The President's Message:
IBANYS News and Updates
By John Witkowski, President & CEO

 So, Here's Where We Are. . .
As New Yorkers and all Americans continue to cope with the continuing coronavirus covid-19 crisis, New York's community banks are on the front lines, working to provide essential services, reassurance, liquidity and continued support to our consumer and commercial customers and our communities. IBANYS has worked hard to serve as a conduit of information for community banks by holding regular conference calls with small groups of bankers on a regional basis, staying in frequent contact with the New York We have provided New York community bankers with daily -- and often twice or three times daily -- updates on the latest developments and activities, including information culled from the NYS DFS, Governor Cuomo's office, the OCC, FDIC, Federal Reserve, Federal Home Loan Bank of New York, Small Business Administration, FASB, New York Congressional Delegation, Pursuit, the Empire State Development Corporation and many others, including outside legal firms and expert advisors. We will continue to do so as the crisis evolves. Hopefully, you have been receiving these regular IBANYS updates. If not, please let us know. The updates will soon be available on IBANYS' website at www.ibanys.net.

As you know, we are dealing with a two-pronged crisis .
  • New York State has nearly ten times as many cases as the next highest state. Particularly in New York City (and other downstate areas), the emergency threatens to overwhelm hospitals and health care workers, and impact nearly every aspect of society and business. and the economic/financial situation.Throughout the state, New Yorkers are dealing in various degrees with social distancing, self-quarantining, staying at home, sheltering in place, and working remotely. This is certainly true among community banks themselves, and by the very nature of our position in our local communities, we are also seeing these difficulties manifest themselves among our customers.

  • Meanwhile, the impact of the virus and our responses have resulted in a financial and economic challenge greater than any since the 2008-09 great recession. Many businesses (especially small businesses) face the prospect of closures, layoffs, payroll restrictions, a liquidity squeeze and an uncertain future. Mortgage loans, auto and consumer loans, commercial loans. . .forbearance issues and policies, fee waivers. . .all these, and more, are the focus of federal and state government and present challenges to our industry.

The U.S. Senate and the White House have reached agreement on the a massive $2 trillion stimulus deal --
see detailed analysis below in Washington section of newsletter . As more details become available, we will share them with New York community bankers.

The Small Business Administration (SBA) has "ramped up" (including on 7(a) loans, etc.), and encouraged financial institutions to work with them to help small businesses. Treasury Secretary has urged federal banking regulatory agencies to not apply "pre-coronavirus standards" and not to indulge in harmful "nitpicking" practices regarding financial institutions, but instead to expect them to demonstrate "good faith." 

In any case, community banks will be at the forefront in leading the economic revitalization. . .and IBANYS will continue to work hard on your behalf to make your needs and concerns known, and provide you with the very latest updates and information.
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. . .It's annual meeting time. Luse Gorman PC has provided some guidance on whether banks can hold their upcoming shareholder or member annual meetings virtually in light of health concerns of COVID-19. 
This alert addresses the legal and practical considerations for holding a virtual meeting. Or, click on link below:

https://www.luselaw.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/Alert-Virtual-Annual-Meetings-in-Response-to-COVID-19-5.pdf

 
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NOTE:
As of today, all IBANYS and ICBA meetings through June1, 2020 for have been POSTPONED.

IBANYS 46th Annual Convention -   The Roaring 20s - Another Decade of Growth and Prosperity for Community Banks
June 15-17, 2020 - Turning Stone Resort & Casino, Verona, NY
(details and registration information will be emailed this week)
A block of rooms has been reserved for this event. Tower Rooms: $164; Tower Junior Suites: $244; Lodges Suites: $269. To receive the room block rate you must call 1-800-771-7711. Book your room today. Our room block will sell out.