May 16, 2018

In This Issue: 
  • House Ready To Move On Farm Bill & Community Bank Reg Relief Bill -- One Last Push Needed!
  • Fed Nominees Testify -- Including Community Banking Rep
  • Albany Heads For Home Stretch
  • News On Upcoming IBANYS Meetings & Upcoming Webinars
  • Follow IBANYS On Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram!

Message From the President
John Witkowski, President & CEO
There's A Whole Lot Happening -- Be A Part Of Our Busy Spring!

Spring is now upon us, with summer just around the corner. IBANYS is focused on developments in both Albany and Washington, D.C. from the legislative and regulatory perspective. We are also finalizing a number of important upcoming programs for members of your senior management teams.   
  • In Washington, Congress is moving toward debates and votes on both the new farm bill (with a vote likely to take place this Friday) and on S.2155, the bipartisan Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief and Consumer Protection Act that will hopefully bring the most meaningful community bank regulatory relief since Dodd-Frank was enacted in 2010. IBANYS and ICBA have strongly advocated for its passage. The House of Representatives is expected to take up S.2155 early next week. With a vote as soon as next Tuesday, now is the time for community bankers to continue urging your local members of Congress to vote yes. ICBA's Be Heard grassroots action center makes it easy to contact your Representatives to urge them to support S. 2155. ICBA has submitted a petition with the signatures of more than 10,000 community bank employees and allies urging immediate approval, and a coalition of 43 ICBA-affiliated state community banking associations - including IBANYS - has expressed support in a letter to the House. Again: Now is the time to make sure you let your congressman know where New York community banks--and IBANYS-- stand on both S.2155 and the new farm bill. Please make one last outreach using ICBA's "Be Heard" grassroots action center at 
  • Meanwhile, here in Albany, the State Legislature is focused on the appointment of a successor to former Attorney General Schneiderman, who resigned last week. It appears that Acting A.G. Barbara Underwood may be the front runner for the position, which she would hold until a new Attorney General is elected to a four-year-term in November. The Assembly is still considering bills that would enhance the credit unions, including their ability to participate in public deposits. There was also news on cryptocurrencies, a lawsuit by the NTA against the state, and more.
We also continue to work hard to get ready for our next round of educational meetings next month. In June, we will host three important programs for New York community banks. YOUR bank should be registering for these key sessions,
designed to keep your Lending, Human Resources and Security officers and personnel fully informed and up-to-date on what they need to know. . . Questions? Contact Linda Gregware ( Take a look at these upcoming meetings:
    • IBANYS and T. Gschwender co-host our Lending Conference in Fairport, NY on June 5-6 with a focus on commercial lending and commercial real estate lending, CECL and a loan review process for lenders, portfolio managers and analysts. Please urge your commercial, mortgage, small business and consumer lending teams to attend. Brochure, Registration Form, Sponsorship Opportunities
    • IBANYS' Regional Human Resource Conferences are June 12 (Rochester) and June 13 (Troy) and will address sexual harassment, FMLA, PFL, talent acquisition and retention, benefits, identity theft, and much more. Please urge your HR directors and those in supervisory roles to register. Brochure, Registration Form
    • IBANYS Regional Security Conferences are June 19 (Rochester) and June 20 (Troy) and will feature an array of security concerns relevant to community banks. Brochure
As always, thank you for your support of IBANYS and all you do or community banking.

Remember: IBANYS is YOUR association. Make it work for you!

- John

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2018 Meetings


              Lending Conference

June 5-6, 2018
Woodcliff Hotel & Spa
199 Woodcliff Drive
Fairport, NY 14450



                                                     Human Resources Conference

  June 12, 2018             June 13, 2018
 Hilton Garden Inn           Hilton Garden Inn
Rochester/Pittsford                    Troy
800 Pittsford Victor         235 Hoosick Street
Pittsford, NY 14534           Troy, NY 12180


              Security Conference

   June 19, 2018              June 20, 2018
   Hilton Garden Inn            Hilton Garden Inn
  Rochester/Pittsford                    Troy
  800 Pittsford Victor         235 Hoosick Street
  Pittsford, NY 14534            Troy, NY 12180



                                                      2018 Annual Convention

           September 25-27, 2018
                    Hilton Garden Inn
                      40 Lodge Street
                    Albany, NY 12207


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

Are you participating in IBANYS' webinars? Your peers are! They provide timely, important information on subjects of interest to New York community bankers. They are valuable not only for their content, but for their convenience. Take part from the comfort and privacy of your office, without leaving the bank.  Our  Webinar Series  offers many topics in the following categories:
  • Audit & Accounting
  • Collections
  • Compliance
  • Directors
  • Frontline & New Accounts
  • Human Resources
  • Information Technology
  • IRA
  • Lending
  • Operations
  • Security & Fraud
  • Senior Management
We are always adding more programs based on needs and requests of our members,
who drive our focus!  Take a look at the various series of webinars we offer by clicking each of the links below.

