• IBANYS Social Media Is LIVE As Of Today!
  • Visit us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Linked in!
  • Check Out Our New CEO Forums!
  • Latest Developments From Albany & Washington
  • 2018 NYSIBAC Contribution Brochure
  • Meetings. . .Conferences. . .Webinars. . .Take A Look!
  • 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 24, 2018
Over the next few weeks, IBANYS will be holding our Regional Compliance Conferences, planning our new Bank Executive Symposiums (previously IBANYS' CFO/Senior Management Conference), as well as our Regional Directors Conferences, Human Resources Conferences and our advocacy trip to Washington. We'll closely monitor state and federal legislative and regulatory activities, as our Government Relations Committee  holds its initial 2018 conference call this week to review the Governor's budget proposal, other early state legislation and the latest from Washington in terms of regulatory review. One more thing: We are ready to launch our new social media presence on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Today's newsletter includes important updates on a ll of these developments. Clearly, it's a very busy time for us, and we need your full participation to succeed. Join a committe, register for a program or webinar, make a contribution to our state political action committee NYSIBPAC , take a look at the products and services offered by our preferred providers and associate members. 
It's YOUR association. Make it work for you! 
-- John

With Today's Launch, IBANYS' Social Media
Is Now Live!
IBANYS is now live with our social media!  We are connected now more than ever with not only our members, but with everyone. You can find IBANYS on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn. With the launch of our social media accounts, IBANYS is more accessible, communication is open, and information is never missed. The variety of our platforms makes information posted from IBANYS easily accessible to any individual or organization.  Communication between IBANYS and our followers is more open, as the interactive nature of social media (for example, posting comments) provides direct communication. With the feature of notification alerts available on all social media platforms, never miss any news from IBANYS. Each platform offers notification alerts that notify you on any device when an update has been made to the account. Connecting with IBANYS couldn't be simpler. We look forward to communicating with various individuals and organizations and keeping all our followers up-to-date on all IBANYS information. Never miss a beat of IBANYS news and follow us today!

Facebook: @ibanys1 | Twitter: @ibanys1 | Instagram: @ibanys1 | LinkedIn: IBANYS 

If you have any questions, please contact Natalie Rowan at natalier@ibanys.net or (518) 436-4646.

IBANYS Congratulates John Buhrmaster 
& Bob Fisher
The Independent Community Bankers of America announced nominees for its 2018-19 board of directors. Among those nominated are two New York community bankersJohn H. Buhrmaster (President & CEO, 1st National Bank of Scotia) was nominated as a Past ICBA Chairman. Robert M. Fisher (Chairman, President & CEO, Tioga State Bank) chairs ICBPAC and will serve on the ICBA board in that capacity. Both John and Bob are former IBANYS Chairmen and currently serve on our Board of Directors. Bob also chairs NYSIBPAC, IBANYS' state political action committee. T he nominations will be voted on during ICBA's 2018 national convention March 13-17 in Las Vegas.

You Suggested-- And We Listened. . .
IBANYS Schedules New CEO Forums!
For the past two years, I have heard one common suggestion from our member bank presidents and CEOs:  "We would like more time to network and talk with other bank executives around the state."  I have heard your comments, and this year IBANYS will host CEO Forums in three regions across New York State. They will take place twice a year, from 8:30 AM-3:00 PM, with the first round scheduled for March 26th in Albany, March 27th in Syracuse and March 28th in Rochester/Buffalo market. We hope to have 10-15 CEO participants at each location.   The sessions will be moderated by Karl Nelson (KPN Consulting), who has moderated similar forums all over the country. Karl, a very seasoned banker with more than 40 years of experience, understands the issues facing community banks today.  He will suggest topics, but will mostly discuss issues that are on the minds of our member bankers across the state. 
To gather them, we will send out a survey to all participants. 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. 
  • Learn what's working and what's not
  • Form long lasting relationships with other CEO's
  • Solve your immediate concerns
  • Obtain access to highly respected industry experts
  • Discover new solutions being utilized by your peers 
Please call me at 716.880.0518 (cell) or Linda Gregware 518.436.4646 office with all questions. Please make the time available - I think it will be time well spent! 

Please 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 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.

