July 10, 2019

In This Issue: 
Message From The President

By John Witkowski, President & CEO

Our upcoming "Banking Executive Symposium" is IBANYS' last major event of the year. It will take place September 9-11, 2019 at the Harbor Hotel 1000 Islands in Clayton, New York. For full details, please see the item below in today's newsletter. It's an important meeting, and there are up to 12 CPE credits available.
More to come!

We Want To Hear  From Y OU!

At IBANYS, we are driven by our membership. Our members provide us insight into various issues and topics, as well as give us suggestions on how to enhance IBANYS' operations and educational meetings. We now need YOUR help, as the time has come for IBANYS to begin planning our 2020 meetings. Your ideas and suggestions help ensure we provide the best educational experience and relevant content.  IBANYS' meetings and conferences cover essential topics in the fields of compliance, security, lending, human resources and board of directors. These programs are designed by community bankers, for community bankers - but we cannot do it without your input. 

As we begin the process of planning the agendas for next year's conferences, it would be helpful to know:

What are the most important subjects to your bank's directors, management teams and operational employees? Which ones would they - and, you - most like to see addressed in IBANYS' 2020 educational programs?

A quick questionairre to your employees can be beneficial in determining what your bankers would like to see covered. All suggestions and ideas are welcome. We will soon be deciding which speakers to invite to present their ideas and solutions to IBANYS member banks. Before we do, we want to know if there is a particular speaker you or your bank's team would like to recommend so we can contact him/her in advance to provide them the opportunity to put IBANYS on their schedules.

Please email Linda Gregware or myself with your ideas and suggestions. 

Remember: Your voice is valuable. Be a part of the planning process and help IBANYS design a program tailored to your needs. 


ADA Website Lawsuits GrowingADALawsuitsGrowing

Back at our Annual Convention in June, Tom Stebbins of the Lawsuit Reform Alliance of New York spoke about the multitude of threats with litigation banks are facing today. One threat is the violation of the Americans With Disabilities Act by "denying access to its websites to individuals with disabilities who are visually impaired and who require screen-reader software to access digital content". In addition, some banks also do not have an accessibility website or hotline. 

This issue was recently covered by an article in the New York Times. IBANYS is staying ahead of the curve by alerting our members to this growing problem. We are also joining LRANY in an effort to bring awareness to this issue. Please read through the informative article and feel free to share your comments with us. Read the article.
Follow IBANYS On Social Media!

 Connect With Us Today!

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2019 Meetings

Banking Executive SymposiumBankExecSymposium

September 9-11, 2019
200 Riverside Drive
Clayton, NY 13624

CPE Credits Available  = 12

Hotel Information

Village View - $169
River View - $189
River View with Balcony - $209


After this date, we cannot guarantee room rate.

Reservations can be made by calling the hotel directly at (315) 686-1100 and refer to the Independent Bankers Association of NY. 


Of course, you also won't want to miss our full calendar of our IBANYS webinars on a wide range of operational, governance and strategic issues. 

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 or John Witkowski with your thoughts and/or comments.

IBANYS Education/WebinarsWebinars

Have you reviewed our 2019 Webinar Calendar? The Independent Bankers Association of New York State (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. 

Government Relations


State Legislature Adjourns Until January 2020 SessionAdjourns2020

The New York State Legislature has adjourned for the year, ending the 2019 session on Friday, June 21. There are no plans for the Legislature to return to Albany until January, 2020. IBANYS' Government Relations Committee will be developing policies and positions regarding our 2020 state legislative program.

DFS Superintendent Lacewell On Consumer Protection, FintechLacewellConsumerProtection

Linda Lacwell
(Photo: www.dfs.ny.gov)
New York State Financial Services Superintendent Linda Lacewell said in an interview with the New York Law Journal that she 
plans to use her position as head of DFS to further strengthen the Department's work protecting consumers.  Lacewell said she expects the DFS's role as a national leader on consumer protection to grow during her tenure.  "Whether it's a banking-related decision, an insurance-related decision, or any of our agents or brokers, licensed entities, this is all affecting real people, Even keeping the markets safe and secure is affecting real people. . . I'm just glad we have such high-quality regulators, lawyers, examiners and others who are doing the work every day to keep our markets safe, to protect consumers, and help position the agency to deal with the great waves of innovation that are currently underway." 

The Superintendent also discussed  the emerging financial technology industry, aka fintech, and noted the online lending industry is a major part of fintech. She noted that about a decade ago, only 1% of personal loans were done online, but today that's up to 38%. DFS is planning a series of new steps to bolster its oversight of fintech, and Lacewell has made it a priority since first taking office. 

