.bank Domain

As has been reported over the past few months, the .bank domain will soon be available. While banks are not required to use the .bank domain, it is highly encouraged that you register and secure your bank’s name at the .bank domain. To assist with this process, the Independent Community Bankers of America has created a “How to Register for .Bank” webpage that includes links and deadlines for registering domain addresses, pre-approvals for .bank designations and additional information.

The deadline to register existing web domain addresses is May 15, 2015.

Debit Interchange Rules Untouched

Yesterday, the United States Supreme Court declined to hear a case from retail groups seeking to overturn the Federal Reserve’s rule that established debit card interchange fees.

The decision of the Supreme Court to decline hearing the case effectively solidifies the March 2014 decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals that affirmed the methodology used by the Fed to establish interchange fees. Retailers have maintained that the Fed interpreted the statute too broadly when establishing the fee and ultimately settled on a maximum fee that was too high.

While banks under $10 billion in assets are excluded from the interchange rule, IBAT has long been concerned that the outcome of this case would create market forces long term that would certainly drive interchange rates down for all institutions.

“The Supreme Court’s decision to decline hearing the case is welcome news to the banking industry,” said IBAT President and CEO Chris Williston. “As banks continue to face the impact of retailer data breaches, the affirmation of the Appeals Court decision provides certainty for the banking industry that they may continue to charge a reasonable fee for debit transactions.”

TILA Right of Rescission

Last week, the United States Supreme Court held in the case of Jesinoski v. Countrywide Home Loans, Inc., that a borrower seeking to rescind a loan pursuant to the Truth In Lending Act’s (TILA) extended right of rescission need only submit notice to the creditor within three years to comply with the three-year limitation on the rescission right. TILA gives select borrowers a right to rescind their mortgage loans.

The Court’s decision clarifies that a borrower doesn't have to file a lawsuit within three years to rescind a loan under TILA. The Court held that a borrower's notification of intention to rescind is sufficient. The full decision can be found here.

2015 Regional Meetings

IBAT is coming to your town - or a town near you - for the 2015 “Tour de Texas” Regional Meetings, which start this month. We officially invite you to join IBAT Chairman John Jay and President and CEO Chris Williston for a legislative and regulatory update as well as a big-picture overview of the year ahead for IBAT. Registration and other information can be found here.

The schdule is set:

  • January 26 - Wichita Falls, Fort Worth 
  • January 27 - Amarillo, Lubbock 
  • January 28 - El Paso, San Angelo 
  • January 29 - Waco, San Antonio
  • January 30 - Austin
  • February 24 - Galveston, Schulenburg, Weslaco
  • February 25 - Corpus Christi, Houston, Kilgore
  • February 26 - Mt. Pleasant, Dallas

We look forward to seeing you later this month or in February, and we welcome your input beforehand on issues you’d like to hear discussed.

Week in Review: Jan. 20, 2015

Even though it was only seven days ago, last Friday’s world seems a lot different from the one that many market participants find themselves in today. Some may recall that last Friday morning brought us an encouraging jobs report with a larger than expected growth in Non-Farm Payrolls and a larger than expected drop in the Unemployment Rate. Life was good and the green light was still brightly “on” for a mid-year dose of tightening by the Fed. The Ten Year Treasury note was yielding 2.02% and moving up. Well, for those who hadn’t previously learned this lesson at summer camp; a lot can happen in a week.

Read more in the Baker Market Update

American Banker Presents...

We here at IBAT and American Banker have put our heads together to leverage our relationship and we are pleased to provide a special offer for you to attend the 2015 Retail Banking Conference. Since the event is in Austin this year, American Banker has set up an opportunity for local IBAT members to join us for the first time.

Join us at Retail Banking 2015, March 9-11 in Austin, Texas!

IBAT has secured a special member rate of only $795. That’s an $800 savings!  Give me a call today at 212-803-6072 or email me at glen.vandusen@sourcemedia.com. Make sure to mention the code IBAT for your member rate.

Attend up to 4 of our tracks at the conference:

Round 1

IBAT is coming to your town - or a town near you - for Round 1 of the 2015 “Tour de Texas” Regional Meetings, which begin January 26. We officially invite you to join IBAT Chairman John Jay and President and CEO Chris Williston for a legislative and regulatory update, as well as a big-picture overview of the year ahead for IBAT. Registration and other information can be found here.

