March 14, 2018

In This Issue: 
  • Senate To Vote Today On Reg Relief Bill S.2155. . . Contact Senators Schumer & Gillibrand!
  • Latest Updates On State Budget Talks, Other Developments In Albany & Washington, D.C.
  • News On IBANYS Meetings. . .Plus Latest On Upcoming Webinars
  • New Feature: Spotlight Member Bank
  • Follow IBANYS On Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram!

Message From the President
John Witkowski, President & CEO
The U.S. Senate continues this week to consider S.2155, the legislation that would provide vital regulatory relief to community banks. A final vote could come as early as today. This bipartisan legislation is our best opportunity in years -- since Dodd Frank -- to achieve meaningful regulatory relief from Washington. ICBA has been working to clear up false claims that the bill would disrupt Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA) reporting. The fact is, S.2155 would maintain longstanding HMDA data fields; lenders would still be required to collect and report the 23 HMDA data fields in place under the CFPB's 2015 HMDA rule.  
New York community banks need to continue their calls and emails to Senators Schumer and Gillibrand.
 Once S.2155 is passed by the Senate and sent to the House, we will implement a second grassroots effort to members of the New York Congressional Delegation. Visit the ICBA Be Heard grassroots action center ( to make your voice heard. Senate Democratic Leader Schumer will play a key role in determining the fate of this bipartisan legislation. We want his support of the bill -- but equally important, we want him to remain "hands off" in allowing his Democratic colleagues to vote yes. New York community banks are reaching out to him to reiterate how very important S.2155 is to us and the communities we serve  -- and telling him we are counting on him.  
  • Please click here to read the letter IBANYS' Board of Directors sent to Sen. Schumer 
  • Please click here for talking points for use in calls to Senator Schumer's AND Senator Gillibrand's offices
  • Please click here for contact information to reach each of Senator Schumer's district offices throughout the state.
IBANYS is YOUR association. Make it work for you!

Follow IBANYS On Social Media!
Have you found and followed IBANYS on social media yet? Connecting couldn't be simpler:


Facebook: @ibanys1 | Twitter: @ibanys1 | 

Instagram: @ibanys1 | LinkedIn: IBANYS 

2018 Meetings
Regional Compliance Conferences

March 20 - Rochester/Pittsford, NY at the Hilton Garden Inn Rochester/Pittsford
March 21 - Troy, NY at the Hilton Garden Inn Troy

Presentations by OCC, NYS, DFS, industry experts and a peer bankers panel discussion.
Click here for program details and click here to register.  

CEO Forums

March 26
- Albany, NY at Pioneer Bank
March 27 - Syracuse, NY at DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Syracuse
March 28 - Rochester/Buffalo, NY at Tompkins Bank of Castile -- CANCELLED 

Click here for program details and  click here  to register. 

The 2018 ICBA Capital Summit

April 8- April 11- Washington, D.C.
Join us at the next month's  ICBA Capital Summit in Washington, D.C. April 8-11 , to help propel our voice in the nation's capital. ICBA and fellow community bankers gather to advocate for change in various areas such as access to capital, regulatory and tax relief, mortgage reform and agricultural lending through   ICBA's Plan for Prosperity . During the summit, share your story with members of our New York Congressional Delegation, and urge reform in meetings with federal regulators and policymakers. IBANYS is currently scheduling meetings "on the hill" with our Senators and Representatives. These  "hill visits"  will take place on Tuesday, April 10 and Wednesday, April 11. 

Speakers at the general sessions will include: 
  • Budget Director & CFPBActing Director Mick Mulvaney
  • Comptroller of the Currency Joseph Otting  
  • Senate Subcommittee on Financial Institutions and Consumer Protection Chairman Patrick Toomey (R-Pa.). 
The hotel reservation deadline for the industry's premier grassroots advocacy event is this Friday, March 16. Register today  at

We look forward to seeing you in Washington, and t hank you for all that you do in support of community banking.

Click here to learn more. 

