January 6, 2021
IBANYS Weekly E-Newsletter
  • Visit our website at www.ibanys.net to review all our daily updates on COVID-19 beginning on March 16.

Happy New Year. We hope everyone had a safe and healthy holiday season.
The President's Message
By John Witkowski, President & CEO

On behalf of IBANYS, we hope you had a safe and healthy holiday season, and wish you a very happy New Year. 2021 has begun with a preview of what could be a year of significant change, as new dynamics take place in both Washington and Albany.

We are preparing for a new administration in Washington, with many new officials who will soon be in positions directly impacting community banks. Moreover, if the Georgia election results hold, and control of the U.S. Senate flips to the Democrats, our senior Senator Schumer will become the Majority Leader -- the first New Yorker ever to hold that powerful position. If Democrats hold the White House, Senate and House, the legislative and regulatory agenda will be quite different from the previous four years. One immediate change: The U.S. Senate Banks Committee would likely be chaired by Senator Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio). There will also be several new members of the New York Congressional Delegation, and IBANYS will be reaching out to inform and educate them on the importance of community banks.

In Albany today Governor Cuomo was scheduled to deliver his State of the State address to open the 2021 legislative session. Instead, he announced he will deliver it next Monday, January 11, and will do so virtually to reduce the spread of COVID-19. Nevertheless, the State Senate and Assembly planned to formally convene Wednesday to open the 2021 legislative session, enact house rules for the year and hold swearing-in ceremonies for some incoming legislators. 

Democrats hold a veto proof "supermajority' in both the State Senate and Assembly, which will will likely pose a number of challenges in the new legislative agenda in Albany. The governor will deliver his speech virtually to reduce the spread of COVID-19.


The IBANYS team is looking forward to working with and supporting all of our Preferred Partners, Associate Members and Community Banks in New York State in 2021.

Change of the Guard at LNB
Bob Schick is stepping down as CEO of Lyons National Bank (LNB) but will remain on as Chairman of the bank's Board of Directors.

Tom Kime, who was named president in 2017 and has been with Bob and Lyons National Bank for several years, will assume the CEO title as part of the management succession planning.

Bob served on IBANYS' Board of Directors and was Chairman during 2008-2009. The team at IBANYS congratulates Bob and thanks him for all he has done for community banks. It truly has been a pleasure working with him throughout the years.

We look forward to continuing working with Tom in the future!!

IBANYS Welcomes our Newest
Member Bank
Ponce Bank, an American banking institution with community spirit, opened for business in March 1960. Today, Ponce Bank maintains branch locations in the Bronx, Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens and Union City (New Jersey).

IBANYS 2021 Virtual Education Meetings
IBANYS 2021 HR Update -
Live Webinar
This program will provide updates on New York and federal employment laws. Topics will include New York’s Paid Sick Leave Law, complicated leave issues for COVID-19 absences, travel restrictions and quarantine requirements for employees, COVID-19 accommodations, mandatory vaccinations for employees, and legal issues for remote employees. 

Mark Your Calendars & Save These dates -- More Information Coming Soon!!
  • Thursday, February 4, 2021 - Compliance Webinar - 8:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.
  • Tuesday, March 2, 2021 - Directors Webinar - 8:30 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.

Watch your emails and the weekly newsletter for more information on these programs and additional dates to be added.
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.
Questions to answers
Net interest margin in jeopardy? Here are some solutions.
By Jim Reber
To start out the year, I’d like to both properly memorialize the late, great Alex Trebek and provide some helpful suggestions for investment management for this challenging rate environment in which we find ourselves. And I’d like to do it in the space of this column, so let’s pick up our signaling devices and see what answers we have in front of us.

