Message From The President
By John Witkowski, President & CEO
The 2019 Meeting fun is not over yet! IBANYS is closing out the year with our Banking Executive Symposium, previously known as the CFO & Senior Management Conference. The conference will take place on September 9-11 at the picturesque 1000 Islands Harbor Hotel in Clayton, NY. This is an important meeting for New York community banks and is designed to address issues relevant to:
- Presidents & Senior Managers
The Symposium will provide strategic insights and critical industry updates that will guide you, your senior management teams and bank to success. Topics and issues to be covered by experts include Achieving Next Level Performance, Cybersecurity, Performance Reviews, M&A and more. In addition,
IBANYS has been authorized by the New York State Department of Education to award up to 13 Continuing Professional Education (CPE) credits to participants. Various sponsorships are also available.
- Bank Directors & ALCO Teams
Full details can be found in the Banking Executive Symposium brochure (to be released soon), as well as on our website. Please note that there is a hotel room cutoff date on Friday, August 16. After this date we cannot guarantee the room rate. Hotel reservations can be made by calling the hotel directly at (315) 686-1100 and refer to the Independent Bankers Association of New York State.
Don't miss out on our last event of the year on the beautiful St. Lawrence River. Endless networking and educational opportunities await, so reserve your room and send us your registration form today!
FASB Extends CECL Deadline For Most Lenders
The Financial Accounting Standards Board voted this morning to extend the deadline for conversion to the Current Expected Credit Loss (CECL) methodology to January 2023 for all but the nation's biggest publicly traded banks. FASB also plans to consult with banks registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission, which must still comply next January. Auditors and regulators are in hopes of identifying points of confusion and unnecessary procedures.
We Want To Hear From You!
IBANYS member banks: Is there a particular vendor, consultant or supplier your bank uses who might be a prospective IBANYS associate member? Our associate membership program brings value in three was:
- To our member banks, who gain access to products and services that can provide a boost in their profitability and operations;
- To the associate member firm, which gains a new universe for potential business development, and
- To IBANYS, which benefits from bringing in additional non-dues revenue, and gains potential new allies for sponsorship, exhibit and speaking opportunities.
If you have suggested firms, email Linda Gregware or me and we will follow-up with you.
Follow IBANYS On Social Media!
Connect With Us Today!
Banking Executive Symposium
September 9-11, 2019
200 Riverside Drive
Clayton, NY 13624
CPE Credits Available
Village View - $169
River View - $189
River View with Balcony - $209
**ROOM CUT-OFF DATE: FRIDAY, AUGUST 16, 2019**
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!
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.
NEW WEBINARS ADDED FOR 2019
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.
The New York State Legislature is adjourned for the year, and will not return to Albany until January, 2020.
IBANYS' Government Relations Committee will be developing policies and positions regarding our 2020 state legislative program.
State's Tax Cap Remains At Two Percent
State Comptroller DiNapoli announced
New York's tax cap will again be set at 2% in 2020 for local governments that operate on a calendar fiscal year. The announcement
affects all counties, towns, and fire districts in New York, as well as 44 cities and 10 villages. Governments that want to raise taxes above the cap need at least 60 percent support (e.g., three of five members on a town board.)
The tax cap was created by a 2011 law and is set at the rate of inflation or 2%, whichever is lower. The Comptroller noted:
"The allowable levy growth will be 2% for the second year in a row, however, mixed economic signals may require local governments to respond to changing financial conditions. . .Local officials should remain vigilant when crafting their budgets."
For the fiscal years between 2014 and 2018, municipalities operating on the calendar fiscal year had to come under a cap that was below 2%.
DFS Licenses Two More Virtual Currency Companies
The State Department of Financial Services (DFS) on Monday gave approval to two more companies to operate on the virtual currency marketplace in New York:
Seed Digital Commodities Market LLC, also known as SCXM, and Zero Hash LLC. Both were granted virtual currency licenses by DFS, and Zero Hash was also approved for a money transmitter license. Both companies
are subsidiaries of Seed CX Ltd., a larger digital asset exchange company based in Chicago.
The two new virtual currency licenses were the third and fourth since DFS Superintendent Linda Lacewell joined the agency in February. DFS has approved more than 20 virtual currency businesses since 2015, and was the first state or federal regulatmor to promulgate regulations overseeing the virtual currency industry. Superintendent Lacewell stated:
"The department's approval of these new licenses will provide institutional customers with more choice while also protecting consumers and the public through strong anti-money laundering, cybersecurity and other compliance standards in a continuously evolving global financial services marketplace."
