IBAT News

Data Security Act of 2015


On Friday, Congressman Randy Neugebauer followed through on his promise to file new legislation to apply consistent data security standards to all industries that handle sensitive consumer information.

In meetings with Neugebauer and other members of the Texas Congressional delegation last week, IBAT members urged greater consumer protection by applying Gramm-Leach-Bliley security standards for all entities that handle sensitive data. Neugebauer’s bill, the Data Security Act of 2015 (HR 2205), does just that. 

“Consistent standards for the protection of consumer data is imperative,” said IBAT President and CEO Chris Williston. “This, along with shifting the liability for fraud losses to the entity that experiences the breach, are the guiding principles behind IBAT's and ICBA’s efforts for new data security legislation in this Congress.” 

IBAT members are urged to call the Capitol offices and ask their Congressional representatives to co-sponsor HR 2205.

Legislative Update


As we enter the final 30 days of the 84th Texas Legislature, a number of issues we are addressing on your behalf are progressing through the maze of the legislative process.

  • SB 641 (Schwertner), providing for enforcement of the debit card surcharge prohibition, was passed out of the House late last week and substituted for HB 3442 (Raney) as one of the first bills to pass both chambers this session. Several acceptable amendments were added, so the Senate author must concur with these, but we expect the bill to be on the Governor's desk in the next ten days. We very much appreciate the efforts and fine work of both Senator Schwertner and Representative Raney as well as their respective staffs on this issue.
     
  • As noted in several "calls to action," HB 3522 (Longoria), which would require validation of the identity of a purchaser of gift cards at point of sale, was heard on the House floor on Monday where is passed on second reading. A record of the vote can be found online via the Texas Legislature homepage.
     
  • Chairman Rene Oliveira's HB 1936, which would require 10 days prior notice to existing lienholders on a property tax loan, was finally passed in the House yesterday. It is now headed to the Senate where we will have an opportunity to work hard for passage in the coming weeks.
     
  • The bill to require payment prior to providing a discovery request, HB 2394 (Darby), has passed the House and should be voted out of the Senate Business and Commerce Committee this week. Likewise, SB 1020 (Creighton), allowing a trust to be named as a beneficiary on a POD account, is moving through the process, has passed the Senate and should be heard this week in the House Judiciary and Civil Jurisprudence Committee. Representative Andy Murr's companion bill, HB 1847, is through the Committee and awaiting action on the House floor.
     
  • SB 1457 (Nichols) addresses the liability of "end users" in patent troll lawsuits. This important bill has passed the Senate and should be referred to a House Committee this week. 

Thanks to all of you who have contacted your lawmakers on these bills! It makes a tremendous difference and is a critical part of the process.

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.

TX Bankers in D.C.


More than 125 IBAT members joined 1000+ bankers from across the country last week to make the case for meaningful regulatory reform and other important measures for community banks pending in the 114th Congress.

IBAT members pushed Texas’ Congressional delegation to co-sponsor two primary bills. HR 1233 by Congressman Blaine Luetkemeyer, also known as the Comprehensive Lending Enhancement and Regulatory Relief (CLEARR) Act, contains several important regulatory relief provisions for community banks, including providing Qualified Mortgage status for mortgage loans held in portfolio. Additionally, members were encouraged to co-sponsor HR 1523 by Congressman Scott Garrett that would exempt community banks from Basel III capital standards. A variety of other important issues were discussed, including data breach reform, patent reform and credit union member business lending expansion.

A couple of other very important developments are worth noting:

  • Congressman Kenny Marchant committed to introduce a bill that would expand the permissible number of shareholders for Sub S banks and allow for the creation of preferred stock for Sub S banks as an additional source of capital.
  • Congressman Pete Sessions was asked to consider introducing legislation that would create a bifurcated regulatory scheme based on the complexity of business operations of financial institutions, rather than arbitrary distinctions based on asset size. Comments made by Fed Governor Tarullo at the general session of the ICBA Washington Policy Summit also signaled growing support for a bifurcated regulatory system. 

Thank you to all IBAT member bankers and associates who attended. It was a wonderful showing of constituent advocacy.

Debit Card Fraud


It’s “showtime” today on the House floor! We’ve asked you repeatedly to contact your State Representative, and it is readily apparent that many of you have responded. If you have done so, please accept our sincere thanks. One more phone call or text message to reinforce the importance of this issue to you and your bank could make the difference. If you haven’t already made your contacts, PLEASE take five minutes and do so this morning. 

