Remittance Rule Update

The CFPB finalized an IBAT-supported extension to a temporary exception that allows federally insured financial institutions to estimate third-party fees and exchange rates when providing remittance transfer disclosures to account holders when exact amounts cannot be determined. The CFPB said that the extension, which expires on July 21, 2020 and will not be renewed, should allow time to develop ways to provide consumers with exact fees and exchange rates for all remittance disclosures.

"The extension reduces uncertainty regarding our community banks’ ability to comply with disclosure requirements relating to the permissibility of using third-party fees and exchange rate estimates," said IBAT President and CEO Chris Williston, "and should stem the tide of community banks exiting this market."

2014 CCBD Program

Board education and training are essential “best practices” in the new era of community banking. Regulatory expectations, along with the need for wise management, demand a skill set that many directors lack. In answer to this, IBAT and SWGSB are pleased to host The Certified Community Bank Director’s (CCBD) Program®, held October 31-November 1, 2014 at the Cox School of Business on the Southern Methodist University Campus.

Who should attend? The Community Bank Director Certification is designed for new directors, including directors new to banking, and experienced directors looking to be certified on core director responsibilities and liabilities.

What’s covered in the seminar? This certification covers not only the regulatory and fiduciary responsibilities of bank directors, but also board structures and processes. In addition, the program focuses on what makes boards and directors effective as well as what is expected of them by regulators, examiners and shareholders.

Bank Operations Institute

If you want to be a part of the strategic planning team in your bank, you'll need to be up-to-date on the latest changes affecting the community banking industry. New CFPB mortgage rules, increased scrutiny of fair lending and IT security are just three of the most pressing issues operations officers must be prepared to help their financial institutions address in the days ahead.

Come to the 34th year of the IBAT Bank Operations Institute Sunday, October 12th - Friday, October 17th on the campus of SMU in Dallas.  We encourage you to select someone from your bank to attend this critical operations school.  

What is BOI? Bank Operations - Pure and Simple  
Participants achieve a comprehensive understanding of community bank operations and how it contributes to the overall success and profitability of the bank.  The program is designed by our advisory board, made up of regulators and bankers, and is based on the most current regulations and exam practices.  Because the advisory board provides relevant issues, the curriculum is dynamic. Presentation styles include lecture, case studies, simulations and interactive class exercises.

What's the benefit? Operational Efficiencies and Compliance  
Your bank benefits from greater operational efficiencies, enhanced regulatory compliance and a greater awareness of income opportunities driven from the operational side of the bank.

Teaching Excellence Winner

The IBAT Education Foundation recently honored Lisa Tate of Sunset Elementary School with the Teaching Excellence in Financial Literacy Award. The award recognizes educators from local schools who teach financial education in innovative, fun and engaging ways.

“Lisa Tate is a perfect example of what we look for in a recipient of this award,” Chris Williston, IBAT President and CEO, said. “She is dedicated to teaching financial literacy in a fun manner that allows her third graders to understand the importance of earning, saving and spending. She knows that while her students are young, it’s not too early for them to begin a path of financial success.”

Tate was nominated by local community bankers Becky Eubank and Jim Payne of First State Bank and Trust Company in Carthage. She will receive a cash award as part of her recognition. Members of the Foundation Board served as judges for the competition.

Photo (left to right): Mary Lange, President - IBAT Foundation; Jason Bridges, Principal - Sunset Elementary School; Lisa Tate – Award Recipient; Becky Eubank, Branch Manager - First State Bank & Trust Co., Inc.; and Jim Payne, President and CEO, First State Bank & Trust Co., Inc.

Data Breach Update

Last week’s news of a high profile data breach of Tennessee-based Community Health Systems (CHS) has potential implications for Texas community banks and their customers. The company, which owns and operates hospitals in 26 states (including Texas), fell victim to malware which exploited network vulnerability originating from the Heartbleed security flaw. The breach resulted in the loss of critical information on 4.5 million patients including names, birth dates and social security numbers. No medical records or credit card numbers were compromised, according to a company release.

Per the CHS website, it owns or operates 19 hospitals in Texas, including locations in Abilene, Alpine, Big Spring, Brownwood, Cedar Park, College Station, Corsicana, Granbury, Hillsboro, Jourdanton, Laredo, Longview, Lufkin, Mesquite, San Angelo, Tomball, Weatherford and Victoria.

“The case is a warning sign for banks to carefully check all computing devices connected to their networks for vulnerability to Heartbleed and to renew their diligence in monitoring customer accounts for signs of fraud,” wrote Penny Crosman of American Banker. Crosman’s article also includes practical considerations for bankers to take next steps in ensuring that network-connected devices and third-party applications don’t pose a potential risk to bank systems.

Save the Date: Winter Summit XV

We’re a “go” for IBAT Winter Summit XV! The top regulators are in... the attorney panel is back... and we hope to see you in South Lake Tahoe February 8-10, 2015. A unique education value in a relaxed setting at a terrific venue.

Watch for more information and registration information on this popular program. 

Bitter Frosting on a Poisonous Cake

Last week, the National Retail Federation and other retail groups filed a petition asking the United States Supreme Court to take up the ongoing case regarding the Federal Reserve’s rule implementing the Durbin interchange amendment of the Dodd-Frank Act. 

