January 16 2019

In This Issue: 
Message From the President

By John Witkowski, President & CEO

Education is one of the most valuable tools within society. Just as Ben Franklin stated, it is important to invest in education, as knowledge is its own reward. With a new political landscape and uncertainties, learning is the best way to make sure you and your organization are ready for anything. 

IBANYS' Regional Education Conferences offer insight on issues facing the community banking industry in 2019 and the tools you need to be prepared, spoken by experts in the field. With convenient locations throughout New York state,  attending these one-day education sessions can make all the difference in how your organization faces obstacles this year. Our educational conferences are:
In addition to our education conferences, we are also planning other exciting events in 2019:


  • 2019 IBANYS CEO Forum, which will be held Tuesday, April 2 at the Oak Hill Country Club in Rochester, NY. Please save the date and mark you calendar for this special one-day session. We will release more information and details next week.
  • I am also pleased to report that IBANYS is expanding our presence downstate, specifically in the New York City metropolitan area. Our first New York area meeting will focus on compliance and will take place April 9 in Manhattan
  • Our annual visit to Washington, D.C. will be at the end of April and will assist New York community bankers in meeting with their local congressional representatives. There are 5 new members in our congressional delegation, and a strong New York presence on the House Financial Services Committee. Bring your ideas and voice to Washington by emailing me (johnw@ibanys.net) or Steve Rice (stever@ibanys.net). Read more about ICBA's Capital Summit.
  • Vining Sparks and ICBA Securities' Balance Sheet Academy seminar will be on April 29-30 in Memphis, Tennessee. It's designed for seasoned community bank portfolio and balance sheet managers, and intended to show attendees how to consistently outperform their peers. Learn more information.
  • The Governor delivered his 2019 State of the State address to the Legislature, and presented his proposed budget for 2019-20. IBANYS will carefully review the budget details to ascertain its impact on New York community banks. We will also share our assessment with our Government Relations Committee and membership as the process unfolds. Read more about the the 2019 State of the State.


Customer Experience Solutions (CES) produces the biannual NY Banking Customer Experience Benchmarks which include 100,000 + objective reviews by households and businesses about all banks they use. CES interviews customers at every institution in New York and gain their ratings on 53 different customer-centric metrics. CES subscriptions provide banks with a best-in-class Customer Experience Measurement program with ongoing objective customer feedback and competitive benchmarking. To learn more about CES and their services, contact Bruce Paul, CEO, at (203) 906-8923 or at bruce@cescx.com. Welcome aboard!


Remember: IBANYS is YOUR association. Make it work for you!

- John

Follow IBANYS On Social Media!

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Looking At 2019

Get Ready For 2019 Annual Convention!Convention19




June 10-12, 2019


5218 Patrick Rd, Verona, NY 13478


Get Ready for 2019 Meetings!  Meetings2019

Our 2019 Meeting dates and locations are now available! These educational conferences cover various subjects that are important within the community banking industry, spoken by the experts. T hey are also a great opportunity to network and earn CPE credits. Here is what we have planned for 2019:

Compliance ConferenceComplianceConf

                 March 12, 2019                                               March 13, 2019
                DoubleTree by Hilton                                                 Hilton Garden Inn
                1111 Jefferson Road                                                 235 Hoosick Street 
                Rochester, NY 14623                                                   Troy, NY 12180

Directors ConferenceDirectorsConf

                   April 16, 2019                                                 April 17, 2019
           RIT Inn & Conference Cente                                  Hampton Inn Poughkeepsie
              5257 W.  Henrietta Road                                                  2361 South Rd.
                 Henrietta, NY 14467                                           Poughkeepsie, NY 12601

Security ConferenceSecurityConf

                   May 7, 2019                                                     May 8, 2019
           RIT Inn & Conference Center                                Hampton Inn Poughkeepsie
              5257 W. Henrietta Road                                              2361 South Rd.
                 Henrietta, NY 14467                                         Poughkeepsie, NY 12601

Lending ConferenceLendingConf

May 21-22, 2019
Harbor Hotel Watkins Glen
16 North Franklin Street
Watkins Glen, NY 14891

Banking Executive SymposiumBankExecSymposium

September 9-11, 2019
Location TBD

IBANYS' meetings provide insight into relevant issues spoken by experts in the field. They are also a great opportunity to network and earn CPE credits.

Have an idea for one of our meetings? Want to see a meeting or forum on a different subject? We want to hear from you!  Contact Linda Gregware at lindag@ibanys.net or me at johnw@ibanys.net with your thoughts and/or comments. 


