the Senate's bipartisan regulatory relief bill (S.2155) is considered and enacted quickly by the full Senate.
In other activity on S.2155:
  • ICBA sent a letter (link below) signed by all 43 of ICBA's affiliated state association partners including IBANYS, to members of the U.S. Senate. It urges the Senate to pass the "Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief and Consumer Protection Act" (S. 2155) without any amendments that might risk its current bipartisan support. CLICK HERE to read full letter.
  • ICBA and IBANYS are urging community bankers to send tweets and emails to their U.S. Senators urging support for S. 2155, which includes numerous provisions from ICBA's Plan for Prosperity. Click below to act today. 
    Click HERE to e-mail 
    CLICK HERE to tweet
  • ICBA and a coalition of other financial trade groups has also urged Senate leaders to take up S. 2155. The joint letter was also from the American Bankers Association, Credit Union National Association, and National Association of Federally-Insured Credit Unions. It noted: "At a time of frequent congressional gridlock in Washington, this bipartisan legislation is a shining example of how our elected leaders can advance necessary solutions by working together and across the aisle."
Fed Chairman Powell To Testify
House Financial Services Chairman Jeb Hensarling (R-TX) announced that Federal Reserve Chairman Jerme Powell will discuss the outlook for interest rates in testimony before the Committee Feb. 28. Powell took the helm at the Fed on Monday. His predecessor, Janet Yellen, has accepted a position at The Brookings Institution as a Distinguished Fellow in Residence and will be affiliated with the Hutchins Center on Fiscal and Monetary Policy, joining fellow former Federal Reserve Chair Ben Bernanke.

Small Bank Holding Company Bill 
Moving In House
ICBA urged the House to pass legislation that would allow more community bank and thrift holding companies to raise capital. H.R. 4771 ("The Small Bank Holding Company Relief Act") is co-sponsored by Rep. Gregory Meeks (D-Queens). It would raise the Federal Reserve's Small Bank Holding Company Policy Statement asset threshold from $1 billion to $3 billion. The bill is expected to come to a floor vote next week. Identical language (based on ICBA's Plan for Prosperity regulatory relief platform, endorsed by IBANYS) is included in the bipartisan S. 2155 awaiting a Senate vote.

Treasury's Mnuchin On Non-Banks, SIFIs
Treasury Secretary Mnuchin provided new details on efforts by the Financial Stability Oversight Council (which he chairs) to revise its nonbank designation process. Mnuchin told the House Financial Services Committee the Council will issue a proposal on criteria for designating firms before enforcing a new methodology. Mnuchin also said this week that Treasury will issue a formal proposal on a new method of designating systemically important financial institutions (SIFIs) before it moves ahead with changes to the SIFI designation process. 
  • The Senate Banking Committee will vote tomorrow on President Trump's nomination of Jelena McWilliams to chair the FDIC. The Committee will also consider the nominations of Marvin Goodfriend for a seat on the Federal Reserve Board, and Thomas Workman for the Financial Stability Oversight Council.
  • Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Acting Director Mulvaney named Kirsten Sutton Mork as the agency's chief of staff. She has been serving as staff director of the House Financial Services Committee under Chairman Hensarling. 
Federal Tax Reform Scorecard
For details on how the new federal tax changes could impact community banks, the 
ICBA tax reform scorecard for community banks summarizes the new tax law's favorable outcomes as well as remaining tax challenges. The law includes ICBA-advocated tax relief and numerous improvements benefiting community banks, such as a small-business carveout from limits on the business interest deduction and enhanced treatment of Subchapter S community banks.

Sign Up Now. . .Program Nearly Sold Out!
The Barrett Graduate School of Banking offers outstanding, innovative curriculum and an ICBA-endorsed superb faculty that includes nationally known speakers in the industry. The program's one-week resident session means bank employees spend less time away from job and family. 
The curriculum includes:
  • One week per year for three years
  • 128 hours of classroom study
  • Nine on-campus case studies
  • Eight home study problems.
Barrett has more than 40 years of existence (It was formerly known as the Mid South School of Banking.) Attendees come from over 20 states.
Click here for additional information.

