• Governor Delivers 2018 State Of The State
  • Proposes Major "Push Back" Against Federal Tax Changes
  • Latest Updates From Albany & Washington
  • Updates On Managing Credit Risk, ABB/BBN Merger
  • New 2018 NYSIBAC Contribution Brochure
  • New Issue Of "Banking New York" 
  • 2018 Committees Need Your Participation
  • 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 3, 2018

From IBANYS' President & CEO 
John Witkowski
This week marks the beginning of another big year for New York's community banks. Today, Governor Cuomo delivered his annual "State of the State" address, outlining some of his priorities and agenda for the year. We'll know more when he proposes his state budget in two weeks.  The speech convened the 2018 session of the New York State Legislature. With  major changes in the federal tax code, which he termed an assault on New York's economy and an "economic arrow" aimed at the heart of the state, the Governor believes New York must push back. (State Comptroller DiNapoli has called the federal tax reforms a "bad deal" for New York that will make enacting a the state budget facing a deficit of at least $4.4 billion even more difficult.) A chief concern: capping the combined deduction for state and local income tax and property taxes at $10,000. DiNapoli predicts personal income tax receipts will likely be almost unchanged from 2016. (As of November, these revenues for the fiscal year were about $44.6 billion -- 66.4 million below projections.)  See our "quick-scan" summary of the speech later in this newsletter, with much more to follow.

Meanwhile, issues like regulatory burden and reform, small business lending, credit union powers and authorities and many others will directly impact the business models and botton line for IBANYS members. As always, the first three months of the legislative session will be dominated by the Governor's budget proposal, the Legislature's respopnse and the subsequent negotiations leading up to the April 1 deadline to enact the 2018-19 state budget. Moreover, with 2018 being an election year -- with every statewide official and every seat in the Legislature on the ballot -- the year will present significant challenges. IBANYS will diligently monitor the myriad of legislative and regulatory initiatives that will emerge this year -- some new, others familiar from past sessions.

In Washington, Congress also returns -- with the Senate back today and the House next week. They, too, face a number of challenges. Federal g overnment funding is slated to expire on January 19, and the seemingly annual debate over raising the debt ceiling before the nation reaches its borrowing limit in the next few months. Obviously, efforts to achieve community bank regulatory relief continues. As you will read below, our own Bob Fisher (Tioga State Bank) will be testifying before the House next week on this. As a fifth-generation community banker and a former IBANYS Chairman and current board member, Bob brings great insight and experience to this task. 

In conclusion, under the leadership of Chairman Mike Briggs (USNY Bank), our officers and board of directors, IBANYS enters 2018 filled with optimism and determination -- to provide our members the level of representation and service what they need and deserve. You have our word on it.

- John Witkowski

Alden State Bank Completes 
Management Transition:
Alden State Bank (Alden, New York) completed a management transition that was announced earlier in 2017.  Effective January 1st, Steven J. Woodard assumed the position of President and CEO.  He has been with the Bank for 31 years.  Richard D. Koelbl, the Bank's President and CEO for the past 26 years, will remain in an active role as Chairman of the Board of Directors.  Alden State Bank, with $327 million in assets, has two locations; in the Village of Alden and Town of Lancaster.  The Bank was established in 1916. 

. . .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.


. . .And, 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.
Please Note: 
Our first meetings of 2018 will be our Regional Compliance Conferences that will be held in Rochester/Pittsford on March 20 and in Troy on March 21. Watch for program, speaker and registration information soon. 


Please note 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.

Sign Up Today For IBANYS' 2018 committees!  
Committees play a vital role in IBANYS' success. They  review and help formulate legislative and regulatory policy positions, are involved in  designing our educational meetings programs,
p rovide opportunities for peer networking and dialogue and  recommend 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). Tell them 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


Cuomo's State Of State Messsage:
New York Will Aggressively Push Back On Federal Tax Plan
Governor Andrew Cuomo delivered his eighth "State of the State" address today, saying 2018 may be the hardest year in the state's history. While many of t he details of his agenda won't be clear until he proposes his 2018-19 budget in two weeks,  IBANYS will be studying today's speech for its potential impact on New York's community banks and those we serve. T oday's remarks provided a look at his views on  the national stage, highlighted his mindset as he prepares to seek a third term. They touted the Governor's "achievements over the past seven years," including a $15-an-hour minimum wage, a statewide paid family leave program, legalization of gay marriage, enactment of a free college tuition plan for some students and passage of a tough gun control law. 