Other State Updates
  • Gov. Cuomo's top lawyer is leaving the administration to become the next president of the Human Rights Campaign.  Alphonso David will leave his position as Counsel to the Governor to become the first civil rights lawyer and first person of color to lead the nation's largest LGBTQ lobbying group. 
  • Gov. Cuomo has signed legislation passed in May to allow congressional investigators to access President Trump's New York State tax returns. It allows the  chairs of the U.S. House Ways & Means Committee, the U.S. Senate Finance Committee, or the Joint Committee on Taxation to request in writing New York tax returns. So far, congressional Democrats have not embraced the New York bill, insisting they would rather see his federal filings.
Washington, D.C.WashingtonGR

Congress has recessed for the July Fourth break. 

Chairman Powell Delivers Monetary Report To CongressPowellMonetaryReport

Jerome Powell
Congress returned to Washington this week, and Federal Reserve Chairman Powell is scheduled to testify before House and Senate committees. He is slated to testify before the House Financial Services Committee today for his semiannual monetary policy report, and will be back Thursday to appear before the Senate Banking Committee. He noted that b
usiness investments across the U.S. have slowed recently as uncertainties over the economic outlook linger; that "i nflation has been running below the Federal Open Market Committee's (FOMC) symmetric 2% objective, and crosscurrents, such as trade tensions and concerns about global growth, have been weighing on economic activity and the outlook." 

Powell reiterated the Fed will "act as appropriate" to sustain the current economic expansion. He added that  business investment has slowed down "notably," and that the outlook has not improved in recent weeks. Asked if  the recent strong U.S. jobs report changed his outlook on the economy and interest rates, he replied:  "The straight answer to your question is no." He said the June jobs report "was positive and that's great news" but added that "U.S. data came in about as expected. . .And, by the way, manufacturing, trade and investment are weak all around the world."  He said the Fed does not have "any evidence for calling this a hot labor market. 3.7% is a low unemployment rate but to call something hot, you need to see some heat." 

Powell also noted t he economy "performed reasonably well" in the first half of 2019, with consumer spending rebounding in the second quarter after being weak in the first quarter.   He also told Chair Maxine Waters (D-CA) he would not resign if President Trump asked him to.  "The law clearly gives me a four-year term and I fully intend to serve it." 

Federal Regulators Address  Volcker Rule Exemption, 
Capital Simplification 

  • Federal regulators have issued a final rule implementing a provision of the S. 2155 regulatory relief law that exempts most community banks from the Volcker RuleThe final rule conforms with statutory language exempting community banks that have less than $10 billion in assets, trading assets and liabilities that are no more than 5% of total assets. ICBA and IBANYS have advocated for the implementation.
  • Meanwhile, federal regulators also issued a final rule simplifying risk-based capital rules for community banks that hold mortgage-servicing assets, deferred-tax assets, and insignificant investments in the capital of unconsolidated financial institutions, such as trust-preferred securities. Under the new rule taking effect next April 1, community banks will only have to deduct from their capital MSAs, temporary difference DTAs, and investments in the capital of unconsolidated financial institutions like TruPS if they individually exceed 25 percent of the bank's common equity tier 1 capital. This new rule is different from the proposed Community Bank Leverage Ratio, which is expected to be approved later this year and would allow certain community banks to opt in to a new, simpler capital framework provided they meet the required CBLR. 

ICBA Briefs Hill On Fed Role In Faster Payments

ICBA has briefed House Financial Services Committee staff on why the Federal Reserve should have a leadership role in faster payments.  ICBA First Vice President of Payments and Technology Policy Cary Whaley told  committee staff on Capitol Hill that Fed involvement in faster payments would provide safety, integrity, continuity and equitable access to all financial institutions. 

ICBA also detailed the issue in a   one-pager   for congressional staff.  ICBA is leading the push to support the Fed's operation of a Real-Time Gross Settlement service. ICBA President & CEO Rebeca Romero Rainey and ICBA Chairman Preston Kennedy wrote   to Fed Chairman Powell to note that only the Fed can ensure ubiquity and equal access to real-time settlement.

Fed's Quarles On Tailored Regulation, Stress Tests

Randall Quarles

Randal Quarles, the head of banking supervision at the Fed would like to further tailor banking regulation and simplify stress testing regime, easing obligations for even large banks. Quarles said the changes could be enacted before next year's stress tests, and noted that tests of whether big banks can withstand a future economic shock need to be more predictable and easier for firms to pass. "Like a teacher, we don't want banks to fail; we want them to learn."

