May 2, 2019

In This Issue: 
Message From The President

By John Witkowski, President & CEO

IBANYS' Washington Trip A Major Success!
This week was an eventful one as IBANYS led a group of New York community bankers to Washington, D.C. to participate in the ICBA Capital Summit. The highlight of the week was when we walked "the hill" and held a number of key meetings in the offices of:  

  • Senators Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand
  • Five members of the House Financial Services Committee (Reps. Carolyn Maloney, Gregory Meeks, Nydia Velazquez, Peter King & Lee Zeldin)
  • Two members of the Small Business Committee (Reps. Nydia Velazquez & Antonio Delgado)
  • Two members of the House Agriculture Committee and (Reps. Anthony Brindisi & Antonio Delgado)
  • A Key member of the House Ways & Means Committee (Rep. Tom Reed)
Direct, face-to-face communication is one of the most effective ways to illustrate a bank's needs and priorities. For New York community bankers, these meetings provided  the opportunity to share their stories and illustrate how the actions of Congress and regulators have a direct impact on both main street banks and the communities they serve. 

New York community banks "told their stories" and illustrated how actions of Congress and the regulators have a direct impact on main street banks and the customers and communities we serve. There is NOTHING as effective as local community bankers from "back home" taking their time to directly explain their needs and priorities. 

IBANYS focused on a number of issues and current/pending pieces of legislation before Congress, including: 
  • Reforming and modernizing the Bank Secrecy Act/Anti-Money Laundering (BSA/AML) to more effectively target money laundering and terrorist financing, while reducing excessive community bank burden and expense.
  • Reforming the "Customer Due Diligence Rule" so that the beneficial ownership information is collected and verified by a federal or state agency at the time a legal entity is formed. We urged raising the threshold for CTRS from the current $10,000 to $30,000. We also urged passage of Rep. Maloney's pending legislation on beneficial ownership.
  • We encouraged the passage of the Safe Harbor Act for Legal Cannabis Banking, which would provide a safe harbor for banking legal cannabis related businesses under H.R. 1595. This would ensure such businesses would have access to the traditional banking system, and enhance public safety.
  • We urged that any future regulation of data security or privacy must recognize existing Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act (GLBA) requirements and not create an additional layer of requirements. We also urged that all participants in the payments and financial systems (including merchants, aggregators, and other entities with access to customer financial information) should be subject to GLBA-like data security standards.
  • We discussed the uneven playing field that benefits tax-exempt credit unions (not subject to CRA mandates) and the Farm Credit System. We explained ending their enormous subsidies since they have become the functional equivalent of banks, and compete for the same customers, as well as offer the same services.
  • We reviewed housing finance reform, and the need to ensure that small bank mortgage lenders have full access to the secondary market.
  • We stressed the importance of reauthorizing the National Flood Insurance Program, which expires May 31, 2019, to protect community banks and homeowners alike in coastal and inland river communities, which have a critical interest in the future of the program. We urged ensuring that flood insurance is affordable and readily available to all homeowners and business owners.
At the conclusion of these productive meetings, we are optimistic that real progress is possible on a number of these initiatives. Thank you to the IBANYS members who committed their time and energy to advance the interests of community banking.

A special thank you to IBANYS partners, Luse Gorman P.C. and The Bonadio Group, for co-hosting our Monday evening welcome dinner, which provided a great opportunity for networking and discussing the issues/agenda for our Tuesday meetings.

IBANYS Hears From Crapo, Waters & McWilliams

At the Capital Summit, IBANYS members and their colleagues from around the country heard from House Financial Services Chair Maxine Waters (D-CA), Senate Banking Committee Chair Mike Crapo (R-ID) and FDIC Director Jelena McWilliams. Here's a quick summary of what they told us:

Crapo Talks Housing Finance Reform, Flood Insurance, Data & Security

Chairman Crapo,  lead sponsor on S. 2155 and also a key advocate of tax reform as a member of the Senate Finance Committee, noted  community bank regulatory relief is contributing to continued economic growth but that oversight of the law's regulatory implementation remains a priority. He said  Congress is working to address housing-finance reform, reauthorizing the National Flood Insurance Program, and extending data privacy and security protections to other sectors as fraud losses mount.

