September 16, 2020
IBANYS Weekly E-Newsletter
  • Visit our website at to review all our daily updates on COVID-19 beginning on March 16.
The President's Message:
IBANYS News and Updates
By John Witkowski, President & CEO

First, I hope all of you and your families are safe and healthy. 
I'm asking everyone for your support of IBANYS and our 46th Annual Convention – “Virtually Unconventional!”  IBANYS has had to adapt to new normal brought about by the pandemic. Though we can't meet in person for our Annual Event, we are bringing the event to you virtually via ZOOM Video webinar.
We have an outstanding slate of speakers who will share their knowledge and expertise - including our two keynote speakers – Steven Greenberg, Siena Pollster for the 2020 Elections and our own Bob Fisher, President CEO of Tioga State Bank and incoming chairman of ICBA. 
This has been a different year for all of us! This is an important meeting for our association and I am looking for a great response from both member and non-member banks. For those of you who need CPE credit, you may earn up to 14.5 credits. Can't attend the entire event, that's okay, choose the sessions you would like to attend and join five minutes prior to the start of the session.
Click here to for detailed brochure and registration form! Please register as soon as possible! 

Each week in the newsletter we have highlighted our speakers and shared their topic. Once again this week, we have highlighted a few of the speakers and topics they will speak to. Also, we would be remiss if we did not thank our sponsors of this event and their continued support of IBANYS and all community banks. Please take a moment to click on the sponsor information below to see how each of the companies help community banks.
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With Congress back to work, we can only hope their focus remains firmly on small businesses and their employees whose fates hang in the balance of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The overly complicated process that the SBA has outlined for PPP forgiveness has many small businesses wondering what to do next. Members of both political parties have expressed support for simplifying PPP forgiveness for loans under $150,000 so borrowers can focus on the survival of their businesses. The Independent Bankers Association of New York State (IBANYS) stands united with the Independent Community Bankers of America and community banking associations across the country in calling for the Congress to take swift, meaningful and bi-partisan action to get small businesses back to work without the cloud of PPP forgiveness hanging over them. 

September 30 - October 1-2, 2020

Meet the Speakers
Robert Fisher, ICBA Chairman-Elect- President & CEO, Tioga State Bank read bio here

Wednesday, Sept. 30 - Morning Keynote Speaker - ICBA Update
Steve Greenberg, Principal & Founder, Greenberg Public Relations read bio here

Wednesday, Sept. 30 - Afternoon Keynote Speaker - Siena Polls/Election 2020
Jeff Cardone, Partner, Luse Gorman read bio here
Ben Azoff, Partner, Luse Gorman read bio here
Community Bank Update
The COVID-19 pandemic has caused great uncertainty to the operational and financial performance of community banks, which has resulted in significantly reduced deal activity in 2020. While the near-term focus for community banks has been stabilizing their existing lines of business, banks considering the role of M&A and other strategic growth opportunities and capital management strategies, both during and after COVID-19, will need to recalibrate their strategy in order to better ensure deal success. This presentation examines the lessons learned from recent M&A transactions completed during the COVID-19 era, such as pricing considerations and structures, additional due diligence and merger agreement provisions and regulatory considerations, and also discusses emerging trends and considerations, including the impact of the 2020 presidential election on the regulatory environment, proactive capital planning to execute on growth opportunities and other more measured growth strategies, such as fee-generating business acquisitions, to diversify earning streams and enhance valuations.

Tina Georgio, President & CEO ICBA Bancard

Building Your Bank's Digital Payments Strategy
There is a lot of buzz about payments – real-time payments, faster payments, digital wallets – the list goes on. What solutions are just buzz and what solutions are here to stay? And more importantly, how and when does a community bank deploy them? This session will give you a high-level look at what is happening and what you should consider when developing a strategy.
Jeff Marsico, Executive Vice President, Kafafian Group read bio here

Culture and Strategy: Is the Pandemic an Opportunity To Create Alignment?
Most everyone wants a profitability culture. But how to build one is difficult. Bankers are weighed down by the expectations of employees that come from other institutions, and “the way it has always been done”. Does the disruption from the pandemic give you the opportunity to build strategic alignment if you’ve drifted? Alignment for all functional areas of the bank to maximize profits to benefit all constituencies: employees, customers, shareholders and community? For example, do you incent your commercial lenders on volume? Is this aligned with profitable behavior, balancing risk versus reward? Are operational areas held accountable for no audit findings or exam MRAs? Is this consistent with your profitability culture? This session will map alignment from your UBPR to your lender, branch manager, head of deposit operations with ideas to align your culture with your strategy that you can implement immediately.
Our Convention Sponsors - Thank you!
Click each company to learn how they can help your bank.
Preferred Partner
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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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.)
IBANYS Preferred Partners & Associate Members

