September 11, 2019

In This Issue: 
Message From The President

By John Witkowski, President & CEO

Today marks the eighteenth anniversary of the September 11 attacks. . . 
Throughout the state, school children who have no memory of the event will observe a moment of silence as they learn about what happened that day. We held a moment of silence at our Banking Executive Symposium this morning. If you're not planning to attend one of the many memorial ceremonies in communities across New York, please pause and reflect on 9/11/ 2001 . . .and give thanks to those heroic first responders and members of the public who put themselves in harm's way to help others.  Their bravery and valor should never be forgotten.

At our Banking Executive Symposium this week, participants heard presentations on a number of topics related to the operations, strategic planning and financial management of community banks and the legislative and political landscape. They also had the opportunity to network with industry peers and colleagues from around the state. . .and with important partners and allies from our preferred partners and associate membership. The Symposium was IBANYS final major educational program of 2019, as we now prepare for next year's calendar of events.

What's On IBANYS' Fall Menu?
  • The Banking Executive Symposium (previously the CFO & Senior Management Conference) was held at  the beautiful 1000 Islands Harbor Hotel in Clayton, New York. Our agenda was designed for New York community bank CEO's, CFO's, COO's, presidents, senior managers, board members, and ALCO teams. The symposium was well attended and, according to evaluations, well received. Speakers examined topics including current economic trends, the latest updates on CECL, cybersecurity, and much more. 
  • IBANYS' Legislative Counsel Bill Crowell discussed the 2019 legislative and political landscape, and previewed what we may expect in 2020. IBANYS is in the process of developing our 2020 policy positions for the legislative session that begins in January. Our Government Relations Committee and bank leadership are leading the effort, but we want to include your bank's top priorities and concerns. Please email your suggestions to me at Government Relations Director Steve Rice at
  • IBANYS is working on programming ideas and details for our 2020 meetings, conferences and seminars. They will address the needs of your bank's compliance, security, lending, and human resources officers; senior management teams, and directors. Please email any suggestions you have on topics and speakers to me, or to our Director of Administration & Membership Services Linda Gregware at
Labor Day is now behind us, and summer is giving way to autumn. IBANYS is looking ahead to the final quarter of 2019, and, to 2020. The new year will be filled with challenges and opportunities for New York community banks, and your association. We are battle tested and ready to move forward as we continue to protect and advance the interests of New York's community banks.

As always, thanks for everything you to to advance community banking in New York State!


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  • Watch for our announcements regarding our 2020 Meetings, Conferences & Seminars Calendar. . .Coming Soon!
  • 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

Have you reviewed our 2019 Webinar Calendar? The Independent Bankers Association of New York State (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. 


Webinar WednesdayWebinarWednesday

This comprehensive job-specific series will provide the most current BSA rules, trends, and guidance to ensure compliance.

Some of the more challenging concerns facing the financial profession today are Bank Secrecy Act (BSA/AML) compliance, due diligence, monitoring, and reporting. Constant effort is needed to stay ahead of the curve. Enforcement actions have increased, and regulators expect financial institutions to have a strong "culture of compliance." This series is one-stop shopping for lending, operations, board, and frontline employees' BSA required compliance training.

BSA Series Topics:

Purchase Webinars Individually or Purchase the Series to Save 10%!

View or Purchase the Webinar

Stay-up-to-date with our webinar features by following us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn! You can also follow the hashtag #WebinarWednesday on Instagram/Twitter!

Government Relations


The New York State Legislature will return to Albany in January for the 2020 session. 

Governor Signs Extension Of Banking Wild Card Law To 2024

Governor Cuomo
Governor Cuomo has signed A.7604, Buttenschon/S.5411, Sanders -- legislation that extends the banking wild card law until September 2024. IBANYS strongly supported the bill this past legislative session. The wild card law was initially originally placed on the books back in 1997. It lets the New York State Department of Financial Services (DFS) keep the New York State banking charter viable and competitive vis-à-vis with the federal banking charter.

DFS Approves Gold-Backed Virtual Currency

DFS Superintendent Lacewell
State Department of Financial Services (DFS) has authorized Paxos Trust Company LLC to offer a gold-backed virtual currency, the first such virtual currency authorized by DFS, as well as BUSD, a virtual currency pegged to the U.S. dollar. DFS Superintendent Lacewell stated: "DFS is committed to encouraging innovation while providing regulatory oversight to keep New Yorkers and the rapidly evolving financial services market safe and sound. These approvals reflect DFS' leadership in the virtual currency arena and our priority to protect consumers in every decision we make."