Waters: Working To Advance Pro-Community Bank Policies

House Financial Services Chairwoman Maxine Waters (D-CA) said Congress continues working to advance pro-community bank policies to help them meet the needs of local communities. She  cited that the Committee's approval of a federal safe harbor for banking legal cannabis-related businesses; its work to level the regulatory playing field between community banks and other entities; and, its work to develop consumer safeguards for fintech companies, scrutinize industrial loan company oversight, modernize the Bank Secrecy Act, and hold megabanks accountable.  Waters pledged to continue working with the industry on needed reforms, saying "I have an open-door policy. This is your government and you deserve to be heard." 

McWilliams Addresses Innovation, CRA, BSA, Innovation & More  

In her "Q & A" session with ICBA President & CEO Rebeca Romero Rainey, FDIC Director Jelena McWilliams addressed a number of issues in her appearance at the Capital Summit. She noted:
  • Regulations often stifle innovations that can bring more unbanked consumers into the banking fold. Federal banking agencies are rethinking their regulatory approach to make it more agile and allow community banks to innovate. The FDIC has launched Tech Lab, which works to reduce regulatory burdens on third-party due diligence to streamline tech partnerships. 
  • There are regulatory efforts to modernize CRA, increase transparency in the Bank Secrecy Act reporting, and mitigate the negative impact of the Current Expected Credit Loss (CECL) accounting standards. 
  • The FDIC is reviewing feedback on the 9% Community Bank Leverage Ratio. (ICBA and community bankers want it lowered to 8%) 
  • Industrial loan companies (ILCs) are "the law of the land" and the FDIC must accept and consider deposit-insurance applications accordingly. All current regulations and policies, including those regarding capital and profitability requirements for de novo banks, apply equally to ILCs. McWilliams said the right place to take up the issue is with Congress. ICBA is urging to permanently close the ILC loophole. 
Follow IBANYS On Social Media!

 Connect With Us Today!

 Facebook: @ibanys1 | Twitter: @ibanys1

Instagram: @ibanys1 | LinkedIn: @ibanys

2019 Meetings

Get Ready For 2019 Annual Convention!Convention19




June 10-12, 2019


5218 Patrick Rd, Verona, NY 13478

 Brochure                    Registration Form


Hotel InformationConventionHotel

Arrival Date: Monday, June 10, 2019
Departure Date: Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Each attendee must make their own reservations by calling the hotel directly at
1-800-771-7711. To ensure receiving the group rate, use group code IBANYS Convention. All individual reservations will require one night's room deposit (including applicable taxes and surcharges) or a valid credit card to guarantee the reservation. Single/double occupancy $159.00 (Tower Room) or $239.00 (Junior Suite), plus applicable taxes and surcharges. Check in 3 p.m., check out 11 a.m. Room cut-off date is May 19, 2019. Reservations received after this date accepted on a space and rate availability basis and cannot be guaranteed at the conference rate. View full information on the hotel and booking. 

Convention Favorites Are Back!ConventionFavoritesPAC

Six-Minute Drill 

For our 2018 Annual Convention, IBANYS is continuing with a favorite-the 6 minute drill.   This convention favorite offers our IBANYS preferred providers the opportunity - from the podium - to take a brisk six minutes and showcase their firms, products and services, and to demonstrate exactly what they can do to help New York community banks.

There are TWO 6-minute drill left to sponsor, so don't wait!. View the  sponsorship form to learn more. 

PAC Silent Auction

Our PAC Silent Auction returns! This a wonderful opportunity to help our industry stay competitive in the political process in Albany by supporting IBANYS' state political action committee, NYSIBPAC. 

The PAC contributes to New York State candidates and officials who understand and support the vital role community banks play in our local and state economies, as well as our communities.   Donate a gift today! View full information on the PAC Silent Auction here or download the PAC Silent Auction form to submit an item. There is also a video from last year's Convention to provide gift ideas. 