IBANYSCommitteesPeerGroupsHave You Signed Up for IBANYS' 2019 Committees & Peer Groups?

Has your bank signed up to participate on IBANYS' 2019 committees and peer groups? They provide member banks with direct input on policy development, offer a peer forum to share information and offer a prime feedback opportunity for your bank. IBANYS committees and peer groups are crucial as they help shape many aspects of our organization.

Most importantly, you can bring back information that can help keep your employees stay fully informed and up-to-date.  Take a look at the list below, and email President & CEO John Witkowski (johnw@ibanys.net) or Director of Administration and Membership Linda Gregware (lindag@ibanys.net) to let us know who will represent your bank on each committee/peer group.
  • Government Relations Committee
  • Compliance Peer Group
  • Security Peer Group
  • CFO Peer Group
  • Innovation Committee
IBANYS CEOs: Sign up yourself, or designate someone from your senior team to represent your bank in these efforts!  Contact IBANYS' Government Relations Director Steve Rice at  stever@ibanys.net  or President/CEO John Witkowski at  johnw@ibanys.net  to join. NOW is the time!



IBANYS is always open to new ideas. If you have suggestions about a committee, product or service, program topic or speaker, tell us! IBANYS is member driven and we work together to make the community banking industry better each day.

IBANYS Education/WebinarsWebinars

The 2019 Webinar is now available! The Independent Bankers Association of NYS (IBANYS) partners with CBWN to bring you more than 150 webinars each year covering compliance, lending, regulations, security, operations, new accounts, collections, fraud, security and other topics. Even better, each time you purchase a webinar, you support IBANYS, because a portion of your registration comes directly to us. Thank you!  

You can view the 2019 Webinar Schedule here or by category here. In addition, CBWN has made some recent updates to provide better service to its consumers. Unfortunately, some changes may have caused you to miss important webinar announcements. Please read the IBANYS letter to view the updates and ensure that you do not miss another webinar.


CBWN has added more than 140 webinars to the IBANYS webinar calendar, covering all the essential topics. Start the new year off right by gaining the knowledge and tools to make 2019 the best year yet! 

CBWN and IBANYS thank you for your continued support of the education in the community banking industry. 



2019 Webinar Series - Available Now

6 Webinars  for the Price of 5


10% off a 4-Part Series

Choose From The Following:

            Credit Analysis & Underwriting Series                        Regulation E-Series
                             4-Part Series                                                     6-Part Series 

                       ACH Specialist Series                            Mortgage Lending Hot Spots Series
                             6-Part Series                                                     6-Part Series

                     Board Reporting Series                                     Teller Training Series
                             4-Part Series                                                     6-Part Series

                               BSA Series                                                      C-Suite Series
                            4-Part Series                                                      4-Part Series

                          Call Report Series                                       Consumer Collection Series
                             4-Part Series                                                      4-Part Series

                               IRA Series
                             4-Part Series



Protecting Against Potentially Dangerous Decreasing Rates

When: February 26, 2019

Time: 2:00-3:00 P.M. EDT

Scott Hildenbrand, with the Financial Managers Society, will discuss the emerging theme of down risk and its impact on community banking. Tactical balance sheet repositioning, off-balance sheet hedging, and liability restructurings will be covered, among other actionable ideas.

If you have any questions, please contact your Sandler O'Neill representative or email us at bankstrategyinsights@sandleroneill.com.



What the New Law Means for Banks
Thanks to the newly signed regulatory relief bill, most reciprocal deposits are no longer brokered. This comes as banks face intense and increasing competition for deposits.

Join Us for a Webinar
Join Promontory Interfinancial Network-- the nation's leading provider and inventor of reciprocal deposit placement services-- for a free webinar that outlines key provisions of the new law and the impact ICS®, or Insured Cash Sweep®, and CDARS® can have on banks' balance sheets. The webinar will also cover how banks can use ICS and CDARS to capitalize on the opportunities at hand; presenters will discuss cost-effective ways to use the services to attract high-value relationships (even as deposit competition intensifies) and to lock-in more low-cost funding (even as interest rates continue to rise.) This webinar is a "must" for decision-makers at banks of all sizes, especially for community banks that utilize collateralized deposits and/or listing services.

Choose a date and time that works for you!


Reg relief makes most reciprocal deposits nonbrokered, providing banks the opportunity to attract even more deposits. Thanks to the newly signed regulatory relief bill, most reciprocal deposits are no longer brokered. This comes as banks face intense and increasing competition for deposits.

