Happy Presidents Day!

The IBAT office will be closed on Monday, February 15, 2016 in observance of Presidents' Day. Normal business hours will resume on Tuesday, February 16, 2016.

The Rise of Marketplace Lenders

The January/February 2016 digital edition of IBAT’s magazine, The Texas Independent Banker, is now available online. Click here to view the full table of contents or link directly to specific content below:

As always, we welcome suggestions for future content to be featured in The Texas Independent Banker.

Staff contact: Bonnie Kankel, bkankel@ibat.org, 512-474-6889

Sales Training

Great online, on-demand sales training is here! IBAT is pleased to announce its partnership with Associate Member Tim Tivis and the Pinnacle Training Group to bring you an exclusive offer on a very timely topic; a turn-key selling and business development online video training series dedicated exclusively for the independent community bank. Click here to learn more about The Prospect to Customer Selling System.

Take advantage of this opportunity offered solely through IBAT. Please don't hesitate to contact Julie Courtney with any questions.


IBAT is proud to announce its partnership with SWACHA to bring you a series of webinars throughout 2016 that are fully focused on ACH. For all upcoming programs, please visit our webinars pageWhen registering online, please specify that you heard about this program through IBAT.

For now, we'd like to bring your attention to the February and March programs.

Improving ACH Network Quality And Reducing Network Risk What you need to Know About Thresholds, Levels, Enforcement and Fees
February 24, 2016  |  10-11:30 a.m.  |  Register

As part of an updated ACH Network Risk Management Strategy, in 2012 NACHA identified a focus on the intersection of risk and quality. Two new rules were implemented to improve ACH Network quality, risk and enforcement by reducing the incidence of exceptions and returns. Join us for this informative webinar to review the ACH Network Risk and Enforcement Rule and the ACH Network Quality Rule to better understand how these Rules affect FIs, Third-Party Senders and other participants in the network.

Why you should attend:

  • Receive details on how an ODFI can manage with effective return rate monitoring
  • Understand ways to monitor return rates to ensure that proper identification of problem areas are noticed
  • Learn how to address problem Originators
  • Understand the method by which the fee will be assessed and collected
  • Discover what it takes to remain compliant with the Rules
  • Understand NACHA’s enforcement authority

Know and understand the new return rate levels


SWACHA: Handling ACH Exceptions & Returns
March 9, 2016  |  10-11:30 a.m.  |  Register

Financial institutions are fielding more and more customer inquiries in their branches and call centers with regard to unrecognized entries, unauthorized entries, and duplicate entries. As a result, frontline and ACH operations personnel are spending an increasing amount of time resolving ACH exception incidents.

Why you should attend:
This webinar is designed to assist employees in accelerating the time‐sensitive handling of these incidents, and to adjust daily exception procedures to gain control over a common source of ACH loss.


SWACHA: ACH 101 Primer for Frontline
March 15, 2016  |  10-11:30 a.m.  |  Register

Receiving Depository Financial Institution (RDFI) operation procedures have undergone dramatic changes over the past several years with the rapid adoption of new electronic payment formats. Having a staff well trained in the basics of ACH origination and receiving is more critical now than ever.

Why you should attend:
This webinar lays the foundation for frontline and operations staff to obtain a firm understanding of ACH origination and receiving procedures as part of your daily operations.

If you have any questions about these upcoming programs, please don't hesitate to contact me.

Jessica Hernandez
Vice President - Education Foundation


NCUA's Most Recent Proposal

As we reported recently, the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) has proposed changes to credit union field-of-membership rules. The proposal takes the NCUA’s already overreaching geographic limitations and practically eliminates them. It would allow credit unions to expand their footprint while maintaining their tax exemption and avoiding many federal financial regulations that apply to community banks.

IBAT filed a comment letter that speaks out against this irrational NCUA proposal and provides examples of some of the preposterous geographic boundaries it would create.

“There are three things that are certain in this life---death, taxes, and the NCUA proposing rules that blatantly and offensively attempt to sidestep the authority of Congress,” said IBAT Executive Vice President Steve Scurlock. “And come to think of it, with credit unions, even taxes aren’t certain. This proposal is so far removed from the NCUA’s congressional authority, consideration of it should be dropped immediately.”

