IBAT News

Debit Surcharge Update


Last week, the Texas Department of Banking notified 14 merchants that they are in violation of Texas law and must immediately cease imposing illegal surcharges on debit card purchases. The merchants were also instructed to provide refunds to customers who come into their restaurants and present evidence that they were forced to pay illegal surcharges on debit card purchases.

Banking Commissioner Charles G. Cooper stated, “In investigating the illegal surcharges being incurred by some consumers it has become apparent that the merchants imposing these charges have relied upon erroneous information provided by their payment processor. The good news is that only a handful of consumers in two or three communities have reported this activity. The Department is attempting to eliminate these illegal surcharges before they become widespread affecting more citizens of Texas.”

A prohibition on debit surcharges was championed by IBAT and passed by the Texas Legislature in 2013.

“IBAT appreciates the work of the Texas Department of Banking in addressing illegal surcharges,” said IBAT Executive Vice President Steve Scurlock. “We encourage IBAT member banks to make their customers aware of the prohibition on surcharges and report any violations of law to the Department.”

IBAT in Washington


Several bills of interest to community bankers are scheduled for mark up today in the House Financial Services Committee. H.R. 4042 requires federal banking regulators to study the impact of Basel III mortgage servicing rules on community banks, and delays any rule implementation until six months after the completion of the study. H.R. 5148 exempts “higher risk mortgages” (generally a closed end HPML that is not a QM) of $250,000 or less held in portfolio for at least three years from the more onerous appraisal standards. Both bills were introduced by Congressman Blaine Luetkemeyer (R-MO).

"We appreciate the efforts of Chairman Hensarling, Congressman Luetkemeyer and so many others who attempt to progress common sense solutions to the ever-increasing impediments on community banks," said Chris Williston, President and CEO of IBAT. "While very little time is left before a new Congress begins in January, we will continue to press forward to achieve real relief for community banks."

IBAT staff was in Washington last week meeting with key members of Congress and regulators in our continuing efforts to effect meaningful change for community banking

Featured Resource


In response to requests from a number of members, IBAT’s regulatory compliance staff have developed a general brochure for banks to use with customers in determining which type of account to open. The purpose is to assure that customers understand the consequences of opening different types of multi-party accounts.

The brochure explains how each account type operates during life and what happens to the account upon the death of the accountholder, using language taken from statute.

For your convenience, the brochure is available in PDF and .DOC formats for customization with your bank’s information (e.g. logo, contact information, locations and hours of operation).

Be More Involved...


The mission of the IBAT Leadership Division is building exceptional leaders through involvement.

The Leadership Division provides its members the opportunity to develop lifetime business relationships with the best and brightest people in community banking across the country. From networking with peers to political activism, members have the opportunity to help ensure the future of the Texas community banking industry.

We want community bankers involved in their respective regions. Make plans to attend the upcoming Leadership events:

August 6

IBAT Teach the Lender - Graham

Region 3

August 7

IBAT Teach the Lender - Irving

Region 4

August 8

IBAT Teach the Lender - Lubbock

Region 2

August 27

Sporting Clays - Snook

Region 10

August 28

Clay Shoot - San Angelo

Region 2

September 5

Golf Tournament - Frederiksburg

Region 8

October 15

10 Absolute Must-Have Strategies for Community Banks - Mount Pleasant

Region 5

October 15

10 Absolute Must-Have Strategies for Community Banks -  Longview

Region 5

Baker Market Update: July 28, 2014


One might have hoped that the passage of a week’s time would have brought the world a little peace and quiet. At a time normally occupied by consternation over the off-season misdeeds of our favorite college football players, the gravity of multiple geopolitical conflicts continues to dominate headlines and the attentions of market participants. This attention to non-financial event risk has, for the most part, taken precedence over the normal to-and-fro that is the common result of economic travail and policy nuance.

Read more in the Baker Market Update.

Salary Survey


Just four days remain in the data collection period for IBAT’s Salary & Compensation Survey. Submit your bank’s data online at the IBAT Salary Survey home page or via fax before the July 31 deadline. Banks submitting information will receive a complimentary copy of the comprehensive PDF report, due out in early September, thanks to exclusive sponsor Bank Compensation Consulting.

Click here to download the form to submit data via fax.

 

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.

Comment Letter

Last week, IBAT filed a comment on the Texas Department of Banking’s proposal to limit the time for providing required information in corporate filings. As proposed, the rule would eliminate the automatic extension of time to submit additional information and the further extension for good cause, replacing these with an extension at the sole discretion of the commissioner.

The letter cited many circumstances in which greater flexibility might be required for both the applicant and the Department of Banking and suggested several changes to the rule that would reduce costs and shift the timeframe of expected response by corporations. Finally, IBAT proposed that an extension be granted “on a showing of ‘good and sufficient cause,’” rather than being reserved to the discretion of the commissioner.

Staff contact: Shannon Phillips, sphillips@ibat.org, 512-275-2221

Teaching Excellence Award

Last week IBAT presented the Teaching Excellence in Financial Literacy Award to the second of three recipients for 2014. The presentation, honoring Dr. Rebecca Larson of Temple High School, took place at a meeting of the Temple ISD Board of Directors.