Join Promontory Interfinancial Network - the nation's leading provider and inventor of reciprocal deposit placement services - for a free webinar that outlines key provisions of the new law and the impact ICS®, Insured Cash Sweep®, and CDARS® can have on banks' balance sheets. The webinar will also cover how banks can use ICS and CDARS to capitalize on the opportunities at hand; presenters will discuss cost-effective ways to use the services to attract high-value relationships (even as deposit competition intensifies) and to lock-in more low-cost funding (even as interest rates continue to rise). This webinar is a "must" for decision-makers at banks of all sizes, especially for community banks that utilize collateralized deposits and/or listing services.

Numerous new banks are joining the Promontory Network. In order to give these newly on-boarded banks an opportunity to begin transacting, we have decided to extend this incentive program through March 31, 2019. 

Choose a date and time that works for you!

Government Relations


Governor Delivers State of State/Budget PresentationCuomoStateofState

Governor Cuomo
Governor Cuomo delivered his combined State of the State Message and 2019-20 State Budget Presentation yesterday to the State Legislature  at Albany's Empire State Plaza. Lt. Gov. Hochul, State Comptroller DiNapoli, State Attorney General James, Assembly Speaker Heastie, Senate Majority Leader Stewart-Cousins, Budget Director Mujica and top Cuomo administration officials were also present The speech formally began the 2019 legislative session, as well as  two-and-half months of state budget negotiations. The deadline for approving the budget is April 1. 

The Governor's first budget of his third term was delivered to an all-Democratic State Legislature for the first time in his tenure. Lawmakers have already begun approving some top policy issues including reforms to the state's voting laws and protections for transgender New Yorkers. Other proposed initiatives popular with Democrats include legalizing marijuana, making college aid programs available to children of people in the country illegally, a stronger abortion law and changing the state's bail system. Additional measures Cuomo would like advanced are on gun control, election reforms, a ban on campaign contributions from corporations, the creation of a public financing system passage of the DREAM Act, and congestion pricing for the MTA. 

Early details on the State Budget:
  • The Governor proposed a $175.2 billion state budget ($178.3 billion including closing the current $3 billion gap, which the Governor largely attributed to federal policies) Revenues from personal income taxes are down $500 million from last year's projections.
  • He proposed keeping higher income-tax rates on millionaires set to expire at year's end, and extending the 8.82 rate through 2024, noting it provides about $4.4 billion to the state's coffers.
  • He wants to make the state's 2% property-tax cap permanent; 
  • He would lower the state tax rate from 6.85% to 5.5% for those earning between $40,000 and $150,000, and from 6.85% to 6% for those earning between $150,000 and $300,000.
  • Homeowners earning between $250,000 to $500,000 a year would get a check back for their STAR rebates to help pay for school taxes, rather than receiving the savings directly in their tax bill. (H omeowners who earn less than $250,000 a year and have owned their houses prior to Aug. 1, 2015 would continue to get STAR as an upfront savings on their school-tax bills.)
  • He would boost school aid just 3.6 percent, and use monetary settlements to keep budget growth at two percent.
  • The Governor said the $10,000 annual limit on the federal deduction for state and local taxes (SALT) provisions have hit New York taxpayers harder than in many other states, representing a 30% tax increase for many New Yorkers, which threatens state fiscal stability and could contribute to a housing crisis.
  • In terms of banking industry , the Governor's State of the State indicated he plans to introduce legislation to prevent abuse of confession of judgment/stop predatory merchant cash-advance loans
  • In the proposed state budget , Article VII Regulation of student loan servicers appear to be unchanged from last year's budget. It would require student loan servicers to be licensed by DFS, and would establish a regulatory framework for the industry in New York. The bill is necessary to implement the Fiscal Year 2020 budget.

New Poll: Governor, Democratic Legislature Start 2019 
With High Favorability

According to a new Siena College Poll released Monday, Governor  Cuomo and the Democratic-controlled State Legislature begin the 2019 session and the new year with high favorable ratings from voters. Among the findings:
  • Cuomo's favorable/unfavorable rating among registered voters stands at 51 percent to 43 percent. However, the Governor's job approval rating remains negative: 43 percent approve of the job he's doing, while 56 percent disapprove.
  • The Assembly, long under overwhelming Democratic control, has a 48 percent to 32 percent favorability rating, it's best showing ever in the Siena poll. 
  • The state Senate, which "flipped" from GOP control last November and is now comfortably under Democratic control, has a 49 percent to 38 percent favorability rating. Under Republican control last June, the Senate was at 41 percent favorable/45 percent unfavorable.

