• Governor's 2018-19 Budget Proposal
  • IBANYS' New Social Media Presence!
  • Check Out Our New CEO Forums!
  • New Updates From Albany & Washington
  • 2018 NYSIBAC Contribution Brochure
  • 2018 Committees Need You!
  • New Column By ICBA Securities' Jim Reber
  • Meetings. . .Conferences. . .Webinars. . .
  • Have you visited our newly updated website at www.ibanys.net yet?

Your IBANYS Team: 
Working To Make 2018 Another Great Year 
For New York's C ommun ity Banks !

In This Issue

Quick Links

Have You Contributed to NYSIBPAC This Year?
If not...now is the time! We need your help in this statewide election year to support candidates and committees who understand community banks' needs.  Can we count on you?
for our 2017 PAC contribution form. Help support IBANYS' political action efforts in New York State.


January 17, 2018

With the New York State Legislature and Congress both now back in full swing, the Governor's budget proposal on the books, taxes and regulatory relief measures on the table and IBANYS' first meetings of 2018 taking shape, there is much to talk about this week. I hope you'll take a monment to read the summaries we have included of key state and federal developments, our 2018 calendar of events. . .and, our newly enhanced social media presence about to launch later this month.  With so much activity underway, we are now moving into a more regular schedule of committee meetings. For example, we have already held a conference call of our Compliance Peer Group, and our Government Relations Committee will begin holding weekly update conference calls to review pending and potential legislative and regulatory developments and gather input from our member banks. Our CFO Peer Group will meet to begin to plan the agendas for our Bank Executive Symposiums (previously called our CFO/Senior Management Conference.)

It's a busy and exciting time of year for us at your Association. We invite and need your active support and full engagement to continue to build on our past success on behalf of New York community banks. Won't you get more involved? Join a committee. . .register for an educational program. . .make a contribution to NYSIBPAC, our state political action committee. . .consider one or more of the products and services offered by our preferred providers and associate members. 

Make YOUR voice heard, and YOUR presence felt: In Albany, in Washington and throughout your industry. Come on in...the water's fine!

Lastly, I encourage our member banks to please attend the NYBDC webinar on the Excelsior Growth Fund Program for all banks interested in learning about an online lending platform. We have information on the webinar -- and a link to register -- in today's newsletter!

-- John

Get Ready For IBANYS' 
Enhanced Social Media Presence
Looking for an easier way to stay connected on everything IBANYS? That is now possible through our social platforms!  IBANYS is currently in the process of developing and launching its social media presence through Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. All three accounts will be active at the end of January and provide direct communication with our followers.  These three platforms make IBANYS "virtually accessible" to individuals and organizations, and will provide a way to receive IBANYS news faster than ever before.  Each of our posts is tailored to the platform(s) that best communicate our message and instantly notifies our followers when a new post is added. Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram all offer notification features that can alert you on any device when an update is made to that platform. 
  • New event page created on Facebook? You can immediately add it to your calendar.
  • Policy update from Washington? Twitter can instantly give you the insight into it. 
  • New brochure for one of our conferences? Get all the information for it on Instagram.
Another great aspect of our social media accounts is that you can share our posts or provide your comment and thoughts. 
  • Let other businesses know about our events
  • Share an idea for a new topic at a conference 
  • Or, just start a conversation with us! 
The possibilities are endless.  With the integration of social media, IBANYS looks forward to expanding communication with various individuals and organizations and keeping all our followers up-to-date on all IBANYS news. 

Be sure to keep an eye out for our social media accounts at the end of January and follow them! 
  • Facebook: @ibanys1 
  • Twitter: @ibanys1  
  • Instagram: @ibanys1 
If you have questions, please  contact our Marketing and Social Media Assistant Natalie Rowan:  natalier@ibanys.net or at (518) 436-4646.