Sponsorship & Exhibitor InformationExhibitorSponsorshipConvention

Demonstrate your support for community banking by becoming a sponsor or exhibitor at our Annual Convention! Our Convention Trade Show provides the opportunity for exhibitors to discuss their products and services with attendees, while also providing something that is unmatched in today's digital age: face-to-face interaction. IBANYS'  exhibitor trade show b egins Monday, June 10 at 5:30 p.m. and concludes Wednesday, June 12 at 11:00 a.m. View booths available, along with full exhibitor information. Or download the exhibitor registration form here

Becoming a convention sponsor gives your organization the chance to show its continuing support for community banking in New York, and to be recognized in our printed materials, signage and from the podium. Our Convention has various sponsorships available, including bronze silver, gold, and platinum sponsorships. Page 9 of our Convention brochure lists sponsorships available and what is included.

These two important opportunities give your organization a chance to both present your firm's products/services and show your support for community banking while networking with individuals who all value one common thing: the power of community banking.

Please take a moment to carefully review, and act soon to secure both your exhibitor booth location for the trade show and the event/activity you wish to sponsor.

Please note:  Both exhibitor space and sponsorships will be assigned on a first come, first served basis.


Attend One of Our Educational Meetings! Meetings2019

Our 2019 Meeting dates and locations are now available! These educational conferences cover various subjects that are important within the community banking industry, spoken by the experts. T hey are also a great opportunity to network and earn CPE credits. Here is what we have planned for 2019:

                           May 7, 2019                                         May 8, 2019
                 RIT Inn & Conference Center                     Hampton Inn Poughkeepsie
                      5257 W. Henrietta Road                                   2361 South Rd.
                         Henrietta, NY 14467                              Poughkeepsie, NY 12601

                           View Brochure                              View Registration Form

CPE Credits Available  = 7



Co-Sponsored By:

May 21-22, 2019
16 North Franklin Street
Watkins Glen, NY 14891

            View Brochure                              View Registration Form

CPE Credits Available  = 10


Banking Executive SymposiumBankExecSymposium

September 9-11, 2019
200 Riverside Drive
Clayton, NY 13624

CPE Credits Available  = TBD


Have an idea for one of our meetings? Want to see a meeting or forum on a different subject? We want to hear from you! 
Contact Linda Gregware or John Witkowski with your thoughts and/or comments.

IBANYS Education/WebinarsWebinars

The 2019 Webinar is now available! The Independent Bankers Association of NYS (IBANYS) partners with CBWN to bring you more than 150 webinars each year covering compliance, lending, regulations, security, operations, new accounts, collections, fraud, security and other topics. Even better, each time you purchase a webinar, you support IBANYS, because a portion of your registration comes directly to us. Thank you!  

You can view the 2019 Webinar Schedule here or by category here. In addition, CBWN has made some recent updates to provide better service to its consumers. Unfortunately, some changes may have caused you to miss important webinar announcements. Please read the IBANYS letter to view the updates and ensure that you do not miss another webinar.


CBWN has added more than 140 webinars to the IBANYS webinar calendar, covering all the essential topics. Start the new year off right by gaining the knowledge and tools to make 2019 the best year yet! 

CBWN and IBANYS thank you for your continued support of the education in the community banking industry. 

Government Relations


Session Heating Up As Committee Activity Increases

There will be just 22 scheduled session days remaining until the anticipated June 19 adjournment. Legislative committees are gearing up for the final push.  Legislation of interest that was on the committee agendas include:
  • Assembly Judiciary Committee: A.5619 (Weinstein)/S.5160 (Kavanagh) would provide that a defense of lack of standing in a foreclosure action is not waived because of the defendant's failure to raise such a defense in his or her responsive pleading.  
  • Assembly Consumer Protection Committee: A.5635 (DenDekker)/S.133 (Carlucci) was introduced at the request of the Attorney General. It would expand the current data breach notification requirements to include biometric data, credit and debit cards, and emails with passwords/security questions. It also includes a limited exemption for banks which notify of breaches under the federal Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act (GLBA) to avoid duplicate obligations. 
  • Assembly Banks Committee: A.1931 (Zebrowski)/S.982 (Breslin) would mandate banking institutions that maintain checking accounts for customers to pay checks in the order received within the account balance. 
  • Senate Judiciary Committee: A.5622 (Weinstein)/S.4236 (Hoylman) - which has passed the Assembly - would modernize the state's creditor laws by enacting the "Uniform Voidable Transactions Act" This bill has already passed the Assembly. 