Community Banking Month Special

Celebrate Community Banking Month with a  FREE WEBINAR

Buy any  2 webinars and get a coupon code for  1 free until May 31st


Pricing starts at $230

  • 90 minutes of industry-leading webinar training
  • Take-away toolkit with supplemental materials, training log, and a knowledge-check quiz
  • Live and recorded options to view at your conveience
  • Viewable on desktop, mobile, or tablet

Add two webinars to your cart. Before completing your order enter "Send my free webinar code!" in the Comments box. A coupon code for your free webinar will be emailed to you within one business day. Choose your webinars here.

*Not applicable for full Series orders

Government Relations

NRA Sues New York State

The National Rifle Association (NRA) is suing Governor Andrew Cuomo and State Financial Services Superintendent Maria Vullo  for what it said was a "blacklisting campaign" aimed at swaying banks and insurers to stop doing business with the gun advocacy group. The NRA is seeking an injunction against the state to halt actions that infringe on its First Amendment right or interfere with its business relationships, and compensation for punitive and other damages." The state recently cracked down on the NRA's "Carry Guard" program that provides insurance in self-defense shootings. New York claims it has statutes that violate the state's insurance laws. Governor Cuomo called the suit "frivolous" and stated: "...We have an obligation to protect New Yorkers, and this sham suit will do nothing to stop that. . .New York is leading the way with the toughest and smartest gun safety laws in the country. . ."

Interviews Underway For Attorney General Appointment

Barbara Underwood
The interviewing of those interested in being appointed to serve the unexpired term of former Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, who resigned last week, began this week in Albany. More than a dozen people applied for consideration, including two sitting Democratic Assembly members: Westchester's Tom Abinanti and Manhattan's Daniel O'Donnell. Several potential applicants who are expected to seek election to the post in November -- including NYS Sen. Mike Gianaris (D-Queens), New York City Public Advocate Tish James, former gubernatorial candidate Zephyr Teachout, and ex-U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara -- declined to participate in the process to serve out Schneiderman's unexpired term.
Senate Republicans agreed to participate in the process, although GOP Majority Leader Flanagan praised Acting Attorney General Barbara Underwood, who is interviewing but said she would not run for a full term in November. "I thank acting Attorney General Barbara Underwood for stepping into this position during a difficult time, and doing so with professionalism and class. She has an outstanding resume and has already shown she can capably lead this office." Republicans will reportedly only support a "placeholder" for the post. "No one who intends to seek this office in November should be a candidate to fill the position in the short-term," Flanagan said. "It's time to put people ahead of politics, and ultimately let the voters decide who their next Attorney General will be."

Vullo Announces News On Cryptocurrencies

Maria Vullo
New York State Financial Services Superintendent Maria Vullo announced that the Department of Financial Services (DFS) has authorized Gemini Trust Company, LLC to offer the custody services and trading of Zcash, Litecoin and Bitcoin Cash, emerging cryptocurrencies, on its virtual currency exchange based in New York City. Cryptocurrencies are alternative decentralized global digital currencies that provide users with a more secure and efficient means of payment. 
Superintendent Maria Vullo noted:  "This action continues New York's longstanding commitment to innovation and leadership in the global marketplace. With smart and thorough regulatory oversight, the development and long-term growth of the industry will remain thriving."

On the  Legislative Front:

  • A.6949B Zebrowski/S.6700, Hamilton would permit federal and state chartered credit unions to accept State and Local deposits through the BDD program (a program currently available only to banks and thrifts). The bill is on the floor of the Assembly, but has not yet moved in the Senate. 
  • A.10232, Jean-Pierre)/ S.7100, Kavanaugh would allow low income credit unions in New York City to accept municipal deposits for the BDD program only. It also has seen no movement in the Senate. IBANYS was able to stop these initiatives last year, and we are opposing them this year as well. It would be inappropriate for credit unions, which pay no taxes, to have the additional ability to accept taxpayer deposits.
  • S.3755 (Savino), which IBANYS supports, helped draft and has on our legislative program, is on the State Senate Banks Comittee agenda this week. It would provide regulatory relief by allowing state chartered banks under $8 billion to invest in (and utilize) service corporations to achieve economies of scale when complying with regulations by permitting community banks to use such corporations to provide shared services among member banks to reduce compliance costs. Another bill on IBANYS legislative programS.3756 (Savino), would exempt banks from state CRA examinations if they have assets of less than $1 billion and received a satisfactory or better CRA rating in their most recent CRA exam by its primary federal regulator. That bill has passed the Senate.
Washington, D.C.