IBANYS' New CEO Forums
In operating a business, utilization of various resources is common to keep an organization on the road to success. For CEOs, this is especially true as every move made can impact not only your organization, but your community.  IBANYS'  CEO Forum is the perfect event for executives to share and learn about new topics, ideas, and resources that can help them and their organization succeed.  The CEO Forum will take place twice a year, from 8:30 AM-3:00 PM. The first round is scheduled for March 26th in Albany, March 27th in Syracuse and March 28th in Rochester/Buffalo market. Each will be capped at 15 participants. Topics at the forum can range from profitability strategies to regulatory updates. New topics will be discussed at each meeting, based on suggestions from past participants. 

By attending the CEO Forum, you will gain many benefits, such as: 
  • Learning what's working and what's not
  • Forming long lasting relationships with other CEO's
  • Solving your immediate concerns
  • Obtaining access to highly respected industry experts
  • Discovering new solutions your peers are utilizing
There is nothing to lose, and everything to gain by attending IBANYS' CEO Forums. Come and meet other CEO's and join together for the common goal on making our banks thrive! Look for more details soon!

Support NYSIBPAC! 
Here's an important update! IBANYS' 2018 PAC Contribution Brochure  is now available. By donating to NYSIBPAC, our state political action committee, you demonstrate your support for community banks. Funds help the campaigns of individuals that not only support community-based banking, but want to work to improve the business environment for independent banks in New York. Contributions to NYSIBPAC are used to support the election campaigns of individuals who support communitybased banking and who share an interest in improving the business climate for independent banks in New York. The distribution of funds from NYSIBPAC is limited to candidates for New York State offices. Every statewide official and all seats in the NYS Legislature will be on the ballot next November. Please click the link above and support NYSIBPAC.


Mark Your Calendars For These IBANYS' 
2018 Meetings. . .  
Please review this convenient IBANYS 2018 Calendar showing the dates and locations of all our 2018 IBANYS meetings.  Member banks: Please share with your senior management team, key officers and personnel and directors. Preferred providers, associate members and business show exhibitors: Plan early to attend, participate, sponsor and/or exhibit.

 Busy March Ahead!
Our first 2018 meetings are in March, with our  Regional Compliance Conferences  scheduled for Rochester/Pittsford March  20 & Troy March 21, and then our new CEO Forums March 26 in Albany, March 27 in Syracuse & March 28 in Rochester/Buffalo market. Watch for more details! 

Please Note This Important Change:
The dates for the 2018 ICBA Capital Summit at the Grand Hyatt Hotel, Washington, DC have changed to  Sunday, April 8 - Wednesday, April 11, 2018 . IBANYS will be scheduling our "hill visits" with the members of our New York congressional delegation (House and Senate) for Tuesday, April 10 and Wednesday, April 11.

"What's ahead for the US Financial Markets and the Economy for 2018?"
Tuesday, January 23, 2018 
(11:00 - 11:45 a.m.) 
Presented by  Scott Stone, CFA and  Senior Vice President and Chief Investment Officer, Pentegra
Scott will share his insights on the changing landscape and the potential bear markets in US equities and bonds. The webinar will include:
  • A brief report card on Scott's predictions from 2017
  • The changing investment landscape:  
    • ETF's, Bitcoin, International and Emerging Market actions and more
  • 2018: What stock and bond valuations are telling us now?
    • What risks do we see from high valuations in the stock and bond markets?
    • What are the implications for both short and long term rates, especially with changes at the Federal Reserve?
    • The ramifications of Trump's policies, especially tax reform 

Excelsior Growth Fund Webinar: "Access to Capital: Securing a Small Business Loan"
Thursday, January 25 
(12:30 p.m.)
Thursday,  January 25 at 12:30 PM is the time of this free live 45-minute webinar. Hear top tips for securing a small business loan. Expert advisors will provide advice on how to decide on the right loan type and lender, and provide options on where to turn if you've been declined. Presenter will be Carol O' Connell (Assistant Vice President, Excelsior Growth Fund)  brings more than 20 years of experience to Excelsior Growth Fund where she is part of the Business Advisory Services team.