The ICBA Federal Delegate Board (FDB) election process began this week when nominating petition letters were emailed to all ICBA member banks in New York. To qualify to become a delegate, nominees must be Executive Officers (as defined by Reg O) of a financial institution that has been a paid active ICBA member bank for at least 3 years and must have been active with ICBA or the state association by previously serving on a committee, council or task force. Bankers can nominate themselves and will need three ICBA member bankers to support his or her candidacy for their petition to be considered valid and complete. IBANYS Chairman, Michael Wimer, is finishing up the final year of his second three-year term and cannot run again. We thank Mike for his outstanding service on behalf of New York community banks.
Election Process and Schedule
  • September 1 - Election process begins when self-nominating forms for state delegate on the Federal Delegate Board are sent to ICBA member banks in the state. 
  • September 21 – Completed nomination forms must be returned by candidates along with the signatures of three ICBA member bankers supporting the candidacy.
  • October 1 - Election ballots are sent to member banks. (In the event that only one name is submitted, they will automatically become the new state delegate and no ballot will be necessary.)
  • October 15 – Votes must be received by ICBA.

The NextGen Scholarship is Back!

The LEAD FWD Summit is Sept. 21-22 and offered in virtual format
Due to the success of last year's NextGen scholarship program, we are excited to announce that ICBA is once again offering this exciting scholarship opportunity for our state association friends.
With the ICBA 2020 NextGen Scholarship you have an opportunity to award one community banker from your membership a fully-paid scholarship to ICBA's virtual leadership conference, the 2020 LEAD FWD Summit (Sept. 21-22).
This is your scholarship to award to a deserving community banker in your state! We’re thrilled to assist you in further engaging the future of our industry and we’re delighted to partner on this NextGen Scholarship opportunity. For more details, including how to participate, please refer to this informational brief and our ICBA State and Regional Partner web page where you will find customizable promotional tools and assets.
Albany Update
  • The Conference of State Bank Supervisors (CSBS), an organization of state regulators, announced a new streamlined process for money transmitter licensing that will save large operators — including firms — from getting separate licenses in every state. CSBS set out parameters for state licensing that will involve a single exam administered by examiners from across the country. Nationwide payments firms, meaning those operating as money transmitters in 40 or more states, will be able to get a single license to operate throughout the U.S. CSBS hopes that under the new system “regulators will gain more insight while also freeing up state resources.” The changes will take effect in 2021.NYS DFS Superintendent Lacewell noted: “States acting together can streamline oversight to reduce burdens on industry while protecting consumers and safety/soundness.”
  • NYS Department of Financial Services Superintendent Linda Lacewell and Acting Comptroller of the Currency Brian Brooks reiterated their opposing views on whether federal or state regulators are best equipped to protect consumers and supervise new entrants into the banking system. A federal judge ruled last October that the OCC cannot issue bank charters to institutions that don’t take deposits, a court win for the New York Department of Financial Services, which argued the OCC can’t charter such institutions without action from Congress. The OCC is appealing that decision. Brooks said the ruling doesn’t apply nationally.
  • Governor Cuomo said New York would need to increase the burden on New York’s already heavily taxed residents if federal lawmakers don’t provide funding to offset losses due to the pandemic. “This will be a hole in the financial plan so large that it will be impossible to fill. What would we do to try to fill it? Taxes, cuts, borrowing, early retirements [of government workers]. All of the above." The Governor still hope for some form of federal aid. State legislators still plan to hold a session this fall that would likely address the state's finances and a $14 billion state budget deficit, with projections of up to $30 billion by 2022.

  • Among the revenue-raisers being discussed by state lawmakers are: Eliminating the rebates the state currently provides on stock transfers; Enacting higher income taxes on those with more than $1 million in annual income, and creating a new tax on super wealthy people with more than $1 billion in assets. 


  • DFS FAQ On Forbearance For Residential Mortgages Held In Portfolio By NYS Chartered Banks The NYS Department of Financial Services (DFS) has issued the "Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) document on the state's new Residential Mortgage Forbearance Law on forbearance for residential mortgages held in portfolio by NYS chartered banks. IBANYS would like to thank the DFS team for providing guidance through this document, which IBANYS had suggested. The FAQ document may be accessed through the link below:
Washington Update

  • President Trump urged Republicans to embrace a larger coronavirus stimulus package, as White House Chief of Staff Meadows said he is “probably more optimistic about the potential for a deal in the last 72 hours than I have been in the last 72 days.” The president urged GOP lawmakers to “go for the much higher numbers” in legislation designed to boost an economy and health-care system struggling under the weight of the pandemic. Many Republicans have embraced limited relief or no new spending at all as the major parties struggle to break a stalemate over a fifth relief bill.

  • ICBA is calling on community bankers to urge lawmakers to include common-sense policies benefitting local communities in the next economic stimulus package. A customizable message on ICBA's Be Heard grassroots action center calls on Congress to include provisions forgiving Paycheck Protection Program loans under $150,000, excluding PPP loans from regulatory asset thresholds, providing a lender safe harbor, and more. Following last week's failed Senate vote to advance a coronavirus relief package with ICBA-advocated PPP provisions, ICBA continues working with policymakers to advance pro-community bank provisions as soon as possible.