Our 2021 Webinar Dates & Topics
CPE credit is available for all webinars
Past webinar replays and handouts are available on our website.
Community Bank Webinar Series
Date              Topic
2/23/2021   Positioning the Investment Portfolio for Performance
3/16/2021   Balance Sheet Strategies: Emerging from the Pandemic
4/13/2021   LIBOR Update - Are you Ready?
5/11/2021   Balance Sheet Management and Your Loan Portfolio
6/8/2021     Mortgage Market Update and Opportunities
9/14/2021   Municipal Market Update: Investment Strategies and Credit
10/5/2021    Planning for Year End and the New Year
Economic Update Webinar Series
Date               Topic
1/12/2021  2021 Economic Outlook
4/08/2021   2nd Quarter Economic Outlook
7/13/2021   3rd Quarter Economic Outlook
10/14/2021  4th Quarter Economic Outlook
Bank Advisory and Strategic Services Webinar Series
Date      Topic
3/25/2021   1st Quarter Bank Advisory & Strategic Services Webinar 
6/24/2021   2nd Quarter Bank Advisory & Strategic Services Webinar 
9/23/2021   3rd Quarter Bank Advisory & Strategic Services Webinar 
12/9/2021   4th Quarter Bank Advisory & Strategic Services Webinar 

Registration will begin 2 weeks prior to each webinar via email invitations.
Cost: There is no cost for Vining Sparks customers and community bank members and prospects.
Prerequisites: Those working as CEOs, CFOs, investment managers, bank directors, and anyone responsible for investment portfolio management that have the working knowledge necessary to benefit from the content of this webinar.
Instructions for Audio/Video: You will receive instructions to access the webinar after your registration is confirmed. If you do not receive a registration confirmation email, please contact your account representative.
Questions?: For additional questions regarding this webinar, complaint and/or cancellation policies, please email info@viningsparks.com or call 800-829-0321.
Commercial Lending Academy
March 22-26, 2021
Virtual Training

This intensive, week-long workshop is designed to provide immediate, tangible training for employees new to commercial lending and to improve skills of less-experienced commercial lenders.
  • Branch managers
  • Credit analysts
  • Personal and private bankers
  • Entry level lenders
  • Mid-level lenders needing a refresher course
  • Any employee assuming commercial lending responsibilities
  • Loan structuring
  • Loan packages and business writing skills
  • Loan policy concepts and risk ratings
  • Loan pricing concepts
  • Analyzing personal financial statements and tax returns
  • Introduction to business financial statements and tax returns
  • Real estate lending fundamentals
  • Business development and sales skills

  • 42 hours of instruction are scheduled.
  • Enrollment will be limited to ensure greater interaction with the instructor case leaders and peers.
Tuition is $1,195
Richard Hamm
President of Advantage Consulting and Training
  • Barret Graduate School of Banking
  • Graduate School of Banking at Wisconsin 
  • Pittsburgh RMA Commercial Lending School
  • BAI Graduate Schools of Banking
  • Published 20 articles in The RMA Journal
  • On the RMA Journal Editorial Advisory Board
  • ABA Commercial Lending Graduate School
  • Over 15 years as a Commercial Lender
  • Received MBA from the University of Alabama
  • Southwestern Graduate School of Banking
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

In a rare post-Christmas special lame-duck session, the New York State Legislature passed S.9114 (Kavanagh)/ A.11181 (Dinowitz) -- “The COVID-19 Emergency Eviction and Foreclosure Prevention Act" -- which was officially introduced on Christmas Eve.  Governor Cuomo then signed the legislation.

IBANYS opposed this legislation and addressed each of the objectionable provisions in detail. In summary, we noted: "Community banks have worked diligently and successfully to enter into forbearance agreements with their mortgagees. Banks have worked with their mortgagees to prevent foreclosures as directed by the Department of Financial Services. The Governor through Executive Order has imposed a moratorium on foreclosures on commercial mortgages for non-payment due to Covid-19 related financial hardship. . .There is no valid public policy reason to implement this statute since under the current law, the moratorium protects mortgagors and the Governor has expressed no reservations in terms of continuing the extension of the moratorium."

