September 4, 2019

In This Issue: 
Message From The President

By John Witkowski, President & CEO


With Labor Day over and summer vacations in the past and autumn now upon us, our focus at IBANYS is on the fourth quarter of the year -- and, preparing for 2020. 

  • Our final major educational program of 2019 begins next week: IBANYS' Banking Executive Symposium (formerly known as the CFO & Senior Management Conference) September 9-11 at the 1000 Islands Harbor Hotel in Clayton, New York. The symposium is especially designed for New York community bank CEO's, CFO's, COO's, presidents, senior managers, board members, and ALCO teams. The program will examine current economic trends, the latest updates on CECL, cybersecurity, and much more. you can read the full details in today's newsletter. 
  • IBANYS is also working to develop our positions and policies for the 2020 state legislative session, which will begin in January. While our Government Relations Committee and bank leadership are leading this effort, we want to represent the priorities and concerns of our entire membership. We need your suggestions and ideas on issues important to your institution. Please email me your comments at
  • Our busy fall calendar also includes planning our 2020 meetings. Our conferences and seminars will address  timely topics for your bank's compliance, security, lending, and human resources officers; senior management teams, and directors. Please send us ideas on any topics or speakers you would like to see on the agendas.
Politically, 2020 will be a highly charged year with every seat in the State Senate, Assembly and New York Congressional Delegation on the ballot. We'll need  all our member banks' participation to effectively pursue our legislative and regulatory agendas -- including, no doubt, facing a revisitation of credit unions' effort to enter the municipal deposits business.
It's time to re-charge as we get ready for the coming challenges. 

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


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2019 Meetings

Banking Executive SymposiumBankExecSymposium

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

CPE Credits Available  = 12

Hotel Information

Village View - $169
River View - $189
River View with Balcony - $209

Reservations can be made by calling the hotel directly at (315) 686-1100 and refer to the Independent Bankers Association of NY. 


Of course, you also won't want to miss our full calendar of our IBANYS webinars on a wide range of operational, governance and strategic issues. 

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 is adjourned for the year, and will not return to Albany until January, 2020. We will resume our weekly updates on Albany activities after Labor Day with our September 4th newsletter.

Latest Legislation Sent To Governor 

  • Among the bills delivered to Governor Cuomo for his signature was A.7604/S.5411, to extend the banking wild card law until September 2024. The law provides a mechanism for the State Department of Financial Services (DFS) to maintain the viability and competitiveness of the state banking charter vis-a-vis the federal charter. 
  • The Governor signed S. 6256 Hoylman/A 7969  Dinowitz, extending from September 1, 2019 to September 1, 2020, a sunset established by chapter 237 of the laws of 2015 as amended by chapter 168 of the laws of 2018 authorizing deployment of mandatory e-filing
  • The Governor also signed S 1194 Sanders/A 1914  Vanel amending a chapter of the laws of 2018 establishing the digital currency task force by increasing the number of members on the task force to 13 members.
  • Governor Cuomo signed legislation prohibiting the use of confessions of judgment against individuals and small businesses outside New York. It is intended to curb the ability of predatory lenders to use the state's court system to seize the assets of small businesses across the country. 

State DFS Finalizes ATM Security Regs

The NYS Department of Financial Services published a notice of adoption for final updated regulations relating to security at ATMs. It eliminated obsolete language from the reporting requirements under Part 301.

State Senate GOP Dealing With Some Exits

State Senate Republicans had to deal with a significant Democratic majority in 2019 session, as Democrats hold 40 of the chamber's 63 seats. Now, some are looking for the exits. Senators Chris Jacobs and Robert Ortt are both planning to run for the GOP nomination in western New York's 27th congressional district. Senator Bob Antonacci, elected just a year ago to his Syracuse-area seat, has filed to run for a local judgeship. 

Court Rulings On Legislators' Pay Raise, Outside Income Caps

state judge in Albany has struck down a cap on outside income for members of the state Legislature promulgated by a committee last year as a trade-off for a raise of about $50,000 over three years for those lawmakers. A separate decision upheld the salary increase. The two differing opinions set up arguments  that will be evaluated by the Appellate Division.