. . .Sign Up Today! 
IBANYS committees play a vital role in reviewing and formulating legislative and regulatory policy,  designing educational programs,
p roviding opportunities for peer networking and dialogue. . . and  recommending new, innovative products and services to benefit New York's community banks. Contact  John Witkowski and/or Linda Gregware (Johnw@IBANYS.net, Lindag@IBANYS.net) and let them know which committees interest your bank:
  • Government Relations Committee 
  • CFO/Senior Management Peer Group 
  • Compliance Peer Group 
  • Security Committee
  • Our new HR and Operations Committee 
  • Innovation Committee



Governor Proposes 2018-19 State Budget
Saying "It's not just the budget this year, its an economic transformation of the climate," Governor Cuomo delivered his proposed 2018-19 state budget yesterday. His $168.1 billion spending plan closes a $4.4 billion shortfall, caps spending at less than a 2% increase, freezes state aid to municipalities, boosts education aid by 3%, gives a modest increase in funding for state university campuses and holds flat the amount that state agencies spend. The portion of the budget paid for largely by state taxpayers will rise 1.8%, to $100 billion. The Governor would further reduce the impact of the new federal tax law (including the loss of SALT deductions) by potentially changing the way the state taxes wage earners' income. All in all, he proposed $1 billion of new revenue actions, including changes that will harvest profits from the pending conversions of non-profit health insurers, taxes on health insurers and the deferral of business tax credits, and the as-yet-undetailed plan to get around the SALT limits. 
  • The Governor wants to replace the state's income tax for wage earners with a new payroll tax that could be deductible under the new federal tax law. His proposed "New York State Taxpayer Protection Act" would eliminate the state income tax on wage earners. Instead, it would levy a wage tax on the employer. The tax burden would shift from workers -- who face new limits on their ability to deduct state income taxes -- to employers, who could still take full deductions for such payroll taxes. The legislation would spell out which kinds of companies would be eligible for this treatment. 
  • The proposal would apply only to wage earners. For other sources of income, including investment gains, the personal income tax system would apply. The state Department of Taxation is expected to provide more details today. 
  • The plan would create state charitable funds for education and health care, which would allow individuals to get state tax credits for their donations. He said that would mitigate the impact of the federal tax plan on high-income earners. 
  • The Governor also called for deferring tax credits for companies that receive $2 million or more in credits for one year, which would raise $300 million in state revenue. He said federal tax changes that cut the corporate tax rate to 21%  from 35% will more than make up for that change. "They weren't expecting the tax cut; they got the tax cut," Cuomo said. "It'll more than offset the deferral of our credits."
Reaction to the Governor's speech was swift.
  • Senate GOP Leader John Flanagan (R-L.I.): "I think there's some good things in there. . . The revenue stuff we have to take a hard look at." 
  • NYS Senate Deputy Majority Leader John DeFrancisco (R-Syracuse), who is considering a run for Governor this year, commented: "People are leaving because taxes are too high. I don't quite get the logic of taxing more because we're being taxed more. There's another concept. Cut spending and cut taxes. That was the problem even before the federal tax code changed. . . .I'll bet you 10-to-1 if this payroll tax comes into being, it will be as the governor calls 'revenue enhancer'. . . What I call an increase in taxes.
  • Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie, D-Bronx: "We need to explore" changing the state tax structure to move away from using a state income tax on employees and implementing a payroll tax on employers. "To just do nothing and have the federal government just continue to pick the pockets of New York state, I think it would be wrong on us not to try to do something."
  • Assembly GOP Leader Brian Kolb (R-Geneva), an announced gubernatorial candidate: Unfortunately, today's Executive Budget presentation was long on finger-pointing, yet short on financial details." 
  • Senate Finance Committee Chair Cathy Young (R-Jamestown), who will preside over many hours of budget hearings, reiterated the GOP conference's priorities of boosting the economy and preserving middle class tax cuts. 
Meanwhile, there has been some non-budget-related activity in Albany . . . 
for list of legislation of interest introduced between January 4 - 12.
  • S3756 Savino would exempt banks with assets under $1 billion and which have a satisfactory or better CRA federal rating from a NYS DFS exam.  This bill, which has previously passed the Senate but not the Assembly, is on the Senate Banks Committee agenda. IBANYS worked with the chair and staff of the Banks Committee to draft the bill, and it remains one of our priorities.
  • S. 2938 by Senate Banks Chairman Hamilton (same as A. 3389  Ortiz) would require banks to post notice of the NYS Department of Financial Services toll free consumer's hotline telephone number in a public space. It has been referred to the Senate Banks Committee.
  • S.2421 (Griffo)/ A.2729 (Lavine) would create the felony of bank robbery and increases the penalty for unarmed robberies. 
  • Legislation has been introduced (A. 8938, Zebrowski/ S.7294; Hamilton) as a chapter amendment to the bill recently signed by the Governor to create an online lending task force.  The new bill disbands the task force, and authorizes and directs the NYS DFS to study and issue a public report on the topic on or before July 1, 2018.
New Poll Finds Cuomo In Strong Position 
According to a new Siena College poll of New York State registered voters released today, Governor Cuomo begins his eighth year in office with  his best favorability rating since the middle 2014: 62%-30%,  up from 52%-43%  among 2017 likely voters in November. His job performance rating is 50%-48%, up from negative 45%-54% and 55% of voters are prepared to re-elect him compared to 36% who prefer 'someone else.' 

