Memorial Day

In observance of Memorial Day, the IBAT office will be closed starting at noon on Friday, May 22, through Monday, May 25 and will reopen for regular business hours on Tuesday, May 26.

With solidarity, the IBAT family says, "thank you," to the families of those who have been lost in current and past armed conflicts.  We are eternally grateful for the ultimate sacrifice that has been made by many for the freedom we enjoy. 

Happy Memorial Day and God Bless America!

Proper Flag Display

Displaying the state and national flags is an important duty in carrying out our mission for the people of the state of Texas.  In addition to creating an identity for the people of Texas, the proper display of flags leads the people into times of joy and mourning, and into times of reflection and celebration.

Please take note of the laws concerning Memorial Day observance:

Memorial Day:  On the morning of Monday, May 25, both the State of Texas and U.S. flags should be raised briskly to full-staff and then slowly lowered to half-staff until noon.  At noon, both the U.S. and the State of Texas flags should be raised briskly to full-staff for the remainder of the day.  Flags should be at full-staff on Tuesday, May 26.

You are not required to schedule employees for duty on holiday or weekend hours only to comply with flag-flying issues.  These requirements only apply to days that your agency normally displays the flag.

To avoid confusion, flags should be flown according to statutory standards and proper procedures of protocol.  I have attached a link to copies of the pertinent statutes.  I have also added a “best practices” section to help you distill the statutory information.

In all questions, you should consult your in-house general counsel to see how they interpret the laws to your specific situation.

IBAT Recognized

Last week, the Texas Historical Commission (THC) presented IBAT with a framed montage of photos from the First Lady’s Texas Main Street Tour to celebrate 20 years of sponsorship. Since partnering with the THC for its Texas Main Street program 20 years ago, IBAT has participated in more than 50 visits to Main Street communities as part of the tour with both Mrs. Bush and Mrs. Perry.

During the recognition, the Texas Historical Commission noted that IBAT is the perfect partner for this tour as community banks are the lifeblood of Main Street communities, supporting local activities and helping small business grow.

Photo (l. to r.) - Brad Patterson, THC Director of Community Heritage Development Division; Chris Williston, IBAT President and CEO; Mark Wolfe, THC Executive Director; Debra Drescher, Texas Main Street Program Coordinator; and Mae Beth Palone, IBAT Vice President - Legislative & Political Action Committee.

30th Annual LD Conference

IBAT's 30th Annual Leadership Conference is less than a month away. Make sure to reserve your room and take advantage of Conference registration early bird pricing by Thursday, May 21. We've told you about several educational opportunities thus far, but want to draw your attention to the mobile banking breakout session - Mobile Banking: Survey Results from 5,000 Bank App Users. In this session, SNL presents conclusions from its first-ever mobile banking survey.

In addition to mobile banking, attendees will learn which mobile payment services (Apple Pay, Starbucks, etc.) are most popular among bank app users. Data will be presented by age, income and geographic region so get ahead of the curve as we enter the next stage of online banking – mobile apps.

Card Reimbursement

Visa announced last week that as of July 1, it will adopt a tiered reimbursement system to cover the cost of reissued cards following a data breach. Visa’s new structure for data-compromise cost recovery addresses the higher operating expenses of small and medium-size financial institutions.

Reimbursements will be based on Visa purchase volume of less than $500 million, between $500 million and $10 billion, and more than $10 billion. Global Compromised Account Recovery operating expense rates for small issuers will be set at $6 per eligible account, medium issuers will receive $3.85 and large issuers will receive $2.65. Additionally, recovery amounts will increase by a dollar for all eligible accounts with chip cards.

While this is a step in the right direction, IBAT continues to advocate for national data security and breach notification standards that better protect consumers and require the party that incurs the breach to bear responsibility for all associated costs. 

Crunch Time

Thursday is a big day for community banks. It marks the first time since the unfortunate passing of Dodd-Frank in 2010 that the United States Senate has taken up any meaningful banking legislation.