 A Busy March Ahead. . .
  • Regional Compliance Conferences
     will be on March 20 (Rochester/Pittsford)
    and on  March 21  ( Troy) . . .presentations by OCC, NYS DFS, industry experts and a peer bankers panel discussion
  • Our first three  CEO Forums will be held 
    March 26 (Albany), March 27 (Syracuse)
    March 28 (Rochester/Buffalo market) .
. . .And, A Busy April As Well. .
  • 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 will be held April 10 (Rochester/Pittsford) and April 11 (Troy
  • April 24 (Rochester/Pittsford) & 
    April 25 (Troy)
Excelsior Growth Fund Webinar: "Access to Capital: Securing a Small Business Loan"
TOMORROW--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 For A Committee! 
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

DFS "Wild Card" Order Addresses 
Excrow Interest 
New York State Department of Financial Services (DFS) Superintendent Maria Vullo has exercised the Department's "wild card" authority. She issued an order that addresses the issue of interest paid on escrow accounts. It states that  the minimum rate of interest to be paid by New York State chartered banks, savings banks, savings and loans and federal savings asociations, private bankers, trust companies and national banks, and credit unions on escrow accounts in connection with loans secured by mortgages on one-to-six-family residences that are occupied by the owner or on any property owned by a cooperative apartment corporation shall during any calendar quarter be at least equal to the lesser of two percent or the six-month yield on U.S. Treasury securities on the last business day of the previous quarter. 
CLICK HERE to read full DFS Order.

Budget, Taxes Reg Relief Updates
Although the Governor's budget proposal always dominates legislative focus during the first half of the six-month session, there has been some non-budget-related activity in Albany.  Click HERE 
  • The Senate Banks Committee passed S.3756 (Savino), which would exempt banking organizations with total assets of less than one billion that receive a satisfactory or outstanding CRA rating by their primary federal regulator from the CRA by the NYS Department of Financial Services. IBANYS has worked with the chair and staff of the Banks Committee to draft the bill, and it remains one of our legislative priorities.
  • The Committee also passed title insurance legislation (A.8467, Cahill)/ S. 6704, Seward) to clarify that, while providing a benefit with the intention to compensate or offer compensation, directly or indirectly, for any past or present placement for a particular piece of title insurance business by a title insurance corporation (or agent or its representative) is a prohibited illegal inducement under the Section 6409(d) of the Insurance Law, there is no prohibition from "undertaking any usual and customary marketing activity aimed at acquainting present and prospective customers...[which] are not intended for the purpose of a reward for the future placement of, or past placement, of a particular piece of title insurance business." The bill has passed the Senate.
  • 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.
  • The State Senate passed legislation to mitigate the impact of federal tax law for those who would pay higher state taxes as a result. It would allow taxpayers to deduct their full payment of their property taxes and restore other deductions. It also would change the reference to the federal tax code to reflect the code that was in effect prior to Dec. 1 of last year. All told, the measure is expected to save taxpayers $1.5 billion. Tax reform remains a top priority this legislative session, with the Legislature and Gov. Cuomo looking at various proposals to prevent New Yorkers from paying even more and putting the state in a worse economic position. Gov. Cuomo wants to create a payroll tax to either replace or work on a parallel track with the state's existing personal income tax. Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan (R-L.I.) called it unlikely there would be an agreement on the specifics of a payroll tax by the end of next month.
  • 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.
CLICK HERE to see the 2018 New York State Legislative Session Calendar

IBANYS Signs On To ICBA Reg Relief Letter 
To U.S. Senate
ICBA will send the attached letter, signed by all 43 of ICBA's affiliated state association partners including IBANYS, to each member of the U.S. Senate. The letter calls on the Senate to take up and pass the Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief, and Consumer Protection Act (S. 2155) as quickly as possible and free of any amendments that would upset its bipartisan balance. 
CLICK HERE to read full letter.
ICBA is also urging community bankers nationwide to send tweets and emails to their U.S. Senators urging support for S. 2155, the regulatory relief bill, which includes numerous provisions from ICBA's Plan for Prosperity.
The U.S. Senate confirmed Jerome Powell to a four-year term as the next Chairman of the Federal Reserve by a vote of 84 to 13. Powell has signaled he favors ways to make bank regulations less onerous, especially for smaller community banks. Viewed as a centrist, he enjoyed support from Republicans and Democrats. Powell, a current Fed governor and former financial-firm executive who a lso worked in President George H.W. Bush's Treasury Department and at the Bipartisan Policy Center think tank, will succeed Fed Chair Janet Yellen, whose term ends in February. Powell wasoriginally appointed to the Fed board by President Obama. Many analysts expect Powell to largely continue Yellen's policies. President  Trump will be able to essentially remake the Fed's seven-member board during his first two years in office. He has already filled the key post of vice chairman for regulation with Randal Quarles, and nominated conservative economist Marvin Goodfriend for another vacancy on the board. H e can also fill three more vacancies on the seven-member board, including the key spot of Fed vice chairman, which has been vacant since Stanley Fischer left in October. O nly Lael Brainard would remain as a non-Trump appointee. 
Randal QuarlesFederal Reserve Vice Chair for Supervisionsaid policymakers still have work to do to tailor regulations to the size and risk profile of regulated institutions . Quarles said regulators should tailor rules for the smallest institutions as well as larger banks, such as by raising the $50 billion statutory threshold for enhanced prudential standards.

