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.

Dell Deals

Fall is in the air... and Dell discounts. For the final fiscal quarter of the year (November-February), Dell is offering IBAT members and their employees their most extensive deal yet!

  • 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%!

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.

LIBOR Licensing Fee

The vast majority of community banks will be exempt from licensing fees for using or referencing the LIBOR index, according to new rate categories issued by the Intercontinental Exchange last week. The final decision was a positive turn from the Exchange’s initial proposal in July of this year, which would have subjected all financial institutions to a $16,000 annual fee.

Banks under $1.5 billion in assets will be completely exempt from the fee. Banks between $1.5 and $10 billion in assets will face a $2,000 licensing fee.

According to the frequently asked questions document issued by the ICE Benchmark Administration, “from 2015 onwards, the asset size of each institution will be subject to annual review, such that the asset size of the institution on 1st January of each year will determine the appropriate license fee for that year.”

ICBA, with the support of state banking associations, was actively engaged in advocating for community banks on this issue and noted last week that their activity in achieving a carve out for banks under $1.5 billion translates into a savings of more than $100 million annually.

Richard Fisher

Dallas Federal Reserve President & CEO Richard Fisher formally announced the date of his retirement last week, pinning March 19, 2015 as his last day on the job. Fisher, who has led the Dallas Fed since 2005, has been an outspoken advocate for community banks and a voice of reason among federal regulators.

In remarks offered at IBAT’s Annual Convention in 2013, Fisher spoke pointedly against policies which created the “too-big-to-fail” distinction for the largest banks. “Large banks are a dagger aimed at the heart of our economy” he said, “extreme size and complexity are the enemy of prudence in too-big-to-fail banks.”

"I cannot think of a better man to have been at the helm of the Dallas Fed during some of the most tenuous times in our industry," said Chris Williston, IBAT President and CEO. "Richard has been a leader, a mentor and a friend. Very few will ever know the impact this impressive gentleman has had on the everyday operations of community banks in Texas and across the country. I will look forward to an ongoing relationship with him in the next chapter of his remarkable career."

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!

New Compliance Tool

As Texas community banks continue to adapt to new regulatory challenges, we have heard from a number of IBAT members looking for industry best practices in building the internal infrastructure to better monitor the consumer compliance process.

In response, IBAT Deputy General Counsel Shannon Phillips has studied federal banking regulator expectations in developing a Compliance Management System (CMS) to avoid litigation, monetary penalties and other enforcement actions. His findings are condensed in a short white paper, now available for IBAT members to download.

The white paper offers IBAT members insight into:

  • The basics of developing and structuring a CMS,
  • Tips for effective board and management oversight,
  • Developing policies and procedures to support the CMS, and
  • Building training, audit and internal controls around the CMS.

Click here to download the free white paper from the IBAT website. Additional compliance management resources are available on the Bankers Resources page of IBAT’s website.

Guide Update

The CFPB has updated the Ability-to-Repay/Qualified Mortgage Compliance Guide and the RESPA and TILA Mortgage Servicing Rules. The adjustments include two changes that will help certain nonprofit organizations continue to provide mortgage credit and servicing to underserved populations. Other changes lay out limited circumstances where lenders that exceed the points and fees cap can pay a refund of the excess amount plus interest to consumers and still have the loan be considered a Qualified Mortgage.

The updated guides are effective November 3.

The Texas Independent Banker

The November/December issue of IBAT’s cornerstone publication, The Texas Independent Banker, is now available online. In this issue you’ll find:

  • A crash course on new TILA/RESPA integrated disclosures, scheduled to take effect next year,
  • A guide to recruiting new bank directors,
  • A retrospective from IBAT’s 40th Annual Convention,
  • A feature on two Texas community bank legends, Riter Hulsey and Guinn Godwin, and
  • 7 BSA/AML Related Best Practices.

Coming in January 2015, The Texas Independent Banker will have an updated look. We look forward to showing you what we’ve been up to and showcasing some new content pieces we know you’ll enjoy.

Baker Market Update: Nov. 17, 2014

Can you believe it? Landing a space vehicle on a tiny comet more than 300 million miles away! Those NASA guys must be good at math. And they are. But, they didn’t have anything to do with getting a robotic probe onto a distant celestial body. That feat belongs to the smart guys at the European Space Agency. So if they can do that, how hard can it be to get the EU economy off the ground? Well, that’s a little trickier. New forecasts [last] week from the European Central Bank show that both inflation and growth will remain disappointingly earth-bound for the foreseeable future. Their expectations for the portion of the future that is not-foreseeable remain undisclosed.

Read more in the Baker Market Update.

2014 Best Banks to Work For

Happy State Bank has been named one of the Best Banks to Work For in 2014. The program, which was initiated in 2013 to identify, recognize and honor the best banks to work for in the nation, is a project of American Banker and Best Companies Group.

To be considered for participation, banks had to fulfill the following eligibility requirements:

  • Have at least 50 employees working in the US;
  • Be a Commercial Bank, Thrift, Mutual Association, Mutual Savings Bank, Savings and Loan Association or a Savings Bank.

In all, 40 banks achieved “Best Bank” status in this second year for the program. The full Best Banks to Work For list will be featured in the November issue of American Banker Magazine and will be available online at AmericanBanker.com.

