Fair Housing Act Case

Oral arguments have been scheduled in the United States Supreme Court representing the best opportunity to reign in the rogue misapplication of disparate impact doctrine to fair lending enforcement (Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs v. The Inclusive Communities Project, Inc.). 

In hearing the case, the court will consider whether disparate impact claims are enforceable under the Fair Housing Act.

You’ll recall that two earlier cases were slated for consideration by the nation’s highest court, only to be scuttled at the last minute as the Justice Department and defendants reached out of court settlements. No such settlement is expected between the office of Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott and the Justice Department.

Industry Update Call Recap

On Friday, IBAT held its final Associate Member Industry Update Call of 2014. The audio recording is now available on the IBAT website.

IBAT will continue to offer update calls for Associate Members once per quarter in 2015. The next one is scheduled for Friday, March 6, 2015 from 9:30-10:30a.m., CST.

To learn more and register for the 2015 update calls, follow the links below:

Community Bank Victory

Some community banks looking for additional options in raising capital received welcome news last week, as Congress approved one element of the IBAT and ICBA-backed “Plan for Prosperity.”

H.R. 3329 requires the Federal Reserve to revise the Small Bank Holding Company Policy Statement – a set of capital guidelines that have the force of law – to increase the qualifying asset threshold from $500 million to $1 billion. In effect, this will make it easier for small bank holding companies to raise additional capital and increase lending.

“The passage of H.R. 3329 is a step forward for those of us who have been pushing for common sense standards to be developed for the regulation of community banks,” said IBAT President and CEO Chris Williston. “This is a positive development in our quest for regulatory relief and a bifurcated regulatory system and I hope this sentiment carries over to the new Congress.”

President Obama is expected to sign the bill this week.

White Paper

It’s that time of 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 whitepaper.

2015 Education

As you finalize plans for education and training of your staff in 2015, consider purchase of one or more webinar series from IBAT. Advance purchase of a series allows you to receive access to six webinars for the price of 5. Click the links below for more information on the:

Of course, you can always purchase single webinars or view the entire lineup of upcoming online education by clicking here.

Join Us in Paradise

Following the 2015 ICBA Convention at the Gaylord Palms Resort & Convention Center in Kissimmee, Fla. is the IBAT Post-Convention Program. Join us at the world-class Atlantis Resort & Casino in Paradise Island, Bahamas from March 5-7, 2015.

Two morning programs will be facilitated by consultants well known to Texas community bankers: 

  • Day one will focus on compensation issues and trends as well as what high-performance financial institutions are doing to attract and retain top talent.
  • Day two will focus on a variety of top-of-mind issues for banking senior managers, including the regulatory and legal environment, capital formation, and mergers and acquisition trends.

Discounted room rates for single or double occupancy are $219 Coral Tower/$249 Royal Tower per night with a 20 percent occupancy tax rate.Register now as the room block is limited and will be available on a first-come, first-served basis. We hope to see you on the miles and miles of white sand beaches!

Week in Review: Dec. 15, 2014

Lost in the bedlam of the current congressional in-fighting over attempts to pass a spending bill and avoid a government “shutdown,” an almost overlooked codicil attached to the proposed budget could have significant and long-lasting consequences for the future of monetary policy and college football.
If approved in its present form, this obscure proviso would require the FOMC and the Bowl Selection Committee to assume the responsibilities of the other. Such a role reversal could result in Janet Yellen and Richard Fisher debating strength-of-schedule arguments while Condoleeza Rice and Archie Manning try to figure out the meaning of “considerable time.”

Dell Deals

Whether you’re preparing to place an order for your bank or for your family members, Dell has lined up some impressive holiday deals for IBAT members, including:

  • 40% off Latitude;
  • 40% off Optiplex;
  • 40% off Precision Workstation; and
  • 35% off PowerEdge Servers.

IBAT's endorsement of Dell has saved IBAT members more than $5.5 million, so far, with an average savings of approximately 30%! As the discounts are for the use of IBAT member banks and their employees, we encourage you toprint out this PDF flyer and post it in your bank’s common areas for employee use.

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.

Winter Summit XV

We are pleased to announce that registration for the IBAT Winter Summit XV is now open. This popular program, now in its 15th year, provides 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. In addition to the interactive general sessions, there are ample opportunities for networking and informal conversations with the speakers and other attendees.

The program will again be held in beautiful South Lake Tahoe, and the schedule allows for time to take advantage of an abundance of recreational opportunities. 

Register now and make plans to join us February 8-10, 2015 for another outstanding program... and a great educational value.

Please contact Julie or Jessica or call us at 800.749.4228 if you have any questions or need further information or assistance.

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.

Take Action!

The FDIC, the Federal Reserve and the other federal financial institution regulatory agencies proposed to revise their respective regulations governing loans in areas with special flood hazards. More specifically, the Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act of 2014 (“HFIAA”) enacted several modifications to the flood insurance laws and the Agencies are now proposing amendments. The proposal does not consider the interplay between the Agencies’ proposals and other applicable state and federal laws and regulations. IBAT’s comment letter requested that the notice be withdrawn or reconsidered after adequate consultation with the regulated community. IBAT members are encouraged to submit comments.