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

Lending Education Opportunites

It’s not too late to register for IBAT’s upcoming lending education programs in Dallas. The Credit Analysis Summit on February 17, 2016 and the Advanced Credit Analysis Summit on February 18-19, 2016 are structured to benefit real estate lenders and others involved with real estate lending such as loan review personnel, credit administration, accountants, consultants and regulators.

The one-day Credit Analysis Summit is designed for officers that are new to the lending side of a bank while the two-day Advanced Credit Analysis Summit is intended for a more experienced audience. Join expert loan review professional Merrill J. Reynolds as he delivers the most up-to-date metrics and real-life case studies that are being implemented in community banks today.

Register today for the Credit Analysis Summit or the Advanced Credit Analysis Summit, and contact Jessica Hernandez if you need assistance with a hotel reservation.

Staff contact: Jessica Hernandez, jhernandez@ibat.org, 512-275-2207

24th Annual Congressional Visit

Mark your calendar for IBAT’s 24th Annual Congressional Visit, April 26-28, 2016. Washington, D.C. lawmakers and regulators need to hear from Texas community bankers and other industry supporters this year more than ever as we continue to push for meaningful regulatory reform. This is your opportunity to be heard and make an impact with key decision makers by sharing real-life stories about the challenges you face every day due to the current regulatory landscape.

This year’s Congressional Visit will take place immediately following ICBA’s Washington Policy Summit, which will help with the power of numbers when making visits on Capitol Hill. We invite all bank members and associate members to join us for this important event. Registration is now open and the tentative schedule is available online

Staff contact: Steve Scurlock, sscurlock@ibat.org, 512-275-2226

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.

Dell Q1 Discounts

Dell is kicking of its year of savings for IBAT member banks, bank employees and customers with sweet deals on PCs, workstations and servers. Take advantage of the savings below by May 1, 2016.

Current offers include:

  • 40% off select PowerEdge Servers $1299 and up
  • 35% off select OptiPlex or Latitude
  • 10% off select XPS and Inspiron PCs
  • 40% off Dell Precision Workstations  

On average, IBAT members enjoy savings of approximately 30% on each order. Please visit Dell's website to maximize your savings. Be sure to include the unique Dell/IBAT link number GS126658178 when placing your order.

Staff contact: Curt Nelson, cnelson@ibat.org, 512-275-2227

ICBA Roundtable with FASB

A group of very engaged bankers and representatives of national trade groups met with the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) last week to discuss concerns with FASB’s controversial proposed accounting reforms. The roundtable comes after increasing concerns regarding the proposed Current Expected Credit Loss (CECL) model, which creates a complex protocol for determining adequacy of the ALLL.

CECL would significantly change community bank accounting methods, increasing costs and potentially decreasing the availability of credit. Also at issue is the unnecessary impairment of capital – with the OCC estimating banks would need to add 30-50% to their ALLL. During the meeting, community bankers present stressed that the current proposal would reduce community bank lending, harm local economies and cost thousands of jobs nationwide.

Following the meeting (archived audio select 2/4/16, Part 1 and Part 2), ICBA continues to call on FASB to pause the standard-setting process until community bankers’ concerns have been explored and ultimately, remedied with an alternate approach. For more than two years, IBAT has also been engaged on this issue and provided a comment letter to FASB in 2013. Additionally, IBAT has taken every opportunity with the federal regulatory authorities to express our serious concerns—highlighting the costly and complex methodology community banks would face to properly implement the change—far in advance of the anticipated issuance of CECL by March 31, 2016.

Staff contact: Steve Scurlock, sscurlock@ibat.org, 512-275-2226


Later this week, community bankers from around the state will gather in Austin to consider the latest in bank technology at TechMecca 2016. 

The two-day event will feature:

  • A break from the traditional expo hall format with each “exhibiting” company providing a seven-minute main stage presentation on a product or service;
  • Breakout sessions exploring hot topics facing community bankers in the area of payments, cybersecurity, business process efficiency and new demands by customers for technology innovation by banks, among others; and
  • Opening general session speaker Neil Stevenson who will explore emerging trends in financial technology “with an emphasis on the tension between new tech-enable experiences and our relatively unevolved brains.”