De Novo Activity Picking Up
The American Banker reprts de novo activity is "slowly picking up steam, ending a lengthy lull that followed the financial crisis." New charter activity is not nearly what it was pre-crisis, at least eight banks are currently in various stages of formation. In comparison, only five new banks opened their doors between 2013 and 2017.
The applications are from markets across the country, including Miami; Nashville, Tenn.; New York and Las Vegas.
  • A U.S. Secret Service alert to owners and operators of ATMs warns of "jackpot" attacks that "fool" ATMs into cashing out their contents through a combination of both physical intrusion and malware. So far, the attacks have targeted front-loading ATMs in drive-throughs and retail outlets. The attacks apparently start with imposters who pose as ATM service technicians. They access the machine through its "top hat" and install the malware.
  • Depending on where you live in the United States, the amount needed to live comfortably varies greatly.  MIT's living wage calculator  determines the minimum amount necessary to meet basic needs without relying on outside help. In other words, how much income is needed to live "comfortably" (above the poverty line) in every state. The numbers account for a family of two adults and one child, and don't include such "conveniences" such as restaurant meals, vacations and money left over for investments. In New York, which placed in the top quartile, the "living wage" figure is $59,128, and the median household income is $62,909.
Federal Reserve Board Chairman Jerome Powell, in a speech he delivered while still serving as a Fed Governor, noted: "The risks and vulnerabilities of community banks differ substantially from those of larger banks, and an explicit tailoring of regulation and supervision for community banks is appropriate."


IBANYS' webinars provide timely, informative sessions on important topics and issues of interest for community bankers. They are valuable not only for their content, but for their cionvenience: Participants can take part from the comfort and privacy of their offices, without leaving the bank.  Upcoming offerings include presentations on 2018 credit analysis and underwriting, IRAs, consumer debt, compliance, new accounts, call reports, programs for directors, marketing and cyber security.  Take a look at the schedule of all upcoming IBANYS webinars by clicking here

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. 

"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. September was National Prostate Cancer Awareness Month, and Lake Shore Savings Bank 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, estimates are there will be 161,360 new cases, and that more than 26,000 people will die of the disease. Support IBANYS' "Cure the Blue" campaign to help New Yorkers participate to promote prostate cancer awareness and research.

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
Click here to learn more, or contact Alan Justin: (716) 907-5500. 

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

Online Lending
Excelsior Growth Fund (EGF) is NYBDC's nonprofit Community Development Financial Institution and IBANYS' exclusive online lending partner. Visit 


. . .Westover Strategy, Inc.
Westover Strategy works with a variety of industries, including  financial services, on confidential strategy consulting engagements customized to fit clients' needs and priorities.  Organizations can benefit from an evaluation of strategy and execution plans by an objective third party. Westover provides such services, including identification of critical gaps and recommendations on how to address them. 
Westover works with clients to develop detailed, well-considered three-to-five year Strategic Plans, ideally expanding upon a Strategy Map as the plan's foundation. It reflects internal and external assessments of the organization and industry, and articulates strategic initiatives designed to accomplish key objectives, along with associated metrics, resource requirements and projected financials. The process may include an offsite facilitated by Westover. The firm also  works with the senior team and board to articulate and/or update the organization's mission, vision and values and establish measurable objectives for key perspectives, and how to best communicate the plan to key stakeholders. Westover works with Boards of Directors to help them become high-performing boards. For details, contact Westover CEO Susan Powell Byrd. She has over 25 years of not-for-profit and for-profit board experience as Chair, Vice Chair, and Chair and/or member of board committees including Executive, Long Range Planning, Resource Development, Nominating, Program and Planning, and Governance. For more information, please visit

. . .That with new Chairman Jerome Powell taking office as Chairman of the Federal Reserve this week, there are now four living former Chairs of the Fed: 
  • Janet Yellen (served under Presidents Obama, Trump)
  • Ben Bernanke (GW Bush, Obama)
  • Alan Greenspan (Reagan, GHW Bush, Clinton, GW Bush, Obama) 
  • Paul Volcker (Carter, Reagan)


New York community banks play a key role in our state and local economies. Help spread the good news among your customers, business and elected leaders and media!


Click here for quotes from Governor Cuomo and former DFS Superintendent Lawsky extolling the performance and value of New York community banks.

Click here for the full NYS Study on community banking.

Click here to read IBANYS President & CEO John Witkowski's comments on the new tax changes and benefits for New York community banks as approved in the 2014-15 State Budget.


Click here for IBANYS' letter to the Editor of Consumer Reports Magazine correcting failure to mention community banks as an alternative to using "big banks."


John J. Witkowski
President and Chief Executive Officer
Stephen W. Rice
Director of Government Relations and Communications

Linda Gregware
Director of Administration and Membership Services 

William Y. Crowell, III
Legislative Counsel  

Natalie Rowan
Marketing and Social Media Assistant