The Governor noted "unprecedented challenges" facing New York at all levels of government, continued his criticism of Republicans who control Congress and the White House and vowed to "push back" against the new federal tax changes and "protect New York taxpayers from this assault."  
  • He discussed the challenge of dealing with an "adversarial federal government" he said has threatened New York's economy and progress made during the past seven years.
  • He unveiled a plan to aggressively push back against the Republican tax legislation approved last month, a pending national campaign to repeal and replace the law he called "an assault on New York." 
  • There will be a lawsuit challenging the legality and constitutionality of the law on a states' rights and equal protection basis. 
  • He wants to overhaul the state's income and payroll tax system. "We will take action to protect the state's economy. Specifically, we will explore the feasibility of a major shift in tax policy, and are developing a plan to restructure the current income and payroll tax system, as well as create new opportunities for charitable contributions to support public programs. As we launch this massive and complicated review, we will engage tax experts, employers, and other stakeholders in a thorough and collaborative process to develop a plan that promotes fairness for New York's taxpayers and safeguards the competitiveness of New York's economy." 
Senate GOP Leader: Review 
Economic Development
Republican Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan (R-L.I.) yesterday  called for greater oversight of economic development spending that includes a "top-to-bottom review. . . Investing in job creation is and will continue to be a priority, but we can't throw good money after bad," Flanagan said.

Republican Businessman Harry Wilson -- who ran unsuccessfully for State Comptroller in 2010 and was viewed as the leading potential challenger to Governor Cuomo this year -- announced he will not run for Governor, citing family considerations. 
Assembly Republican Leader Brian Kolb  has already declared in the race for the GOP gubernatorial nomination. He could be joined by former Erie County Executive Joel Giambra, NYS Senate Finance Committee Chairman John DeFrancisco and Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro. 


Bob Fisher To Testify On Key 
Regulatory Relief Initiatives
IBANYS board member and former chairman Bob Fisher (President and CEO of Tioga State Bank) will BobFisher testify before the House Financial Services Committee's Subcommittee on Financial Institutions and Consumer Credit next Tuesday.  Mr. Fisher, who is a fifth-generation community banker,  will discuss legislation to delay enforcement actions under the HMDA reporting rule and suspend new data-sharing requirements. He will also discuss legislation to exempt more community banks from Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) regulations and to authorize a short-form call report for highly rated and well-capitalized community banks. Mr. Fisher chairs ICBA's Policy Development Committee.    

Optimism For Reg Relief 
"In The Near Future"
In a recent op-ed in "The American Banker" ICBA President Cam Fine noted: " There is plenty of room for optimism when it comes to the prospects for community bank regulatory relief in the near future.  Amid so much partisan rancor in Washington, it appears that supporting the nation's community banks really is just about the only thing Republicans and Democrats alike can agree on....Now we must work with Congress to deliver the bill to the president's desk to be signed into law. With the well-deserved bipartisan support that community banks enjoy on Capitol Hill, I have little doubt that we can clear this final hurdle." To read the full op-ed: 
New York Community bankers: Use ICBA's "Be Heard" grassroots action center ( www.icba.org) to urge Senators Schumer and Gillibrand to pass the Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief and Consumer Protection Act (S. 2155).

Future Banking Committee Chair?
Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) will retire at the end of the year. If the GOP retains control of the Senate in 2018, that could impact  the leadership of the Senate Banking Committee. Chairman Mike Crapo, R-Idaho, is third in seniority among Republicans on the Finance Committee. If he wants to "trade up" to chair Finance, there could be an opening to chair Banking. Sen. Toomey (R-PA) would be in line potentially to become chairman.  Sens. Shelby, R-AL) and Corker, R-Tenn., have slonger committee service but Shelby - a past chairman - is termed out and Corker will also retire at year end. 


Have You Seen The Latest 
"Banking New York" Magazine? 
IBANYS is pleased to provide a link (see below)to the electronic version of latest "Banking New York" magazine (covering the fourth quarter of 2017). It includes columns by IBANYS President & CEO John Witkowski and Government Relations/Communications Director Steve Rice, as well as important updates and information from around the industry. Watch your mail for the hard copy. Click here to read the current issue.

