It’s that time of the year. Christmas lights are twinkling, festive music is ubiquitous, and IBAT is reminding community bankers to take action to protect security interests on loans in which customers are responsible for paying their own taxes, especially with respect to tax lien loans.

As in past years, IBAT has prepared a checklist of actions for Texas community banks to consider incorporating procedures to get in front of this issue before a tax lien is transferred.

Click here to download the white paper.

Hotel Data Breaches

Last week, Starwood Hotels announced a point-of-sale system data breach at approximately 50 of its North American hotels – including three in Texas. The malware found on the system enabled unauthorized third parties to access customer payment card data, but not contact information or PINs.

The full list of affected hotels and the potential dates of exposure can be downloaded here.

The Texas hotels affected, with potential exposure dates, are:

  • Sheraton Dallas Hotel (March 2 – April 16, 2015)
  • Sheraton Stonebriar Hotel in Frisco (March 2 to April 8, 2015)
  • The Westin Stonebriar Hotel and Golf Club in Frisco (November 7, 2014 to April 20, 2015)

Hilton also announced a breach and cautioned customers to closely monitor their statements if a card was used at a Hilton Worldwide Hotel (includes Hilton Hotels, Waldorf Astoria, DoubleTree, Embassy Suites, Hilton Garden Inn, Hampton, Homewood Suites, Home2 and Hilton Grand Vacations) over a 17-week period, from November 18 – December 5, 2014 or April 21 to July 27, 2015.

Baker Market Update: Dec. 1, 2015

Black Friday is here and somebody needs to get out there and do some shopping. On Thanksgiving Eve, the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) released its latest report detailing how much money people made last month along with how much money they spent and the prices of the stuff they spent it on. While everyone is thankful that Personal Income rose by the expected .4%, markets can thank uncertainty, fear, and caution for Personal Spending’s limited rise of only 0.1%. And as limited as the rise in spending was, prices paid via that spending did not rise at all. Not counting food and energy, the core level of the Personal Consumption Expenditures Index was unchanged for the month and the 1.3% annualized rate was, likewise, unchanged. When it comes to inflation these days, the Fed is notthankful for “unchanged.”

Read more in the Baker Market Update.

Participate in TechMecca

TechMecca is no longer your average trade show! Make plans to participate in the 14th TechMecca Technology Conference at the Renaissance Hotel in Austin, Texas, February 11-12, 2016. 

If you’ve participated in IBAT’s TechMecca over the last several years, you’ve been on the forefront of an evolving event. 

Three years ago, TechMecca was the first IBAT event to introduce seven-minute stage demonstrations as an opportunity for exhibiting companies to better acquaint the audience with one of their new products or services. 

“Vendors and bankers alike responded to the stage demonstrations positively,” said IBAT President and CEO Chris Williston.  “The vendors like the focused opportunity to tell the story of their companies’ innovation, and bankers very much like the opportunity to get more information on a company before committing to a one-on-one conversation with months of potential follow up from a booth visit.”

This feedback from bankers underscores what IBAT has been hearing over the last several years: when bankers take time to be out of the bank, they’re looking for the most bang for their buck.

“Seeing demonstrations from seven or eight companies in an hour is a much more efficient use of my time than stopping by booth after booth on a tradeshow floor,” said Mark Few, Executive Vice President and Chief Operations Officer of Centennial Bank in Lubbock. 

You all asked, and we’re delivering.  We’re limiting the demonstration companies to 40 for the event.  You no longer need to be concerned about booth traffic; we are essentially giving you the floor by allowing you demo time on stage in front of the community bankers in the audience.

Becoming a demo company will allow you to immediately impact the community bankers in the audience who:

1.     Believe they already know everything about your company, so they don’t need to visit your booth.

2.     Already have established relationships with you, so they aren’t paying attention to any new products and services you have to offer.

3.     Do not know you or your company, giving you a brand new audience of community bankers.

As a demonstrating company, sponsor and/or advertiser, you are able to reach members of Independent Bankers Association of Texas (IBAT) and financial institutions throughout Texas in one convenient location. 

Why TechMecca Should be #1 on Your List of Industry Events:

  • Limiting the number of demonstrating companies makes your participation more meaningful.
  • TechMecca’s technology focus provides more qualified leads than the traditional expos.
  • Our team works for you to attract media coverage and banker awareness by offering various demo company/attendee networking opportunities.