Meanwhile, Governor Cuomo also announced DFS will take action against the opioid industry, and  will seek fines and restitution against opioid manufacturers, distributors, and pharmacy benefit managers. DFS estimated that New Yorkers have overpaid roughly $2 billion in insurance premiums  in the past 10 years.   The state claims the overpayment stems from misrepresentation of opioid safety and efficiency, which resulted in an over-prescription of opioids.


IBANYS' Plan of Action for 2020

As we look ahead to the 2020 New York State legislative session next January, IBANYS' is developing positions and policies in preparation for the 2020 state legislative session, and focusing on building a strategy to encourage member banks to meet with their local legislators to continue informing them about community banks, our priorities and the vital role we play in New York State.

Washington, D.C.WashingtonGR

FDIC Community Bank Assessment Credits Take Effect

The FDIC Deposit Insurance Fund reserve ratio surpassed 1.38%, triggering approximately $764 million in assessment credits for community banks with less than $10 billion in assets. The FDIC will start applying the credits this month to offset the 2019 second-quarter bank assessments. A  provision of Dodd-Frank Act requires larger banks to offset the cost of increasing the DIF reserve ratio from 1.15% to 1.35% on banks under $10 billion. The assessment credits will be automatically applied each quarter that the reserve ratio is at least 1.35%. ICBA had advocated for the provision, and President & CEO Rebeca Romero rainey commented:  "At the time of the original debate, the Deposit Insurance Fund was in negative territory amid the fallout of the Wall Street financial crisis. Looking at the big picture, ICBA fought hard to ensure that most community banks wouldn't be stuck footing the cost of a crisis they didn't cause."

Trump Administration Housing Finance System Proposals 

logo The Trump administration released proposals to overhaul the housing finance system, including starting to recapitalize Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, ending the net-worth sweep of the enterprises' earnings, and ultimately releasing them from conservatorship. The proposal would  maintain their viability and explicitly definine the secondary mortgage market's government guarantee. It recommends Congress authorize the Federal Housing Finance Agency to approve and supervise new guarantors to compete with Fannie and Freddie.  Treasury indicated it "prefers legislation" but "further reform should not and need not wait on Congress."  At yesterday's Senate Banking Committee hearing on the proposal, Chairman Crapo (R-ID) urged administration officials to begin acting on reform, citing Congress' inability to advance legislation. That could free administration officials to begin recapitalizing the enterprises and ending the net-worth sweep, as authorized under the Housing and Economic Recovery Act. In a statement to the Committee, ICBA urged policymakers to immediately focus reforms on recapitalizing Fannie and Freddie. ICBA urged Treasury and the FHA to quickly end the net-worth sweep of the GSEs' earnings.

Senate Prepares To Vote On Full Term For Miki Bowman

The Senate could vote as soon as this week on Federal Reserve Governor Michele "Miki" Bowman's nomination for a full 14-year term. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) set up the vote before the Senate broke for its August recess. Bowman is serving a partial term in the Fed's ICBA-advocated community banking slot.

ICBA's Summary & Preview Of Community Banks' 
Efforts In Washington

"With Labor Day behind us and summer coming to its unofficial end, now is a good time to reflect on what the community banking industry has achieved so far this year in the advocacy arena-and what remains to be done this fall.. ."  ICBA President & CEO Rebeca Romero Rainey provided a summary and a preview in her latest blog. 

Industry Trends & Updates

FDIC Quarterly Banking Profile: Strong Numbers
For Community Banks
According to the FDIC's Quarterly Banking Profile, c ommunity banks reported $6.9 billion in net income during the second quarter -- an 8.1% increase from one year ago.The increase was fueled by gains of 5.1% in net interest income, 4.8% in noninterest income, and 654.8% on securities sales.
FDIC Chair McWilliams
Overall, FDIC-insured institutions reported a 4.1% annual gain in net income on a 3.7% improvement in net interest income. 
The FDIC's Problem Bank List declined from 59 to 56 banks -- the lowest number since the first quarter of 2007. Merger transactions absorbed 60 institutions, five new banks opened, and one institution failed.  A ggregate net income f or the 5,303 commercial banks and savings institutions insured by the FDIC totaled $62.6 billion in second quarter 2019, up $2.5 billion (4.1%) from a year earlier. The improvement in net income is attributable to a $4.9 billion (3.7%) increase in net interest income.  FDIC Chairman McWilliams noted: "While the banking industry reported another positive quarter and the banking system remains strong, the FDIC continues to encourage prudent risk management in order to remain resilient through economic cycles."