Have You Reached Out to Your New Representative Yet?

The 2019 New York State legislative and congressional sessions are underway. There are a number of new members in the State Senate, State Assembly and New York Congressional Delegation who need to be informed and educated about New York community banks, their essential role in the local and state economies and their legislative/regulatory needs. We encourage IBANYS members to step up, reach out and play a key role in establishing new relationships.

IBANYS has mailed our outreach program to all member banks and encouraged you to meet with your new members of the State Senate, State Assembly and New York Congressional Delegation. The program materials include:
  • Talking points for your use in your meetings, emails and phone calls to introduce yourselves and to help inform them about New York's community banks.
Please let us know which state and federal lawmakers you have reached out to and update us on the results of those meetings by emailing both John Witkowski (johnw@ibanys.net) and Steve Rice (stever@ibanys.net). As always, when a new legislature and congress are seated, IBANYS will provide a full directory of ALL state legislators and New York congressional representatives in early 2019. We also encourage you to join our IBANYS Government Relations Committee to assist in our advocacy and share your ideas. Your voice matters!

Washington, D.C.WashingtonGR

New York Community Banks: 
Contact Federal Regulators On Call Report Relief

ICBA President and CEO Rebeca Romero Rainey called on community bankers to submit comments on call report relief ahead of this week's deadline. ICBA's "Be Heard" grassroots action center features separate custom letters to the agencies for community banks with less than $1 billion in assets and those between $1 billion and $5 billion.  With comments due this Friday, Romero Rainey said now is the time to tell the agencies that their proposed short-form call report barely moves the needle in reducing regulatory burdens. IBANYS encourages all New York community banks to join this important effort. Visit ICBA's   Be Heard grassroots action center today to submit your comment.  The deadline to submit comments is Friday, January 18.

FDIC Chair McWilliams: Simplify Capital Requirements 
For Community Banks
Jelena McWilliams
FDIC Chair Jelena McWilliams said that policymakers have made the bank regulatory system "way too complicated for the banks that are not that complicated." McWilliams said one of her key priorities is simplifying capital requirements for community banks, a longtime ICBA & IBANYS priority that was required by the S. 2155 regulatory relief law. 

In November, the regulators proposed a community bank leverage ratio of 9 percent that banks under $10 billion in assets would need to meet to be exempt from all risk-based capital requirements. Responding to the proposal, ICBA said the plan needlessly leaves out more than 600 community banks that would be eligible if the ratio were set at 8 percent, as authorized by Congress. ICBA is developing formal comments.

Waters Takes Reins At House Financial Services Committee

Maxine Waters
This week, Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA) formally takes the reins as Chair of the House Financial Services Committee. She outlined some of her priorities, noting they include housing affordability and homelessness. She has said that the partial government shutdown has been particularly harmful to the poor who depend on the Department of Housing and Urban Development. 

With Republicans in control of the Senate and its Banking Committee (chaired by Sen. Mike Crapo, R-ID), Waters is unlikely to move major legislation without finding a bipartisan appeal. Rep. Patrick McHenry (N.C.), Ranking Republican on the Financial Services Committee, noted they disagree on most issues, but noted: "There's also policy areas where we're going to be able to work together and get results." Waters also discussed the issues of the GSEs and the futures of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, which were seized by the government in 2008. A decade later, they are still under government control. Waters noted: "We have to work on redefining [Fannie and Freddie] because the basic mission is one that I agree with and I support."

Waters also added that the Committee will hold "many hearings" into bank conduct, that would include a probe into the activities of Acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney's tenure as Acting Director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), and that credit reporting agencies would be scrutinized in the wake of the Equifax hacking scandal. 

Rep. Ocasio-Cortez Will Serve On 
House Financial Services Committee

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez
Freshman Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-Queens & Bronx) has been named a member of the House Financial Services Committee,  which may have up to 60 members. She stated:  "I am very grateful for the opportunity to sit on this committee as a freshman, and look forward to working under the leadership of Rep. Maxine Waters.  Personally, I'm looking forward to digging into the student loan crisis, examining for-profit prisons/ICE detention, and exploring the development of public & postal banking. To start." 

She has also been outspoken in favor of reviving the Glass-Steagall Act, and has called for the biggest banks to be broken up. Ocasio-Cortez  will likely be joined on the Committee by a group of other very progressive freshmen Representatives including Katie Porter (D-CA), Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) and Ayanna Pressley (D-MA). 