ACBB & BBN Complete Merger
Atlantic Community Bancshares, Inc. and BBN Financial Corp. have completed the merger of the two holding companies and the respective banks, Atlantic Community Bankers Bank (ACBB) and Bankers' Bank Northeast. The merger was approved by the Board of Directors of the holding companies for ACBB and BBN, and received state and federal regulatory approval in December. The combined institution will have $800 million in assets and will operate in eleven states throughout the Mid-Atlantic and the Northeast. As of January 2, 2018, the Connecticut office of ACBB will continue to offer the existing correspondent services until the two systems are merged in April 2018.   The merged organization will operate three offices in Camp Hill, Pennsylvania, Newark, New Jersey and Glastonbury, Connecticut in order to better serve clients in the mid-Atlantic and New England regions. Click here to read the press release.

T.Gschwender's Top Ten Items For 
Managing Credit Risk
As we begin 2018, T.Gschwender & Associates, Inc. has provided a "top ten" important items list to keep in mind as you manage credit risk in the coming year. Click here to read the full release. T.Gschwender President Bo Singh notes the firm will cover each of the items on the list in more detail in upcoming releases. If you would like to discuss these, or need assistance in accomplishing any of these items due to current workload, email info@tgschwender-assoc.com. 

Vining Sparks' 2018 Economic Outlook Webinar Series - 1st Quarter
Tuesday, January 16, 2016
This webinar is beneficial for Portfolio Managers, CFOs, CEOs/Presidents, is free of charge and will last 45 minutes. The speaker will be  Craig Dismuke, Executive Vice President and Chief Economist for Vining Sparks. He is responsible for the projection and publication of Vining Sparks' economic and interest rate forecasts.  The outlook for 2018 was positive ... before tax reform was enacted.  Now, economic growth is poised to accelerate close to 3% in 2018, the fastest pace of this cycle.  The consumer continues to benefit from the improving labor market and deleveraged balance sheets.  Tax reform will only further boost disposable income.  Lower marginal rates and the potential repatriation of trillions of overseas Dollars should buoy business investment. Inflation and wage growth are now both more likely to firm up in 2018, allowing the Fed to continue with their prescribed rate hike path.  The outlook is positive heading into 2018 although the risks to imbalances will inevitably increase. 

Other Industry News
  • The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency named Norman Williams, a 10-year OCC veteran and former FDIC economist, as deputy comptroller for economic and policy analysis. Williams will oversee the three research and analysis divisions at the OCC that assess financial and economic risks to banks.
  • United Van Lines'  41st annual National Movers Study found that New York had the third highest share of households leaving the state last year.  Illinois and New Jersey topped the outbound list with 63% of the interstate moves outbound, followed by New York at 61%.  Jobs were the top reason for a move, with 59% moving into New York and 47%  leaving the state. 
  • Federal Reserve officials will offer data points on their views of the American economy's health for 2018 today with the release of minutes from its Dec. 12-13 meeting. That includes effects of the tax cut package enacted last month, and inflation expectations in the coming months.

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 
The health and wellness landscape continues to evolve. "My Wellness Resource" can be a nice addition to your existing benefit package.  
C ontact Alan Justin: (716) 907-5500. They also offer  a unique program providing a $500 reba
te on any new Fiat, Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, Ram or Hyundai vehicle. It may only be offered though individual banks, not through IBANYS itself. If your bank and employees might be interested, drop us a line and we will forward it to Alan Justin, who will reach out to you. I
f you are not currently participating in the My Wellness Resource program, we encourage you to take a fair & objective look at the program!

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 

. . .
Since 1998, BCI Financial has provided an easy to use, low risk solution allowing client banks to increase their loan to asset ratio, diversify their loan portfolio, and improve their efficiency ratio. BCI Financial offers a Prime Quality Auto Loan Pass Through Program for community banks throughout the Northeast. BCI Financial manages all the loan servicing, collections, compliance and reporting for our client banks.  BCI provides a range of financial services to individuals and other financial institutions.
  • BCI has a strong commitment to excellent customer service. Their highly qualified staff will assist you with any issues and will work to make your experience a great one.
  • BCI works with dealers in a large network to provide excellent loan products at rates that are competitive in the marketplace.
  • BCI works with financial institutions to provide loans and a servicing platform that is state of the art.

. . .That today marks the eighth time Governor Andrew Cuomo has delivered a State of the State address? His father, former Governor Mario Cuomo, delivered twelve such addresses between 1983 and 1994. Former Governor Nelson Rockefeller delivered fifteen between 1959 and 1973. 


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