Chairman Richard Shelby will lay out his 218-page Financial Regulatory Improvement Act of 2015 for full committee markup. A copy of the bill can be found here.

If you are a community banker, there is much to like about this bill. Some of the more significant regulatory relief items include the following:

  • Elimination of duplicative privacy notices to bank customers;
  • Process for applying for rural status with the CFPB for Qualified Mortgage exemption;
  • Establishes an independent examination ombudsman;
  • Qualified Mortgage status for mortgage loans held in portfolio;
  • Increases the asset threshold to $1 billion for banks to qualify for 18-month exam cycles;
  • Exemption from the Volcker Rule for banks and bank holding companies under $10 billion; and
  • Short Form Call Reporting in the first and third quarters for highly rated banks.

IBAT President and CEO Chris Williston praised the introduction of the bill in a press release issued last week. “Since the passage of the Dodd-Frank Act and throughout the rule-making process, IBAT has continuously raised concerns about regulatory burden and the associated impact on credit availability for community bank customers, especially related to mortgage loans,” Williston said. “Chairman Shelby’s draft legislation is a great step forward in addressing many of these concerns.”

The bill is expected to be highly scrutinized by Senate Democrats leery about rolling back any Dodd-Frank provisions to help Wall Street banks, although they have expressed strong sentiment for exempting community banks from some of the more onerous provisions.

State Lege Update

Last week saw the final passage of two items on IBAT's proactive state legislative agenda. SB 641 amends the prohibition on debit card surcharges at the point of sale to add penalties for non compliance. The bill also assigned enforcement of the prohibition to the Attorney General's office. Based upon our outreach to the Governor's office, we believe this will be signed into law. 

HB 2394 requires payment or posting of a payment bond prior to releasing records produced by a financial institution subsequent to a discovery request. This House bill was passed by the Senate on Friday. Additionally, SB 1020, which allows for a trust to be a named beneficiary on a POD account, will be heard in the House this week. 

More progress on our proactive agenda is expected this week as we hope to get a Senate committee hearing on HB 1936, which mandates pre-notification of a tax lien loan to existing lien holders. While the clock is ticking down on the 84th regular session, approximately ten days remain to move this bill through the Senate and on to the Governor's desk. 

Please be on the lookout for any pertinent call to action messages from IBAT in these waning days of the Texas legislative session. Your engagement has already been invaluable in this session, and we very much appreciate your involvement in this important process. 

Mark Your Calendar

Your participation is encouraged in three upcoming educational events that cover a variety of topics:

  • FDIC Money Smart for Young People and Banking on Kids 
    May 28, 2015, 2:30-3:30 p.m. 
    Hosted by the Texas Department of Banking, this free webinar will teach participants about FDIC Money Smart for Young People curriculum and Banking on Kids (an in-school, real-world banking program for K-8 students). Reserve your slot today
  • Prevent Elder Abuse and Earn CRA Credit 
    June 2, 2015, 10-11 a.m. 
    The Senior Housing Crime Prevention Foundation’s Senior Crimestoppers program protects vulnerable, low-to-moderate income senior citizens and is exclusively funded by the banking industry. Participating banks earn CRA loan, investment and service test credit. Register here for this complimentary webinar to learn about Senior Crimestoppers.
  • Day with the Commissioner 
    June 10, 2015, 10 a.m.-3 p.m.
    As part of its support of the Conference of State Bank Supervisors’ and the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis’ initiative to research community banking in America, the Texas Department of Banking is hosting a one-day open forum with Commissioner Cooper to discuss issues impacting community banks. Join the TX DOB in Austin.

Upcoming HOTCO Meeting

The Heart of Texas Compliance Officers (HOTCO) is a newly created association for compliance officers at banks and credit unions in Travis County and surrounding areas. For HOTCO’s second of four meetings in 2015, the topic will be ‘Integrated Disclosures: Tools for Compliance ’ presented by Michael H. Patterson and Zack Boonjue of Peirson Patterson, L.L.P. 