Senate Dems Enjoy Big Fundraising Advantage
The latest fundraising figures by the Democratic and Republican State Senate Campaign Committees show a big advantage for the Democrats, who currently hold 40 of the chamber's 63 seats. A
ccording to the latest State Board of Elections filings,
Senate Democrats raised approximately
$2.3 million in campaign contributions during the past six months, and currently have more than $2 million in the bank. Senate Republicans have approximately a quarter of a million dollars in their coffers.
ICBA To Congress: Be Cautious On Facebook's Proposed
In a letter to Congress in advance of this week's hearing on Facebook's proposed "Libra" digital cryptocurrency, ICBA said it would pose threats to consumer privacy and financial stability while creating a new avenue to money laundering.
ICBA urged policymakers to be extremely cautious about allowing Facebook to expand its reach into users' financial data, and noted that a
ppropriate regulations comparable to the many rules that apply to payments products and services offered by the banking system will be needed if Libra is authorized.
Facebook testified it will not offer the currency "until we have fully addressed regulatory concerns and received appropriate approvals."
At Tuesday's Senate Banking Committee hearing, Chairman Mike Crapo (R-ID) cited concerns with how the payment system will work, what consumer protections will apply, and how it will protect user data and privacy. Ranking Member Sherrod Brown (D-OH) questioned whether consumers could trust Facebook with their finances.
At this morning's House Financial Services Committee hearing, Rep. Nydia Velasquez (D-Brooklyn) noted: "This is not Silicon Valley. You cannot work out problems as you go." Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-Manh.) commented: "I don't think you should launch Libra at all because the creation of a new currency is a core government function, but at the very least you should agree to do this small pilot program first."
Treasury Secretary Mnuchin has said Libra is a national security issue and the United States "will not allow digital asset service providers to operate in the shadows." He has also noted Treasury's Financial Crimes Enforcement Network will hold groups that traffic in any cryptocurrency "to its highest standards."
Latest On CFPB's Regulatory Reviews
ICBA said it supports
the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau's (CFPB's) plan to periodically review its rules under the Regulatory Flexibility Act, and also recommended the bureau publish an annual report that summarizes comments and information collected during its reviews.
ICBA also asked the CFPB to voluntarily participate in the Economic Growth and Regulatory Paperwork Reduction Act regulatory reviews conducted by prudential banking regulators every 10 years. (ICBA separately supports bipartisan legislation that would formally include the CFPB in EGRPRA reviews and require them every seven years rather than every 10.)
FDIC Approves Changes On Joint Custody Account Coverage
The FDIC board of directors
to two rules to simplify the process for making insurance determinations in the event a bank is placed into receivership.
One applies to all FDIC-insured institutions, and expands the types of evidence the FDIC would consider when determining whether joint accounts qualify for increased deposit insurance coverage. The FDIC will continue to look to signature cards when determining deposit insurance coverage on joint accounts, but now also now rely on other information contained in a bank's deposit account records to establish co-ownership of a joint account.
The second change applies only to the 32 institutions with more than 2 million deposit accounts, and would facilitate the payment of insured deposits to customers if the institution were to fail.
The agency also advanced a
notice of proposed rulemaking
to amend its securitization safe harbor rule, which relates to the treatment of financial assets transferred in connection with a securitization or participation. The proposal would remove a disclosure requirement on compliance with the SEC's Regulation AB to facilitate the availability of mortgage credit.
Senate Banking Committee Sets Hearing On Cannabis Banking
The Senate Banking Committee has scheduled a
on cannabis banking for July 23. Sens. Cory Gardner (R-CO) and Jeff Merkley (D-OR), who have introduced the Senate version of ICBA-advocated legislation to establish a cannabis-banking safe harbor in states where cannabis is legal, will testify.
The House version of the bipartisan "Secure and Fair Enforcement Banking Act"
was approved by
the House Financial Services Committee in March. ICBA
on behalf of that bill before the House Committee earlier this year.
S. 2155 Reg Relief Law Still Helping Community Banks
ICBA's EVP & Senior Regulatory Counsel Chris Cole noted in a new ICBA Main Street Matters blog that the new final rule exempting most community banks from the Volcker Rule is an example of the continuing benefits from the S.2155 regulatory relief law. Cole commented that community banks were previously required to demonstrate compliance with the Volcker Rule even though they generally do not engage in proprietary trading or relationships with hedge funds or private equity funds. "Not anymore. As advocated by ICBA since the Volcker Rule was first proposed a decade ago, this additional source of regulatory burden no longer applies to the vast majority of community banks."
