July 3, 2019

In This Issue: 
Message From The President

By John Witkowski, President & CEO

Happy  Independence  Day

On behalf of all of us at the Independent Bankers Association of New York State, we wish you a very happy and safe Fourth of July. As Americans, we have so much to celebrate. As independent bankers, we are honored to serve our local communities, and to help our neighbors and customers achieve home ownership, start a small business, continue their education and build their own American Dreams.


Summer is a time of relaxation, however it is also a time for reflection. Halfway through 2019, it has certainly been a busy and exciting time at IBANYS with our various conferences, Annual Convention and committees. 

IBANYS kicked off the New Year with our 2019 Meetings. We hosted an array of conferences for our member banks' senior officers, operational employees and board members. Each conference provided convenient locations in Western New York and the Capital Region, in addition to our newest location of Poughkeepsie. We also expanded our member-favorite Compliance Conference to a third location, which was offered in New York City. Expert speakers gave timely presentations which benefited  bank compliance officers, security officers, lending officers, human resources officers, directors and CEOs/senior management. 

The first half of 2019 concluded with our Annual Convention at Turning Stone Casino & Resort. The signature event brought together community bank industry leaders, IBANYS preferred partners and associate members, sponsors and tradeshow exhibitors, and knowledgeable speakers - all for the common goal of promoting community banking.

In addition to our 2019 Meetings and Annual Convention, we held key meetings of our Government Relations Committee to monitor state and federal activity, as well as formulate our legislative and regulatory policy positions. Meetings were also held with our Compliance and Security Peer Groups in order to help us plan agendas for their corresponding conferences. Additionally, IBANYS traveled to Washington to meet with the New York Congressional Delegation and advocate for our federal priorities.

IBANYS continued to grow our associate member and preferred partner programs and we  concluded the first six months in sound financial condition, our political influence in high regard in Albany and Washington, and an engaged membership.

All in all, quite a first half. However, this is not the time to rest on our laurels. Instead, it's time to  review what has worked, and to build on it in the second half of the year and in the future.

That's exactly what we'll do at IBANYS. 

We are in full gear planning our 2020 meetings and conferences, as well as developing our thoughts and strategies for our 2020 state and federal issues - which include the credit union/municipal deposits legislation. The battle for this legislation has been won this year, but the war is not over. We will need an updated, improved approach as we get ready for the new legislative session in January. 2020 is also an election year, with every seat in Congress and the State Legislature on the ballot. 

As the heat of summer continues, IBANYS is working to ensure New York community banks will be represented in Albany and Washington, and that their educational needs are met with intriguing and timely programs. 

Thank you for everything you do to strengthen IBANYS and to keep moving our community banking agenda forward.

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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 working to develop a strategy for potentially seeking gubernatorial vetoes of some bills passed this session, and to formulate policies and positions regarding our 2020 state legislative program.

Senate Dems Add 40th Member To Their Conference

The State Senate Democratic conference will increase its number from 39 to 40 members in the 63-seat chamber following the decision by Sen. Simcha Felder (Brooklyn) to formally join its ranks. Felder was  once a key member of the governing coalition between Republicans and independent Democrats. With 40 members, Democrats are now just two seats shy of a 42-vote super majority.

Senate Banks Chairman Proposes Constitutional Amendment 
For "Economic Bill Of Rights" 

State Senate Banks Committee Chairman James Sanders (D-Queens) has proposed a constitutional amendment stating that every New Yorker is entitled to a job that pays a living wage, quality health care, an education, affordable housing, a clean environment and a secure retirement. The language is billed as an "economic bill of rights." It's not clear how these guaranteed rights would be conferred, but presumably enacting legislation would have to be adopted -- which could prove to be very expensive.

Assembly Banks Chairman Zebrowski Loses D.A. Primary

State Assembly Banks Committee Chairman Ken Zebrowski (D-Rockland County) lost his Democratic primary for Rockland County District Attorney, perhaps making it more likely he plans to return to his chairmanship nest session. Zebrowski did say he hadn't decided whether to continue campaigning on the Working Families Party line for the Nov. 5 election.

