July 7, 2021
IBANYS Weekly E-Newsletter
  • Visit our website at www.ibanys.net to review our daily updates on COVID-19.
The President's Message
By John Witkowski, President & CEO
 A reminder: Our new address is: 
Independent Bankers Association of New York State
194 Washington Ave, Suite 420
Albany, NY 12210.

ICBA's Independent Banker magazine has announced its rankings of the top community bank loan producers for 2021. IBANYS congratulates New York community banks that were recognized: Cross County Savings Bank (Queens), First Central Savings Bank (Glen Cove), Lyons National Bank (Geneva), Spring Bank (Bronx) and Quantic Bank (New York). The magazine is available on the Independent Banker website and via the digital edition. READ MORE

I recently had the opportunity to participate in an interview on behalf of IBANYS and New York community banks with Ken Kraetzer, Award Winning Video, Radio Reporter who has hosted a series of talks with leaders in digital marketing, banking, insurance, customer service and business education for the Harrison, NY based CBSIservices.com. We covered an array of subjects related to community banks, including: PPP loans; Continued support for the hospitality sector; The growing acceptance of technology; Bob Fisher's leadership of ICBA; How Fintechs can help community bank; Data Security; Helping the undeserved & underbanked, and IBANYS' plan to return to first in-person events this September -- and, to hold an in-person Annual Conference scheduled June 2022. Watch the full interview below:

"Post Covid Banking: John Witkowski, Independent Bankers Assoc NY State on #cbsiTalkingBusiness

As always, thank you for all that you do for New York's community banking industry, those that we serve . . .and for IBANYS, your association.

IBANYS "Come Back Celebration"
Executive Fall Meeting
September 13-14, 2021
Mark you calendars and save the date to join IBANYS for our "Come Back Celebration" Executive Fall Meeting, our first in-person meeting since the pandemic, will be held September 13-14, 2021 at the beautiful 1000 Island Harbor Hotel, 200 Riverside Drive, Clayton, NY 13624. Watch your email next week for the detailed agenda and registration information.
[Webinar] FDIC Deposit Insurance Coverage and Related Matters

This free webinar* is designed for CPAs, all levels of bank employees, and executives who would like to learn more about FDIC deposit insurance coverage and related matters. CPAs can receive 1 CPE credit (approved by NASBA). This session will cover:
  • Coverage Background
  • Basic Coverage Rules
  • Agency or Custodial Accounts
  • Coverage for Government Accounts
  • Examination Preparation
  • Reciprocal Deposits

Select your date:
July 13 – 11:00 AM ET 
August 17 – 2:00 PM ET 
September 14 – 11:00 AM ET 
October 19 – 2:00 PM ET
November 16 – 11:00 AM ET 
 About the Speaker:

Joe DiNuzzo, a former attorney with the FDIC and an expert in FDIC insurance regulations, will lead the session. The session will include a Q&A segment to address your specific concerns. Upon completion you will have a thorough understanding of how FDIC insurance coverage works and other matters relating to FDIC insurance. 
How to Support Your Customers with Skip a Payment Programs
As communities recover and resume normal daily activities, many of your account holders may continue to face financial hardships. Offering a helping hand to your community right now – like you always have – is easier than ever with solutions like a Skip A Payment program. Discover the key Skip a Payment program considerations and get started with free, downloadable direct mail templates.
AUGUST 11-12, 2021
9 AM- 4:00PM CST

  • Employee Recruitment, Selection, and Placement
  • Structural and Behavioral Interviewing
  • Driving Employee Engagement
  • Creating and Accountability Culture

CPE/HRCI Credit available!
In Person: $695
Virtual (via zoom): $595
$100 for each additional employee at same bank
  • Human Resource Managers
  • Branch Managers
  • Department/
  • Division Managers
  • Management/
  • Hiring/Coaching/
  • Counseling
Instructor, Kerry Sauley, is the Marjorie B. Ourso Excellence in Teaching
Professor at Rucks Department of Management
Louisiana State University,
Baton Rouge, LA.
News from ICBA
Slippery slope
Another yield curve shift has community bankers guessing.
By Jim Reber

And now for something completely different. Except it’s not; it just hasn’t been around for a number of years. But it most assuredly has an impact on your community bank’s bond portfolio and on the securities you’ll be thinking about purchasing the next time you’re in the market. 

