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.


NORTHSTAR BANK OF TEXAS, a subsidiary of Carlile Bancshares, Inc. of Fort Worth, TX, recently announced the addition of William (Butch) Roher and Christopher Westphal as two key officers in their new North Dallas Loan Production Office, located at 16000 N. Dallas Parkway, Suite 125.  These two highly experienced and professional bankers, who specialize in real estate, bring approximately 45 years of collective banking experience to our team. 

William (Butch) Roher, SVP, who will head up the North Dallas group, has spent most of his career in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area.  He’s a graduate of Southern Methodist University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Business and Finance.  Roher, involved in various professional organizations in the Dallas area, is a member of First United Methodist Church of Celina, has been married for 31 years, and has four children. 

Christopher Westphal, VP has also spent most of his banking career in the DFW area.  He earned his Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Oklahoma, and enjoys running, biking, travel and cooking when he isn’t spending time with his children’s sporting events.  He attends Highland Park United Methodist Church.  He and his wife, Nancy, have been married for 20 years and have two children.

In addition, the Dallas office of the NORTHSTAR BANK MORTGAGE Team (Andres Aristizabal, Paula Medrano, Patrick O’Keefe and Juan O’Campo) recently relocated to this new location to better serve the Dallas mortgage needs. 

Tony R. Clark, President and CEO of NORTHSTAR BANK OF TEXAS, stated:  “It is exciting for us to be expanding into this key area of Dallas, and we are proud to have such experienced and dedicated professionals to lead the way and serve in this market.”

NORTHSTAR BANK continues to be the largest community bank in Denton County and one of the largest in the Dallas / Fort Worth area.  For the sixth straight year, NORTHSTAR BANK OF TEXAS has brought recognition to the region, when they were once again named as one of the Best Companies to Work for in Texas for the year 2014 by the Texas Monthly magazine. They were also named as one of the Best Banks to Work For in 2013 by American Banker and Best Companies Group.

Submit Your Comments

IBAT commented on two modifications the CFPB proposed to the RESPA/TILA integrated disclosure that become effective August 1, 2015.

First, IBAT proposed that modifying the disclosure rule to give creditors an additional day after the rate lock to provide revised disclosures was a good start, but that an additional two days would be consistent with other RESPA provisions and provide the necessary flexibility to prevent further credit restriction.

Second, with regard to construction loans, IBAT’s letter strongly supported a proposed change that would clarify the ability of the creditor to disclose on the Loan Estimate that it may issue revised disclosures.

Last, IBAT supported placement of the loan originator’s name and NMLSR ID on the integrated disclosures.

IBAT members are encouraged to submit comments to the CFPB on or before November 10, 2014.

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.

Protecting Local Communities from Overregulation

Congressman Neugebauer, the newest recipient of the IBAT Trailblazer Award, recently wrote a letter about the importance of community banks. He highlights not only the economic impact of these banks but also how they truly support their communities. He discusses his efforts to repeal and revise unnecessarily harsh Dodd-Frank provisions and shares positive news for farmers in Texas’ 19th district.

The Congressman’s full letter can be found here. Our thanks once again to this community bank advocate who we feel lucky to have support us and our industry in Congress.

On a related note and to extend the spirit of Halloween, check out this short video from the House Financial Services Committee that highlights the horror of regulatory crush. We’re shaking in our boots!

Midterm Elections

Chris Williston, IBAT President and CEO, issued the following statement regarding the November 4 elections and community banking:

“Community banking had little if anything to do with the financial meltdown, yet has been disproportionately impacted by the over-reaction to the financial crisis by Congress, the Administration and various regulatory agencies.  We have been stymied in the U.S. Senate, not because of lack of merit in a number of targeted community bank regulatory burden relief initiatives, but rather due to gridlock and political expediency.

We strongly encourage the new Senate Republican Leadership and majority to join with their colleagues in the House, and move expeditiously to pass the numerous provisions already considered in the House in this Congress.  Further, we appreciate the broad bipartisan support for these common sense legislative initiatives, and encourage both sides of the aisle to diligently work 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.

IBAT will continue to vigorously pursue any and all avenues to attain much needed regulatory relief for community banks over the near term, and has as an ultimate goal the establishment of a true bifurcated industry, recognizing the unique business model and risk profile of these small but critically important financial institutions, and providing for a more equitable and proportional regulatory framework.”

