June 26, 2019

In This Issue: 
Message From The President

By John Witkowski, President & CEO

NYS Legislature Adjourns For Year:
Credit Union/Municipal Deposits Legislation Held In CommitteeCreditUnionSessionAdjourned 

The New York State Legislature adjourned the 2019 session Friday, June 21 without taking action on A.3262, Zebrowski/S.6079, Sanders - - legislation that would have allowed credit unions, savings banks, savings and loan associations and federal savings associations to accept and secure deposits from municipal corporations. 

Despite strong indications it would likely pass both houses, the legislation was instead held in the Assembly Ways & Means Committee and Senate Banks Committee, and will not be enacted this year.

IBANYS strongly opposed the proposal. It would have permitted tax-exempt credit unions (which are also not subject to any CRA oversight or mandates) to enter the municipal deposits business. We believe it would have had a serious negative impact on New York community banks and those we serve.
  • We circulated to the members of the legislature our white paper analysis, prepared by industry consultant and longtime community banker Larry Heilbronner, which refuted credit unions' positions.
  • We launched an all-out grass roots effort urging IBANYS member banks to contact their local state legislators and urge them to vote against the bill.
  • Our final argument, discussed with our Government Relations Committee late last week, proposed that the legislation should be amended to provide state tax parity for community banks. This represented a positive solution, and was helpful in demonstrating IBANYS' commitment to finding a resolution.
IBANYS did support the component of the bill that would have granted thrifts the authority to accept municipal deposits without restrictions, and without being required to form commercial bank subsidiaries to do so. We will continue to be supportive of that objective.

This was our hardest battle yet to stop credit unions from reaching their goal of entering the municipal deposits business.   Through the unified efforts and innovative approaches taken by our leadership and membership, and strongly reinforced by our consultants, we were able to succeed against very high odds. Thank you for your engagement, support and participation in our government relations process.

While the legislation was not acted upon this year, there is much work to do in the months leading up to the next legislative session that begins in January 2020. The issue will be addressed again next year.

The Legislature did pass legislation to allow credit unions to participate in the State Business Development District program. Further, more bills were passed that could pose a short-or long-term impact on community banks, which is usually the case when there was a divided Legislature. Those bills are:

  • The state "wild card" law - which allows the State Department of Financial Services to maintain the viability and competitiveness of the state banking charter vis-à-vis the federal charter - was extended another five years to 2024.
  • A number of other bills related to CRA, confession of judgement, foreclosure, data breaches, poTwer of attorney and consumer credit also passed both houses and await action by the GovernorIBANYS will work with our Government Relations Committee in the coming days to determine on which ones we may seek a gubernatorial veto.

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2019 Meetings

Attend One of Our Educational Meetings! Meetings2019

It has been an extremely busy first half of the year at IBANYS on the educational front. We held meetings and conferences across the state for New York community bank directors, compliance officers, security officers, lending officers, human resources officers and senior executives -- culminating with our 2019 annual convention last week. The meetings provided great opportunities to network and to earn CPE credits.

There's more to come: Our meetings and conferences will continue. Here's a look at what's next:

Banking Executive SymposiumBankExecSymposium

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

CPE Credits Available  = TBD


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. We thank the members of our Government Relations Committee and all of our member banks for their active participation in our legislative process at the state and federal level during 2019. 

IBANYS' Government Relations Committee will soon meet to create a strategy for potentially seeking gubernatorial vetoes of some bills passed this session. In addition, we will develop policies and positions regarding our 2020 state legislative program - including questions related to credit unions and municipal deposits, as noted above in the Message From the President. 

Senate Confirms Linda Lacewell As DFS SuperintendentLacewellConfirmed
Linda Lacewell
(Photo: www.dfs.ny.gov)
In the closing hours of the 2019 legislative session, the State Senate approved the nomination of Linda Lacewell to serve as New York State Financial Services Superintendent. She had been serving as Acting Superintendent at DFS since February 1 after Governor Cuomo nominated her. She was previously a senior aide to Cuomo during his time as State Attorney General and Governor, and also served as a federal prosecutor. 

After the Senate vote, Lacewell commented: " It is an honor and a privilege to be confirmed as Superintendent of the Department of Financial Services. I thank Governor Cuomo and the Members of the New York State Senate for the opportunity to lead this essential agency and I look forward to working with the entire Legislature at a time when it has never been more important to protect consumers, safeguard markets, enforce the law and encourage real financial services innovation."

Washington, D.C.WashingtonGR

Congress is in session this week, before recessing for the July Fourth break. Here's a rundown on some of the legislative activity anticipated.

Senate Bill Would Boost Community Banks' Access To Capital

Legislation introduced by Sen. Mike Rounds (R-SD) to enhance community bank access to capital,  "The Community Bank Access to Capital Act of 2019" (S. 1233), includes a number of provisions strongly supported by ICBA. The provisions would:
  • Exempt banks and bank holding companies with total consolidated assets less than $5 billion in assets from the Sarbanes-Oxley 404(b) internal control attestation requirements;
  • Exempt community banks with less than $5 billion in assets from the FDIC's annual report on financial condition and management, including providing audited financial statements and internal control attestations;
  • Broaden the definition of "accredited investor" under SEC Regulation D so that the person's primary residence can be included as an asset; and
  • Raise the limit on the number of unaccredited investors under SEC Regulation D.