Last week, IBAT reported on its comment letter requesting an exemption for depository institutions from the Department of Defense’s (DoD) proposed changes to the Military Lending Act and stated that the comment period was closed. For any IBAT members desiring to comment, the DoD extended the comment period to December 26. Additionally, on September 22, IBAT submitted its comment letter opposing the proposed expansion of FHLB membership. That comment period was extended to January 12, 2015. IBAT members are also encouraged to comment on both of these proposals.

TechMecca 2015


Branch of the Future – If you’re looking to better understand branch transformation and what it looks like in real life, you’ll get the hands-on opportunity to see it in action via the on-site Branch of the Future.

Diebold, an IBAT Endorsed Service Provider, will have a functional 90 square foot space featuring the latest in consumer-facing technology for branch transformation.


The TechMecca mobile application – TechMecca 2015 is built on education and attendee interaction and we are working on a customized mobile application that will bring your experience to life in a new way.

Via the dedicated TechMecca mobile application, available across mobile platforms, you’ll be invited into the conversation with the ability to post your activity and questions to share with presenters and other attendees. Whether rating a speaker presentation or having your badge scanned for visiting a booth on the exhibit hall floor, almost every activity you make during your time at TechMecca 2015 will earn you points towards cash and other prizes.

The TechMecca mobile application will be available approximately 15 days before the event.


The Community Banker “Shark Tank” – If you’ve been to an IBAT event over the last two years, you’ve experienced our interactive general sessions featuring seven minute product demonstrations. At TechMecca 2015, we’re taking this concept to a new level by introducing community banker interaction into product demos via the Community Banker Shark Tank.

Following each product demonstration, now shortened to five minutes each, a panel of three community bankers will ask each company representative one or two questions. This interaction provides attendees with surrogate voices to ask the “next question” on everyone’s mind.


Focused education tracks – In addition to general session speakers, TechMecca 2015 will include four focused educational tracks built around the CORE issues facing Texas communication banks. Pick one educational track or weave in and out of tracks for your own educational experience in the areas of:

  • Compliance,
  • Operations,
  • Risk Management, and
  • EMV Implementation.

In order to make TechMecca 2015 a collaborative experience between executive, operations and IT staff, we have selected one session from each block of breakout groups which we believe will provide the best in C-suite education.


For full program information or to register, visit our website.

Updated Exam Manual

The Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council recently released the revised 2014 Bank Secrecy Act/Anti-Money Laundering Examination Manual. Revisions cover supervisory expectations and regulatory changes since the manual’s 2010 update in addition to other changes. The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network and Office of Foreign Assets Control assisted on revisions made to information about compliance with regulations and sanctions associated with programs administered by those agencies. Themanual can be accessed here, and sections with significant updates are noted in the table of contents.

IBAT Job Bank

Are you looking to add to your team in late 2014 or early 2015? Consider posting in the IBAT Career Center between now and the end of 2014 and save 25% on your job posting with use of the coupon code “YEAREND14.” Jobs posted in the IBAT Career Center are open for viewing from all Texas financial institutions as well as employees of IBAT’s 200+ Associate Members.

Currently, there are two featured positions in IBAT’s Career Center. Click here to view postings for:

  • Ag Lender – Texas Financial Bank – Big Lake, TX
  • Senior Lending Officer – The Bankers Bank 

Jumping on the Bandwagon

At an interagency outreach meeting on the Economic Growth and Regulatory Paperwork Reduction Act (EGRPRA) in Los Angeles last week, Comptroller of the Currency Thomas Curry and Fed Board Governor Lael Brainard spoke about the need for a reduction in regulatory burden for community banks, now and in the future.

In his opening remarks, Curry urged Congressional action on three proposals – applying the 18-month examination cycle for banks $750 million and below (from the current threshold of $500 million), creating an explicit exemption from the Volcker Rule for banks with less than $10 billion in assets, and allowing federal savings associations and national banks to change their business plans without being required to change charters.

“Each unnecessary rule we eliminate or streamline makes it that much easier for [community banks] to serve the economic needs of their communities,” Curry said. “I think these are meaningful steps that could help a great number of smaller institutions.”

In Brainard’s comments, he called for regulations to be “appropriately calibrated for smaller institutions,” saying it would be “counterproductive” to subject community banks to provisions of Dodd-Frank which were intended for the largest banks.

“Bravo," said IBAT President and CEO Chris Williston. “It’s nice to hear that federal regulators are beginning to join the industry in urging Congress to pass meaningful regulatory relief legislation and to consider the implementation of a two-tiered regulatory system.”

Comment Letter Filed

In its comment letter to the FCC, IBAT supported the American Bankers Association’s petition by requesting that the FCC exempt four categories of messages sent by financial institutions from the Telephone Consumer Protection Act of 1991 that autodialed messages, text messages and prerecorded messages placed on landline phones be sent with prior consent.

Briefly, the four categories are:

  1. fraud/identity theft,
  2. security breaches,
  3. steps to prevent or remedy security breaches, and
  4. actions needed to arrange for receipt pending money transfers.

As explained in the letter, exempting banks from these four categories will reduce burdens on banks, increase consumer protections and reduce privacy and security risks.