IBAT News

2014 Tour de Texas in the Books


Over 760 Texas community bankers and industry partners packed one or more Regional Meetings, which concluded the 2014 sixteen city tour last week. Coupled with the first round of meetings held in late January, that brings the 2014 total to nearly 1600, up nearly 8% over 2013 Tour de Texas numbers. IBAT Chairman Jay Gober, Texas Banking Commissioner Charles Cooper and IBAT President and CEO Chris Williston were featured speakers for the event.

"The attendance reflects the concerns and interest in the future of our industry," said IBAT President and CEO Chris Williston. Nearly two-thirds of all the attendees were IBAT bank members.

In 2006 the IBAT Board of Directors decided it would be advantageous to conduct the meetings each year. Previously the meetings were held in non-Texas legislative years only.

March Consumer Tips


The March edition of IBAT's Consumer Tips is now available for download. This month's tips offer practical tips for consumers to consider when deciding whether to buy or lease a new car.  

As always, a customizable edition of the tips is available for your bank's distribution or use in statement stuffers, lobby handouts, etc. If you would like a customizable version of March's tips, please contact Christopher Williston at clwilliston@ibat.org or 512-275-2208.

Leadership Division Meetings


Two Leadership Division regions will co-host cluster programs with IBAT Education on the Bank Secrecy Act.  For $890 you may send an unlimited number of directors, officers and employees to hear speaker Mary White explain the key factors to ensure your bank has a successful BSA/AML Exam.

The first cluster program will take place on March 27 at the Crowley Theater in Marfa. The second program will be at the Harlingen Cultural Events Center on April 3. Both programs will be from 6:30-8:30 p.m. If you have any questions on either of these programs, contact Jessica Molina at jmolina@ibat.org.

Leadership Division Region 9 is hosting an event for the Houston area on April 3rd.  Join us at the popular TopGolf for an afternoon of fun and networking with your colleagues.  For more information or to register, click here.

For questions or other information, contact Mae Beth Palone at mbpalone@ibat.org or Keary Barnes at kbarnes@catfinco.com.

Flood Insurance Update


The long saga of fixing the Biggert-Waters Act, which resulted in drastic premium increases for those covered by the National Flood Insurance Program, effectively drew to a conclusion last week as the Senate consented to the House version of the bill.  The bill, expected to be signed by President Obama in the days ahead, would:

  • reinstate grandfathered status for covered properties;
  • delay the effective date for new escrow rules from July 6, 2014 to January 1, 2016;
  • repeal the home-sale and new-policy rate-increase triggers;
  • provide a refund for people who have realized large premium increases due to the purchase of a pre-FIRM subsidized home without the full transparency from the Federal Emergency Management Agency as to the new rate structure; and
  • require FEMA to complete an affordability study and to propose an affordability framework to help homeowners cope with dramatically higher premiums.

Sales Culture Summit


IBAT's 2014 Sales Culture Summit is scheduled for March 25-27, in San Antonio. The program can help those who are attempting to set up a sales environment for the first time, as well as those who are satisfied with the structure of their sales environment, but want to make improvements.

The summit leader, Robert N. Erickson, President of Bank Training, Waukon, Iowa, will cover key program topics such as designing a bank sales environment, attitude, skills and teamwork, while answering tough questions like:

  • What essential components of a bank’s sales structure must be in place in order to establish an effective long-term sales environment within the bank?
  • What are the three core concepts regarding the use of incentives in the bank environment?
  • How do we motivate all employees to be involved in sales to the best of their abilities?

Don't miss out on this important topic. Visit our event page for additional information, or click here to register.

HELP for Rural Communities


The House Financial Services Committee, last week, moved towards establishing an appeal process for areas of the country that are not classified as "rural" for the purposes of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau's (CFPB) mortgage rules.  

Under HR 2672 - The Helping Expand Lending Practices (HELP) in Rural Communities Act of 2014, amended by the committee - a person who lives or does business in an area not designated as rural, may make application to the CFPB to have the status of that area reconsidered.  The appeal process could be made for areas of specified boundaries, rather than entire counties. This addresses one of IBAT's original concerns in the bill (as articulated in letters to Texas' Senators), that "any delineation that relies on counties will be too narrow, will encompass obviously rural areas, and will put consumers and lenders in larger counties at a distinct disadvantage to those in smaller counties."

You'll recall that, last year, IBAT raised red flags with the CFPB regarding its methodology for determining which areas qualify as "rural" and proposed that the CFPB abandon the use of counties in delineating rural areas and adopt a rule that delineates any area outside of defined "urbanized areas" as "rural."

IBAT thanks Congressman Ruben Hinojosa for his leadership on this issue as the Congressional Rural Housing Caucus, as well as Congressman Randy Neugebauer for his co-sponsorship of the legislation. The bill was approved by the committee by a vote of 55-1 and referred to the full House of Representatives.

Bank Survey


Last week IBAT, along with the Texas Bankers Association, began conducting a joint data collection project on the impact of recent data breaches on Texas banks.  