Other Federal Updates
  • In advance of the upcoming congressional hearings July 16-17 on its digital currency Libra, Facebook sought to mitigate concerns about the proposed cryptocurrency. In a letter dated July 8, the company wrote that the token's purpose is to create a secure and low-cost way for consumers to move money around the world. "We understand that big ideas take time, that policy makers and others are raising questions, and that we can't do this alone. . .We want, and need, governments, central banks, regulators, non-profits, and other stakeholders at the table and value all of the feedback we have received."  In his testimony to the House Financial Services Committee today, Fed Chairman Powell noted: "Libra raises serious concerns regarding privacy, money laundering, consumer protection, financial stability," and noted the project "cannot go forward" without broad satisfaction with Facebook's answers to regulators' questions. 
  • ICBA continues to urge community bankers to encourage their local Members of Congress to act on credit unions and tax relief. Community bankers can use ICBA's Be Heard grassroots action centerto urge lawmakers to:
    • Investigate the trend of large credit unions buying up community banks, and
    • Co-sponsor the Enhancing Credit Union Opportunities in Rural America (H.R. 1872/S. 1641), which would provide tax relief for agricultural and rural residential lending.
    • Community bankers can also send in examples of egregious credit union actions to exposingcreditunions@icba.org - and use ICBA's customizable op-ed and talking points to raise awareness of the acquisition issue. 
  • ICBA has written to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) on the CFPB's review of its overdraft rule, saying it should not impose any additional regulatory requirements on financial institutions offering overdraft services. ICBA wrote that the Bureau should instead work with other regulatory agencies to:
    • Ensure regulatory guidance provides financial institutions the flexibility to serve customers,
    • Provide compliance certainty in the marketplace, and
    • Streamline guidance while considering the relationship-based community bank model. 
Under the CFPB rule, financial institutions may not charge consumers a fee for paying ATM and one-time debit card transactions that overdraw an account, unless they affirmatively consent to overdraft coverage for these transactions. The CFPB is reviewing whether the rule should be continued, amended or rescinded to minimize the effect on small entities. 

Industry Trends & Updates


Seller's Market?
A Guide to Finding Liquidity Among Your HoldingsReberArticleSellersMarket

By Jim Reber, ICBA Securities
Jim Reber
Quick: What're the most saleable assets on your community bank's balance sheet? If you get this wrong, you need to be running a "not-for-profit depository financial institution."
Bonds, of course. Most people I talk to consider the liquidity feature a close second (to safety) in importance when contemplating a purchase. That feature has come into play for thousands of community banks in the last several years, as loan demand has outstripped deposit growth. Between December 2013 and December 2018, investments as a percent of assets dropped from 23% to 18% for the community bank industry as a whole. While most of the decline was simply maturing bond proceeds being reallocated into loans, some portion was outright securities sales to fund new credits. Read the full article.


The Economy By The Numbers
  • A poll from The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research found that  23% of workers (including nearly 2 in 10 of those over 50) do not expect to stop working, and approximately another 25% of Americans plan to work beyond age 65. According to government data, 1 in 5 people 65 and older work or were actively looking for a job in June. A spokesperson noted: "The average retirement age...has gone up a little bit, but it hasn't gone up that much. So people have to live in retirement much longer, and they may not have enough assets to support themselves in retirement."
  • When asked how financially comfortable they feel about retirement, 14% of Americans under the age of 50 and 29% over 50 say they feel extremely or very prepared for retirement, while about 4 in 10 older adults feel somewhat prepared and one-third feel unprepared. 56% of younger adults don't feel prepared for retirement.  Among those fully retired, 38% felt very or extremely prepared when they retired, while 25% said they felt not very or not at all prepared.
  • The Federal Reserve said consumer credit increased at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.0% in May. Revolving credit, which includes credit card spending, rose 8.2%. Non-revolving credit, such as auto and student loans, increased 3.9%. 

Four Reasons to Offer SBA Loan Programs DoxfordArticle
by Prudent Lenders

Offering SBA loan products provides a worthwhile alternative for small business owners like these and a way for you, as a lender, to keep the door open. Learn more about  how implementing an SBA loan program  can lead to higher profits and more satisfied customers.

SBA guaranteed lending: The basics

All loan programs through the SBA are guaranteed, meaning you're able to manage your financial risk while offering your borrowers more flexible terms. Becoming an SBA lender also gives you opportunities to expand your product offerings and to cultivate relationships with new and longstanding customers.

SBA loan programs make it possible for you to lend when there's a collateral shortfall, when longer maturities are needed to improve cash flow, or a myriad of other reasons. Loan proceeds can be used for a variety of purposes, including: business start-ups or acquisitions; working capital; expansion; equipment; real estate purchases and the refinancing of existing debt. Read the full article.


IBANYS & Excelsior Growth Fund's Partnership Helps Veteran Entrepreneurs EGFVeteranEntrepreneurs

Our partnership with Excelsior Growth Fund (EGF) has helped them access fast and affordable capital to numerous small business owners, particularly for veteran entrepreneurs that have benefitted from EGF's reduced interest rate loans. 