ICBA Blasts Latest Example Of Credit Union Industry Power Grab

Rebeca Romero-Rainey
ICBA President & CEO Rebeca Romero Rainey warned that a
n "emergency" credit union merger that will allow anyone in the United States to join $24 billion-asset Pentagon Federal Credit Union is just the latest industry power grab.  In a new post on ICBA's " Main Street Matters" blog , Romero Rainey also noted that in defending the merger, credit union activists have dropped the idea that credit unions exist to serve people of modest means. 

She cautioned:  "Policymakers need to see this deal for what it really is. The fact that this mega credit union can now serve anyone in the U.S. while exploiting its tax-exempt status is a serious problem. . .The only singular common bond that their customers will share is that they are part of this mega credit union. This is hardly the idea that Congress had in mind when it enacted the Federal Credit Union Act in 1934 giving tax-exempt status to credit unions to serve people of modest means that have a common bond of occupation or association."

CFPB To Revamp Payday Lending Rule

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) is reportedly expected to eliminate underwriting requirements in a revamp of its payday lending rule. In 2017, t he CFPB in signaled its interest in "revisiting" the ability-to-repay provisions in the 2017 small-dollar lending rule issued under former Director Cordray. 

However, under new Director Kathy Kraninger, the bureau has  concluded the best approach is to remove the provisions altogether. The current rule, which has not yet gone fully into effect, requires lenders to verify a borrower's income, as well as debts and other spending, to assess one's ability to repay credit while meeting living expenses. The latest proposal also is expected to rescind limits the rule placed on repeat reborrowings by a single consumer.   However, the CFPB is expected to leave intact payment provisions to limit the number of times a lender can try to extract loan payments directly from consumers' bank accounts.  Regulators have also opened the door for banks to get into installment lending as an alternative to payday lenders.  In May, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency endorsed banks' offering affordable installment loans.

ICBA Advocacy Survey - Please Take A Moment To CompleteICBAAdvocacySurvey

Advocacy is everyone's responsibility. Whether you're a community bank president, employee, or director, you have a direct stake in making sure lawmakers in Congress hear your voiceTo more effectively advance our collective mission to create and promote an environment where community banks flourish, ICBA and IBANYS need your help. The following survey seeks to refine the tools and resources ICBA can offer you to better enable the important conversations and relationships required to drive positive policy outcomes for the community banking sector. Additionally, ICBA is seeking to build greater visibility of the existing personal or professional relationships that you as a community banker or director may already have with returning or new lawmakers.
This survey should take less than 10 minutes to complete. Please contact Ryan Hadley at ryan.hadley@icba.org with any questions regarding this survey. 

Join IBANYS In Washington, D.C.This Spring 
For the  2019 ICBA Capital SummitICBACapSummit

The 2019 ICBA Capital Summit will be held April 28 - May 1 in Washington. Community bankers from around the nation will travel to Washington to meet with their Members of Congress in their offices "on the hill" and hear federal financial regulators to discuss key issues. We'll hear firsthand from financial and policy leaders, and influence the policy-making process. New York community bankers: Mark your calendars and hold the dates. 

IBANYS will be scheduling meetings with the members of the New York congressional delegation. With a Democratic House of Representatives, a new agenda in the House Financial Services Committee, a number of new Representatives from the state and several key New Yorkers now holding key positions in a number of committees, the dynamics have changed dramatically. All this makes it more important than ever to bring your voices, your priorities and your stories to their attention. 

New Yorkers Planning 2020 Democratic Presidential Campaigns

From left to right: Kirsten Gillibrand, Michael Bloomberg & Bill de Blasio

Although Governor Cuomo has insisted he does not plan on seeking the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination, a number of prominent New Yorkers are seriously considering challenging the President, who is also from New York.
  • New York's junior U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand announced she has formed an exploratory committee and has hired several senior aides, alluding to a 2020 presidential campaign. This weekend she will be in Iowa, site of the first 2020 Democratic caucus.
  • Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg said if he runs he plans to self-fund his entire campaign, noting he thinks the public likes a candidate who does not have to "adjust what you say and what you work on based on who financed your campaign." Bloomberg spent more than $260 million combined in his runs for City Hall in 2001, 2005 and 2009.
  • Current New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio refused to rule out running for President in 2020 in an interview. "I'm focused on the job I have, but I've also been really clear - I'm going to spread this message." The Mayor argued the party is facing serious questions in the lead-up to the 2020 presidential election and said that he needs to be part of the conversation.