Regional Directors Conference

April 10- Rochester/Pittsford, NY at the Hilton Garden Inn Rochester/Pittsford
April 11- Troy, NY at the Hilton Garden Inn Troy

Click here for program details and  click here to register


Regional Human Resources Conferences

April 24- Rochester/Pittsford, NY at the Hilton Garden Inn Rochester/Pittsford
April 25- Troy, NY at the Hilton Garden Inn Troy

Bank Executive Symposium

May 7-9- Watkins Glen, NY at the Watkins Glen Harbor Hotel

Lending Conference

June 5-6- Fairport, NY at the Woodcliff Hotel & Spa


Regional Security Conferences

June 19 - Rochester/Pittsford, NY at the Hilton Garden Inn Rochester/Pittsford
June 20 - Troy, NY at the Hilton Garden Inn Troy


Annual Convention

September 25-27- Albany, NY at the Hilton Albany

Member banks:  Share this information  with your senior management teams, officers, directors, compliance, security and human resources  officers.  Preferred providers, associate members and business show exhibitors : Now is the time to plan to attend, participate, sponsor/exhibit.  Contact Linda Gregware: 
New Feature!
Spotlight Bank of the Week

Spotlight Bank of the Week is a new feature that we are adding to our website and e-newsletter. It is an opportunity to promote anything about your organization, such as fun facts, organization news, special events, etc. The Spotlight Bank of the Week will be featured on our homepage slider, e-newsletter, and our social media platforms for one week. So don't miss out on this exceptional opportunity to showcase your bank to thousands of people!

To apply, just fill out our registration form and email it to Natalie Rowan at

IBANYS Education/Webinars
IBANYS Webinars

IBANYS' webinars provide timely, informative sessions on important topics and issues of interest for community bankers. They are valuable not only for their content, but for their convenience. Participants can take part from the comfort and privacy of their offices, without leaving the bank.  Take a look at the various series of webinars we offer by clicking each of the links below. 

Community Banks Spend $3 Billion Each Year On 
Data Collection Alone.

How Do You Maximize Your ROI, Stay Compliant and Provide An Outstanding Customer Experience . . .All At The Same Time?

Thursday, March 22, 2018 at 9:00 AM, hosted by

In this webinar, you will learn about how to leverage 
the right technology to:
  • Enhance regulatory compliance and portfolio monitoring.
  • Expand geographic reach beyond your branch network.
  • Produce more loans and monetize every loan application without the hassle of paper chasing.
  • Establish your bank's legacy and keep it relevant for the next generation.
Click here to register and for more details.

Government Relations
Budget Talks Continue - March 29 Enactment Eyed 

Both the Senate and Assembly are expected to pass their respective one-house budgets this week. S chool education funding has become the latest "flashpoint" as the Cuomo administration warned that there will be no budget deal without agreement that high need districts reveal information on how they are allocating cash to the schools within their borders. Meanwhile, the debate over taxes, spending caps and funding priority programs continues. 

Nevertheless,  Assembly Speaker Heastie still predicts a smooth passage of the budget,  which is expected to pass two days ahead of schedule due to the timing of Passover and Easter this year. "We fully intend to be respectful of the...holidays. We don't want to go up to March 31. I think the 28th and 29th are the days we'd like to have this wrapped up." Albany  has a full plate leading up to passage, including a financial plan for the MTA  that could include a congestion pricing system, closing the approximately $4 billion budget shortfall (in part through $1 billion in new taxes and a plan that would act as a workaround for a $10,000 federal cap on state and local taxes). S ome of the issues could end up being removed from the budget process and dealt with as stand alone items,  but Heastie hopes that doesn't happen.  "Deadlines are something we always deal with here, so I'm not concerned we have two less days."

There is some other limited legislative activity in the midst of the budget process.  The State Senate Banks Committee this week is considering:
  • A.8705 (Cusick)/ S.6845 (Peralta) to require a notice to be posted on all ATMs warning customers about the use of skimming devices and how to file a claim in the event they believe they have been a victim of skimming;
  • S.7819 (Hamilton) would impose a twelve-month limitation on compliance audits and examinations by the NYS Department of Financial Services (DFS) and would require that reports of such audits be complete within six months. 
Meanwhile, the State Assembly Banks Committee is discussing Chairman Zebrowski's bills that would:
  • Increase the number of free withdrawal transactions from basic banking accounts for account holders sixty-five years of age or older from eight to twelve A.7617; and
  • Require financial institutions to notify a customer prior to charging a fee based on account inactivity (A.7740)

Former Top Cuomo Aide Found Guilty of Corruption Charges

Joe Percoco, a former top aide to Governor Cuomo, was found guilty this week of three corruption counts of conspiracy to commit honest-services fraud, conspiracy to commit honest-services wire fraud and solicitation of bribes and gratuities. The Governor commented: "...There is no higher calling than public service and integrity is paramount --principles that have guided my work during the last 40 years. The verdict demonstrated that these ideals have been violated by someone I knew for a long time. That is personally painful; however, we must learn from what happened and put additional safeguards in place to secure the public trust. Anything less is unacceptable." Governor Cuomo and Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan both signaled ("vaguely") support of new ethics measures in the wake of the Percoco verdict.