Jelena McWilliams, the President's  nominee to head the FDIC, repeatedly advocated regulatory relief for community banks at her Senate Banking Committee  nomination hearing.  She indicated support for a community bank exemption from the Volcker Rule, simpler capital rules, and an environment more conducive to de novo charters.
  • Top legal officials at the FDIC, OCC and Fed indicated their agencies are interested in making updates to post-crisis financial rules this year. The Fed's general counsel noted the "core reforms" that came through the 2010 Dodd-Frank Act will remain in place. 
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.


Latest On Mortgage Applications, Existing Home Sales, Housing Inventory 

Second Straight Record Year For Houses Sold 
In New York State
According to the New York S tate Association of Realtors, New York set a record for the number of houses sold for the second year in a row during 2017.  In 2017, home sales were up from 2.4% percent, up about more than 3,000 homes compared to 2016.  134,066 homes were sold. The group noted:  "Strong buyer demand combined with still-low mortgage rates and confidence in the economy pushed the 2017 New York state housing market to a record high and fifth consecutive year of growth."  The median sales price last year was $250,000, up 5.5% from 2016. 
The group cautioned activity  may cool in 2018, as t here's a limited inventory: At the end of the year, there were 9.5% fewer homes available than the previous year. The group warned that r ecent changes to federal tax law could also impact home sales, and noted h omeownership is already at a 50-year low.
  • Mortgage applications rose 4.5% last week from the previous week, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association's seasonally adjusted report, and application volume was 6.1% higher than a year ago. Applications to purchase a home rose 6% for the week, to the highest level since April 2010. They are 7% higher than one year ago. Mortgage applications to refinance a home loan were up 1%The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with conforming loan balances of $453,100 or less increased to 4.36% its highest level since March. 
  • The National Association of Realtors reported today that existing home sales declined 3.6% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.57 million units in December amid decreases in all four regions. 
  • Zilow reports that there are 10% fewer homes for sale nationally compared with a year ago, and in the "hottest" markets (where prices are appreciating fastest) there are up to 40% fewer homes for sale. 
"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"

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 


. . .Pentegra Retirement Services
Pentegra, an IBANYS preferred provider, is a leading provider of retirement plan, fiduciary outsourcing and institutional investment solutions.  Founded by the Federal Home Loan Bank System in 1943, Pentegra does not answer to shareholders, but to clients. Pentegra's boards of directors are made up of clients, Presidents and CEOs, who use Pentagra's services and place their own futures in its hands. The Boards serve with excellence and the highest ethical standards and set the very same ones for the organization. 

Today, non-qualified plans ("Executive Benefit Plans") are a critical component of any corporate benefits strategy and essential to positioning your organization competitively.  Benefit from Pentegra's  non-qualified plan expertise, and the advantage of working with a single provider to address your total retirement benefits and compensation strategy.  Take advantage of BOLI to enhance earnings, restore existing retirement program shortfalls, and offset the costs of qualified retirement programs along with health and welfare and group life benefits. 

For more information on what Pentegra can do for you, contact Fabrizio D'uva, Regional Director
BOLI & Non Qualified Benefits Plans: (609) 977-5891, fduva@pentegra.com. . .or, visit the website at www.pentegra.com

. . .That as of September 30, 2017, the FDIC had 5,977 employees nationwide? Did you know that the OCC employed 3,973 and the CFPB employed 1,623  as of December 2016?


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