March 3, 2021
IBANYS Weekly E-Newsletter
  • Visit our website at to review our daily updates on COVID-19.
The President's Message
By John Witkowski, President & CEO 

Next week, New York's own Bob Fisher -- a former Chairman and longtime board member of IBANYS -- will be formally elected Chairman of the Independent Community Bankers of America (ICBA). A fifth-generation New York community banker who is President & CEO of Tioga State Bank in Spencer, New York, Bob epitomizes what community banks are all about. He is featured in the March issue of "Independent Banker" magazine. (The magazine is available on the Independent Banker website and via the digital edition.)

We are all proud of Bob, an essential leader of our New York industry and our association. Bob will take office next week at the ICBA Connect virtual event, and while online registration for ICBA Connect  is no longer available, community bankers can register by contacting ICBA's Events team at 866-THE-ICBA or We encourage everyone to join us in celebrating his election during ICBA Connect March 9-10, 2021. . .ICBA Connect will feature future-focused educational content, teambuilding programming, keynote speakers including Matthew McConaughey and Earvin “Magic” Johnson, and more. See additional details below in today's newsletter.  Learn more


IBANYS will participate in a virtual "Meet and Greet' this week to introduce IBANYS to the new NYS Assembly Banks Committee Chairman, Victor Pichardo (D-Bronx). We will provide feedback on how New York community banks have supported small businesses and the people in their communities during the pandemic. The meeting is a follow-up to the conference we recently participated in with NYS Senate Banks Chairman James Sanders (D-Queens), which identified industry priorities and concerns as a first step in what will hopefully be a continuing dialogue.


There's lots of activity in both Albany and Washington. The Governor faces serious challenges to his standing and potentially his authority due to the dual crises of the nursing home/Covid death investigation and sexual harassment accusations. The state budget deadline is just a few weeks away. Legislation continues to work its way through the Legislature. The next round of Covid recovery/economic stimulus is nearing conclusion.

Community banks are once again responding to the needs of our customers and communities, leading the way with a strong performance in the new round of PPP lending. According to recent data, New York State PPP activity ranks second in the nation. In total, more than $1.9 million loans totaling $120 billion . . .in New York, there have been more than 126,000 loans totaling $11.1 billion.

Industry News

ICBA offers "America Saves Week" resources. . .ICBA updated its Tell Your Story Marketing and Communications Toolkit with a customizable news release and blog post to help community banks recognize America Saves Week this week. More: America Saves offers its own digital toolkit with social media content, banners, flyers, payroll stuffers, and more. Background: ICBA’s Tell Your Story toolkit is a member benefit featuring best practices, interview tips, sample social media posts, and an editorial calendar to support community bank marketing plans while strengthening brand awareness.


Stay safe and healthy. . .and as always, thanks for all you do for New York community banking!

On March 12th Jay Hack, Esq. of Gallet, Dreyer and Berkey, LLP Law firm is holding a seminar on the latest changes (signed into law in 2020) on the statute of Power of Attorney. Jay will review the statute and he feels this is an important change for community banks without in house counsel. Very simply put, community banks may get into trouble if they do not prepare. Please read detailed article.
Please click below to register to attend this free webinar.
IBANYS 2021 Virtual Education Meetings
Mark Your Calendars & Save These dates -- More Information Coming Soon!!
  • Monday & Tuesday, April 19-20, 2021 - "All Banks On Deck" - Community Banks Mid-Year Conference - 8:30 a.m. - 2:00 p.m. each day

Watch your emails and the weekly newsletter for more information on these programs and additional dates to be added.
Kayla Schaefer, Marketing Coordinator
1320 City Center Drive
Carmel, IN 46032
(317) 814-1258

Welcome Baker Hill
The Baker Hill Legacy
Cloud-based loan origination software for bankers.
Baker Hill delivers innovative banking solutions that empower financial institutions to generate growth, reduce risk, and improve productivity and profitability.
A trusted leader in financial technology for over 35 years, our innovative solution streamlines origination and portfolio management for business, consumer direct and indirect lending, while our award-winning business intelligence tools mitigate risk and generate growth—all through a single, integrated platform.
In 2015, Baker Hill was acquired by a $4.6 billion global private equity firm, The Riverside Company. With this acquisition came an aggressive commitment to continuous innovation to develop world-class solutions that help drive more profitable relationships for our clients.
The result? The only holistic common loan origination, relationship management, and decision support system specifically designed to meet the changing needs of financial institutions of all sizes who want integrated solutions that meet their complex needs in an era of increasing regulation, risk aversion, consolidation, and changes in consumer demands.
How to Leave 2020 Marketing Challenges Behind & Move Forward
As we approach the one-year mark since the pandemic hit, bank marketers are left asking a critical question: How does our bank learn from the marketing challenges we've experienced and what opportunities can we tap into to be successful this year? Find out the answers to this question and how your bank can leverage technology to propel your growth efforts forward.