Industry Trends & Updates

EGF: 3 Client Success Stories
When banks partner with Excelsior Growth Fund (EGF), everyone wins. As a U.S. Treasury-certified Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI), EGF offers responsible and affordable financing options to small businesses.  By partnering with EGF, banks not only help their clients access capital, they also connect them to all the business services and support they need to become eligible for traditional financing in the future. 

Clients receive the funding they need to grow their business and banks get to help their clients succeed while keeping the door open with them for the future.  EGF values the critical role that their banker partnerships play in their mission. With the support of those partners, they're able to help small businesses and strengthen communities. To show their thanks and demonstrate the power of partnerships, EGF is sharing three success stories that were made possible by their banking partners.


Who Will Drive The Future of the Housing Market?

The housing market is projected to heat up in 2019, and new data from Realtor.com indicates this push will predominantly be driven by Millennial women. According to the company's latest study, 50% of the top 20, and seven of the top 10 fastest growing buyer first names belong to Millennial women.


Mortgage Applications Are Up

According to the Mortgage Bankers Association's seasonally adjusted index, total mortgage application volume rose 13.5 percent last week, compared with the previous week.  That's its highest level since February, and follows a 23 percent jump the previous week. Volume was just 0.5 percent lower than a year ago.

  • Refinance demand drove the gains, rising 19 percent for the week to the highest level since March. Volume was 11 percent lower than a year ago, when mortgage rates were 42 basis points lower.
  • The refinance share of mortgage activity increased to its highest level since January 2018, 46.8 percent of total applications, from 45.8 percent the previous week, and the adjustable-rate mortgage share of activity increased to its highest level since October 2014, 9.2 percent of total applications.
  • Mortgage applications to purchase a home also rebounded 9 percent for the week to their highest level since April 2010. Purchase volume was 11 percent higher than a year ago. 

Leveraging Customer Data for Growth
by Samantha Vance, Vice President of Marketing

Samantha Vance
A recent survey revealed that 57% of banks say internal silos are their biggest obstacles to big data success. Sharing customer data across departments and even across marketing channels can be challenging, but the benefits are worth it.

Your bank may not be leveraging retail customer data to its' full potential, but the good news is that it is a big opportunity...and it can be easy to implement.  Customer segmentation analysis transforms a basic customer and address list into an insightful and powerful targeting tool. 

Data has the power to drive customer acquisition, improve customer relationships, unlock new opportunities and increase profitability.  Analytics provides the knowledge to empower your institution to drive retail customer growth. Read the full article.


Muni RevolutionReberArticleMuniRev
Tax-Free Supplies & Demand Are Evolving
by Jim Reber, President, ICBA Securities

Jim Reber
However you slice it, municipal bonds have a big impact on community bank investment performance-even if you don't own any. That's because your bank's collection of bonds is destined to be in the bottom of the rankings amongst its peers, unless you own some.
This, of course, is not news. For decades, a hallmark of high bond portfolio performance is a large weighting of tax-free securities. Among the investments that community banks are permitted to own, munis tend to be the highest yielding. There are several reasons for this.
First, they're not guaranteed by the federal government or one of its agencies. (That doesn't necessarily indicate they don't have really good credit quality.) Second, munis have a limited supply, which could mean they have a scarcity value that makes them expensive but instead means they have somewhat lesser liquidity than other sectors. Third, and most importantly, munis have the longest durations of any category in the portfolio, which is mainly a function of a perpetually steep yield curve.  Read the full article.


How Is The Longest Ever Government Shutdown 
Impacting Financial Services?ImpactGovShutdown

The partial federal government shutdown, now the longest in American history, is having a significant impact on banks, credit unions and mortgage lenders.  The  "American Banker" provided an analysis on January 14 of how the shutdown is most significantly impacting financial services and financial institutions Read the full article on their website.

Meanwhile,  Federal regulators encouraged financial institutions to work with consumers affected by the federal government shutdown. The agencies recommended prudent efforts to modify terms on existing loans or extend new credit to help affected borrowers, which they said should not be subject to examiner criticism.  During the shutdown, federal banking regulatory agencies (FDIC, Federal Reserve, OCC, CFPB) remain open. Federal lending programs (e.g., the SBA, FHA and USDA) will operate at a reduced level, as will the National Flood Insurance Program. 

There are a s many as 50,000 New York residents that are currently employed by the federal government and may be impacted by the shutdown through the loss of their income. Many banks are working with customers who are impacted. The Trump administration now estimates that the cost of the government shutdown will be twice as steep as originally forecast. The original estimate that the partial shutdown would subtract 0.1 percentage point from growth every two weeks has now been doubled to a 0.1 percentage point subtraction every week. The administration had initially counted just the impact from the 800,000 federal workers not receiving their paychecks. But they now believe the impact doubles, due to greater losses from private contractors also out of work and other government spending and functions that won't occur.