Through IBANYS' referrals, EGF has refinanced high cost debt for veterans like Glenn Read of Glenn Read Enterprises, and supported new opportunities for business owners like Chris Dambach of Industry Standard. Read their stories to learn more about the impact of IBANYS' partnership with EGF.

Glenn Read

We sat down with Glenn Read to learn more about his story, his business and how his $100,000 veteran loan through EGF helped him reach his business goals. Read more.

Chris Dambach

Chris Dambach is dedicated to giving back to his fellow veterans. We spoke with Chris to learn more about how his $50,000 veteran loan helped him continue his mission. Read more.


Designing Your Marijuana StrategyMarijuanaComplianceAnchor
by Nancy E. Lake, CAMS-Audit, CAMS-FCI, Director of Compliance Anchor®,
Kevin Martin, CRCM, CAMS, Compliance Anchor® Consultant

Marijuana, hemp and CBD are confusing and divisive topics and financial institutions are caught in a conundrum wanting to service them but afraid of regulatory oversight. Regulators, FinCEN, and examiners differ on what is acceptable and what is not even within the same body.  Therefore, the institutions with whom we deal in numerous states are varied in their approach and include those that want no part of servicing any types of cannabis businesses, those that are moving into the industry to keep customers who themselves are serving the industry, and those that want to jump in to capitalize on the opportunity this industry presents.

The question all financial institutions are asking is, "What are we going to do with this industry? Originally, people thought a simple approach would be, "We just won't bank them." However, as the industry expands, it seems almost every community is seeing businesses moving in that are dealing with this industry. Institutions are finding more and more of their current customer base is selling or considering selling CBD products, growing industrial hemp, or doing business with or as a Marijuana Related Business (MRB). Read the full article.

The Bond Academy

Learn Bond Basics with your Peers!

When: October 21, 2019

Where: Embassy Suites
1022 S. Shady Grove Road
Memphis, TN  38120

The Bond Academy is designed to provide community bankers with the basic knowledge needed to help plan and create effective investment portfolios.
A high performance investment portfolio can provide a noticeable increase to your bank's bottom line. The learning objectives of Bond Academy are aimed at providing you with the tools to understand how debt instruments work and their overall role in complementing the entire balance sheet.

This all new curriculum has been specifically designed to equip a new portfolio manager with basic portfolio management issues. Specifically, fundamentals of bond pricing, valuation, and selection will be covered extensively.  You'll learn the basics of the bank portfolio investment process. There is also an opportunity to earn up to 12 CPE credits!

Who Should Attend?

CPAs and those new to their roles as investment officers, cashiers, controllers, and internal control professionals will benefit the most from Bond Academy. New directors serving on the investment or asset-liability committee will also find this course beneficial. No advance preparation is necessary.

You Will Learn:
  • Bond basics, including bond pricing, duration, and price volatility
  • Bond types, including agencies, municipals, mortgage securities, and floating rate instruments
  • The composition of a high performing portfolio
  • How to understand the rate market: yield curves, spreads, monetary policy
  • How economic data affects the bond market
  • The impact of interest rate risk on portfolio management
  • Portfolio strategies of laddering, barbells, riding the yield curve
  • Day-to-day portfolio management techniques
  • Evaluating investment portfolio performance

  • ICBA Members - $595 / session
  • Nonmembers - $695 / session
  • Members & Non-Members: Save $150/session for each additional registration from your bank.

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.

IBANYS Spotlight Is On...

Promontory, an IBANYS preferred partner and  helps financial institutions of all sizes thrive. Promontory Network members use its solutions  ̶  Bank Assetpoint®, Insured Cash Sweep®, or ICS®, CDARS®, IND®, and Yankee Sweep®  ̶  to source new asset opportunities, diversify their asset portfolios, reduce collateral requirements, purchase funding, and build multi-million-dollar relationships. 

Visit promnetwork.com or contact Kevin Hamilton  to find out how Promontory can help your bank manage its balance sheet more profitably.

Contact: Kevin Hamilton, Regional Director/NY:

Phone: (866) 776-6426 ext. 3329
Website:  www.promnetwork.com

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 the first universal credit card, one which could be used at a variety of establishments, was introduced by the Diners' Club, Inc., in 1950? Another major "travel and entertainment" card was established in 1958 by the American Express Company.

. . .Did you ALSO know that the the first safe deposit box facility was launched more than 150 years ago, in 1865, by The Safe Deposit Company of New York?  It provided traditional safekeeping of trunks and packages, and offered "five hundred safe boxes of iron each having its own combination lock with renters having complete control of their individual box."
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