SUMMARY Of IBANYS Government Relations Call Of February 5, 2016

February 5, 2016

IBANYS' President & CEO John Witkowski convened the call, welcomed those participating and thanked them for their time and attention.

1) Federal Update (Written Summary By Alan Keller, ICBA)

Due to the scheduled ICBA Policy meeting this morning, Alan provided his federal update by writing. Click here for the federal update.

2) State Update (IBANYS Legislative Counsel Bill Crowell)
Bill discussed the changes to last year's corporate tax reforms that have been proposed in Governor Cuomo's budget. IBANYS has reviewed these changes, and none were found to directly impact community banks. One issue he did identify concerns the QTL asset test, which now applies to community banks as well as thrifts. It involves lease payments being deemed eligible as assets. (More and more banks are now leasing, rather than owning, their branches, so the payments are not on their balance sheets.) IBANYS will put forth an amendment recommendation that these should be eligible for the deduction, regardless of whether the payments are on the balance sheet. There is a small window during which such technical changes must be made. Bill noted that 2016 is the first year in which banks will be paying taxes under the new reforms, and asked that banks keep IBANYS apprised of the process and how it impacts them.

State Legislative Update
Bill addressed recent legislative activity, including two bills sponsored by Assembly Banks Committee Chair Annette Robinson that were reported by the Committee. One (A.3385) would impact CRA in that it would require DFS to submit an assessment of the bank's ability to deal with a spectrum of issues (e.g. small business loans, farm loans, etc.) even if the proposed application (for a branch, an ATM, a merger, etc.) is approved. Bill noted IBANYS' proposed legislation to grant CRA exam exemptions for banks that have received at least a satisfactory rating from their primary federal regulator in the most recent federal CRA exam. He suggested this is a tough road in the Assembly again this year, and suggested perhaps the IBANYS proposal might be melded into the Robinson proposal. We will explore that possibility. Click here for the full report on recent legislative activity.

TRID Update
Bill thanked IBANYS members for their input on the two issues we had sought assistance on last week (TRID and the DFS transaction monitoring and filtering proposal). On TRID, it involves the need for New York State to define "consummation" of a mortgage loan, since the federal action did not do so. The credit unions have proposed language that would be added to the State Banking Law in the action addressing mortgage banking. IBANYS believes it may be better to include it in a different section (e.g., under "mortgage loans") to achieve a broader application. Importantly, DFS will not have any authority to promulgate any new regulations; the Federal regulation will stand on its own.NYBA, IBANYS and the credit unions are all reviewing and the hope is all can reach a consensus.

On the DFS proposal, the impact on community banks would include costs of certification and implementation. IBANYS will put forth a suggestion in our comments that DFS consider using a risk assessment and cost analysis test (or, perhaps, an asset size test) to determine whether smaller banks should be forced to comply. 

Stephen W. Rice
Director of Government Relations & Communications
Independent Bankers Association of New York State