TechMecca 2016 is designed for suppliers ready to assist forward-thinking community bank executives who are committed to maintaining an edge on the issues, products and services confronting our industry.

Surrounded by financial industry leaders and decision makers in an innovative atmosphere, this exciting Technology Conference is vital to your business plan.  Check out the following demonstration company information for complete details.  Gain greater presence and recognition by selecting from a number of advertising and sponsorship opportunities. 

You are also invited to submit ideas to be developed into a possible workshop at TechMecca 2016.  As a TechMecca workshop presenter, you and your firm or company will gain visibility and generate contacts among community bank executives for relationship building and sales.

Dell Cyber Monday/Week

Did you miss the best Black Friday deals from Dell last week? Don’t worry, the savings continue through December 7 with Dell’s Cyber Monday and Cyber Week deals!  This is your last chance to get the best prices from Dell for the holidays. Visit Dell's website to see all the deals, including:


Up to 38% off Dell Latitude and Dell Vostro Laptops


30% off Dell XPS Desktops
Up to 36% off Dell Inspiron Desktops
Up to 39% off Dell Optiplex Desktops 

2 in 1 Tablets/Touchscreen Laptops

Up to 31% off Dell Inspiron

For Business

Up to 69% off Dell PowerEdge Servers 


On top of these seasonal specials, don’t forget that IBAT member banks and their employees enjoy an average of 30% off all orders through dell.com/ibat. This includes deals on DSLR cameras, HDTVs and projectors.


Ordering is easy: visit Dell's website or contact Bryan Horten, IBAT’s Strategic Account Manager, at 512-942-9120 to order. As a reminder, whenever ordering Dell equipment please be sure to include the unique Dell/IBAT link number GS126658178.

The offer is valid for IBAT member banks, bank employees and customers. Please pass on this email, or download the Cyber Monday/Cyber Week flyer and post it somewhere in the bank where everyone can see it.

For orders of more than five units, please reach out to Bryan Horten at Bryan_K_Horten@Dell.com or 512-942-9120.

Bank Lending Institute Success

IBAT hosted its Bank Lending Institute (BLI) at the AT&T Conference Center on the University of Texas campus from November 8-13, 2015. The program, now in its second year, had both level 1 and level 2 classes for the first time.

More than 40 community bank lenders from across the state attended the program, which provides attendees with the tools and skills necessary to serve their customers while effectively managing risk, enhancing profitability and building a lending portfolio.

Congratulations to all class officers.

Level 1 officers:

  • President Michael O’Rourke from TIB-The Independent BankersBank in Dallas,
  • Vice President Gabe Adame from Texas First Bank in Hitchcock and
  • Secretary Marcus Armstrong from Community National Bank & Trust in Red Oak

Level 2 officers:

  • President Travis Stephens from TIB-The Independent BankersBank in Dallas,
  • Vice President Nate Bayless from Legend Bank, NA in Decatur and
  • Secretary Chase Ballinger from Centennial Bank in Lubbock.

Learn more about BLI here, and contact us if you’re interested in the 2016 program.


Thank You!

Thanksgiving is a time to be grateful and reflect on our many blessings. Your IBAT team is thankful for you and considers it a privilege to work in an industry that does so much for so many, each and every day. We are blessed and grateful for your support, trust and friendship.

On behalf of the officers, directors and staff of IBAT, we wish you and your family a safe and happy Thanksgiving. We hope that you enjoy time with family and friends, good food and football.

The IBAT office will be closed on Thursday, November 26, 2015 and Friday, November 27, 2015. We will resume normal business hours on Monday, November 30, 2015. 

EMV Implementation

As we continue the move to EMV implementation, various trade associations representing merchants are pushing for all debit and credit transactions to be PIN-based as a fraud prevention tool. The latest initiative was a quest to get as many Attorneys General as possible to sign a joint letter to the largest issuers. Nine AGs from across the country agreed to sign the letter

IBAT joined TBA and two credit union trade groups on a joint letter to Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton expressing our concerns regarding “chip and PIN,” and we are pleased to report that Texas was not one of the nine states represented on the letter. Similar coalitions at the national and state levels across the country also weighed in.