House To Vote On S.2155 "As Is"

The House's legislative wheels are beginning to "kick into high gear" this week, with plans to take up H.R. 2, the House version of the farm bill. ICBA is re-emphasizing the importance to community banks of a strong farm bill, highlighting community bank agricultural lending and noting ICBA farm bill priorities. They include protecting crop insurance, enhanced USDA loan programs, and Farm Credit System reforms. Several amendments that could have a negative impact have been filed for consideration during the farm bill debate, including provisions to reduce farmers' premium subsidies and crop insurance reimbursement. New York Community bankers: Contact your Members of Congress: Reinforce the importance of supporting crop insurance through a Crop Insurance and Reinsurance Bureau. 

Meanwhile, next week House GOP leaders plan to take up S.2155, the "Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief and Consumer Protection Act"
that will provide regulatory relief to community banks. A vote could come as soon as next Tuesday. One last push to your local Representatives is needed to close the deal. Grassroots outreach is needed. ICBA's Be Heard grassroots action center makes it easy to contact your Representatives. S.2155 passed the Senate in March with bipartisan support and 67 votes. Once the House passes the bill as is, without amendments, 
Senate Majority Leader McConnell has agreed to schedule a separate vote on a companion package of legislation supported by House Financial Services Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling and House Republicans, including capital formation measures. 

Community Bank Fed Nominee: Time To Tailor Financial Rules

Michelle Bowman
President Trump's nominees for the Federal Reserve Board, Richard Clarida and Michelle Bowman, testified before the Senate Banking Committee yesterday. Clarida is nominated to serve as Fed Vice Chairman.  Bowman, the Kansas State Banking Commissioner, would fill the community banker slot on the Fed board now required by Congress.  ICBA has called on the
Richard Clarida
Committee to advance the nomination
. Bowman  told senators that regulations passed in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis have "disadvantaged community banks." She said she will ensure financial rules "preserve the resiliency of the financial system, but are appropriately tailored to the size, complexity and risk of an institution." She noted she has experienced the effect of excessive regulatory burdens on community banks first hand as a compliance officer for her family bank (Farmers and Drovers Bank in Council Grove, Kansas) and would take that perspective with her to the Fed if confirmed. Bowman is a fifth-generation banker and former vice president at Farmers & Drovers. She also worked for former Kansas Senator Bob Dole, the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, and the Department of Homeland Security.

In Other News From Washington:
  • ICBA launched a series of messages to members of Congress and staff on the evolution of tax-exempt credit unions. Highlighting a recent American Banker series on the development of the tax exemption, ICBA's campaign exposes the credit union industry's aggressive pursuit of growth and rejection of its original mission.
  • Acting Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Director Mick Mulvaney indicated one of his next targets for regulatory change will be the CFPB's qualified mortgage rule. He said he wants to "bring sanity" to the regulation. Mulvaney said that the rule, which took effect in 2013, painted all institutions with the same brush and needed to be reworked.
  • The Financial Times reports that small banks across the US are gearing up to take advantage of new freedoms to pile into mortgages and other areas of lending "as the biggest rollback of banking regulation since the financial crisis moves closer to approval by Congress." House GOP staff noted the chamber would vote next Tuesday on S.2155, aimed at giving small banks relief from post-crisis reforms "that had driven them out of parts of the market."
  • Michael Bright, who has been the interim president of Ginnie Mae since July, is President Trump's choice to lead the agency on a permanent basis. He previously worked for Sen. Corker (R-TN) and helped him craft bipartisan legislation that would have overhauled the government's relationship with Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. 
    Former President Ted Tozer left at the beginning of the Trump administration.
Action Alert

Call Or Email  Your Local Representatives: 
Tell Them To "Vote For Community Banks" By Passing S.2155 

The bipartisan Senate regulatory relief bill (S.2155), has been approved by the U.S. Senate 67 votes affirmative votes. T he action now moves to the House of Representatives. The challenge now is to urge the House to approve the Senate legislation as is, without adding any amendments that would jeopardize the bipartisan support demonstrated in the Senate, where 16 Democrats joined their Republican colleagues in voting for the measure.  IBANYS is conducting a grassroots outreach effort with the New York House delegation. To email or call your Representatives, click on the links below:

We have written to each member, but we need YOU to contact your local Representatives. Call their district offices while they are home for the two-week recess beginning this weekend. You can also visit and use their "Be Heard" grassroots site to tailor your messages.
Industry Trends & Updates
Federal Regulators Host CECL Call

Federal regulators ( the OCC, FDIC and FRB)  hosted an 
interagency conference call yesterday on implementing the Current Expected Credit Losses (CECL) methodology. The call addressed new definitions, the mechanics of the proposed CECL transition, and new disclosure and regulatory reporting requirements.