Washington, D.C.WashingtonGR

Congress has recessed for the July Fourth break. 

Tell Congress: Stand Up to Credit Union AcquisitionsTellCongressCreditUnionAcquistions

With more and more large credit unions buying up taxpaying community banks, ICBA (and IBANYS) need your help to get Congress' attention. Please use ICBA's "Be Heard" grass-roots action center to tell your local members of Congress to use their oversight authority to rein in credit union abuses. 

ICBA has been shining a light on this costly and inequitable rash of credit union acquisitions by forming a task force, developing a customizable op-ed and talking points to spread the word, publishing an op-ed in American Banker, and encouraging community bankers to submit photos and anecdotes of egregious credit union actions to exposingcreditunions@icba.org. ICBA has long led the fight against credit union tax and regulatory subsidies, but the current epidemic of acquisitions exposes the unacceptable risks posed by this publicly subsidized sector of the financial services industry. Please join us in calling on policymakers to level the playing field once and for all. 

President To Nominate Shelton, Waller To Fed Board

President Trump will nominate Judy Shelton and Christopher Waller to the two open seats on the Federal Reserve Board of Governors. Shelton is a former adviser to the Trump campaign who has said interest rates should be cut "as expeditiously as possible." Waller, Research Director at the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, works for St. Louis Fed President James Bullard, the only Fed member who supported lowering the key interest rate in June. 

Trump To Name New CEA Chairman

According to senior administration officials, President Trump plans to name Tomas Philipson, an economist who has worked at the White House for almost two years as a health care policy expert, as the next head of the White House Council of Economic Advisers. He would succeed Kevin Hassett, who departed last month. The position requires approval by the U.S. Senate. 

ICBA Comments On CFPB's Remittance Transfers Rule ICBACommentsCFPBRule

Responding to a request from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau for information following its five-year review of the remittance transfers rule, ICBA urged the CFPB to continue exempting community banks from its final rule. ICBA noted a temporary exception for certain banks expire July 21, 2020. The rule requires remittance providers to disclose the exact exchange rate, expected amount to be received, and amount of certain fees before and after each transaction. The temporary exception allows insured depository institutions to provide estimates on required disclosures if certain criteria are met. 

ICBA noted community banks use correspondent banks to execute remittance transfers, restricting their ability to provide exact information on fees and exchange rates. Allowing the exception to expire would require many entities to stop offering the service to consumers, ICBA wrote. ICBA offered the CFPB several alternatives to ensure continued access, such as using its authority to allow insured depository institutions to continue relying on estimates in their disclosures or issuing a "small financial institution exemption" for banks with assets of $10 billion or less.

FDIC Addresses Cyber Incidents & Failing Financial Institutions

FDIC Chairwoman Jelena McWilliams said t he FDIC is working to update its regime of resolving failing financial institutions to account for resolutions driven by cyber incidents. McWilliams said a cyber-based resolution would present unique challenges due to the potential abruptness of a disruption, uncertainties on the severity of impact, and the reliability and accessibility of information required to conduct a resolution. 

ICBA encourages community banks to join Sheltered Harbor , a not-for-profit industry initiative, co-founded by ICBA, to protect against natural disasters and cybercrime. It enables financial institutions to back up critical customer account data each night, store it in a data vault, and restore it in the event of a disaster. 

ICBA: Equalize Treatment Of Banks & Credit Unions On Military Bases

The U.S. Senate passed a defense spending bill with a provision, supported by ICBA, that promotes parity between banks and credit unions on military bases. B oth would have to serve on-base and have a customer base at least 95% composed of military personnel, federal employees, and their families. It would require the Defense Department to treat banks and credit unions operating on a military installation within the continental United States equally with respect to the financial terms of leases, logistical support, services, and utilities. Currently, b anks on military bases are required to pay rent for the use of facilities, while credit unions may operate rent-free. The House version of the legislation does not yet include similar language, but ICBA is working to include the pro-community bank language in the final spending bill.