News from ICBA
ICBA is pleased to announce ICBA Connect to be held on March 9-10, 2021. Get ready for a virtual experience unlike anything you’ve seen before!
This event will bring together great minds from across the nation to celebrate and focus on community banks. Through diverse topics ranging from leadership and strategy, to innovation and inspiration, ICBA Connect will dive into the content that matters most today – all through the lens of community banks. Connect is a chance to discover how community banks are not only navigating the current landscape but leading the way for their communities.

Robert Fisher, President & CEO of Tioga Bank, former IBANYS Chairman and longtime IBANYS board member, is Chairman-Elect. We hope you will join IBANYS and attend virtually as we congratulate Bob, a fifth generation New York community banker.
Do’s, Don’ts, and Maybes
A set of simple rules to streamline portfolio management in 2021.
By Jim Reber
If my recent aggregate conversations with investment managers are an indication, there is still a lot of seat-of-the-pants decision making going on out there when it comes to portfolio strategies. And I hasten to add this is not a criticism; it’s merely an observation. Why should we expect anything else?

IBANYS Webinars

Are you participating in IBANYS webinars? Now is the time! IBANYS webinars provide timely, important information on subjects of interest to New York community bankers including human resources, business development, investment, compliance and security and much more. They are valuable not only for their content, but for their convenience and low-cost. Take part from the comfort and privacy of your office, without leaving the bank. 
Subscription Tokens
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How does it work:
Tokens can be used to purchase live or recorded webinars anytime, with no expiration! Tokens for both live and recorded webinars are available for an additional fee. (What’s the difference? Click here for the full description.)
Once you have your Subscription Token code, you can immediately register for webinars by using the code at checkout! (Subscription tokens not applicable for full series registrations, or other specials.)
Albany Update

  • The state Legislature has reached an agreement to "sort of" strip Governor Cuomo of his expansive emergency powers, one of the first moves against the governor by his fellow Democrats as he remains under siege from twin scandals. The deal announced bySenate Majority Leader Stewart-Cousins and Assembly Speaker Heastie could be voted on as soon as Friday. Momentum to repeal the Governor's extraordinary executive authority has grown as he is deluged by accusations of sexual harassment and a coverup of Covid-19 nursing home deaths that have led to calls for his resignation or impeachment.His emergency ability to usurp jurisdiction in matters typically governed by the Legislature or local governments will be revoked. Existing executive orders, like the statewide mask mandate, will remain in effect, and Cuomo will be allowed to modify them with notice to the Legislature. That still leaves him in control of matters like capacity limits on indoor dining, and what groups are prioritized for Covid-19 vaccination. A vote on limiting the governor’s emergency powers could reportedly come as soon Friday. If the Governor vetoes it, both the Assembly and Senate have supermajorities, so they could override his veto.

  • With the April 1 state budget deadline less than a month away, the fiscal outlook for the state and New York City is significantly improved from no longer the "doomsday picture" during the pandemic. This week, the Senate, Assembly and the Governor’s budget director agreed the state will collect $2.5 billion more in taxes over the next two years than the was estimated less than two months ago. Tax receipts are far higher than once projected: high-income earners, who pay the vast majority of income taxes, have kept their jobs and the financial sector is reporting near-record profits. The state has received at least $9 billion in federal money from the previous aid bills, according to NYS Comptroller DiNapoli, and President Biden's "American Rescue Plan" would send $12.6 billion in general aid to the state, $3 billion for Medicaid and provide more than $12 billion for education, most of which would be sent to local districts.Still, DiNapoli and budget officials warn of long-term risks because New York’s economic recovery is likely to be weaker than the nation as a whole.

  • Workplaces in New York would be required to have in place minimum safety rules for operating during the COVID-19 pandemic under legislation in the state legislature this week. Read More

  • The New York State Senate passed 10 nursing home reform bills last week. Speaker Heastie has indicated the Assembly may pass its own set of reform bills, so the two chambers would need to reach agreement. Read More.