One of the key provisions of IBAT’s proactive legislative agenda, HB 3522 (requiring validation of ID prior to the purchase of a gift card with a credit or debit card), is under intense fire from credit card companies, several too-big-to-fail banks and the “big box” stores.

This bill will be heard on the House floor today - Monday, May 4. This has become a classic “David vs. Goliath” battle ... and we need all the “Davids” to weigh in! The opposition is working this bill frantically. Please take a moment to review this one pager which better explains the issue.

Your immediate response to this call to action is critical to the success of this bill!

It is imperative that your member of the Texas House of Representatives hear from you on this bill. Please take time to call your House member’s office this morning, and tell them you strongly support HB 3522. 

You can find your House member's contact information here. If you need to find out who your House member is, you can use this link to do so. Feel free to pass along the one pager to your State Representative or staff.

Texas House members must hear an overwhelming response from the industry on this issue. Please encourage any and all bank employees to take a moment to call as well.

Thank you for your assistance and your support of our efforts in Austin!

Community Banking Month


Thanks to all who helped celebrate Community Banking Month in April. Throughout the month, IBAT placed audio and banner ads on Pandora radio in four mid-markets around the state to promote Community Banking Month and encourage listeners to find a community bank in their area. The ads were developed and produced by the IBAT communications team, specifically targeting adults 25-35 years old. 

“Marketing research has indicated that Gen Y consumers harbor strong distaste and distrust for the big banks,” said Christopher Williston, IBAT’s Senior Vice President - Communications. “The IBAT-produced Pandora ads played upon that sentiment as well as an overall desire in the Gen Y demographic to ‘go local.’” 

All told, the ads were heard more than 666,000 times throughout the month of April and garnered 5,000 clicks on the “Community Bank Finder” webpage. A further breakdown of the campaign, in addition to a “lessons learned” for community bank marketing efforts, will be featured in the next edition of The Texas Independent Banker magazine.

Baker Market Update: May 4, 2015


Despite recent efforts by policymakers and pundits alike to lower expectations, they still didn’t manage to set the GDP bar quite low enough. Either that, or the decimal point got put in the wrong place. Unfortunately, it looks like the reported .2% first quarter output estimate was not a typo. Too bad because the FOMC’s Central Tendency Projection for all of 2015 is an outcome between 2.3% and 2.7%, and that means we’ve got a lot of catching up to do. And maybe, Janet’s got some ‘splainin’ to do. The road to normalcy may have a few lane closures. Expect delays.

Read more in the Baker Market Update.

Top 100


The annual list of The 100 Best Companies to Work for in Texas - a project of the Texas Association of Business, Texas SHRM and Best Companies Group - was recently released. Congratulations to the following IBAT member and associate member winners.

Large Company (500+ U.S. Employees; 25 winners)

  • #25 - SWBC

Medium Company (100-499 U.S. Employees; 32 winners)

  • #16 - Texas Bank and Trust Company
  • #20 - Guaranty Bank & Trust, N.A.
  • #25 - Security Bank
  • #29 - Citizens National Bank of Henderson

Small Company (15-99 U.S. Employees; 43 winners)

  • #16 - CalTech

Bankers Visit Capitol


Last week, IBAT was honored to host more than 20 employees of Texas Bank and Trust (Longview) who were visiting Austin as part of the bank’s Leadership Institute and Corporate University programs. In addition to learning more about the work IBAT does on their behalf, attendees toured the State Capitol and met with lawmakers to discuss important issues to Texas community banks.

“Being with community bankers is always the greatest part of our job,” said IBAT President and CEO Chris Williston. “Being around this fantastic group of future leaders from Texas Bank and Trust was no exception.”

Special thanks to State Representatives David Simpson and Dan Flynn, as well as Senator Kevin Eltife, who provided a warm welcome to the group.

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!

Urgent Alert


We are asking for your help – again – on two critical issues. If you’ve already contacted your state representative – and based upon comments I’ve received from a number of members and staff, many of you have responded in an exemplary manner – thank you and you may stop reading. If not, please contact your representative today!

HB 1936, which would require a ten-day advance notice on a tax lien loan to an existing lienholder, will be on the House floor on Friday, May 1. A summary is available for additional information and talking points. 

Also, one of the key provisions of IBAT’s proactive legislative agenda, HB 3522 (requiring validation of ID prior to the purchase of a gift card with a credit or debit card), is under intense fire from credit card companies, several too-big-to-fail banks and the “big box” stores.

This bill has been delayed by the author until Monday, May 4. This has become a classic “David vs. Goliath” battle ... and we need all the “Davids” to weigh in! Please take a moment to review this one pager which better explains the issue.