Governor Cuomo Fills More Senior Administration Positions

Governor Cuomo continued to fill senior administration positions as he gears up to begin his tenth year in office. Among the appointments:
  • Beth Garvey as Special Counsel and Senior Advisor. She has been general counsel at the State University of New York since 2018, and is a former top aide and counsel to the Senate GOP. She is the third former top-level staffer from the Senate Republicans to join his administration, including Division of Budget Director Robert Mujica and Director of State Operations and Infrastructure Kelly Cummings. 
  • Kumiki Gibson as Counsel to the Governor, succeeding Alphonso David who left earlier this year. Gibson has served as counsel to former Vice President Al Gore; senior vice president and counselor to the president of the Naitonla Urban League; commissioner of the New York State Division of Human Rights, and general counsel at Johns Hopkins University.
  • Jim McDonough Director of Division of Veterans' Services.
  • Jesse Campoamor Deputy Secretary for Intergovernmental Affairs.
  • Simonida Subotic Deputy Secretary for Economic Development.
  • Jeremy Shockett Deputy Secretary for Public Safety.

Former Senator Larkin Passes Away

IBANYS regrets the passing on Sunday of former longtime Hudson Valley GOP New York State Senator Bill Larkin at the age of 91.  He served in the Senate from 1991 until his retirement last year, and previously served in the New York State Assembly for more than a decade. 


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

Latest On Credit Unions' Acquiring Banks 

National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) Chairman Rodney Hood told   The Wall Street Journal that the NCUA will introduce a rule later this year to clarify credit unions' regulatory responsibilities when acquiring banks. I n an article on the ICBA-opposed trend of large credit unions buying up smaller community banks, Hood said credit unions should acquire banks that comport with their existing field of membership and business lines.  ICBA has led the way in raising the profile of this troubling trend, including through the formation of its Credit Union Task Force. According to the Wall Street Journal: "Credit unions are buying small banks in record numbers, a trend that is prompting pushback from the banking industry. Credit unions have acquired 21 U.S. banks since 2018, according to S&P Global Market Intelligence, compared with 12 purchases in the prior five years."  

Community bankers can continue using ICBA's "Be Heard" grassroots action center at  U rge Congress to investigate the trend and also send examples of egregious credit union actions to .

Congress Readies September Agendas 

As Congress prepares to return to Washington, a number of unresolved financial services issues await consideration. They include efforts to let bankers serve the marijuana industry; GSE/housing finance reform; reforms of anti-money-laundering requirements; CECL delay; flood insurance reform, and data security and privacy. Meanwhile,  House Financial Services Chair Maxine Waters (D-CA) has outlined committee priorities for the fall, including oversight of banking regulators and reviewing Facebook's proposed cryptocurrency. Among her other priorities: considering solutions to increase access to homeownership; exploring data privacy, the use of artificial intelligence in financial services and examining the state of minority depository institutions. T he committee will hold hearings on the state of minority depository institutions, stock buybacks, and innovations in loan instruments, and will focus on the Terrorism Risk Insurance Program, the evolution of payments, and more.

Federal Regulators Address Cybersecurity, Flood Disaster Protection

In a joint announcement, the Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council (FFIEC) members urged institutions to choose from various standardized tools aligned with industry standards and best practices to assess their cybersecurity preparedness. They emphasized the benefits of using a standardized approach to assess and improve cybersecurity preparedness, without mandating any particular assessment-advancing a long-standing ICBA and community bank priority.

Meanwhile, the FFIEC also recently updated interagency examination procedures for the Flood Disaster Protection Act. The revised procedures reflect a February 2019 interagency rule requiring lenders to accept private flood insurance policies in addition to National Flood Insurance Program policies, as required by the Biggert-Waters Act of 2012.

Volcker Rule Changes

The FDIC and OCC have approved changes to the Volcker Rule. Banks with trading assets and liabilities of less than $1 billion will have a "rebuttable presumption of compliance." The changes will take effect on January 1, 2020, provided that they are approved by the as long as the Fed, SEC, and CFTC. Mandatory compliance will take effect on January 1, 2021.