Vining Sparks & ICBA Securities Balance Sheet AcademyBalanceSheetAcademy

Registration is now open for Vining Sparks and ICBA Securities' Balance Sheet Academy seminar in Memphis, Tennessee from Monday, April 29 to Tuesday, April 30 2019. This  advanced seminar is designed to expose seasoned community bank portfolio and balance sheet managers to advanced products and concepts.  The objective is to enable the attendees to consistently outperform their peers. The dynamics of a community bank balance sheet require an investment professional to be versed in a wide range of topics.  Balance Sheet Academy  provides discussion and practical classroom exercises to equip the attendees for these demands. Examples of these topics include: 
  • Advanced interest rate risk management strategies;
  • Low cost funding strategies; and
  • Strategies for serving bank customers while managing interest rate risk.  
Attendees will learn how the changing economic data impacts market interest rates from Vining Sparks' Chief Economist. The Balance Sheet Academy is structured for more experienced investment managers, particularly those who have attended Bond Academy.  
It incorporates balance sheet strategies into the day-to-day management of an institution's investment portfolio, wholesale funding and interest rate risk management. Bank personnel with an intermediate level of understanding of investments who are integral to the investment and balance sheet management process will benefit the most from this advanced course. New directors serving on the investment or asset-liability committee will also find this course beneficial. 


Kert Johnson,  SVP/Marketing at (901) 762-5340 or kjohnson@viningsparks.com.

The U.S. Labor Department reports that the Consumer Price Index declined 0.1 percent in December, the first drop in nine months.  The CPI was unchanged in November and has risen 1.9 percent over the past 12 months.

Banking News

Further Your Education at Barret Graduate School of Banking BarretGradSchool

Barret and IBANYS are aligned with a common interest: to represent the interests of the industry through effective advocacy and high quality educational offerings.

Located in Memphis, TN, Barret Graduate School of Banking offers a comprehensive graduate learning program for professionals in the financial services field. IBANYS has established partnerships with key industry educators including the Barret Graduate School of Banking. The school provides community bankers with an opportunity for a graduate degree in banking. 

We are currently endorsed by ICBA, ICBA Securities, Arkansas Community Bankers, CBAofGA, Indiana Bankers Association, CBAofKS, MIBA, CBAofOH, CBAofWV - with a couple more on the way. 

To learn more about Barret Graduate School of Banking, please visit www.barret.ws.


Keep The Door Open For Your Small Business Customers

Excelsior Growth Fund (EGF) is NYBDC's nonprofit Community Development Financial Institution and IBANYS' exclusive online lending partner. Join the growing number of banks that work with EGF to offer their customers an affordable and responsible option when they do not qualify for traditional financing. EGF offers loans up to $500,000 with a convenient, digital process. Loans under $100,000 are disbursed within 5 business days.

 EGF's experienced team can work hand-in-hand with yours to develop a customized process to make referring seamless. To learn more about offering your customers a second look through EGF contact Bryan Doxford, SVP, at bryan.doxford@excelsiorgrowthfund.org at at (212) 430-4512. 

Spotlight Bank of the WeekSpotlightBank

In 1996, two successful businessmen, E. Philip Saunders and Dan Gullace, purchased an established bank in Rochester, New York. They renamed it Genesee Regional Bank (GRB) with a vision of re-establishing a community bank presence, and helping to grow small business in the Rochester region. From this vision has emerged not only a successful financial institution, but one known for being a trusted advisor to its small business clients in a wide range of industries.

Steady Growth

With that entrepreneurial spirit in mind, President and CEO Philip L. Pecora leads GRB with a customer-centric philosophy that sets the bank apart as a powerful advocate for its clients. GRB's original vision of growing local businesses has expanded to include helping individuals, nonprofits, and municipalities achieve their financial goals. The bank has continued on a consistent growth path, increasing its assets more than ten-fold since 2003.

The 2013 addition of three residential mortgage companies to the GRB team brought yet another critical service to the bank's customers and the local community. GRB's residential mortgage team has grown rapidly and GRB is now one of the leading mortgage lenders in the region. With assets now topping more than $550 million, GRB offers competitive products and rates -- but with the added benefit of hometown knowledge, service and decisions.