New York State Creates Its Own "CFPB"

New York State has created its own version of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau: The Consumer Protection and Financial Enforcement division. It is a statewide financial protection division which  will focus solely on corporate compliance and consumer issues. Former Assistant U.S. Attorney  Katherine Lemire will lead the division, and serve as Executive Deputy Superintendent. New Jersey and Pennsylvania also recently created their own statewide agencies. 

DFS Order Helps Mutual Savings Banks and S&Ls

Acting State Department of Financial Services (DFS) Superintendent Lacewell has issued an order using New York's 'wild card' parity law to allow individuals to serve as directors of state-chartered mutual savings banks and savings and loan associations, regardless of  the   maximum age limitations  set forth in the Banking Law. 

Washington, D.C.WashingtonGR

Senate Bill Would Boost Community Bank Access To Capital

Sen. Mike Rounds (R-SD) has introduced legislation to enhance community bank access to capital. "The Community Bank Access to Capital Act of 2019" (S. 1233) includes ICBA-advocated provisions that would:
  • Exempt publicly held community banks with less than $5 billion in assets from the Sarbanes-Oxley Act's internal control attestation requirements;
  • Exempt community banks with less than $5 billion in assets from the FDIC's annual report on financial condition and management, and,
  • Revise the SEC definitions of "accredited" and "non-accredited" investors to attract new investors.
Sen. Rounds has introduced similar ICBA-supported bills in previous Congresses to help private and publicly traded banks raise much-needed capital.

Regulators To Meet With Law Enforcement On AML, SARs

Federal financial regulators will meet with law enforcement officials to address banks' reporting burdens under anti-money-laundering laws. The purpose of the meeting is to understand what law enforcement and intelligence officials do with the millions of suspicious activity reports banks submit every year without much feedback.  IBANYS member banks discussed this in our congressional meetings on Tuesday.  FDIC Chairwoman  Jelena McWilliams said the regulators are working with the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) to schedule the meeting in the near future. 

President Will Not Nominate Moore For Fed 

Stephen Moore

President Trump said today he would not nominate Stephen Moore for a seat on the Federal Reserve board. Republican senators had signalled an attempt to confirm Moore would be "a very heavy lift."  Moore is  a c onservative economic commentator, political activist and a fellow at the Heritage Foundation. He faced  controversies around his   past writings about women , a debt related to a   tax dispute with the IRS , and revelations from a   contentious divorce It is unclear who - if anyone - the President will formally nominate for the two remaining Fed seats. Republican senators urged him to take his time.
Industry Trends & Updates

Short and Sweet
Cash-Management Instruments Have Relative Value TodayReberArticle

By Jim Reber, President & CEO 
ICBA Securities

"What if?" How many times and how many ways has someone started a conversation like this with a community banker?
  • Borrower: What if you hold the title on my '83 Camaro as additional collateral?
  • Examiner: What if Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac walk from their debt obligations?
  • Depositor: What if you pay me an extra five basis points on my $5,000 CD?
  • Auditor: What if your Held-to-Maturity bonds go further underwater?
  • Lender: What if we put a 6% cap on this floater?
  • Investor: What if you bought my 25 shares at three times book? 
What if you could purchase a full faith and credit instrument that pays monthly principal and interest, adjusts based on prime with no caps, has little or no prepayment risk, and out-yields the 10-year Treasury?  Read the full article.


Ensure Profitable Growth With Vetter GrowthVetterProfitableGrowth

V etter is constantly evolving their products and searching for new ways to innovate and offer your CFI the most current and relevant tools. This month, Vetter Founder & CEO Bryan Adler would like to share the latest version of one of their products: Vetter Growth. Check out their demo video, and learn why Vetter Growth is a key tool when it comes to ensuring profitable growth. 

A reminder: Bryan Adler will address IBANYS' Annual Convention on June 12, 2019 at the Turning Stone in Verona, New York on  "Acquiring Millennial Customers: Not As Hard As You Think." 