Push For Equal Treatment Of Banks, Credit Unions On Military Bases

ICBA and other financial trade groups called on members of Congress to finalize a pending defense bill with language promoting parity between banks and credit unions on military bases. Banks on military bases are currently required to pay rent for the use of facilities, though credit unions may operate rent-free.

Lenders, Consumer Groups Oppose CFPB's QM Rule

Lenders and consumer advocates are seeking to revamp or eliminate a key part of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau's (CFPB's) "qualified mortgage" rule establishing underwriting standards for most of the housing market. Lenders fear the market will take a major hit under the plan released last month. It would end an exception to QM given to loans bought by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

FinCEN: Tirol Will Lead Liaison Division 

The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network announced that AnnaLou Tirol will lead its Liaison Division as associate director. The division designs and implements strategic partnerships across the financial industry and conducts operational information sharing among domestic and foreign partners.

Industry Trends & Updates

Why Bonds Are Riddles, Enigmas and Other Investment Mysteries 
By Jim Reber
President & CEO, ICBA Securities 

A best-selling book from the 1990s, "Why Things Are," took a humorous look at curiosities originating from everyday existence, with the modest goal of answering "every essential question in life." This column has a more ambitious purpose: to clarify a few of the phenomena surrounding your investment in bonds. So, put on your seat belts as we head out for a ride on the fixed-income highway. To read the full article, click here.


Former N.Y. Fed President Dudley's Controversial Warning

nullIn a controversial written post, former New York Fed President William Dudley urged Fed officials not to lower interest rates simply as a backstop while the President continues a tariff battle with China. "Central bank officials face a choice: enable the Trump administration to continue down a disastrous path of trade war escalation, or send a clear signal that if the administration does so, the president, not the Fed, will bear the risks - including the risk of losing the next election." He added: "...Trump's reelection arguably presents a threat to the U.S. and global economy, to the Fed's independence and its ability to achieve its employment and inflation objectives...If the goal of monetary policy is to achieve the best long-term economic outcome, then Fed officials should consider how their decisions will affect the political outcome in 2020." A Fed spokesman said the central bank does not use politics as a guide for its decisions.

FDIC Updating Risk Management Manual

The FDIC is updating its Risk Management Manual of Examination Policies to incorporate 
a new section titled "Risk-Focused, Forward-Looking Safety and Soundness Supervision." The new section describes the FDIC's philosophy and methods for supervising institutions by focusing on the areas presenting the greatest risks.

Latest Cyber Security Newsletter Available

The monthly NYS Office of Information Technology Services Chief Information Security Office Cyber Security Tips Newsletter is now available. This month's issue highlights some of the many skills that transfer into the field of cybersecurity in addition to providing resources on professional development and training. The newsletter, developed by the Multi-State Information Sharing and Analysis Center is located on the ITS CISO website at:

The Economy: By The Numbers
  • The U.S. Census Bureau reported that sales of new single-family houses decreased 12.8% in July but remained up 4.3% from a year ago. On a monthly basis, there was a 50% increase in the Northeast. Nationally, the median sales price of new houses sold in July 2019 was $312,800. The average sales price was $388,000. 
  • A slight rise in mortgage rates caused a reverse in the sudden surge in refinances. That pushed total mortgage application volume down 6.2% last week according to the Mortgage Bankers Association's seasonally adjusted index. Mortgage applications to refinance a home loan fell 8% for the week, but were 167% higher than a year ago. Mortgage applications to purchase a home fell 4% last week, and were just 2% higher than a year ago.
  • Home-price growth continued to decelerate in June. Average national home prices grew 3.1% in the year ending in June, according to the S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller National Home Price Index, down from a 3.3% annual pace the prior month. It was the 15th consecutive month of slower growth.
  • Pending home sales declined 2.5% in July following two consecutive monthly increases, the National Association of Realtorssaid. Contract signings were down 0.3% from a year ago. 
  • The Conference Board's Consumer Confidence Index declined slightly in August after an increase in July. The index dipped to 135.1 from 135.8 in July. Confidence in current conditions was the highest in 19 years, but the expectations index, which measures consumers' short-term outlook for income, business and labor market conditions, cooled. 
  • The University of Michigan's consumer sentiment index came in at 89.8 for August,  below the preliminary reading from two weeks ago.  The index was at 98.4 in July, making this the largest monthly decline since December 2012. Economists polled had expected the final read on August consumer sentiment to reach 92.1.
  • The Commerce Department said personal income rose 0.1% in July while consumer spending (more than two-thirds of U.S. economic activity) increased 0.6%
  • Small business confidence has dropped to a level not seen since 2017, matching the all-time low since CNBC and SurveyMonkey began taking the pulse of Main Street in a quarterly survey three years ago. Business confidence is now lower than it was amid the major stock market sell-off of late 2018.
  • Economic activity in the manufacturing sector contracted in August, marking the first decline in the Institute for Supply Management's index since 2016. Meanwhile, the Census Bureau reported that construction spending rose 0.1% in July, but remained down 2.7% from a year ago. 