Determining the Best Banks to Work For involved a two-step process. The first step consisted of evaluating each participating bank’s workplace policies, practices, and demographics. This part of the process was worth approximately 25% of the total evaluation. The second part consisted of employee surveys aimed at assessing the experiences and attitudes of individual employees with respect to their workplace.  Over 300 Happy State Bank staff members were surveyed anonymously. This part of the process was worth approximately 75% of the total evaluation. The combined scores determined the top banks and the final ranking. Best Companies Group managed the overall registration and survey process and also analyzed the data and used their expertise to determine the final ranking. 

For more information on the Best Banks to Work For program, visit www.BestBankstoWorkFor.com or contact Jackie Miller at 877-455-2159.

Cybersecurity Seminar

Texas community bank CEOs, directors and other officers are encouraged to participate in "Executive Leadership of Cybersecurity (ELOC) – Taking the Fear Out of Cyber Threats." This event is designed for CEOs and directors who have focused their careers on the non-cyber aspects of banking to help them manage one of today’s most challenging aspects of bank risk management. Too often cybersecurity is fully delegated to operations personnel, but the changing world requires that everyone at a CEO and board level take a proactive role in understanding and managing cyber risk.

IBAT, TBA, SWACHA, law enforcement, and both federal and state banking regulators have partnered to bring this overview of cyber threats to the banking industry on December 3, at the Hilton Austin Airport Hotel. The deadline to secure the discounted hotel rate ($139/night) is November 5. A full brochure, registration information and other details can be found here. Seven hours of continuing education with the Texas Board of Public Accountancy will be given to attendees. 

Customer Account Tools

A few years ago, it was reported that close to 90 percent of people do not balance their bank accounts, and of those who do, half of them only do it once a year - during tax season. The percentage of people who keep account registers is probably only slightly higher. These failures are significant contributors to customer overdrafts and in customers failing to timely detect unauthorized and fraudulent transactions.

IBAT has created two tools to help customers avoid overdrafts and to timely detect problems with their account. First, the “Using an Account Register” brochure uses easy to understand language to take customers through the process of keeping their account registers up-to-date. And in just eleven steps, the “Balancing Your Account” brochure shows customers how to balance their deposit account. IBAT members are free to use these brochures as part of their new account package, as tools with customers asking for account assistance, in the community while performing financial education, or in any other way they find useful.

Election Results

The November 4 midterm elections are history, and any way you cut it, the evening was successful – perhaps remarkable – for Republicans. As you are likely aware, elections held in an “off” Presidential year, especially during a President’s second term, almost always swing in favor of the opposition party. The results of this particular election followed and exceeded the historical trends.

The election’s impact was immediately noticeable by those concerned about regulatory burden faced by community banks as a result of the Dodd-Frank Act. In a statement issued on the day following the election, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell predicted that Republicans controlling the Senate Banking Committee in the next Congress will “take a look” at the “damage” Dodd-Frank has inflicted upon community banks.

IBAT President and CEO Chris Williston responded to the election by calling upon lawmakers to continue pursuing “common sense legislative initiatives…to enact meaningful changes.”

“Prompt action will benefit not only a beleaguered, discouraged and overwhelmed community banking sector, but more importantly, will enhance the economic recovery via additional credit availability to consumers, homeowners and small businesses,” Williston said.

A full breakdown of the midterm elections, drafted by IBAT Executive Vice President Steve Scurlock, is available on IBAT's website.

With elections in the books, IBAT staff attention now turns to the 84th Regular Session of the Texas Legislature, as pre-filing of bills began this week.

IBAT GreenBook

The newly updated IBAT GreenBook is now available for download.

The GreenBook (f.k.a. The Texas Financial Institutions Directory™) is a powerful resource book filled with detailed contact and performance data for Texas banks and savings and loan institutions - all right at your fingertips!

For your convenience, the GreenBook has gone completely digital and is free of charge to download. Save it to your desktop, print it out and bind it or download it to your favorite digital device and never be without the IBAT GreenBook when you need it.

The book is delivered to you in a fully searchable PDF.

You must complete the GreenBook Download Form in order to download the FREE PDFs.

2014 Bank Lending Institute

Do you have lenders in your community bank who are in need of expanding their knowledge base? Are you seeking to expand your talent pool to provide well-rounded lenders who can make sound decisions on credit risk, lender relationships with customers that will lead to growth both with your customers and the bank? Then you don’t want to miss IBAT's Bank Lending Institute (BLI), taking place November 16-21 in Austin.

Who Should Attend? Lending officers who need to develop and perfect lending and management competencies and techniques. This includes loan officers, branch managers, future chief financial officers and supervisory/management personnel. The core group of attendees will have two to five years of experience in the lending function of a community bank. 

Week in Review: Nov. 10, 2014

A famous movie director once said that the secret to having a happy ending was knowing when to roll the credits. Well, the credits for quantitative easing rolled last week, but it’s way too early to know how happy the ending will eventually be. This morning’s release of the latest jobs report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics doesn’t really do much to help make that determination, but it does leave one with the impression that momentum continues to build for at least a bittersweet epilogue.

Read more in the Baker Market Update.