A number of items are in the news this week from the nation's capital.
  • The Senate Banking Committee has reportedly set aside January 23 to consider the President's nominations of Jelena McWilliams as FDIC Chairman and Marvin Goodfriend as a Governor on the Federal Reserve Board.
  • The new "Tax Cuts and Jobs Act" generally provides that shareholders of Subchapter S corporations and other pass-through businesses are eligible for a deduction equal to 20% of their qualified business income, subject to certain limitations. The tax reform law also provides that shareholders in a "specified service trade or business" are not eligible for this deduction, unless they are below a certain income threshold. "Specified service trade or business" is defined with reference to an existing list of professional fields in the Internal Revenue Code (section 1202(e)(3)(A)). This list includes "financial services" but not "banking," which is listed elsewhere. ICBA was iassured by lawmakers and staff during the crafting of the law that shareholders in S-corp community banks would be eligible for the pass-through deduction. Contact ICBA's Alan Keller at alan.keller@icba.org, (202)821-4468. 
  • The House Financial Services Committee today will take up several bills inspired by ICBA's Plan for Prosperity regulatory relief platform. The markup includes ICBA-supported measures to exempt community banks from prospective Consumer Financial Protection Bureau rules, provide for short-form call reports, establish a Qualified Mortgage safe harbor for all loans held in portfolio, and more. 
  • President Trump wants to loosen consumer lending restrictions as part of the effort to roll back Dodd-Frank, including giving banks the freedom to loan to customers deemed too risky under the Act. 
  • ICBA supports legislation to strengthen the Small Business Administration's 7(a) program. In a letter to the House Small Business Committee, ICBA said the bipartisan Small Business 7(a) Lending Oversight Reform Act of 2018 (H.R. 4743) would provide safeguards so that community banks can continue to use the program responsibly. H.R. 4743 reforms to the 7(a) program would codify critical SBA lender oversight, safeguard the program from abuse, and ensure stable funding to avoid disruptions. 
  • New York community bankers: Continue to urge lawmakers to take up and pass the Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief and Consumer Protection Act (S. 2155) via ICBA's "Be Heard" grassroots action center. Visit www.icba.org.
  • The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau will reconsider its rule that places limits on the small-dollar lending industry, raising the possibility that the CFPB's new leadership will loosen the regulation. Finalizing the payday rule was one of the last major acts of former Director Richard Cordray before he was succeeded by Budget Directro Mick Mulvaney. 
ICBA Tax Reform Scorecard
For a 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.

