SUMMARY Of IBANYS Government Relations Call Of March 18, 2016

March 18, 2016

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


Alan Keller discussed several items.  
  • There is a new push in Congress to use appropriations legislation as a vehicle to pass regulatory relief measures. One example is the move to attach QM provision (for mortgages held in portfolio) to an appropriations bill, on the assumption that the appropriations bill would be harder to vote against or veto than a stand alone bill. QM legislation passed the House last fall. Among the members supporting this effort is Rep. Peter King (R-NY), andICBA is supporting this initiative.
  • House Financial Services Chairman Hensarling (R-TX) is pushing legislation that would loosen regulations if banks meet certain capital requirements, reform the Fed, and require regulators to take into consideration the cost impact of their proposed regulations. ICBA is monitoring and reviewing this situation. 
  • ICBA is working with the credit union industry on the ongoing FASB CECL initiative.
  • ICBA is also urging Senate Banks Chairman Shelby (R-AL) to move longstanding nominations for positions in Treasury and on the Federal Reserve Board.

Bill Crowell provided a state issues update.

  • Bill informed membership on two issues proposed in the Governor's budget that have been of concern and interest to IBANYS members -- the proposed minimum wage increase, and the proposed family leave provision. The Assembly's one-house budget proposal includes both measures. The Senate version does not include the minimum wage increase, and includes a family leave provision with significant revisions to the Governor's original proposal.
  • Bill also reported that said three issues of interest to IBANYS (which are included on IBANYS' 2016 legislative agenda) have been included in the State Senate's one-house budget proposal. Each chamber passes its own one house budget proposal in response to the Governor's original proposal, then negotiations continue.) The items are a) exempting banks with up to $1 billion in assets which have received at least a satisfactory CRA rating from their federal regulator in the most recent CRA exam from State DFS CRA examinations; b) extending from 12 to 18 months the examination cycle, similar to what federal provisions did recently, and c) establishing community bank service corporations. If these are not included in the final negotiated budget agreement, IBANYS intends to continue to advocate for each as stand alone bills.
  • He then noted the Senate would increase the ceiling of deposits from $250 million to $350 million that the State may deposit in each bank participating in the Community Bank Deposit Program. They have also asked for IBANYS' input on the idea of allowing credit unions to participate in the Community Bank Deposits Program, which allows the State to deposit funds in the banks. Credit unions would only be authorized to participate "in regions where there is no community bank presence". There was opposition to this among the committee members on the call, based on the "nose under the tent": theory, and the fact that the issue of "under banked regions" is ambivalent. Bill noted the Senate does not wish to authorize credit unions to participate in municipal deposits, and is seeking other initiatives to assist their industry. All member banks are urged to email their position to IBANYS: and to
  • IBANYS continues to pursue our effort to define "lease" as an allowed deduction under the Qualified Thrift Deduction. While the State Tax Department has clarified it satisfactorily in the instructions, we believe it would be prudent to clarify it in law. The State Division of Budget is examining the issue.

The  call as circumstances dictate -- either next Friday, April 25, or a subsequent two weeks leading up to the April 1 budget approval deadline will be consumed by budget related issues and negotiations, with little other legislative activity likely. We will notify as to the date of the next IBANYS adjourned with the understanding that a call may be held next Friday, or could be deferred as circumstances dictate. Notice will be sent either way by mid-week.

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