Political Potpourri
  • Assembly Minority Leader Brian Kolb, who withdrew from his announced GOP gubernatorial campaign earlier this year, endorsed Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro. There has been some speculation of a potential Molinaro-Kolb unity ticket.
  • Governor Cuomo, already facing a primary challenge from former Hudson Valley Democratic state senator Terry Gipson, may also have a second opponent: actress Cynthia Nixon is considering a run.

Washington, D.C.

Senate Set To Vote Today On S.2155

 The U.S. Senate is scheduled to vote as soon as today on S.2155,  "The Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief and Consumer Protection Act. The bipartisan regulatory relief legislation is the best opportunity for community bank regulatory relief since the enactment of Dodd-Frank. We need the continued grassroots efforts by New York community bankers, from the C-suite to the frontline to the board of directors to contact Senators Schumer and Gillibrand. With the bipartisan legislation coming to a vote, ICBA and IBANYS urge New York community bankers to continue using ICBA's "Be Heard" grassroots action center at to urge their senators to support S. 2155. The online resource makes it easy for community bankers to call and email Senators Schumer and Gillibrand on S. 2155. As you know, IBANYS has sent out action alerts to our member banks asking them to call or email Senators Schumer and Gillibrand.

Meanwhile, ICBA urged 
mortgage lenders to help clear up the misinformation about S. 2155's HMDA provision. Click here to read ICBA's clarification.

Click here to read ICBA's summary of the revised S.2155

Click here to read an analysis by "Politico" on Senator Schumer's role in the debate over S.2155.

In a new 
letter to the Senate, ICBA thanked the 66 bipartisan senators who voted to bring S. 2155 to a vote. "A vote for S. 2155 is a vote for community banks and the communities that depend on them," ICBA wrote. This bill is the culmination of years of grassroots outreach on behalf of tailored community bank regulations. The bipartisan legislation includes many provisions based on ICBA's  Plan for Prosperity platform, endorsed by IBANYS, and offers substantial relief from mortgage, capital, data-reporting and many other regulations.    

Other News From Washington

  • The House and Senate Small Business Committees were scheduled to mark up ICBA-supported legislation to safeguard the Small Business Administration's 7(a) program so community banks can continue to use the program responsibly. The bipartisan Small Business 7(a) Lending Oversight Reform Act (H.R. 4743 and S. 2283) would strengthen the SBA Office of Credit Risk Management and Lender Oversight Committee, codify the SBA's "Credit Elsewhere Test," and allow the SBA to lift the cap on general business loans if it is reached.


President Trump will reportedly name Larry Kudlow
, a conservative CNBC analyst who was his informal economic adviser during the 2016 campaign, 
to succeed Gary Cohn as National Economic Council Director  and chief White House economic advisor. Kudlow, a former Wall Street economist, has been described as the "godfather" of supply-side tax cuts. CNBC reported that Kudlow accepted the offer Tuesday night. 


  • The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) updated its resources on its 2016 prepaid rule to reflect amendments announced earlier this year. You can read about these amendments in detail by clicking the links below.

Action Alert

S.2155 Moving Toward Senate Vote: Support IBANYS' Grassroots Outreach to Senator Schumer

The bipartisan Senate regulatory relief bill (S.2155) , will likely be brought to the floor of the Senate for a vote by Majority Leader Senator Mitch McConnell (R-KY) this week. The challenge before the Senate is to pass the legislation without any changes that could risk the bipartisan support it currently enjoys -- and then, to work to obtain House passage of the bill as is. IBANYS is conducting a grassroots outreach effort with Senator Schumer (D-New York, Senate Democratic Leader) to seek his support and his agreement to allow his Democratic colleagues to vote for the legislation. Senator Gillibrand (New York's junior U.S. Senator) opposes the bill. 
  • Read IBANYS' letter to Senator Schumer: click here
  • Read talking points in support of the bill: click here
  • Contact information for Senator Schumer's district offices: click here
*    *    *    *    *
We need to reach out to Senator Schumer's district offices thrioughout New York State to reiterate how important regulatory relief is to the New York community banking industry. Please help!

Industry Trends & Updates
Re-finances Keep Falling; New Mortgage Applications Up Slightly
The Mortgage Bankers Association reported total mortgage application volume was up just 0.3 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis. Volume was 5 percent lower than the same week one year ago.  With interest rates for home loans having risen each week during 2018, homeowners have had less incentive refinance their mortgages. Another drop in refinances last week kept mortgage application volume essentially unchanged from the previous week. The refinance share of all mortgage applications fell to 40 percent, the lowest since 2008.  Mortgage applications to purchase a home were up slightly (up 3 percent for the week, and up 3 percent from a year ago.)