Recognition and Awards
  • A Small Business Administration "Silver Award" lender
  • A "Greater Rochester Chamber of Commerce Top 100" company
  • One of the "Best Companies to Work for in New York"
  • One of Rochester's "Top Workplaces"
A New Chapter 

GRB is launching an aggressive community-focused brand awareness campaign in September 2018 to encourage businesses and individuals to consider the benefits of working with a local, independent financial institution like GRB.

Featuring reflections on the theme "Community Banking. Community Building." the integrated marketing campaign will include television, radio, and targeted digital advertising.  At launch, the campaign features GRB customers - Isaac Heating & Air Conditioning, Hybridge Dental Implants, Radio Social, Parkleigh and Dr. and 
Mrs. Michael Maloney. In their own words, these customers discuss the importance of receiving local support from GRB to achieve their personal financial goals and enable growth for their Rochester-based businesses. The campaign reinforces the bank's mission to provide products and services exclusively to the Greater Rochester region - working to keep us all, as the campaign concludes, "ROC" solid.

The commercials and extended interviews with each customer can be found at www.GRBbank.com/community.

Dan Morgenstern, founder of Radio Social and a GRB customer featured in the campaign said, "To bank with somebody that's outside of our community doesn't necessarily help our community.  What's critical for us is depositing our dollars into a bank like GRB that turns around and supports the local economy and local business.  Rochester can't grow if we don't have a community bank.  Because outside banks wouldn't have done what we needed for Radio Social.  GRB is unique.  They really understand and care about the success of the local market."

"Community banking is really about reinvesting into the Rochester community and really being focused on one market," said Frank LaMar, co-founder and CEO of Hybridge Dental Implants, a GRB customer and campaign feature. "I think having a bank like GRB whose focus is one market like Rochester, New York, is really much more profound to the business owners of that town compared to, frankly, what we've had in the past with large banks."

GRB has ambitious plans to continue its growth, and continue driving the success of businesses and individuals in the Greater Rochester community. Learn more at  www.GRBbank.com.


About Spotlight Bank of the Week

Spotlight Bank of the Week is a new feature that we have added to our website and e-newsletter. It is an opportunity to promote anything about your organization, such as fun facts, organization news, special events, etc. The Spotlight Bank of the Week will be featured on our homepage slider, e-newsletter, and our social media platforms for one week. So don't miss out on this exceptional opportunity to showcase your bank to thousands of people!

View banks that have been featured as our Spotlight in the past!

To apply, just fill out our registration form and email it to Natalie Rowan at natalier@ibanys.net.

IBANYS Spotlight Is On...

Homestead Funding Corp. - an IBANYS preferred partner - is a multi-state licensed mortgage banker with branches located throughout the eastern U.S. In operation since 1995, their corporate headquarters are located in Albany, New York where they have continually been the area's largest independent mortgage lender. 

Homestead has tens of thousands of satisfied customers, originated billions of dollars in residential mortgage loans and maintained a reputation of exceptional service, honesty, integrity and financial reliability. Their  goal is simple: they want to offer customers outstanding service and the best mortgage financing to suit their needs. Their mix of traditional and innovative mortgage products gives Homestead the ability to evaluate and deliver a wide variety of competitively priced mortgage financing solutions. They understand that not every situation is the same and have embraced that diversity in their customers 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 so that they can continue to service their home financing needs. This reflects Homestead's commitment to serving customers for life. 


Daniela Bigalli, VP of Sales and Marketing 

Phone: (518) 464-1100

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

Health & Wellness

My Wellness Resource & TELADOC

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

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

Mario Martinez 
Chairman & CEO
Catskill Hudson Bank

Contact Alan Justin: (716) 907-5500. 

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

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

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

Secure, Enhanced Internet Presence

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

Did You Know?

. . .That three sets of fathers and sons have served as Governors of their states  in the modern era? In each case, both father and son were Democrats. The list includes:
  • In New York, Mario Cuomo (1983-94) & Andrew Cuomo (2011-present)
  • In California, Pat Brown (1959-67) & Jerry Brown (1975-83, 2011-19)
  • In Alabama, Jim Folsom, Sr. (1947-51, 1955-59); & Jim Folsom, Jr. (1993-94)
New York community banks play a key role in our state and local economies. Help spread the good news among our customers, business, elected leaders and the media!

John J. Witkowski
President & Chief Executive Officer

Stephen W. Rice
Director of Government Relations & Communications

Linda Gregware
Director of Administration & Membership Services

William Y. Crowell III
Legislative Counsel

Natalie Rowan
Marketing & Social Media Assistant