Federal Investigation Of Possible Credit Union Lending Fraud 
In NYC Taxi Medallion Scandal

According to the New York Times, federal prosecutors are investigating possible credit union lending fraud in the New York City taxi industry.  This U.S. attorney investigation is the latest development in the city's taxi medallion scandal, in which irresponsible lending led by half a dozen credit unions produced financial ruin for thousands of taxi drivers.  ICBA has called on Congress to investigate the National Credit Union Administration's failure to prevent credit union lending abuses in the scandal, which led to $750 million in losses to the taxpayer-backed National Credit Union Share Insurance Fund.

FDIC Board To Consider Final Community Bank Capital Relief Rule

At its meeting next Tuesday, September 17, the FDIC board of directors plans to consider a final rule to implement community bank capital relief under the S. 2155 regulatory relief law. ICBA has urged the agencies to lower the Community Bank Leverage Ratio from a proposed 9% to 8 %, which would exempt more community banks from risk-based capital rules. 


The Economy: By The Numbers

  • New Census Bureau data gives a revealing peek at the late stages of the economic recovery.  Poverty is dropping, two  million fewer people have health insurance, a nd median income is growing, but slowly. Read detailed information from Axios. 
  • Federal Reserve Chairman Powell said the most likely outlook for the U.S. and world economy is continued moderate growth.  "The Fed has through the course of the year seen fit to lower the expected path of interest rates...That is one of the reasons why the outlook is still a favorable one.  We're not forecasting or expecting a recession." 
  • According to the Mortgage Bankers Association's seasonally adjusted index, total mortgage application volume rose 2% last week compared with the previous week. Volume was 69% higher than it was the same week one year ago. Mortgage applications to purchase a home increased 5% for the week and were 9% higher than the same week one year ago.
  • The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with conforming loan balances ($484,350 or less) decreased to 3.82% from 3.87%, with points increasing to 0.44 from 0.34 (including the origination fee) for loans with a 20% down payment.
  • Mortgage applications to purchase a home increased 5% for the week and were 9% higher than the same week one year ago. Applications to refinance a home loan were up just 0.4% compared with the previous week, but were still 169% higher than the same week one year ago.
  • The U.S. Labor Department reported that employment rose by 130,000 jobs in August, and the unemployment rate was unchanged at 3.7%. Notable job gains occurred in the federal government-due to the hiring of temporary Census workers-as well as in health care and financial services. 
  • The Fed reported that consumer credit increased at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 6.8% in July. Revolving credit (which includes credit card spending) increased 11.2%, while non-revolving credit (such as auto and student loans) rose  5.3%. 

Banking News

ICBA Securities and its exclusively-endorsed broker dealer, Vining Sparks, will present a webinar September 17 --   the fifth in the 2019 webinar seriesAgency backed mortgage securities, both residential and commercial, play an important role in depository portfolios. Many terms and structures are available providing opportunities to complement various balance sheet exposures. It is important to remember, compared to structures like bullets and callables, mortgage securities require special consideration and analysis from investors. With these points in mind, this webinar will cover current market trends, actual and projected prepayments, spread analysis, and relative value.

What You'll Learn:
Current market trends and how they affect your portfolio.The importance of solid prepayment assumptions, especially now.Negative convexity, is it really all that bad?Where we see relative value in the mortgage market.Resources available to help you manage current and prospective positions.  Kevin Smith, CFA, Senior Vice President, will discuss the MBS market, which has rallied like all other debt securities in the last few months.  Kevin has been with Vining Sparks since 2008, and currently serves as Director of Investment Product Strategies. He focuses on providing timely capital market solutions and delivering valuable tools and services to internal and external stakeholders.  The webinar will last approximately 1 hour. There is no cost for Vining Sparks customers and community bank members and prospects. If you have  questions regarding this webinar, please contact Jim Reber ( at 800-422-6442.

Click here to register: 


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.

IBANYS Spotlight Is On...

La Macchia Group is a comprehensive consulting and design-build firm. Their capable, experienced team provides thorough due diligence, strategic site selection, compelling design and rigorous project management. Their highly specialized experts create financial institutions that are brand-centered facilities tailored to meet our clients' needs and exceed their expectations. La Macchia Group is dedicated to planning, branding, designing, building and evolving financial institutions. This has been their mission ever since they started in 2002, and it's what they plan to do for years to come. The strategic assembly of their leadership team guides the success of your financial institution with support and collaboration with the most talented, driven people in the industry.  For details, contact  David   Welsh, Senior Director of Business Development: (414) 223-4400,  Or, visit the website:

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 United States Senators were not directly elected by voters until 2013?
That's when 17th Amendment to the United States Constitution (modifying Article I, section 3) was passed by Congress in 1912 and ratified. Until then, members of the senate had been chosen by the state legislatures of their respective states.  
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