The Bond Academy
Learn Bond Basics with your Peers!

When: October 21, 2019

Where: Embassy Suites  
1022 S. Shady Grove Road
Memphis, TN  38120

The Bond Academy is designed to provide community bankers with the basic knowledge needed to help plan and create effective investment portfolios.   A high performance investment portfolio can provide a noticeable increase to your bank's bottom line. The learning objectives of Bond Academy are aimed at providing you with the tools to understand how debt instruments work and their overall role in complementing the entire balance sheet.    This all new curriculum has been specifically designed to equip a new portfolio manager with basic portfolio management issues. Specifically, fundamentals of bond pricing, valuation, and selection will be covered extensively.  You'll learn the basics of the bank portfolio investment process. There is also an opportunity to earn up to 12 CPE credits!

Who Should Attend?

CPAs and those new to their roles as investment officers, cashiers, controllers, and internal control professionals will benefit the most from Bond Academy. New directors serving on the investment or asset-liability committee will also find this course beneficial. No advance preparation is necessary.

You Will Learn:

  • Bond basics, including bond pricing, duration, and price volatility
  • Bond types, including agencies, municipals, mortgage securities, and floating rate instruments
  • The composition of a high performing portfolio
  • How to understand the rate market: yield curves, spreads, monetary policy
  • How economic data affects the bond market
  • The impact of interest rate risk on portfolio management
  • Portfolio strategies of laddering, barbells, riding the yield curve
  • Day-to-day portfolio management techniques
  • Evaluating investment portfolio performance

  • ICBA Members - $595 / session
  • Nonmembers - $695 / session
  • Members & Non-Members: Save $150/session for each additional registration from your bank.

ICBA Bancard Launches Digital Payments Strategy Tool

ICBA Bancard  has  launched  a new interactive tool to help its community bank clients create a custom digital payments strategy. The ICBA Bancard Digital Payments Strategy Tool and GuideSM  was designed in partnership with Aite Group.  
As ICBA Bancard President and CEO Tina Giorgio wrote in a Main Street Matters   blog post, the tool offers a responsive Q&A assessment to help community banks evaluate their market position, take stock of existing offerings and identify gaps, assess current and future customer needs, and create a realistic roadmap.
ICBA Bancard clients enjoy exclusive access to the tool until it is released to all ICBA members on Nov. 4.

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...

InfoAgora delivers leading-edge analytics, RegTech solutions (CECL/IFRS9/ IRRBB/Basel III) and model risk management services that enable clients to proactively manage risk/reward and increase profitability. Products include:
  • Macroeconomic Scenario Generator
  • Loss Forecasting and Stress Testing
  • Capital estimation
  • Credit adjudication models
  • Credit and Deposit Price Optimizer
The InfoAgoira team combines over 130 years of risk management and machine learning expertise.  As a thought leader and provider of leading-edge analytics solutions, the company empowers financial services companies with new capabilities to understand and predict customer behavior, measure and mitigate risk under different macro and micro scenarios, at both the customer and portfolio levels, in order to gain competitive advantage.

For information, contact founder Grigoris Karakoulas  (416) 877-1965,, or visit the website at

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 "Credit Unions Online" lists the largest credit unions in the United States based on assets reported to the National Credit Union Administration?
  • According to data released in March 2019, Navy Federal Credit Union is the biggest with just over $103 billion in assets and 310 locations. 100 credit unions had over $2.6 billion in assets. 
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