  • In a report on the state budget released Tuesday by State Comptroller DiNapoli, better-than-expected tax revenue and "found" federal aid could lead to modest budget surpluses for New York as the state's finances begin to recover amid the economic crisis created by the COVID-19 pandemic. Read More

Latest State Legislative Activity
Here is the most recent legislative activity in Albany (both committee agendas and bill activity) for the current week: See here and here

Earlier legislative activity
See here and also here click here. . . here . . . here. . . here. . . here

Other previous legislative activity 


Regulatory Update
Thieves are stealing the identities of people who have a job and have not filed for unemployment benefits. The State Labor Department is sending letters to fraud victims alerting them someone tried to claim unemployment benefits using their name. In a new public service announcement about the COVID-related fraud, NYS Financial Services Superintendent Linda Lacewell states: "These scammers stole the identities of hard-working New Yorkers and tried to unlawfully collect unemployment insurance benefits." 

IBANYS will monitor developments, and will keep you fully informed.

Webinar Series: PPP Updates for Your Small Business
The Small Business Administration has some key changes to the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) which will be available for a limited amount of time to ensure America’s smallest businesses get exclusive access. If you are a small business owner with fewer than 20 employees, or are self-employed; there is new information for you. Please join us for a series of webinars hosted by the U.S. Small Business Administration, Public Private Strategies Institute, & other stakeholders to hear about:

  • What steps you can take now to take advantage of this special opportunity, which closes at 5:00 P.M. EST, Tuesday, March 9th, 2021.
  • Additional changes and recent policy announcements made by Biden-Harris Administration

Have your questions answered by SBA Leadership

Mar. 3, 12:30 p.m. ET, Women Business Owners, Click here to register.
Mar. 4, 3:00 p.m. ET, Asian-American + Pacific Islander, Native American + Tribal Small Business Owners; Click here to register.
Mar. 5, 1:00 p.m. ET,  Black + African-American Small Business Owners, Click here to register.
Mar. 5, 3:00 p.m. ET, Hispanic Small Business Owners, Click here to register.
Mar. 6, 2:00 p.m. ET, Veterans, Self-Employed Business Owners, Click here to register.
Mar. 8, 3:00 p.m. ET, LGTBQ Business Owners, Youth Entrepreneurs, Restaurant Owners, Click here to register.
Washington Update

  • President Biden today has agreed to limit eligibility for stimulus payments. The plan would phase out the $1,400 payments faster for higher-income individuals: The new provision would phase out checks for individuals making $80,000 a year and above, and for couples making $160,000 a year, or higher. The original proposal, which is in the bill that passed the House, phased out the payments for individuals making $75,000 a year and for couples who made $200,000 a year. The changes, confirmed by a Democratic aide, followed efforts by moderate Senate Democrats to push for more “targeted” spending, and comes as the Senate prepares to move forward with an initial procedural vote on President Biden’s $1.9 trillion relief bill. Senate Majority Leader Schumer has said the Senate will move forward as soon as Wednesday on President Biden's $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief bill, and said: "We'll have the votes we need to pass the bill." There was also pressure to to keep federal unemployment benefits at $300 -- their current level -- instead of raising them to $400, as proposed by Biden and passed by the House. However, it does not currently appear that change will be adopted by Senate Democrats.

  • In a confirmation hearing before the Senate Banking Committee, Rohit Chopra -- nominee to head the CFPB -- said he would focus on making sure Americans hindered by debt and other economic setbacks caused by the pandemic are able to receive relief, at least partially through policing abuses committed by mortgage and student loan servicers, as well as credit bureaus. In the same hearing, Gary Gensler -- nominee to lead the SEC -- said the agency could move to require companies to disclose more about political spending, climate risks and workforce diversity. 

  • ICBA's 2021 community banking agenda (in an open letter to Congress) urges a pragmatic agenda of regulatory relief and a more competitive landscape to promote a dynamic economy. IBANYS looks forward to continuing to work closely with ICBA on federal policies and priorities. READ ICBA RELEASE

  • ICBA pressing PPP reforms. While Congress is fast-tracking the next stimulus package, problems with existing recovery programs remain unaddressed, ICBA President and CEO Rebeca Romero Rainey writes in a new op-ed. Background: Due to the use of the budget reconciliation process to expeditiously pass the Biden administration's $1.9 trillion stimulus plan unaltered, needed updates to the Paycheck Protection Program will need to be addressed separately. ICBA Advocacy:In her op-ed on Medium, Romero Rainey writes that Congress needs to address PPP issues related to first-draw increase eligibility, second-draw use of proceeds, farm partnerships, and the Save Our Stages Program. READ THE OP-ED.

  • The custom grassroots alert on ICBA's Be Heard action center calls for relief from restrictions related to first-draw loan increases, second-draw eligibility, self-employed farmers and ranchers, and live-action venues. Contact Congress today.