The full agenda for TechMecca is available online. To all who are coming to Austin, we look forward to seeing you in a few short days!

Staff contact: Julie Courtney, jcourtney@ibat.org, 512-275-2227

Regional Meetings Recap

The 2016 IBAT Regional Meetings kicked off in 10 cities last week. Meetings were held in Graham, Fort Worth, Amarillo, Lubbock, Odessa, El Paso, San Angelo, Waco, San Antonio and Austin. IBAT Chairman Rogers Pope, Jr., vice chairman and CEO of Texas Bank and Trust in Longview, described the meetings as IBAT’s “What Have You Done for Me Lately?” tour.

More than 1,200 bankers and industry partners attended throughout the week, setting a new record for combined registration. Participants heard a wide-ranging topical discussion of current issues facing community banks and the industry as a whole by Texas Banking Commissioner Charles Cooper, IBAT President and CEO Chris Williston, IBAT Chairman Pope and Baker Group representatives Lester Murray and Ed Krei.

“It is a grueling schedule but very rewarding to see so many members of the IBAT family turn out,” said Williston. “I think it speaks not only to the overwhelming interest in our program of work, but also interest in the progress we are making relative to the top-of-mind issues facing community bankers today,” he added.

Despite great challenges, crowds were generally upbeat with most reporting better than expected financial results for 2015. Topics discussed included federal and state legislative initiatives, cybersecurity, credit union and shadow bank competition, new accounting rules, the Texas economy and the state of community banking in general.

The Regional Meeting tour resumes on March 1, 2016 in Galveston and moves on to Schulenburg, Weslaco, Corpus Christi, Houston, Kilgore and Sulphur Springs before concluding in Dallas. Click here for additional information and registration for Round 2 of meetings.

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

Baker Market Update: Feb. 8, 2016

One thing we learned from this morning’s Jobs Report is that market consensus surveys are no more reliable than political polls.  The 151k gain in Non-Farm Payrolls was well below the expected 190k, but the Unemployment Rate still managed to decline by 0.1% to 4.9%; a level last seen in February 2008. The 30k downward revision to December’s total was just about offset by November’s 28k upward adjustment.

Read more in the Baker Market Update.

Credit Union Comment Letter

The credit union’s federal regulator, NCUA, is once again attempting to expand field of membership rules. IBAT’s comment letter expresses our continued concerns over the unbridled expansion of these tax-exempt de facto banks. The deadline for submission of comment letters is February 8, and we encourage you and others in your bank to weigh in. Please use our letter for reference, or refer to the ICBA website for an email template

TechMecca Last Call

Only six days remain before TechMecca 2016 kicks off in Austin featuring a new format – more than 30 companies offering product demonstrations and company profile presentations over two days. 

In addition to company demos that will replace the standard expo hall hours, TechMecca will continue to offer the best in educational sessions designed specifically for the community bank audience. Topics include:

  • Digital strategy;
  • Cybersecurity;
  • Enterprise risk management; and
  • The ongoing development of business process efficiencies in the bank branch.

Click here to see the full education lineup and register before it’s too late!

Staff contact: Julie Courtney, jcourtney@ibat.org, 512-275-2227

Regional Meetings Round 2

IBAT’s 2016 Tour de Texas Regional Meetings are underway with record crowds of community bankers and industry supporters gathering in 10 locations around the state. 

IBAT Chairman Rogers Pope, Jr. of Texas Bank and Trust in Longview is joined on the tour by IBAT President and CEO Chris Williston, Commissioner Charles Cooper of the Texas Department of Banking, and Lester Murray and Ed Krei of The Baker Group. Topics the esteemed panel are discussing include:

  • Bank performance in light of looming economic changes and a potential recession;
  • Regulatory hot topics and the prospect of regulatory reform legislation in the year ahead;
  • Legislative victories in 2015 and the need for continued member engagement in the legislative process; and
  • Competitive challenges facing Texas community banks from new market players.

If you are registered for one of this week’s meetings, the IBAT team looks forward to seeing you on the road. If not, don’t forget that another round of the Tour de Texas commences the first week of March. Click here to learn more and register for future dates. 

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