  • ICBA and other small-business groups expressed strong support for bipartisan legislation offering Paycheck Protection Program relief. H.R.7894 would streamline PPP forgiveness for loans of $150,000 or less, provide a lender safe harbor, and allow tax deductibility for business expenses paid with PPP funds. The House bill, introduced by Rep. John Curtis (R-Utah), is the latest in a series of House and Senate bills containing ICBA-advocated PPP reforms designed to jumpstart stimulus negotiations between Congress and the Trump administration, including the "skinny" package that failed to advance in the Senate last week.

  • A bipartisan group of House lawmakers put forward their own plan to deliver badly needed coronavirus relief amid a bitter stalemate between their party leaders. The House Problem Solvers Caucus, co-chaired by Rep. Tom Reed (R-Western New York/Southern Tier) has assembled a roughly $1.5 trillion plan that includes a second round of stimulus checks, unemployment aid and small business loans that they say would last through at least next spring.

  • ICBA urged federal regulators to exclude Paycheck Protection Program loan balances when calculating bank and bank holding company asset thresholds. ICBA said the agencies should quickly amend regulations to avoid temporary asset increases with PPP pushing many community bankers over regulatory thresholds and subjecting them to additional supervision, regulations, and costs. ICBA noted while it has already asked lawmakers to pass legislation directing the agencies to exclude PPP loans from asset thresholds, regulators are already authorized to do so. "Providing regulatory relief in this exceptional circumstance will ensure that community banks can continue to play a critical role in our nation’s economic response to this unprecedented pandemic."

  • IBANYS Urges New York Congressional Delegation To Support PPP Changes. As the stalemate between Congress and the Trump administration regarding the next coronavirus legislative package continues, IBANYS has written to the New York Congressional Delegation (and shared the letter with members of the NYS Legislature as an FYI) urging support of a number of important changes ICBA has suggested be made to the Paycheck Protection Program. Read IBANYS' letter to Congress. Read IBANYS letter

  • The  FDIC board adopted a restoration plan to restore the Deposit Insurance Fund (DIF) reserve ratio to at least 1.35 percent within eight years, as required by law. The reserve ratio fell to 1.30 percent from its recent peak of 1.41 percent due to an inflow of more than $1 trillion in insured deposits caused by the coronavirus pandemic and federal response. Under its restoration plan, the FDIC will monitor trends affecting the reserve ratio, maintain the current assessment rate schedule, and provide semiannual updates to its loss and income projections. The agency said it projects the DIF will return to 1.35 percent without further action.

  • ICBA and other groups urged congressional leaders to extend the National Flood Insurance Program before its scheduled expiration on Sept. 30. The groups said that while the NFIP needs reforms to support its long-term stability—such as updates to improve flood map accuracy, increase mitigation, and address affordability—allowing the program to lapse would be devastating to policyholders. An extension would give Congress time to build consensus around substantive reforms.

Additional Information
News Release | NR 2020-121 September 16, 2020
WASHINGTON—The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) reported trading revenue of U.S. commercial banks and federal savings associations of $14.7 billion in the second quarter 2020, which was $8.0 billion, or 119.3 percent, more than the previous quarter.
In the report, Quarterly Report on Bank Trading and Derivatives Activities, the OCC also noted that trading revenue in the second quarter 2020 increased by 81.5 percent compared with the $8.1 billion reported in the second quarter 2019.
The OCC reported:

  • While four large banks held 86.7 percent of the total banking industry notional amount of derivatives, a total of 1,733 insured U.S. commercial banks and savings associations held derivatives at the end of the second quarter 2020.
  • Derivative contracts remained concentrated in interest rate products, which represented 73.5 percent of total derivative notional amounts.
  • The percentage of centrally cleared derivatives transactions decreased quarter-over-quarter to 40.3 percent in the second quarter 2020.

Related Link


The Federal Reserve kept its pledge to keep interest rates anchored near zero, and pledged to keep rates there until inflation rises consistently. The Fed concluded its two-day policy meeting this afternoon, and said short-term rates would remain targeted at 0%-0.25%. Officials also changed their economic forecasts to reflect a smaller decline in GDP and a lower unemployment rate in 2020. The policymaking Federal Open Market Committee adopted specific language to emphasize the inflation goal. “With inflation running persistently below this longer run goal, the Committee will aim to achieve inflation moderately above 2 percent for some time so that inflation averages 2 percent over time and longer-term inflation expectations remain well anchored at 2 percent. The Committee expects to maintain an accommodative stance of monetary policy until these outcomes are achieved,” the post-meeting statement said. The committee added “it will be appropriate to maintain this target range until labor market conditions have reached levels consistent with the Committee’s assessments of maximum employment and inflation has risen to 2 percent and is on track to moderately exceed 2 percent for some time.”