. . .On Hackers, FinTech Firms & Credit Unions

ICBA is holding its Annual Convention in Las Vegas this week, with nearly 3,000 community bankers, industry leaders and financial experts attending. (Community bankers can receive up-to-the-minute convention information with the ICBA 2018 Mobile App and by following #ICBALive18 on Twitter.)  Timothy Zimmerman, the new Chair of the  Independent Community Bankers of America  (ICBA), called hackers, FinTech firms and other nonbanks the biggest threats to banks. Zimmerman is the CEO of the $970 million-asset Standard Bank in Monroeville, Pennsylvania. "Credit unions don't pay federal taxes, and, in addition to that, there's continued expansion beyond what they're really supposed to be doing... they continue to expand into commercial lending ... if you're living and breathing, you qualify under [credit unions'] field-of-membership rules. They also don't have responsibilities under the Community Reinvestment Act."


Long Term Parking: 
Multi Family MBS Can Serve Core Portfolio Needs

In his latest column, ICBA Securities President & CEO Jim Reber writes that 2018 c
ould be the year of the big investment portfolio shake-out. In particular, with industry earnings poised to jump this year, there could well be a big increase in demand for tax-free securities. The only problem is state and local governments aren't cooperating by stepping up their borrowing; in fact, for the first two months of 2018, new issuance was 38 percent behind the same period last year. 
Click here to read the full column.
Banking News
Online Lending

Excelsior Growth Fund (EGF) is NYBDC's nonprofit Community Development Financial Institution and IBANYS' exclusive online lending partner. Their  mission is to help businesses in New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania grow by providing small business loans and advisory services. As a nonprofit organization and a U.S. Treasury-certified Community Development Financial Institution  (CDFI) , they're a responsible lender you can trust. Their  products are affordable and flexible, and their advisory services can help you reach your business goals. Their signature product, the EGF SmartLoan™, provides up to $100,000 through a streamlined online platform.  Loans are approved in 1-2 days and funded in a week.  For more details, please visit: 

Spotlight Bank of the Week

The First National Bank of Groton is locally owned, customer driven, community bank. We maintain a local focus that promotes growth by investing back into the same neighborhoods where our deposits come from. All decisions are made by people who know the local market and understand the needs of our customers. We know our customers by name, and vice-versa. We take pride in providing a superior level of personalized customer service, along with a blend of traditional banking products and innovative online and mobile services. As of December 31, 2017, our assets totaled over $170 million. All of our employees are area residents, which means we have the same personal investment in the community as our customers.

Established in 1865, The First National Bank of Groton has served the surrounding communities for over 150 years. "Customers for life, one day at a time" is our mission. Our long history includes many interesting details:

  • In 1896, when she was elected President of The First National Bank of Groton, Welthea M. Marsh became one of the first women in the United States to serve as President of a national bank.
  • Following the Emergency Banking Act of 1933, The First National Bank of Groton was one of the first financial institutions determined by the Treasury Department to be solvent, making it one of the first to be re-opened.
  • Our annual Customer Appreciation Day is widely recognized and eagerly awaited each year! Employees grill and serve the famous "quarter-pound" hot dogs for our customers and the entire community at each of our offices.
  • We open our lobbies to customers and the community as a way to showcase their artwork, their collections, and local memorabilia. Our Groton office features a thirty-foot mural, painted by a local artist, depicting the Village of Groton in 1900.
Our two locations are conveniently located in Groton and Moravia, NY. The First National Bank of Groton is a member of the FDIC and an Equal Housing Lender. 
For more information, visit our website at or call us at (607) 898-5871.

IBANYS Spotlight Is On...


Genesis PPG is a merchant service company headquartered in upstate New York. It has a unique approach to servicing bank clients. Their attention to customer service and credit card security is second to none. Genesis is in the business of saving clients money. Their rates and fees help clients retain more revenue and increase profitability.
For additional information, details on how Genesis can help your operation or to schedule a demo, visit  their website at or, contact Jacob Arnold, Director of Operations at (716) 407-3213,

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  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. 

Did You Know?

  • That the first U.S. Comptroller of the Currency was Hugh McCulloch? He served from 1863-64, and later served as Secretary of the Treasury for two non-consecutive terms under three presidents. 
  • The first FDIC Chairman was Walter Cummings, who served from 1933-34.
  • The first Chairman of the Federal Reserve was Charles Sumner Hamlin, who served from 1914-16.
  • The first Superintendent of the New York State Banking Department (predecessor of Department of Financial Services) was Daniel B. St. John, who served from 1851-54.
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
Connect With Us!