“We continue to hear concerns from our membership that card fraud is a significant and costly issue,” stated Chris Williston, IBAT President and CEO. “Requiring PINs would have no impact on any of the numerous recent breaches, and it opens up additional opportunities for fraud if sensitive consumer information is not appropriately safeguarded at the merchant level.”

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.


As previously reported, proposed FASB Changes for Financial Instruments Related to Credit Losses – otherwise known as the Current Expected Credit Loss (CECL) model initiative – are expected to be released in the first quarter of 2016. As proposed, CECL will require banks to forecast loan losses using “forward-looking information,” replacing the current historical loss and incurred loss models. This change will require banks to book an allowance for the loan from the day of origination throughout the life of the loan – referred to as the “lifetime expected loss estimate.” This creates an immediate day one loss that penalizes community banks for investing in loans and certain securities. Adding to that complexity, each loan’s lifetime expected loss estimate would have to be adjusted every quarter.

We encourage you to read the information available on the ICBA “Be Heard” resource page and not underestimate the impact this change will have on your bank. The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency estimates this change will result in loan loss reserves increasing 30-50% “…with some banks experiencing higher increases.” The unnecessary and costly “hoops” to calculate the ALLL under CECL will also create additional burdens on community banks. While this change is proposed by FASB, an independent organization promoting accounting standards, the primary regulators are reported to be “fully supportive” of this initiative. The ultimate impact on community banks will be in large part dependent upon the implementation of this accounting standard by the regulators.  

IBAT has been engaged in this issue for more than two years, and in addition to a comment letter to FASB, we have taken every opportunity with the federal regulatory authorities to express our serious concerns. 

Both IBAT and ICBA continue to push for a reversal on this proposed plan, or at the very least a “right sized” carve out for community banks. We urge you to use the “Be Heard” resource page to send a letter to FASB opposing CECL. IBAT also encourages you to reach out to your primary federal regulator to express your opposition to yet another backdoor assault on community banking.

As stated in the IBAT comment letter, “Sadly, much like the original Basel III capital proposal, the credit loss proposal now under consideration reflects an ongoing disconnect between the regulatory entities and the reality of Main Street community banking.” Or, as an IBAT member eloquently stated, “Enough is enough!”

Comments Encouraged

The Texas Credit Union Commission has proposed rules to further liberalize restrictions on the field of membership. IBAT submitted a comment letter expressing our concerns and opposition to this proposal.

“The ‘common bond’ has evolved into nothing less than a sham,” said Chris Williston, IBAT President and CEO. “Virtually anyone, anywhere can join any number of credit unions by living in one of multiple counties or even an entire state. Consumers can now join an affinity group for next to nothing or seemingly, just ‘being able to fog a mirror.’ The differences between credit unions and community banks continue to be blurred, and we believe this proposal is another move toward that end.”

The federal regulator for the credit union industry, the NCUA, has proposed a similar relaxation in its rules regarding field of membership. We will no doubt be commenting on those proposals as well.

The comment period deadline for the state rules is November 29, 2015. If you are so inclined, please feel free to refer to our letter as well as the proposed amendments 7 TAC § 91.101 and 7 TAC § 91.301 to submit your comments.


The best deals from Dell are now online and accessible through IBAT’s exclusive endorsement. Avoid the crowds, stay home and enjoy your friends and family this Thanksgiving and Black Friday. 

Black Friday deals include:

  • Laptops
    25-40% off Dell Latitude
    50% off Dell Inspiron
    33% off Dell Vostro
  • Desktops
    30% off Dell Inspiron 
    40% off Dell Vostro 
    30-40% off Dell Optiplex 
  • 2-in-1 – Tablets/Touchscreen Laptops
    12-31% off Dell Inspiron

On top of these seasonal specials, don’t forget that IBAT member banks, their employees and customers enjoy an average of 30% off all orders through dell.com/ibat, by using IBAT link number GS126658178. This includes savings on Nikon/Canon DSLR cameras, HDTVs, projectors and other consumer electronics.

Baker Market Update: Nov. 23, 2015

[Friday] morning’s big news out of the Food & Drug Administration heralding the approval of genetically modified salmon may provide some unintended benefits for the nation’s keepers of monetary policy. If genetic scientists can now produce fish that grow bigger and faster than what nature planned, maybe econometric scientists can do the same thing with price levels. Genetically-modified inflation (GMI) may be the new path for the FOMC’s policy-makers.