"While we have heard, anecdotally, from many banks around the state, we ask for your assistance in pinpointing the total loss incurred by your bank over the past 120 days," the letter, signed by IBAT President & CEO Chris Williston and TBA President & CEO Eric Sandberg, read.  

The request was made in response to an invitation to testify on this issue in an upcoming interim hearing in the Texas House of Representatives' Business and Industry Committee.

If you or someone from your bank has not already provided data for the survey, please consider doing so before the Friday, March 21 deadline.  You can find a link to the survey here.

2014 Main Street Tour


AUSTIN, Texas — First Lady Anita Perry will join the Texas Historical Commission (THC) for the Texas Main Street Program’s 2014 First Lady’s Tour.  The tour is an annual event celebrating Texas Main Street communities and will welcome Sealy, Caldwell and Waco. The schedule includes stops on Thursday, March 27 in Sealy from 9:30-10:45 a.m., in Caldwell from 12:15-1:30 p.m. and in Waco from 3:00-4:15 p.m. The event in each city will include a ceremony and keynote address by the First Lady, a public reception and a brief media session following the ceremony.

“As First Lady of this wonderful state, it has been my privilege over the past 13 years to partner with the Texas Historical Commission on these special Main Street projects.  These tours, and the entire Main Street effort, help communities build a better future through an appreciation of the past.  As Texans, we are united through our state’s collective history, and it is heartwarming to see local residents working side by side through local Main Street programs to revitalize their historic downtowns. Having grown up in a small Texas town, I have great respect for how much hard work goes into an important community endeavor like this.”

The Independent Bankers Association of Texas (IBAT) once again sponsors the First Lady’s Tour. "The Independent Bankers Association of Texas has proudly sponsored the First Lady's Main Street Tour for the past 20 years. Community banks have long been the lifeblood of many cities and towns across Texas and we are proud of their contributions to help local communities prosper and main street businesses thrive," said IBAT President and CEO Chris Williston.

Accompanying Mrs. Perry will be the chairman of the THC, Matthew Kreisle of Austin, along with several THC Commissioners, IBAT representatives, THC Executive Director Mark Wolfe and other THC staff.

“The Main Street effort in Texas has widespread economic impact in towns of all sizes,” said Chairman Kreisle. “We are pleased to welcome these new participants into the flagship program.”

Each First Lady of Texas since the Texas Main Street Program’s founding in 1981 has participated in this event, which has become a traditional honor for incoming Main Street cities. 

The THC’s Texas Main Street Program is a revitalization program for historic downtown and neighborhood commercial districts. Today, there are 87 official Texas Main Street programs. The programs are in communities of all sizes, ranging from less than 2,000 to more than 230,000 in population, and in all areas of Texas. Over time, Texas Main Street communities have realized more than $2.8 billion in economic reinvestment, the creation of more than 30,000 local jobs and the expansion or creation of almost7,800 businesses in their Main Street districts. These reinvestments show that significant economic development impact can be realized through historic preservation.

For more information on the Texas Main Street Program, contact State Coordinator Debra Drescher at 512.463.5758 or visit www.thc.state.tx.us.

Baker Market Update: Mar. 17, 2014


The fear that Tennyson’s Charge of the Light Brigade may be reprised in a twenty-first century iteration of the Crimean War helped U.S. Treasuries post their biggest weekly price gains in almost two years. Tough talk yesterday by the U.S. and some European allies has shaped circumstances into a potential showdown next week as voters are scheduled to go to the polls on Sunday to vote on a referendum that could result in Crimea’s return to Mother Russia. Monday could shape up to be a memorable St. Patrick’s Day in Kiev. I hope they don’t cancel the parade.
 
Besides the boost it’s getting from Mr. Putin, the Treasury market has also benefitted from reports of weaker than expected industrial output from China along with slumping Sino sales, reinforcing the perception that the charge of the Chinese economy has gone off the boil. A little different story than the one we’ve got domestically as we learned this week that February Retail Sales in the U.S. rose by .3% in a big turnaround from the prior month’s .6% decline... Read more in the Baker Market Update.

Travelers Webinar


This presentation is intended to provide you with the necessary analysis for documenting loan workouts through the following steps:

  • Analyzing and Understanding the Credit
  • Strategizing the Loan Workout
  • Ensuring Mutual Understanding of Loan Workout Terms
  • Documenting the Loan Workout

Presented by:
Nick Jellum, Anastasi Jellum, P.A.
Nick Jellum is the President of Anastasi Jellum, P.A. and focuses his practice on advising the firm's financial institution clients throughout the Country on all aspects of commercial loan transactions, from loan documentation to loan workouts, collections and recovery. He has extensive experience particularly as related to U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) loan documentation and liquidation.

Nick is active in the National Association Government Guaranteed Lenders (NAGGL) and has presented at numerous NAGGL national conferences and webinars. Nick is also a member and active in the National Association of Development Companies (NADCO). He is also involved in additional banking industry trade associations including the Independent Community Bankers of Minnesota (ICBM), for which he serves on the Legislative Committee, as well as the Minnesota Bankers Association (MBA).    

For additional information and to register, please click here.

