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.

For One Week Only...

Dell is offering an exclusive triple discount offer for IBAT member banks, bank employees and customers for one week only! Save an extra 15% on Optiplex and Latitude computers priced $799 and up. Starting today these deals will be available on Dell's website. Use coupon code RB2H35JN$NDXTW. Shop now!

Each of these special discounts is available until May 2, 2015, 7 a.m. CT, but IBAT member savings are available from Dell all year long. On average, IBAT members enjoy savings of approximately 30% on each order. Visit Dell's website for details.

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.

Urgent Call to Action!

Several of our priority bills are being considered on the House floor this week.  We sent an “Action Alert” last Wednesday regarding several bills scheduled for floor action on Thursday.  We are hopeful that you and your colleagues responded to this important request.  Both bills were postponed . . . HB 3522 (ID on gift card purchases) due to the bill author being out of the country, and HB 3442 (debit card surcharge enforcement) to hopefully “swap” out for the Senate bill and “skip a step”.  Both bills will be debated on the House floor this week, and your State Representative needs to hear from you by Tuesday afternoon!

Additionally, we are advised that Chairman Oliveira’s property tax lender bill (HB 1936) to require 10 days advance notice to prior lienholders will likely be on the House floor this week.  Your State Representative needs to hear from you on this bill as well!

Please know that all three of these bills are subject to considerable “hostile fire” . . . there is plenty of fervent opposition, and more is coming out of the shadows.  Community bankers need to rally around these issues to have a chance to get these bills passed.  You can make the difference!

The message is simple . . . please let your State Representative or the staff person handling banking issues know that you strongly support HB 1936, HB 3442, and HB 3522, and urge their support as these bills come to the House floor. 

Here are the specifics from the most recent “Action Alert” -

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.  You are encouraged to share the one pagers with your respective members or their staffs

Finally, it would be most helpful if you could let us know who you’ve contacted, any commitments they’ve made to support these bills and if we need to follow up.  The best contact is Steve Scurlock,sscurlock@ibat.org or 512.275.2226.

It is imperative that the members of the Texas House hear from “their community bankers” on these bills.  If you’ve already made your contacts . . . sincere thanks!  If not, please do so today!

Week in Review: April 27, 2015

Don’t break out the tissues just yet! Our esteemed colleague, Lester Murray, is on a temporary hiatus…vacationing in the tropical scenery of Dallas for our annual Texas seminar. If you were not able to experience Lester’s live performance at the Gaylord Texan this afternoon, be sure to tune in when his tour makes a stop in a state near you over the coming months! For now, please excuse the lack of witty idioms and insightful allegories for today’s Baker Market Update…Lunch without Lester.
This week’s economic data was mixed, with most of the focus on a more dovish tone from FOMC officials, a divergent path of new and existing home sales and the Nasdaq Index clearing an all-time high.

Read more in the Baker Market Update.