You’ll recall that the Fed’s rule was struck down in a July 2013 ruling, which determined that the agency set the cap on debit card transaction fees too high by taking into consideration factors outside of the statutory guidelines.  In March, a D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals overturned that decision, siding with the Fed.

“While fully anticipated, IBAT is disappointed that this ‘attorney annuity’ continues to be litigated,” said Chris Williston, IBAT President and CEO. “The Durbin Amendment is bitter frosting on the poisonous cake that is Dodd-Frank.  We are hopeful that reason will prevail if and when the Supreme Court reviews this matter, but would very much prefer for Congress to address and correct this and other damaging sections of Dodd-Frank in an expeditious manner.”

Call to Action

As reported earlier in the month, IBAT President and CEO Chris Williston has put out a call to action to all community bank employees, directors and shareholders to sign an ICBA-initiated petition calling for a simplification of the quarterly call report. Specifically, the petition requests the regulators consider allowing well capitalized community banks to submit the call report short form at the end of March and September. More than 10,000 community bank supporters across the country have stepped up to participate in the petition thus far, but further participation is needed.

“Federal regulators are under the false assumption that the banks’ core processing systems automatically prepare the call report,” Williston said. “They are astounded when they learn that it is taking community bank personnel hundreds of hours to complete the work each year.”

Williston noted that the standard call report for credit unions is only 25 pages long, while the bank call report has swelled to 80 pages, requiring a 600 page set of instructions to complete.

IBAT thanks all those who have already signed the petition. We especially thank H.L. “Buddy” Baker and the board of directors of the First National Bank of Lake Jackson, for their resolution in support of the IBAT and ICBA petition.

2014 Bank Lending Institute

The Bank Lending Institute (BLI)™ leads the field in preparing community bankers for banking in the 21st Century.  Guided by the industry’s top regulators and banking professionals, BLI gives community bank lenders the tools necessary to serve their customers while effectively  managing their institution’s risk and enhancing its profitability.  Here the emphasis is on practical, real-world issues and solutions.  During the first year, BLI takes students through the “nuts and bolts” of lending offering techniques to better understand the borrower and his needs. The second year builds on that knowledge base by covering specific types of lending. It helps elevate lenders to a new level of strategic thinking and presentation.

Click here to learn more or register here

Baker Market Update: Aug. 25, 2014

Late summer is upon us, the kids are heading back to school, and the baseball pennant races are heating up. There are two sets of protagonists in particular that are headed for a major showdown, and it’s got nothing to do with Milwaukee vs. St. Louis. The clash between the Yellen Doves and the Plosser Hawks in the Central Bank League is shaping up to be a classic confrontation that may make all the other rivalries look tame. The release [last] week of the most recent FOMC minutes shows that oddsmakers can no longer ignore the growing momentum of the surging Hawks as they point to improving economic performance and growing threats of asset bubbles as reasons to dethrone the Doves and Ms. Yellen’s easy-money style. While still outnumbered, the scrappy Hawks seem to be slowly bringing in a few converts off the bench.

Read more in the Baker Market Update.

Hotel Deadline

The hotel reservation deadline for IBAT's 40th Annual Convention has been extended through Monday, August 25, 2014. All hotel reservations must be made through IBAT, by either registering online, or filling out the paper registration form. The hotel is not accepting reservations for the IBAT Convention directly.

Rooms cannot be guaranteed after the August 25 deadline. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact our registrar, Leslee Walker, by calling 512-474-6889 / 800-749-4228 or emailing her at lwalker@ibat.org. She will be happy to assist you.

TAG Conference

We're very excited that The Advisory Group (TAG) is bringing their annual conference to San Antonio September 14-17, 2014!

There is much excitement surrounding this year’s conference, especially the speakers who have signed up to run the education sessions. Many of the presenters will lead discussions around branch transformation, managing operational complexity and successful technology deployment and implementation. One of IBAT’s own members, Gene Erwin, SVP Retail Banking from Guaranty Bank & Trust, will host a branch transformation session, A New Approach to Customer Service.

The conference is a great opportunity to preview the latest industry technologies, get up to speed on industry trends and network with your peers and Diebold team members.

Learn more about the conference and register today!


In a recent advisory, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) provided instruction to U.S. financial institutions on promoting a culture of BSA/AML compliance. The suggestions stemmed from recent enforcement actions, from which FinCEN gleaned recurring themes for banks’ consideration, and included:

  • Involve bank leadership: Create tailored BSA training for the institution’s leaders and ensure they set the right tone by supporting BSA/AML training for all employees.
  • Don’t compromise compliance for revenue: Make sure your compliance staff have sufficient authority and autonomy to do what’s right for the institution.
  • Share information throughout the organization: There is information in various departments of a financial institution that may be useful and should be shared with compliance staff.
  • Invest in compliance: Leadership should invest in the human and technological resources necessary to support BSA/AML compliance.
  • Test your program: Subject your program to testing by an independent and competent party.
  • Understand how BSA reports are used: Better understanding enables better reporting.

Click here to download the full advisory article. To see IBAT's schedule of upcoming BSA/AML cluster programs, click here.