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
The More You Buy, The More You Save
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

Governor Cuomo signed legislation that prevents government employers from dismissing or taking disciplinary or personnel actions against a public worker who fell ill with the coronavirus, the Daily News reports.  Employers in the public sector will be blocked from penalizing workers who used sick leave or compensatory time to quarantine or seek medical treatment due to a coronavirus diagnosis or contact.  Read More

New York State Financial Services Superintendent Superintendent Lacewell announced DFS has issued new guidance on preventing ransomware attacks. A copy of the guidance can be found on the DFS website.  DFS identifies cybersecurity controls that significantly reduce the risk of a ransomware attack and should be implemented by companies wherever possible. DFS urges all regulated entities to prepare for a ransomware attack by implementing measures such as:
  • Train Employees in Cybersecurity Awareness and Anti-Phishing;
  • Implement a Vulnerability and Patch Management Program;
  • Use Multi-Factor Authentication and Strong Passwords;
  • Employ Privileged Access Management to Safeguard Credentials for Privileged Accounts;
  • Use Monitoring and Response to Detect and Contain Intruders;
  • Segregate and Test Backups to Ensure that Critical Systems Can Be Restored in the Face of an Attack; and
  • Have a Ransomware Specific Incident Response Plan that is Tested by Senior Leadership

New Yorkers' income is recovering, but unevenly. More money is coming into New Yorkers' wallets since the beginning of the year, but much of that growth is being driven by government aid like unemployment checks and Medicare and Social Security benefits.  Read More 

Governor Cuomo faces an uncertain future in elected office, the investigation by NYS Attorney General James's office into those harassment allegations, as well as a federal probe into how his administration counted and reported the deaths of nursing home residents. Yet there is every indication he will seek a fourth term in 2022.  The poll from Siena College on Thursday  shows he is back virtually to his 2019 numbers: 45% of voters hold a favorable view of him and 47% of those voters polled do not, virtually the same from a year and a half ago. His fundraising base seemingly remains, and his base support appears intact.  https://spectrumlocalnews.com/nys/central-ny/ny-state-of-politics/2021/07/01/analysis--where-does-cuomo-go-from-here- 

Washington Update
The Treasury Department will again extend the deadline to submit applications under its program to invest $9 billion in Minority Depository Institutions and Community Development Financial Institutions. The Emergency Capital Investment Program will invest in MDIs and CDFIs to support low- and moderate-income and minority communities. In a notice on its ECIP webpage, Treasury said it plans to issue additional clarifications and amendments, so the application deadline will be extended to 14 days after the release of its forthcoming guidance. The ECIP deadline was previously set for 11:59 p.m. (Eastern time) today after an earlier 60-day extension. In its online notice, Treasury also says organizations may ask to revise their already-submitted applications by emailing ecip@treasury.gov. READ MORE

The OCC announced structural changes intended to enhance its efficiency and effectiveness. Among the changes, the agency is:
  • Realigning units under a new senior deputy comptroller for supervision risk and analysis position, which will be helmed by Chief Operating Officer Blake Paulson.
  • Retiring the chief operating officer role.
  • Directing its bank supervision units and the Office of Management to report directly to the head of the agency.
  • Merging its Enterprise Risk Management and Enterprise Governance and Ombudsman offices, to be led by Senior Deputy Comptroller and Chief Risk Officer Larry Hattix.