Fed Benchmark Rate Stays Unchanged,
Despite Presidential Pressure

The Federal Reserve this week kept its benchmark interest rate even, despite President Donald Trump's calls to lower it, and also indicated no change to its "patience" stance on monetary policy. All 10 members of the Federal Open Markets Committee voted to hold the rate between 2.25% and 2.5%. 

However, the Fed noted a slowdown in household spending and business investment, and that inflation is sitting below the Fed's 2% target. Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell said "transitory" factors were to blame for muted inflation. The President pressured the Fed to cut interest rates just as the Federal Open Markets Committee began its policy meeting, saying the economy could go "up like a rocket" if the Fed cut rates "like one point" and if it pursued quantitative easing,

The Economy By The Numbers

  • The Conference Board reported that consumer confidence increased in April, after declining in March. The Consumer Confidence Index rose to 129.2 from 124.2 in March, on stronger assessments of current and future economic conditions. 
  • Pending home sales also rose 3.8% in March after having declined in February, according to the National Association of Realtors. 
  • Gains in home prices continued to slow in February, with the Case-Shiller national index sliding to a 4.0% annual gain from 4.2% the previous month.
  • The U.S. Commerce Department reported that personal income increased 0.1% in March and personal expenditures rose 0.9%. Disposable personal income rose less than 0.1% and was down 0.2% on an inflation-adjusted basis.
  • The U.S. gross domestic product rose 3.2% in the first quarter, according to the Commerce Department's  initial estimate . That was the largest first-quarter gain since 2015, and follows a 2.2%t quarterly increase in the fourth quarter of 2018. The Department's second estimate is slated to be released May 30.
  • According to ADP, the private sector added 275,000 jobs in April. Small businesses added 77,000 jobs, midsized and large businesses added 145,000 and 53,000, respectively. The goods-producing sector accounted for 52,000 of the new jobs, while the services sector was responsible for 223,000.

Banking News

Further Your Education at Barret Graduate School of Banking BarretGradSchool

Barret and IBANYS are aligned with a common interest: to represent the interests of the industry through effective advocacy and high quality educational offerings.

Located in Memphis, TN, Barret Graduate School of Banking offers a comprehensive graduate learning program for professionals in the financial services field. IBANYS has established partnerships with key industry educators including the Barret Graduate School of Banking. The school provides community bankers with an opportunity for a graduate degree in banking. 

We are currently endorsed by ICBA, ICBA Securities, Arkansas Community Bankers, CBAofGA, Indiana Bankers Association, CBAofKS, MIBA, CBAofOH, CBAofWV - with a couple more on the way. 

To learn more about Barret Graduate School of Banking, please visit


Keep The Door Open For Your Small Business Customers

Excelsior Growth Fund (EGF) is NYBDC's nonprofit Community Development Financial Institution and IBANYS' exclusive online lending partner. Join the growing number of banks that work with EGF to offer their customers an affordable and responsible option when they do not qualify for traditional financing. EGF offers loans up to $500,000 with a convenient, digital process. Loans under $100,000 are disbursed within 5 business days.

 EGF's experienced team can work hand-in-hand with yours to develop a customized process to make referring seamless. To learn more about offering your customers a second look through EGF contact Bryan Doxford, SVP, at at at (212) 430-4512.

Spotlight Bank of the WeekSpotlightBank

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 


About Spotlight Bank of the Week

Spotlight Bank of the Week is a new feature that we have added 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!

View banks that have been featured as our Spotlight in the past!

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

IBANYS Spotlight Is On...

EscapeWire Solutions  is a managed IT Solutions service provider. They have been servicing clients across multiple industries for over 13 years, and built their reputation on trust, expertise and dedicated customer service. EscapeWire works closely with each client to assure they have a program to meet their IT needs. 

For more information and details, contact: 

Chris Hart-Nova, CEO


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 5 out of our nation's 45 presidents came from New York? The list includes Martin Van BurenMillard FillmoreTheodore Roosevelt, Franklin D. Roosevelt, and Donald Trump. Fillmore was the 13th president, Van Buren the 18th, T. Roosebelt the 26th, FDR the 32nd, and Trump is the 45th.

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