Renewed Effort To Modernize CRA

ICBA staff met with Federal Reserve Board officials to discuss how policymakers can modernize the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA). ICBA previously held a similar meeting with Treasury officials on the issue, and noted that regulations direct banks - not agencies - to delineate CRA assessment areas. ICBA also called on regulators to provide more guidance and clarity on CRA credit and to ensure consistency between exams.

Volcker Rule Changes Coming?

Federal regulatory agencies reviewing the Volcker Rule's limitations on bank proprietary trading are reportedly close to ending the rule's assumption that short-term trading positions of fewer than 60 days are prohibited as speculative, preferring to give companies more space to comply with the rule for those short-term trades. Regulators are also planning to propose changing the rule's compliance requirements for small firms, in addition to easing rules on banks that want to hold more assets for short-term customer access, according to the sources.

Mixed Signals On Housing? 

Strong demand and a slim supply of affordable, existing homes for sale has the nation's homebuilders feeling better about their business.  A monthly index of builder sentiment rose two points, one point higher than analysts expected. The National Association of Home Builders sentiment index now stands at 70. Anything above 50 is considered positive. April's reading was revised down 1 point to 68. The index stood at 69 in May 2017. On a three-month moving average for regional scores, the West and Northeast held unchanged at 76 and 55, respectively. The South and Midwest each fell 1 point to 72 and 65.  Yet, U.S. homebuilding tumbled in April and permits fell, suggesting the housing market continued to tread water amid shortages of land and skilled labor.  Housing starts dropped 3.7 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.287 million units in April, the Commerce Department said on Wednesday. The decline reversed March's rise. Single-family homebuilding, which accounts for the largest share of the housing market, edged up 0.1 percent to a rate of 894,000 units last month. 

Summary Of Deposits Due July 31

Financial institutions are required to submit Summary of Deposits survey responses by July 31. The Summary of Deposits is the annual survey of branch deposits as of June 30 for all FDIC-insured institutions. All institutions with branch offices are required to submit the survey; institutions with only a main office are exempt. Click here for more information.

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

North Country Savings-1909
Founded in 1909, North Country Savings Bank is a customer,-based and community-driven symbol of the North Country. Being customer-centered and motivated by our community has helped us serve a variety of customers throughout St. Lawrence County for over a century. At the heart of our organization are the dedicated employees who work hard to ensure each customer receives the personalized attention they deserve.

The North Country Savings Bank team is here for you. We'll walk you through every step of themortgage process, from answering your questions about where to begin to explaining all the important details. Our experienced Personal Bankers and Loan Originators are prepared to help first time home buyers get their credit reports in check, figure out how much they can afford, and be there at the finish when they sign on the dotted line.
We are eager and prepared to help all customers current and potential. Our Personal Bankers serve as a single-point of contact for customers. Their sole purpose is to help everyone get the most from their banking, both in person and online. Each of our four branches have a Personal Banker ready to assist in any way needed. Just another example of North Country Savings Bank working to provide excellent customer service. 

For more information about North Country Bank and its service, please visit .

IBANYS Spotlight Is On... LLC is a financial services software company headquartered in Pittsburgh PA that has  provided sales & service technology solutions for investment managers, trust providers, private banks, broker/dealers, insurance reps, commercial lending RMs, corporate bankers, retail platform specialists, tellers and other line units for over 13 years.  Firm principals have extensive applied industry experience in the sales and service technology & operations areas of firms including PNC Advisors, Mellon, Federated Investors, MassMutual, PNC Brokerage, SunGard, BlackRock, SunTrust, Wachovia, Northern Trust, Bank of America, Sun Microsystems and Fiserv.  Clients see significant gains in operating efficiency, cost reduction, staff productivity, process improvement, referral & retention rates, and employee satisfaction. 

Contact Mike Smith: 720-6962 or visit

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 session of the New York State Legislature was from September 9, 1777 - June 30, 1778, and that it was convened  in Kingston, the seat of Ulster County? The State Senate met first, on September 9, 1777, at the home of  Abraham Van Gaasbeck , now known as  Senate House. The  Assembly met the next day at the  Bogardus Tavern At the approach of the British army, the State Legislature dispersed on October 7, and reconvened in  Poughkeepsie  on January 5, 1778.
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!