  • Governor Cuomo decided not to deliver the annual State of the State address today as expected, but delayed it until next Monday, January 11. The governor will deliver his speech virtually. New York governors traditionally deliver the annual message on the Wednesday following New Year's Day. The Governor didn't give a reason for the postponement, but the U.S. House and Senate are assembled Wednesday to count the Electoral College votes to finalize the presidential election. Both chambers of the Legislature still planned to convene today to open the 2021 legislative session, enact rules for the year and hold swear-in incoming Senators and Members of Assembly. 

  • The 2021-22 legislative session which begins today promises to be challenging in a variety of ways. Due to the on-going pandemic, lawmakers will likely be doing a lot of their deliberating via Zoom.  Read More

  • How will the problems of 2020 be resolved in 2021? That's the central issue facing Governor Cuomo and the new session of the state Legislature, which officially begins today in Albany. Read More 

  • Governor Cuomo has held off addressing the fiscal strain he says the pandemic caused, waiting on the federal government for aid. (If Democrats do control the U.S. Senate as well as the House, another legislative package with more aid may be on the agenda.) Invest In Our New York (and Speaker Carl Heastie ) believe a one-time infusion of federal aid won’t address the annual needs required to rebuild the economy, nor provide the help localities need.

  • Democrats in the NYS Senate unveiled their committee chairmanships for the 2021-22 legislative term as the conference now holds a supermajority in the chamber. Senate Banks Committee Chairman James Sanders (D-Queens) will continue in that position. Democrats created new committees, including one overseeing cities outside of New York City as the party now holds multiple seats in upstate cities like Buffalo, Rochester and Syracuse. 

  • The NYS Legislature released its session calendar for 2021. The session opens January 6, and is scheduled to adjourn June 10. There are currently 60 session days scheduled. As in 2020, the session will be primarily virtual. This year, the Legislature changed its rules to allow for virtual/remote voting and meetings, and a similar model will likely be used in 2021. As of now, it appears that the State Capitol will remain closed to lobbyists and the general public.

  • Democrats in the Legislature appear to have big plans on what they can get done in the 2021 session. https://www.cityandstateny.com/articles/politics/new-york-state/what-expect-2021-state-legislative-session.html?mc_cid=27ed641c41&mc_eid=e55c2af3e3

  • New York State Attorney General Letitia James is leading a coalition of eight states in suing the Office of the Comptroller of Currency over a new rule she said would facilitate predatory lending by allowing banks and third-party lenders to work around state laws meant to prevent excessive interest rates. Read the news release.
Washington Update

  • The U.S. Senate appears close to "flipping" to Democratic control after last night's two runoff elections in Georgia. With Democrats Rafael Warnock and Jon Ossoff seemingly headed for wins, Democrats and Republicans would both hold 50 seats -- but Vice President Harris would hold the tiebreaker vote so Democrats would have the perks of the majority. That includes committee chairmanships and control which legislation reaches the floor for a vote. (Unless there is a change in plans, Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH) would chair the Senate Banks Committee.) New York's senior senator Chuck Schumer is in line to become the first New Yorker to hold the powerful position of Senate Majority Leader.

  • A Democratic Senate would likely also pave the way for a smoother path for confirmations of the incoming Biden administration's cabinet and court nominations and legislative agenda -- perhaps including another coronavirus relief package that could address financial aid to state and local governments.

  • The SBA may release new rules on the next round of the Paycheck Protection Program as soon as today. The stimulus package requires the SBA to issue the new PPP rules within 10 days of enactment of the law, which was signed Dec. 27. While those rules are outstanding, the stimulus provision forgiving Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) advances to ensure they are not deducted from PPP loan forgiveness amounts is in effect now. However, the SBA will need to determine how it will make whole those borrowers that already received forgiveness payments with the EIDL amount deducted. 

  • The Federal Housing Finance Agency Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will continue to offer COVID-19 forbearance to qualifying multifamily property owners through March 31, 2021. The programs were set to expire Dec. 31, 2020.