June 30 Call Reports Due July 30
A reminder that call reports for the June 30 report date are due by Tuesday, July 30. A final rule expanding eligibility to use the FFIEC 051 Call Report during the first and third quarters takes effect on July 22. That rule applies to institutions with less than $5 billion in total assets that also meet certain other criteria.
Update On White House CEA Chairman
Health economist Tomas Philipson has been named Acting Chairman of the White House Council of Economic Advisers CEA) replacing Kevin Hassett, who resigned in late June. Philipson, who has served on the CEA since August 2017, could be nominated for the post by President Trump permanently. That nomination would need to be approved by the Senate. The White House hasn't announced an intention to make any nomination.
The Race Is On To Succeed Bronx Congressman Serrano
New York City Councilman Ritchie Torres will seek the congressional seat held since 1990 by Rep. José Serrano (D-Bronx), the longest serving Hispanic congressman in the country,
is retiring at the end of his current term after being diagnosed with Parkinson's Disease. Former State Senator and current City Councilman
Rubén Díaz Sr. is also expected to run. Diaz is 76, while Torres is 31. Torres is the first openly gay person to hold elected office in the Bronx, while Diaz is a conservative Democrat and Pentacostal minister whose positions on same sex marriage and gay rights have been strongly opposed within the LGBTQ community.
An Early Look At Potential 2020 Congressional
Primaries In New York
It provides a look at how all 27 congressional races are shaping up across the state. This post is updated as of July 2.
August Is Coming: Reach Out To Your Elected Representatives!
Although it's summer, there is still a great deal of activity occurring in Washington until they leave for their annual August recess. This is the opportune time to contact your representatives and arrange meetings with them back home in their districts. Explain to them the value and importance of community banks, both to local communities and the nation. You can even invite them for a tour of your bank!
Don't forget that you can also contact your local state senators and members of the Assembly to arrange meetings as well. Let's demonstrate to our elected officials the significance our community banks have, locally and nationally!
Industry Trends & Updates
Bob Fisher Named To ICBA Securities Board Of Directors
ICBA Securities Inc., the broker-dealer subsidiary of the Independent Community Bankers of America (ICBA),
announced the appointments of ICBA Vice Chairman Bob Fisher, president and CEO, Tioga State Bank, Spencer, N.Y., and Jack Hopkins, president and CEO, CorTrust Bank, Mitchell, S.D.,
to its Board of Directors.
Bob, a former Chairman of IBANYS, currently serves as a member of our Board of Directors and Government Relations Committee and chairs NYSIBPAC, our state political action committee.
"ICBA Securities is fortunate to have such distinguished community bank leaders join our board," said ICBA Securities Chairman Dennis Doyle, president and CEO of $836 million-asset Great Midwest Bank in Brookfield, Wis. "These new directors provide valuable insights and continue ICBA Securities' rich tradition of seeking credible, respected community bankers on its board."
Also serving on the ICBA Securities board of directors are Leon Blankstein, president and CEO, American Business Bank, Los Angeles; Scott Heitkamp, president and CEO, ValueBank Texas, Corpus Christi, Texas; Kathy Underwood, president and CEO, Ledyard National Bank, Hanover, N.H.; and John Witkowski, president and CEO, Independent Bankers Association of New York State, Albany, N.Y.
"We are pleased to welcome Bob and Jack to the board and look forward to their fresh perspectives as we refine our investment portfolio and educational offerings that help foster continued growth and prosperity for the nation's community banks," said ICBA president and CEO Jim Reber.
Since 1989, ICBA Securities, a wholly owned subsidiary of ICBA, has offered broker-dealer services with an inventory of portfolio investment products to community banks through its exclusively endorsed broker Vining Sparks, one of the nation's top 20 underwriters of agency securities.
A Guide to Finding Liquidity Among Your Holdings
By Jim Reber, ICBA Securities
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 Bond Academy
Learn Bond Basics with your Peers!
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.
The Economy By The Numbers
The New York Federal Reserve's gauge of manufacturing growth in New York State
recorded its biggest increase in more than two years in July, returning to positive territory to suggest regional activity was expanding again.
The index's increase reversed the prior month's record 26-point drop that raised concerns about a sudden contraction in business activity across New York state. The "Empire State" index on current business conditions jumped to 4.3 points this month (from -8.6 in June, which had been the first negative reading since October 2016). For July, analysts polled by Reuters had forecast a reading of 2.0.