Banking Industry Opposes Potential 
CFPB Nominee
The possibility of President Trump picking National Credit Union Administration Chairman J. Mark McWatters to run the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has spar ked some strong opposition. B anking industry representatives have  criticized the idea  and raised concerns his past backing of the credit union industry poses a problem. As NCUA chairman, McWatters has supported credit unions getting preferential regulatory treatment over banks, due to what he suggests is a safer business model.  ICBA President & CEO Camden Fine noted: "The CFPB should not be led by the head of an agency that has acted as a cheerleader for the industry under its oversight. Rather, it requires an even-handed official with experience in the broader commercial banking sector."

New York Fed's Dudley Criticizes Federal Tax Cuts:  "There Is No Free Lunch"
Warning "there is no such thing as a free lunch," New York Fed President Bill Dudley said recently passed federal tax cuts pose an ominous threat down the road. 
"The legislation will increase the nation's longer-term fiscal burden, which is already facing other pressures, such as higher debt service costs and entitlement spending as the baby-boom generation retires." His comments were similar to recent remarks by Fed Chair Janet Yellen thst escalating public debt and deficits "should keep people awake at night."

Home Builders Confidence Drops Slightly
According the National Association of Home Builders' monthly  housing market index, builder sentiment fell 2 points to 72 in January. The decline came after the measurement hit an 18-year high in December following the passage of the federal tax cut plan.  Any reading above 50 is considered positive sentiment. The index stood at 67 in January 2017. Regionally, on a three-month moving average, sentiment jumped five points to 59 in the Northeast. 

"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 L. Martinez
Chairman & CEO
Catskill Hudson Bank 

IBANYS Members: Mario is absolutely right! 
to learn more about "Teledoc"

Who Moved My Step-Ups?
Population of agency bonds is evolving
By Jim Reber, President & CEO, ICBA Securities

Not so long ago, a wildly popular variety of government agency bonds was struggling to get to market fast enough to meet investor demand. Chances are your community bank owned some, or a lot, of these bonds, known as "step-ups." Lately, the ever-changing dynamics of supply and demand have made the build-out more difficult and the attractiveness less so. Since we're in the community banking business, and most everything we touch is somehow cyclical in nature, it bears examining why step-ups are at least temporarily on hiatus and what could spark their triumphant return.  But before we do, let us revisit the basic structure. These step-ups are issued by the usual suspects. . .To read the full article, please click here.

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 


Homestead Funding Corp.
Homestead Funding Corp. is a multi-state licensed mortgage banker with branches located throughout the eastern U.S. In operation since 1995, its corporate headquarters is located in Albany, New York where they have perennially been the area's largest independent mortgage lender. They have tens of thousands of satisfied customers, have originated billions of dollars in residential mortgage loans and maintained a reputation of exceptional service, honesty, integrity and financial reliability. Homestead's goal is simple: To offer customers outstanding service and the best mortgage financing to suit their needs. Homestead's mix of traditional and innovative mortgage products provides the ability to evaluate and deliver a wide variety of competitively priced mortgage financing solutions. They understand not every situation is the same and embrace that diversity by continually upgrading their product portfolio. Homestead Funding is committed to working with you to ensure a smooth process from initial pre-qualification and mortgage evaluation to closing. After closing, they maintain contact with customers to keep apprised of their ever-changing goals -- to continue to service their home financing needs.  For more information, contact  Daniela Bigalli : (518) 464-1100, or visit the website at www.homesteadfunding.com.


. . .That the dual banking system has been a hallmark of banking in the United States for nearly 200 years? It refers to the parallel state and federal banking systems that co-exist in the United States. 

  • The federal system is based on a federal bank charter, powers defined under federal law, operation under federal standards, and oversight by a federal supervisor. 
  • The state system is characterized by state chartering, bank powers established under state law, and operation under state standards, including oversight by state supervisors.   


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