Employee of the Year


In July of 1977, Sharon Mull made the decision to continue her banking career with a relatively new independent bank in her adopted hometown of Plano. On the heels of her retirement more than 36 years later, Mull recently received the Shelby Distinguished Service Award, the bank’s employee of the year award named after LegacyTexas Chairman Pat Shelby.

“When my husband and I came to Plano in 1974, this was a small community and a great place for our son and two daughters to grow up,” said Mull. “In 1977, I decided to go to work as a loan secretary for what was then Plano Bank and Trust. We lived so close that I could run home for lunch and put a casserole in the oven for dinner. Now looking back over 36 years, Plano has changed a lot and the bank has grown right along with it. It has been an honor to be a part of this organization.”

Executive Vice President Aaron Shelby says Sharon Mull is an ideal example of what makes the bank unique.  “Sharon worked with some of the same customers she began working with four decades ago, and that kind of loyalty is only earned through extraordinary personal service and a genuine commitment to caring for people,” said Shelby. “Sharon’s retirement is bittersweet. We know she will enjoy spending more time with her family, but she will be greatly missed by the Legacy family.”  

Mull, who recently retired as an executive lending assistant in the LegacyTexas commercial loan department, says she cannot say enough about the special nature of her employer. “This is the greatest community bank anywhere, bar none,” Mull said. “Customers know that, and it’s the reason Legacy continues to grow. Working with the customers and the leadership of this bank has been one of the great joys of my life. I’ve always said that if you enjoy what you are doing and you enjoy the people around you, it’s not work. That’s exactly how I feel about LegacyTexas Bank.”

About LegacyTexas Bank

LegacyTexas Bank is an independent community bank with $1.7 billion in assets.  In business since 1963, LegacyTexas Bank currently has 20 branches throughout Collin, Dallas, Tarrant and Parker Counties. LegacyTexas Group is the financial holding company for LegacyTexas Bank and also includes LegacyTexas Insurance Services and LegacyTexas Title. For more information, visit www.LegacyTexasBank.com.

Letter to President Obama


In a letter drafted yesterday by President and CEO Chris Williston, IBAT urged President Barack Obama to appoint a community banker to the open seat on the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System.  The seat was previously occupied by Governor Betsy Duke, a community banker from Virginia.

"Given the lingering effect of the financial crisis and the regulatory burden on community banks which resulted from the passage of the Dodd-Frank Act, we believe that a community banker perspective on the Board is imperative," Williston said.

Williston went on to note recent comments by former Board Chairman Ben Bernanke as to the importance of weighing the impact of any new regulations on community financial institutions. "We welcome such consideration and believe it can best be conveyed by an industry practitioner," Williston added.

Target Data Breach Update


Two Congressional committees went to work last week discussing the future of card technology in the wake of recent high profile data breaches at Target and Neiman Marcus.  The conclusion - a transition away from magnetic strip cards is just one step towards a more secure payments environment but would not have prevented the type of breaches that occurred in late 2013.

"The EMV chip is an extremely effective method of reducing counterfeit and lost/stolen card fraud in a face-to-face payments environment,"  said Troy Leach, security standards architect for the Payment Card Industry Council, "Protection from malware-based attacks requires more than just EMV chip technology."

Experts disagreed on acceptable remedies for weaknesses in the security protocols of retailers, with some calling for more education and others suggesting that the Federal Trade Commission be given greater authority to assess financial penalties on those who are breached.

Hearings on the impact of the Target breach on Texas businesses are scheduled for March 27 in the Texas House of Representatives' Business and Industry Committee.  In response to the committee's request for information, IBAT and the Texas Bankers Association will be conducting a joint data collection project, polling community bankers on the financial impact of the breach.  Please be on the lookout for that survey and help us by planning to participate.  

Call for Nominations


Nominations are still being accepted for the Teaching Excellence in Financial Literacy Award.  The IBAT Education Foundation-hosted program recognizes elementary, middle and high school teachers who use innovative, fun and effective methods to teach financial education in the classrooms.

Three award recipients from across the state will be selected, and each will receive $1,000. Additionally, IBAT and local community bankers will recognize the winners during ceremonies at their schools. The goal of this award program is to celebrate teachers who provide their students with the foundation necessary - understanding savings and credit, how to budget and the importance of making informed decisions - to make sound financial decisions for the rest of their lives.

Bankers can nominate teachers from their area schools by downloading and completing the nominations packet.

TX Primary Results


The 2014 primary election results are in the books.  Turnout was down across the state, with some 546,000 Democrat and 1.5 million Republican votes cast, a 20% and 10% reduction respectively from 2010 numbers - not unusual in a mid-term election.  As is usual, there were some expected outcomes, along with a few surprises. What follows is a high level recap of the results, which will be as devoid of editorial commentary as possible.  For those of you wishing to look at more granular data, we are providing links to the Texas Secretary of State election results and the Texas Tribune brackets.

Click here to view IBAT's full breakdown of primary contests of concern. 

IBAT will be assessing the various runoffs over the coming weeks, and will be seeking your advice and counsel in determining which of these candidates to support going forward.  We very much appreciate your engagement in this process, and are hopeful that you will provide any insights you may have in your local or statewide races.

The Texas Independent Banker

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