IBANYS' President & CEO John Witkowski convened the call, welcomed those participating and thanked them for their time and attention.
1) FEDERAL UPDATE
Alan Keller discussed several items:
- The House passed H.R.766, the anti-choke point legislation, primarily on a party vote -- only ten Democrats voted to approve.
- The House Financial Services Committee marked up H.R. 2896, which would require federal banking regulators to tailor regulatory actions based on the bank's business model and risk profile, and weigh the compliance impact, cost and liability risk of their regulations. It was reported by the Committee, with only three Democratic votes.
- ICBA is also pursuing HMDA relief for lower volume lenders, and hopes to have legislation introduced later this month. The House is not in session next week.
- ICBA's Washington Policy Summit in late April will feature Rep. Jerry Moran (R-KS), a strong supporter of community banks, as the keynote speaker. IBANYS will schedule meetings "on the hill" with Members of the New York Congressional Delegation.
2) STATE UPDATE
IBANYS Legislative Counsel Bill Crowell discussed the QTL asset test, which now applies to community banks as well as thrifts. It involves a 32% deduction, but lease payments are not 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.) Bill noted the State Tax Department will include instructions that will incorporate leases (including branches) and provide eight times the value of the lease. IBANYS may put forth an amendment recommendation to incorporate that into law, as well as the instructions, though the latter is considered a good solution.
- Bill noted IBANYS is opposing legislation to allow credit unions to participate in New York State Banking Development Districts. He also reported expand d IBANYS will be meeting with the Assembly to discuss IBANYS' proposed legislation to expand the exam cycle from 12 to 18 months for banks up to $1 billion in assets. This mirrors federal statute approved last year. With that now in effect, state banks are at a disadvantage.
- The next item discussed involved a bill in the State Senate regarding the current prohibition on mortgage guaranty insurers, limiting the amount of insurance they can provide to 25% of the borrower's indebtedness. Supporters of the bill to alter that say it would have no cost impact on banks, and could prove beneficial. IBANYS will circulate the bill for comment and feedback.
- Bill scheduled to be on next week's legislative agenda relates to a public authority law provision stating a public authority cannot deposit in a bank with a less than satisfactory CRA rating.
- Other legislation discussed pertained to a separate entity rule (involving levies or attachments and what entity within the bank must coordinate), and the question of whether to seek additional compensation for the bank in return for processing these -- many of which end up being little more than "fishing expeditions".
- New legislation would require banks to post the NYS DFS toll free number for consumers.
On TRID, (REPA Integrated Disclosures), Bill noted the states, including New York, were left to define "consummation" of a mortgage loan, since the federal action did not do so. The credit unions proposed language that would be added to the State Banking Law in the action addressing mortgage banking. IBANYS believed it would be better to include it in a different section to achieve a broader application. DFS will not have any authority to promulgate any new regulations; the Federal regulation will stand on its own. NYBA and the credit unions have signed on to IBANYS' draft legislation.
The call 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