Round 1

  • January 26 - Wichita Falls, Fort Worth                                  
  • January 27 - Amarillo, Lubbock                                            
  • January 28 - El Paso, San Angelo                                          
  • January 29 - Waco, San Antonio
  • January 30 - Austin

We look forward to seeing you soon, and we welcome your input beforehand on issues you’d like to hear discussed.

American Banker

We are pleased to announce that IBAT has renewed its collaboration with American Banker to bring members access to the daily publication as a complimentary benefit of membership. The list price for the publication is $1,375, making American Banker a valuable and exclusive member benefit for bankers and associate members alike.

American Banker provides industry news and analysis, delivered to your inbox every day via PDF. IBAT members also gain full access to theAmerican Banker website and mobile applications.

You must let us know if you or a member of your team would like to begin receiving American Banker in 2015. Please email Alina Greavu with the names and email addresses of interested subscribers and we’ll add them to the list.

New Positions

IBAT would like to congratulate Al Jones and Michael Rigby on important new positions. Al Jones, Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of American Bank in Corpus Christi, has been appointed to the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas’ San Antonio Branch Board of Directors. Jones previously served on the Dallas Fed’s Bank Advisory Council at its San Antonio Branch.

Michael Rigby, Market President of Liberty Bank in North Richland Hills, has been elected Vice Chairman of the Federal Home Loan Bank of Dallas (FHLB Dallas) Board of Directors. Rigby has served on the FHLB Dallas Board since 2010, most recently as Vice Chairman of the Risk Management Committee and the Compensation and Human Resources Committee.

January Consumer Tips

At one point or another, most of us have found ourselves in the unfortunate position of having misplaced our wallet. IBAT’s January Consumer Tips addresses what to do in this situation. This publication can be downloaded here, and we encourage you to share the information with your customers. 

Terrorism Risk Insurance Act

Last evening, President Obama signed into law the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act, which will extend the federal government’s terrorism risk insurance program through 2020. The President’s signature follows strong bi-partisan votes on the measure, which passed on a 93-4 vote in the Senate and a 416-5 vote in the House.

Other provisions in the bill require the Federal Reserve Board to have a member with community banking experience and call for a national licensing system for insurance agents.

Texas Legislature

As mentioned last week in the Bottom Line, the Texas Legislature will officially commence today in Austin. If you have not had the opportunity to review this article about how you can play a role in the legislative process, we encourage you to do so now.  

Your IBAT staff has spent the interim laying the table for another successful 140 days (and hopefully, not a day longer due to anticipated special sessions) for community banking. We intend to continue to periodically - every two weeks or as needed - provide salient updates on various issues of interest to you as community bankers. We know that you are busy and have plenty to read. Our goal is to ensure you are kept abreast of our activities and bills that could impact your bank, and do so in a succinct and meaningful manner. Additionally, we will periodically request your engagement in contacting your senators and representatives on particular issues. We promise not to “cry wolf” and will call upon you only when absolutely necessary.

Thank you for your engagement in this process, and as always, stay tuned for more as the session gets underway in earnest over the coming weeks and months.

ICBA/Travelers SelectOne

IBAT and IBAT Financial Services are proud to partner with Travelers Insurance Group to market its SelectOne portfolio of products to Texas community banks. The Independent Community Bankers of America (ICBA) announced recently that 1,200 member community banks across the nation will share a $2.9 million policyholder dividend resulting from their group experience in the Travelers SelectOne ICBA insurance program of property and casualty products during the 2013 program year.

As a reward for successfully managing their insurance exposures, which reduce claims, policyholders in the program will receive this dividend for the 13th consecutive year.

Baker Market Update: Jan. 12, 2014

An uncertain world became no less so following the events of this week. Murkiness over European economic prospects and murkiness over domestic economic prospects was made no less murky following Wednesday’s release of the latest FOMC minutes. This morning’s Employment Situation report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics contained enough conflicting measurements to allow it to be characterized as both “good” and “bad”. Extreme volatility in the financial world and volatile extremists in everyman’s world have only added more opaqueness to the shroud of incertitude draped over what lies ahead.

Read more in the Baker Market Update.

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!