We highly encourage all compliance officers to attend this informative meeting on May 28, 2015 at 6 p.m. at Morelia Mexican Restaurant in Pflugerville. Additional information can be found here. We hope to see you there!

Baker Market Update: May 18, 2015

Some readers may recall last week’s revelation that the nation’s economy was moving back into the comfy confines of Janet Yellen’s basement, where interest rates are always low. Unfortunately, at least for Janet, this week’s news will not make it any easier for her to dislodge her unwelcome lodger. Just as Ms. Yellen was trying to clarify the temporary nature of this arrangement, Monday brought the news that the Federal Reserve’s very own Labor Market Conditions Index fell further into negative territory. Last month’s reading of negative .3 was made more negative after a downward revision took it to -1.8. So, the thinking goes, since March was a lot worse than we thought, it means that April was not really all that bad. Okay. However one looks at it, the index is now down to negative 1.9 and that doesn’t bode well for the improving labor conditions that remain a prerequisite for rate normalization and basement evacuation. 

Read more in the Baker Market Update

IBAT Member Celebrations

Congratulations to Yoakum National Bank and First National Bank of Bellville for celebrating 125th anniversaries. Since their inception in 1890, Yoakum National Bank has met the banking needs of customers in Lavaca County while First National Bank of Bellville has served those in Austin County. Both banks have survived frontier times, world wars, the Great Depression and much more, while remaining dedicated to enhancing economic development in their communities and keeping local money local.

Yoakum National hosted a black tie affair, themed “as dependable as time,” at the Yoakum Community Center on April 25. The bank will host a celebration for the community in July (date TBD). First National Bank of Bellville hosted a dedication service and anniversary celebration at the bank on May 8.

To show IBAT’s appreciation of these banks’ dedication to their customers and communities, IBAT presented resolutions to both banks - Yoakum National Bank and First National Bank of Bellville - as part of their 125th anniversary celebrations.

Dell Q2 Sale

Dell is continuing its discounts for IBAT member banks, bank employees and customers. For the second quarter of 2015, IBAT members are offered 40% off the list price of select Latitude and OptiPlex, priced $999 or more. Please be sure to use the current coupon code: 

On average, IBAT members enjoy savings of approximately 30% on each order. If you'd like to take advantage of this deal, visit Dell's website. For even greater savings, be sure to include the unique Dell/IBAT link numberGS126658178 when placing your order.

Additional offers include:

  • Save an additional 2% on Inspiron Computers;
  • Save an additional 5% on XPS Computers;
  • Save up to an additional 10% on PowerEdge servers $1299 and above;
  • Save an additional 10% on Dell Precision Workstations; and
  • Save up to an additional 5% on select electronics and accessories.

IBAT Webinars

Did you know? IBAT, in conjunction with Financial Education, Inc., hosts close to 150 webinars a year. Webinars are a very economical way to train your staff for one low price. Everyone can sit in on the program with the use of a speakerphone and a computer, or access archived webinars on-demand.

Topics are broken up by category or by date and include:

  • Auditing & Accounting
  • Collection
  • Compliance
  • Directors
  • Frontline and New Accounts
  • Human Resources
  • IT
  • IRA
  • Lending
  • Operations
  • Security & Fraud
  • Senior Management

You can access a complete listing of upcoming webinars and archived webinars here.

AM White Paper

On Friday, IBAT released the white paper, "Building Business Relationships with Texas Community Bankers," for associate members. The white paper and presentation marked the culmination of efforts by IBAT's Associate Member Advisory Council to gauge the effectiveness of different sales techniques employed by product and service providers.

"Under the crush of regulatory burden, bankers are more pressed for time than ever before," said IBAT President and CEO Chris Williston. "This white paper is an excellent resource to ensure that associate members are making the most of their marketing and sales efforts in connecting with the Texas community banking industry."

The white paper, along with the presentation of the survey results, isavailable to download.