For the 18th straight week, servicers' forbearance portfolio volume fell. It dropped four basis points to 3.87% last week, according to a survey from the Mortgage Bankers Association. The MBA estimates 1.9 million homeowners are still in some form of a forbearance plan. https://www.housingwire.com/articles/forbearance-loans-decrease-for-18th-straight-week/?mkt_tok=ODUwLVRBQS01MTEAAAF-H-arlSwLThNoP2YEousONzQznQvo-ZyzgI4MGHhjXSws9jDCCqtWwicCMVfM6FJkkfzg-FAWUfyNtPCwvmBL8HlRhaIurpB3OCfC3MQCqnxO

The Financial Stability Board released a "roadmap" to addressing climate-related financial risk that looks to smooth over differences among countries and spot gaps in the data needed to assess such risks. Randal Quarles, the Federal Reserve vice chair for supervision and chair of the Financial Stability Board, said that it's time to "take this to the next level" and take steps to "avoid harmful market fragmentation." Reuters

Congress is under increasing pressure to investigate credit union acquisitions of community banks, ICBA President and CEO Rebeca Romero Rainey wrote in a recent article on LinkedIn. In the article, Romero Rainey discusses the growth of these tax-subsidized acquisitions, the impact on consumers and industry consolidation, and the need for Congress to hold hearings. Meanwhile, community bankers can continue urging their members of Congress to hold hearings on credit union acquisitions via a customizable message to lawmakers via ICBA’s Wake Up page and recently published Wake Up Messaging Playbook.

ICBA recently published the Wake Up Messaging Playbook to provide ICBA members with guidance on effectively advocating a fair and level playing field between community banks and credit unions. The result of comprehensive market and opinion research to inform effective credit union messaging, the member-exclusive playbook provides candid insights from policy influencers, community bankers, and the general public on raising awareness of the credit union issue. The playbook and numerous other resources—including customizable communication resources, state-by-state reports on the credit union impact, and more—are available on ICBA’s Wake Up resource center.

ICBA is encouraging community banks to express opposition to the Biden administration’s plan to require banks to report customer account information to the IRS. Grassroots: ICBA’s Be Heard grassroots action center offers a customizable message that community bankers can use to urge their members of Congress to oppose the plan.

The Federal Reserve said it will release a new tool this month to help community banks implement the Current Expected Credit Losses accounting standard. The Scaled CECL Allowance for Losses Estimator, or SCALE, is a spreadsheet-based tool that uses regulatory and industry data to help community banks under $1 billion in assets to calculate their CECL allowances. The Fed said it will launch the SCALE tool and answer questions during an "Ask the Fed" webinar on July 15 intended for community banks. Under the CARES Act, institutions that adopted CECL last year may delay for two years the estimated impact on regulatory capital. The two-year delay is followed by the three-year transition period already in place. Read more from Fed.

The Federal Housing Finance Agency issued a policy statement on its commitment to comprehensive fair lending oversight of Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and the Federal Home Loan Banks. The policy statement details the agency’s position on monitoring and information gathering, supervisory examinations, and administrative enforcement related to the Equal Credit Opportunity Act, the Fair Housing Act, and the Federal Housing Enterprises Financial Safety and Soundness Act. The FHFA also issued orders requiring the enterprises to submit quarterly reports to the agency with fair lending information and data.
Feedback: Comments on the application of the policy statement are due within 60 days of its publication in the Federal Register.

ICBA expressed its strong support for the Senate introduction of legislation to exempt from taxation interest income on farm real estate and rural mortgage loans. The Enhancing Credit Opportunities in Rural America (ECORA) Act (S. 2202) was introduced in the Senate by Sen. Jerry Moran (R-Kan.). The House version (H.R. 1977) was introduced earlier this year by Reps. Ron Kind (D-Wis.) and Randy Feenstra (R-Iowa). The bill would allow banks to offer lower interest rates to their farm and rural home mortgage borrowers by exempting from taxation interest income on ag real estate loans and loans for rural housing in towns with a population of 2,500 or less. In a national news release, ICBA said the bill will help sustain and revive rural economies affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.