Privacy Notices

CFPB finalized a rule to allow financial institutions to use an alternative delivery method to provide annual privacy notices through posting the annual notices on their websites if they meet certain conditions

As IBAT pointed out in its comment letter when this amendment was proposed, the final rule is, in some ways, more cumbersome and actually not as helpful as it could be. For example, many banks don’t use the model form resolutely. This amended method apparently does not create a safe harbor for those banks.

Recent legislation that passed in the U.S. House of Representatives and was introduced in the U.S. Senate - where it died - would've provided an exception to the annual written notice requirement to any financial institution that:

  1. “provides nonpublic personal information in accordance with” Gramm-Leach-Bliley and Regulation P,
  2. has not updated its privacy policy since its last written disclosure, and
  3. provides online access to its most recent disclosure to all customers.

IBAT President and CEO Chris Williston said that IBAT will continue to seek such legislation next year. The rule will become effective upon publication in the Federal Register, which should happen shortly. 

Election Day

If you have not yet made it to the polls, today is your last chance. 

As indicated in the last several editions of the Bottom Line, you can easily access election day polling locations, as well as sample ballots, by going to your County Clerk's website, or find information here for a number of counties in Texas.

Additionally, we have provided a complete list of those candidates supported by the IBAT PACs, for your information.

Finally, we work closely with the Texas Civil Justice League (TCJL), and urge you to review their recommendations in a variety of judicial races. Please note that appeals and district court elections are regional, and not all of these judicial candidates will appear on ballots in some areas of the state.

Thank you for your involvement and engagement in this important process, and for your ongoing support of IBAT and our efforts.

Year-End Checklist

Year-end is a time for reflecting on the successes and challenges of the prior year. For bankers, it is also a time to complete various reports and reviews. As we enter the home stretch of 2014, IBAT General Counsel Karen Neeley has prepared her annual year-end check list. The list includes reporting requirements for the IRS, regulatory agencies and customer notices, among others.

Click here to view the list online or download it from the IBAT website.

Deluxe Webinar

Account screening can be a wonderful thing, helping you balance risk and reward. But there are some challenges related to it. Millions of Americans are rejected for a checking account, hurting banks’ reputations and driving consumers to more costly options.

Deluxe’s free webinar, Four Ways to Fix Account Screening: Small changes = Big results, will help you overcome this challenge. The webinar will be offered on November 12 and November 13, so don’t miss your chance to learn the four things you can do to help fix the problem. Hear it from a true Texas community banker!

Week in Review: Nov. 3, 2014

A quick word to wise trick-or-treaters: don’t bother going by the Fed; their porch light is off and QE III is over. After its pre-holiday meeting earlier this week, we learned, as expected, that the sugar rush of asset purchases has run its course. Now, lest dismay foment among those market participants with a sweet tooth, we were all assured, again, that rates will stay extremely low for a “considerable time”. Perhaps the greatest surprise to come out of Wednesday’s post-meeting statement was that Janet got out-doved by Minneapolis Fed President Narayana Kocherlakota. He was the only voting committee member that did not want to go sugar-free.

Read more in the Baker Market Update

2015 Rural Lists

Last week, the CFPB issued its lists of “rural or underserved” (CSV | XLS | PDF) and “rural” (CSV | XLS | PDF) counties. These lists are released each year and are for use the following year.  The 2015 rural list of Texas counties didn’t change from 2014. Carson County and Lynn County were removed and Zapata was added to the 2015 Texas “rural or underserved” list. Several mortgage rules refer to these lists:

The CFPB is currently in the midst of a 2-year study to determine whether the definitions of “rural” and “underserved” can be refined. (IBAT has communicated its solutions to the CFPB, which involve an exempting in-portfolio loans or alternatively scrapping the use of counties in favor of a definition of “rural” based on urban areas) In 2013, to alleviate concerns and facilitate lending by small creditors while considering whether and how to refine the definitions, the CFPB amended several rules. Until January 10, 2016:

  • Small creditors that do not operate predominately in counties on the CFPB’s list can take advantage of the balloon QM provision if they meet other criteria.
  • Small creditors not operating in rural or underserved counties may take advantage of the exemption from high-cost mortgage balloon restrictions.
  • Creditors that operated predominantly in rural or underserved counties in 2012 (and also meet the other criteria and thus are eligible for the exemption during 2013) did not lose eligibility during 2014 as a result of any differences between the 2013 list and the 2014 list and will not lose eligibility as the result of any differences between the 2014 list and the 2015 list.