A reading above zero suggests an expansion in regional business activity.
The U.S. Commerce Department said
retail sales rose
0.4% last month as households stepped up purchases of motor vehicles and a variety of other goods. Data for May was revised slightly down to show retail sales increasing 0.4%, instead of increasing 0.5% as previously reported.
Economists polled by Reuters had forecast retail sales edging up 0.1% in June. Compared to June last year, retail sales advanced 3.4%. June's strong gain in core retail sales follows solid increases in April and May and suggests a sharp acceleration in consumer spending in the second quarter. (Consumer spending grew at its slowest pace in a year in the first quarter.)
- According to the National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index (HMI), builder confidence for single-family homes rose just one point to 65 in July -- well below the July 2018 reading of 68. (Anything above 50 is considered positive.) Of the HMI's three components, the index measuring current sales conditions rose one point to 72, sales expectations over the next six months also rose one point to 71, as did buyer traffic to 48. Traffic continues to be the only component in negative territory.Realtor.com reports that the supply of homes for sale, which had been gaining, is weakening again and inventories could hit a new low in October.
CFPB: Focus Shifting From Enforcement To Consumer Education?
A July 12 Wall Street Journal article noted
that the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), established after the financial crisis to be a "watchdog" over the financial industry, appears to be shifting its mission from enforcement to consumer education.
Under the leadership of Director Kathy Kraninger, who took over the agency seven months ago, the CFPB has increased its focus on financial literacy, and continues to increase spending on consumer education and engagement this year after raising such spending by 76% during the fiscal year ended Sept. 30, 2018.
Other Industry Updates
- Federal Reserve Bank of New York President John Williams told a conference of the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association that financial firms need to stop dragging their collective feet and transition to a new reference interest-rate system to replace the scandal-plagued London interbank offered rate regime (aka "Libor"). "I don't always sense urgency among market participants on this issue" of replacing (it)."
- The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) recently noted that "Hispanics are experiencing the largest homeownership gains of any ethnic group in the U.S., a turnaround for the population hardest hit by the housing bust that could help buoy the market for years." It also noted that"[T]he black homeownership rate [hit] its lowest level on record in the first quarter."
- "This divergence marks the first time in more than two decades that Hispanics and blacks, the two largest racial or ethnic minorities in the U.S., are no longer following the same path when it comes to owning homes."
- "Analysts say black communities have struggled to recover financially since the housing crisis, which has kept homeownership out of reach."
- "A decades-long legacy of housing segregation has also made many would-be black buyers wary of returning to the market after losing their homes."
Further Your Education at Barret Graduate School of Banking
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
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
at at (212) 430-4512.
IBANYS Spotlight Is On...
InfoAgora delivers leading-edge analytics, RegTech solutions (CECL/IFRS9/IRRBB/Basel III) and model risk management services that enable clients to proactively manage risk/reward and increase profitability. As a thought leader and provider of leading-edge analytics solutions, the company empowers financial services companies with new capabilities to understand and predict customer behavior, measure and mitigate risk under different macro and micro scenarios, at both the customer and portfolio levels, in order to gain competitive advantage.
Drawing upon an extensive risk management and modeling expertise with financial institutions of different size, InfoAgora helps clients' risk management teams independently evaluate qualitative and quantitative aspects of their enterprise risk management framework against best practices in order to identify areas for improvement.
InfoAgora's products include:
For more information, call (416) 877-1965 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Or, visit the website at www.infoagora.com.
- Macroeconomic Scenario Generator
- Loss Forecasting and Stress Testing
- Capital estimation
- Credit adjudication models
- Credit and Deposit Price Optimizer
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:
HERE'S WHAT YOUR FELLOW NEW YORK
COMMUNITY BANKER SAYS. . .
"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."
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
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
. . .That 43 individuals have served as Chairman (or the previously designated office of "President") of the Independent Bankers Association since IBANYS was established in August of 1974?
IBANYS' first banker leader was Robert Fearon, Jr. of Oneida Valley Bank. A founder of IBANYS, he served as President from 1974-76. Upon joining Oneida Valley in 1956 he became the third generation of his family to serve at the bank. He retired as Chairman, President and CEO of the bank in 1992, and later received the association's Distinguished Service Award. Mr. Fearon passed away in February of 2019 at the age of 91.
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
Director of Administration & Membership Services
William Y. Crowell III
Marketing & Social Media Assistant