Read more in the Baker Market Update.

Last Chance

The IBAT Education Foundation’s 10-day Fall Member Drive will be over TODAY, and we've set an ambitious goal of raising $100,000 from November 10-20.

The Education Foundation is a member-supported 501c3 philanthropic entity that focuses on financial education in Texas. Our mission is Building Financially Literate Communities Across Texas. We can only uphold this with your support. Will you help us reach our goal by becoming a corporate member today? Click here for the online pledge form.

Our non-profit IBAT Foundation relies on member support to deliver:

  • IBAT Teach the Teacher Program™ - Financial education instructional methods for teachers, with recognition opportunities for community banks;
  • IBAT Teach the Lender Program™ - Credit report tools for community bank lenders;
  • IBAT Teaching Excellence in Financial Literacy Award - Awards for innovative teachers, with recognition for nominating community banks;
  • IBAT Career Day Tool Kit - Presentations for IBAT members to use when visiting schools and civic groups; and
  • IBAT Foundation Footprints - Quarterly e-newsletter subscription with ideas and data that can be used in your bank or community.

Contribute now with a one-time year-end gift or consider a multi-year legacy gift pledge in honor or memory of an individual/group to join the IBAT Wall of Heroes and Legends of Community Banking. Help us make a difference in the communities we serve across this great state.

Rural Updates

Several CFPB rules refer to the rural or underserved and rural counties lists. The CFPB publishes these lists each year and late last month, it published its 2015 lists. IBAT used the CFPB’s list of rural counties to create a map of CFPB’s rural counties in Texas. Lists for prior years are available here.

In addition to counties that are considered to be “rural” under the mortgage rules, the CFBP expanded the definition of “rural” based on comments submitted by IBAT to include census blocks that are not in an urban area as defined by the Census Bureau. When you make a loan in a county that’s not rural, you will be able to look up the address on the Census Bureau or CFPB website to determine if it is inside or outside of an urban area in the non-rural county. If a loan is in a non-rural county, but outside an urban area, it will be considered a rural loan. Click here for a list of urban areas in Texas.

Winter Summit XVI

If you're looking for an unmatched opportunity to learn from senior regulators and expert banking attorneys, as well as access to timely information on the economy, interest rate trends and investment strategies, then Winter Summit XVI is the program for you. Registration is open

What others have said:

  • "The most valuable program I attended."
  • "Great to get one-on-one time with regulators and lawyers."
  • "Good way to network with other bankers who are in similar markets experiencing the same pressures."
  • "I appreciate the opportunity to share ideas with my community banking colleagues and interact with the regulators in a relaxed setting."
  • "The Winter Summit is a must-attend event for senior management and board members."
  • "It is worth the effort to get there, and the regulators are much more approachable in that environment."

In addition to the interactive general sessions, there are ample opportunities for networking and informal conversations with the speakers and other attendees.

After a great run in South Lake Tahoe, this year’s Summit will be held in beautiful Beaver Creek, Colorado, and the schedule allows for time to take advantage of an abundance of recreational opportunities.

Congratulations Cindy Reynolds

Late last month, IBAT presented Dripping Springs High School teacher Cindy Reynolds with its Teaching Excellence in Financial Literacy Award. Reynolds, who teaches 10th through 12th grades, is one of three award recipients from across the state.

The three elements of financial literacy that Reynolds aims to instill in every student are awareness, planning and responsibility. She uses her business background to help create her class curriculum. Reynolds was nominated by Jeff Wilkinson of Pioneer Bank in Dripping Springs.

“Mrs. Reynolds has a unique approach to teaching financial literacy at the high school level as it’s mostly hands-on learning,” said Wilkinson. “Walk into her classroom and you’ll see it looks more like a business than a classroom. She teaches by engaging her students in conversation with an understanding there is never a wrong answer, simply opportunities to learn. She is truly preparing our next generation of community members, customers and entrepreneurs to make wise financial decisions.”

Photo: (l. to r.) Mary Lange, IBAT Education Foundation; Cindy Reynolds, Dripping Springs High School; and Jeff Wilkinson, Pioneer Bank pose after presenting Reynolds with her Teaching Excellence in Financial Literacy Award