Urge Tax Relief For Agricultural & Rural Residential Lending

ICBA wants community bankers to urge their Members of Congress to co-sponsor legislation to provide tax relief for agricultural and rural residential lending. Community bankers can use ICBA's   Be Heard grassroots action center  to urge support for the Enhancing Credit Opportunities in Rural America Act (H.R. 1872/S. 1641). I nterest earned on loans secured by agricultural real estate would not be taxable. 

The bill would provide similar relief to interest on loans secured by rural single-family homes that are the principal residence of the borrower in towns with a population of less than 2,500.  The legislation would implement a recommendation in ICBA's Community Focus 2020 policy platform.

Hearings & Symposiums

  • Federal Reserve Chairman Powell will deliver his semiannual monetary policy report to the House Financial Services Committee on July 10, and testify before the Senate Banking Committee on July 11. This week, Chairman Powell repeated his assertion that risk to the U.S. economy has increased, noting new data on the economy is "raising renewed concerns about the strength of the global economy." However, he emphasized politics won't be a consideration as the Fed considers the idea of a rate cut. "The Fed is insulated from short-term political pressures - what is often referred to as our 'independence,."
  • The House Financial Services Committee will hold hearings on diversity in asset management, fintech regulation, and artificial intelligence. The Senate Banking Committee is slated to hold hearings on Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, as well as on the Export-Import Bank.
  • The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) hosted the first in a series of symposiums, this one featuring panel discussions on unfair, deceptive, or abusive acts or practices.
  • House Financial Services Committee Chairwoman Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) has scheduled a hearing on July 17 on Facebook Inc.'s announced digital currency Libra. The Senate Banking Committee will holding its own hearing July 16.
Industry Trends & Updates

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.


Report: Credit Unions Straying From Founding Mission

According to a new report from Federal Financial Analytics, credit unions have strayed from their founding mission of serving people of small means. The report notes credit unions have figured prominently in reports of predatory lending, increasingly serve middle- and upper-income households, and benefit from less stringent safety-and-soundness regulations. 

ICBA is urging community bankers to use its   "Be Heard" grassroots action center    to ask Congress to investigate the trend of large credit unions buying up community banks. Following its launch of the ICBA Credit Union Task Force, ICBA is also encouraging community bankers to send in examples of egregious credit union actions to  exposingcreditunions@icba.org   and to use ICBA's customizable op-ed and talking points to raise awareness of the acquisition trend.


The Economy By The Numbers

  • The U.S. Census reported that sales of newly built homes fell 7.8% from April, and were 3.7% lower than in May 2018. Since this represents signed contracts, not closings, it is a very recent indicator of buyers out shopping during the month. The average rate on the 30-year fixed mortgage began May at 4.29%, and ended the month at 3.94%, according to Mortgage News Daily. The median price of a newly built home sold in May was $308,000, down 2.7% annually.
  • The Conference Board's consumer confidence index declined to 121.5 in June. The key measure of the American economy declined after three consecutive months of increases.  The drop was more considerably steeper than the 131.1 predicted by economists surveyed by Reuters.  The drop brought the index to its lowest level since September 2017. Consumers were less optimistic about the near future: A decreasing number of Americans think business conditions will improve six months from now, and expectations for the U.S. job market were also lower. 
  • Existing-home sales rebounded in May following two months of declines, according to the National Association of Realtors. Sales rose 2.5 percent from April but remain down 1.1 percent from a year ago. Sales were up in each of the four major U.S. regions.

New Hire At FDIC

The FDIC named Amy Thompson Director of the Office of Communications. She will lead the agency's internal and external communications initiatives, including promoting understanding of the FDIC's mission, objectives, and programs. Prior to joining the FDIC, Thompson was Assistant Secretary for Public Affairs at the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).


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.


New York Community Banks: Have You Taken The Survey Yet?

New York community bankers: Participate in a survey from state regulatory agencies and the Conference of State Bank Supervisors (CSBS) on a range of topics for research purposes. CSBS has begun the annual process of surveying community banks on their economic condition, regulatory impacts and business plan. The goal is to get a more accurate understanding of how bankers are feeling about the future and to help provide an important barometer of the state of the industry. Survey results will be presented during the Community Banking in the 21st Century Research and Policy Conference, slated for Oct. 1-2 in St. Louis. Responses are due June 30. 

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...

With TransGate Solutions, you can provide your depositors with a range of business solutions. Payroll Processing, Merchant Services, Workers Compensation Coverage, Point of Sale Systems, and more - all with no contract. 

In addition, TransGate Solutions developed the Transgate Portal as a way to facilitate 

productive business partnerships and resulting referrals. It is a  tool they use to help track and share business opportunities between TransGate Solutions and all of their partners.

By offering TransGate's services at their special IBANYS wholesale pricing, you will benefit from additional customer loyalty and potential revenue opportunities. 

For more information, contact owner, Mitch Beaman 

Phone: (860) 757-3488

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 45 years ago today, June 26, 1974, the Universal Product Code (UPC) was scanned for the first time at the Marsh Supermarket in Troy, Ohio? It was used to sell a package of Wrigley's chewing gum.

Did you also know that IBANYS was established in August of that year, to represent community banks in New York State? Community banks, which have a history in the state dating back over 150 years, wanted their own association to represent, protect and advance their interests.

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