The Teaching Excellence in Financial Literacy Award program recognizes educators from local schools who teach financial education in innovative, fun and engaging ways. Larson’s curriculum includes basic life skills such as creating a monthly budget, balancing a checkbook, saving money, obtaining different types of insurance and buying a car in addition to credit and debit card safety, financial aid sources, bank accounts, loans, income tax returns and identity theft.

Her goal is for each student to have a sense of confidence about personal financial literacy as well as a working knowledge of real world financial responsibility. Students do projects like creating and promoting a business and buying stocks and mutual funds and tracking their progress.

Dr. Larson was nominated by her daughter, Beckie Johnston of Extraco Banks, N.A. in Temple.

Photo: Mary Lange, Dr. Rebecca Larson, Michael Thompson with Dr. Larson's granddaughter, Mykenna Johnston

Staff contact: Mary Lange, mlange@ibat.org, 512-275-2224

Reg Relief Update

At the urging of IBAT and many Texas community banker constituents, Senior Texas Senator John Cornyn has added his name to the list of co-sponsors to S. 1349, The CLEAR Relief Act of 2014.

“This is a significant development to advance our efforts in obtaining comprehensive regulatory relief for community banks,” said IBAT President and CEO Chris Williston. “This bill will provide much needed relief in restoring consumer access to credit, particularly in the mortgage markets. Senator Cornyn, as a member of the Minority Leadership, can be instrumental in helping us get the bill to the Senate floor,” Williston added.

Nineteen members of the Texas Congressional Delegation are currently co-sponsors (171 co-sponsors overall) of the companion house bill, H.R. 1750. IBAT thanks the following members of the Texas delegation for their sponsorship of this important legislation: Carter, Cuellar, Farenthold, Flores, Gallego, Gohmert, Granger, Hall, Johnson (Sam), Marchant, Neugebauer, Olson, Poe, Sessions, Smith, Stockton, Thornberry, Veasey and Williams.

The future of the bipartisan bills is uncertain as there are limited days remaining in the current Congressional year. IBAT will be in D.C. this week to push for floor time before or immediately after the August recess.

All community bankers are encouraged to meet with their elected officials during the August district work period and encourage members of the delegation to advance the measures.

Staff contact: Chris Williston, cwilliston@ibat.org, 512-474-6889

Compliance Notice

In 2013, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down the section of the Defense of Marriage Act that defined marriage as a legal union between one man and one woman. Recently, the CFPB issued a memorandum describing its policy with respect to the Supreme Court's decision.

Under the CFPB's new policy, the agency will use and interpret the terms "spouse," "marriage," "married," "husband," "wife" and any other similar terms related to family or marital status in statute, regulations, and policies administered, enforced, or interpreted by the Bureau to include same-sex spouses. Except as otherwise noted below, the Bureau applies this policy to ECOA and Reg B, Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), TILA and Reg. Z, RESPA and Reg. X, Interstate Land Sales Full Disclosure Act and Reg. J, Bureau Ethics Regulations and Procedures for Bureau Debt Collection.

The memorandum stated that a person married under the laws of any jurisdiction will be considered married nationwide. A person in a domestic partnership or civil union is not considered married.

Staff contact: Shannon Phillips, sphillips@ibat.org, 512-275-2221

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.

Baker Market Update: July 21, 2014


Risk has a habit of coming at us from unforeseen sources at unexpected times in unpredictable ways. Thus the name. Financial markets were hit [Friday] with a double dose of capriciousness as events in both Europe and the Middle East sent jitters around the globe. Market observers watched as scared money did what it usually does; buy U.S. Treasuries. It was this edginess that drove the yield on the Benchmark Ten Year Treasury Note down to 2.44%, its lowest level since May 29. As recently as July 3, that issue was yielding 2.65%. Perceptions of risk can also be fleeting, as reports of easing Ukrainian tensions have already reversed some of yesterday’s price action. Hang on, though, it’s early.

Read more in the Baker Market Update.

2014 Five*Star Award Winners


John M. Floyd and Associates (JMFA), Granville Financial Group and BKD, LLP  have been honored with the coveted Five Star Award presented by the Independent Bankers Association of Texas (IBAT). The announcement was made at the 29th Annual IBAT Leadership Conference on June 27 in San Antonio.

Since 2002, IBAT has recognized its associate members that routinely provide not only excellent service but also innovative solutions that help community banks grow faster, enhance profits and gain efficiency with the Five Star Award. Criteria used to determine this year’s winners included service excellence, human relationships, integrity, commitment to the community banking industry and exceptional value to the banks they serve.

Click on each company name above to read each individual press release.

2014 Financial Literacy Summit


If anyone in your bank is interested in learning, seeing and experiencing what other banks across Texas are doing in their markets to promote financial literacy, then attending the IBAT & TBA-cosponsored Financial Literacy Summit is a must! The summit runs July 24-25 at the Dallas Federal Reserve Bank. Lodging is within walking distance at the Hotel ZaZa. 

 The speakers have all been finalized, an A-list headed by:

  • Charles G. Cooper,
  • Mack Neff,  
  • Jimmy Campbell,
  • Jeff Wilkinson,
  • Tieman Dippel,
  • Alfreda Norman, and
  • Bert Marshall. 

They will be addressing WHY financial literacy has been important to their bank strategy and HOW they incorporate it in their region.

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