ICBA also continues to ask community bankers to  urge Congress  to investigate the trend of large credit unions buying up community banks and to send examples of egregious credit union actions to  exposingcreditunions@icba.org. IBANYS Members: U se ICBA's customizable op-ed and talking points. 

OCC Now Using Electronic Fingerprinting

Beginning this month, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) is moving to electronic fingerprinting to facilitate background checks performed in connection with applications and notices submitted to the OCC, including applications for charters, notices of acquisition of control, and notices to replace board members or senior management in certain institutions. 
Industry Trends & Updates

The Economy By The Numbers
  • The United States is now in a record-long economic expansion of 121 months of growth. Economic growth has surpassed even the run of growth seen from March 1991 to March 2001 and is more than twice as long as the expansion seen after World War II.
  • According to a report by ADP and Moody's Analytics , job creation had another rough month in June, with private companies adding just 102,000 new positions. That missed even the 135,000 estimate from economists surveyed by Dow Jones, and follows the weak May growth of just 41,000, revised up from an initially reported 27,000. Businesses with fewer than 20 employees were particularly hard-hit, losing 37,000 jobs.
  • The U.S. Commerce Department reported that consumer spending, which accounts for more than two-thirds of U.S. economic activity, rose 0.4%. Households increased purchases of motor vehicles and spent more at restaurants and on hotel accommodation.
  • The U.S. Census Bureau said construction spending decreased 0.8% in May and was down 2.3% from a year ago. Spending is down 0.3% since January from the same period last year. Separately, the Institute for Supply Management said its index of the manufacturing industry grew at a slower pace in June, dipping 0.4 percentage points to 52.1%.
  • The National Association of Realtors reported that pending home sales rose 1.1% in May, with every major region except the West reporting gains. Among the nation's hottest housing markets cited for May: Rochester, New York. The Pending Home Sales Index in the Northeast rose 3.5% to 92.0 in May, and is now 0.5% below its level of a year ago.
  • Total mortgage application volume was flat last week compared with the previous week, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association's seasonally adjusted index. Volume fell 0.1% for the week, but was 41% higher than the same week one year ago.  Applications to refinance a home loan decreased 1% for the week, but were 93% higher than the same week one year ago when interest rates were considerably higher. Mortgage applications to purchase a home were up 1% for the week and 10% higher compared with the same week one year ago. 
  • The monthly Cyber Security Tips Newsletter from the NYS Office of Information Technology Services Chief Information Security Office (NYS ITS CISO) is now available. The newsletter was developed by the Multi-State Information Sharing and Analysis Center. This issue focuses on cyber-safety with your devices and data while on the road this summer. 
  • The Dow Jones Industrial Average rallied 7.2% last month, and wrapped up its best June performance since 1938. Meanwhile, the S&P 500 posted its best first half of a year since 1997, soaring 17.3% and reaching an all-time high.  

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 AnchorĀ®,
Kevin Martin, CRCM, CAMS, Compliance AnchorĀ® 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...

Freed Maxick CPAs, P.C. - an IBANYS preferred  partner - is one of the largest accounting and consulting firms in Western New York, and a Top 100 largest CPA firm in the United States. 

The firm serves closely held businesses, SEC companies, governmental and not-for-profit clients across New York as well as nationally and internationally. 

Freed Maxick mobilizes high-performance professionals to guide client growth, compliance, security and innovation. The firm  specializes in helping their clients discover and achieve their bottom-line potential, and provides sound business advice based upon their depth of services and vast experience in a broad array of industries.

Though Freed Maxick maintain relationships with external resources nationwide, they continue to maintain their independence and the ability to make decisions locally. They're different because they have the bench strength to provide a wide array of services with highly skilled professionals, but they are not burdened by cost structure or bureaucracy. Those factors translate into world-class service at rates that are commensurate with the market you do business in.

Contact Mark Stebbins, Director: 

Phone: (716) 847-2651

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 when IBANYS was established in 1974, the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed the year at 616.24? As a point of reference, as of July 1, 2019 the DJIA was 26,717.43.

. . .Did you also know that the Consumer Price Index annual average in 1974 was 49.3?
It was 250.1 at the close of 2018.

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