Your immediate response to this call to action is critical to the success of these bills!

It is imperative that your member of the Texas House of Representatives hear from you on these issues. Please take time to call your House member’s office as soon as possible, and tell them you strongly support HB 1936 and HB 3522. 

You can find your House member's contact information here. If you need to find out who your House member is, you can use this link to do so. Feel free to pass along the one pagers to your State Representative or staff.

Texas House members must hear an overwhelming response from the industry on this issue. Please encourage any and all bank employees to take a moment to call as well.

Thank you for your assistance and your support of our efforts in Austin! 

TX Bankers Hall of Fame

Five community bankers were named to the 2015 Texas Bankers Hall of Fame at Sam Houston State University (SHSU) in Huntsville last week. The following individuals were recognized for their significant contributions to the banking industry:

  • Chuck Doyle, Texas First Bank (Texas City)
  • F. Scott Dueser, First Financial Bank (Abilene)
  • Robert Marling Jr., Woodforest National Bank (The Woodlands)
  • the late LeRoy Stein, Columbus State Bank (Columbus)
  • John W. Wright, numerous banks

The Texas Bankers Hall of Fame was established by the Smith-Hutson Endowed Chair of Banking at SHSU to honor bankers who have served their industry, community and state. The honorees were recognized at a ceremony at SHSU on April 23. Congratulations to these distinguished bankers, and thank you for the vital role you play in the Texas community banking industry.

Dallas Fed Video


In a video produced last week, Dallas Federal Reserve Senior Vice President and Director of Research Mine K. Yucel examined the impact of recent drops in oil prices on the Texas economy in the first three months of 2015. The biggest impact was seen in the employment numbers - with Texas adding just 21,000 jobs in the first quarter (an increase of 0.7%). This meager growth was seen despite the state losing 12,000 jobs in March.

The energy sector lost 6,900 jobs in the first quarter and the manufacturing sector lost more than 7,000 jobs. These losses were tempered by growth in the trade sector. In addition to a drop in oil prices, strong performance by the dollar and weaker growth in Europe and Asia were cited as headwinds for the Texas economy.

You Have Your Team, Now What?


Boring meetings? Disengaged teams? Lifeless leadership? Shake it up. You may have heard IBAT’s 30th Annual Leadership Conference is coming. Join us at the Hyatt Hill Country Resort in San Antonio, June 10-12, and you can attend sessions such as You Have Your Team, Now What? Managing Personalities, Finding the Good in Every “Dog.” On Friday, June 12 at 12:30 p.m., Chris Heeter will present his Wild at Work approach.

The Wild at Work approach reminds us that working together doesn’t have to be so complicated. At the end of the day, leadership and teamwork boil down to engaging a wide range of laughable but dedicated personalities, calling out their strengths and working effectively together. Being Wild at Work means having the courage to bring the gift of all of who you are to all of what you do. That means showing up whole, creative, free, engaged, connected and bold. All attendees - young or old - are welcome to attend this session.

In addition to the many educational and motivational sessions that will be offered, there’s great entertainment too. Did you know that Jason Boland and the Stragglers are the Friday Night entertainment? Learn more and register for the IBAT Leadership Conference.

Capitol Hill Testimony


Texas Banking Commissioner Charles Cooper appeared before the Subcommittee on Financial Institutions and Consumer Credit last Thursday to discuss an issue he is passionate about - the ongoing crush of regulatory burden on community banks. Cooper also serves as Vice Chairman of the Conference of State Bank Supervisors (CSBS) and was representing them at the hearing alongside senior officials from the federal regulatory agencies.

The Commissioner’s testimony included commentary on “regulatory rightsizing,” the overly aggressive manner in which some regulators interpret existing laws and regulations and the importance of appropriate regulatory response.

“Commissioner Cooper has been an outspoken advocate for bringing some semblance of order to an out-of-control regulatory environment,” said IBAT President and CEO Chris Williston. “His position and expertise in the industry have garnered the respect of his colleagues and lawmakers, and allow him to be a powerful force as we attempt to effect meaningful changes to enable community banks to do what they do without undue - and in some cases absurd - interference from some in the federal government. The Commissioner’s ‘tough but fair’ approach to bank regulation works in the community banking space and should be a model for others to follow.”

Following on the heels of this powerful testimony is IBAT’s 23rd Annual Congressional Visit - in conjunction with ICBA’s 2015 Washington Policy Summit - this week. IBAT members will meet with key decision makers and regulatory agencies to advocate for reasonable changes to statutes that have resulted in significant burden on community banks and their customers. We’ll report back about this important event in next week’s Bottom Line.

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