IBAT News

New Senate Finance Chair


Lt.
Governor David Dewhurst named Senator Tommy Williams (R - The Woodlands) as
Chairman of the powerful Senate Finance Committee.  He replaces longtime
Chairman Steve Ogden (R - Bryan) who is not seeking reelection.  

The
Committee is responsible for, among other issues, all revenue and expenditures
at the state level.  

Senator
Williams is President of Woodforest Financial Services (a subsidiary of
Woodforest National Bank) in The Woodlands, served in the Texas House from
1997-2002, and has served in the Senate since 2003.

IBAT
extends hearty congratulations to Senator Williams for this well-deserved
honor.

APR Comment Period Extended


On
Friday, August 31 the CFPB extended the comment period for the proposed rule
affecting the current definition of "finance charge."  The
proposed rule would create an all-in financing charge by fundamentally changing
how the annual percentage rate - or APR - is calculated.  

IBAT is involved with other interested parties in drafting a joint comment
letter opposing the change on the grounds it will further confuse consumer
borrowers and place smaller institutions at a competitive disadvantage.
 IBAT welcomes the additional time to study the impact of this significant
change. Click here to read the CFPB's extension of comment
period in its entirety.

Basel III Calculator


Following
requests from many members for IBAT to develop or secure a calculator or
spreadsheet to determine the impact of this proposal on your bank's Tier I
capital, we are pleased to provide such an instrument, attached here.

IBAT would like to acknowledge the excellent work of the Fisher, Herbst, and
Kemble CPA firm of San Antonio, and specifically Alan Rich, for making this
instrument available to IBAT member institutions.  It is our understanding
that the agency is also developing a calculation instrument, but it will not be
available for some time.

We
believe you will find this to be a useful tool, and hopefully serve as a wake-up
call for the industry to engage in providing comments to the agencies.
 Along with previous information provided in IBAT's call to action, you
should have plenty of information to draft a personalized comment letter
supporting the case that the Basel III capital rule is onerous and should not
apply to community banks.

Should
you have questions relative to the spreadsheet, please email Alan, at arich@fhkcpa.com.

TAG Extension


As
part of the ongoing efforts to urge Congress to extend the Transaction Account
Guarantee or "TAG" program. IBAT joined approximately seventy banking
associations in signing letters sent to members of the United States House and Senate last week.  

"Because
the economic recovery remains fragile, the abrupt expiration of insurance
coverage for non-interest bearing transaction accounts carries the risk of
sudden dislocation of funds and other unintended consequences for banks, credit
availability, and the economy," the letter read.

IBAT
has been active in making the continuation of full coverage of transaction
accounts a top priority in recent meetings with members of both the U.S. House
and Senate.  

IBAT Goes Mobile


IBAT2GO,
the official mobile application of the Independent Bankers Association of
Texas, is now available for download for iPhone and iPad users. The app, which
gives Texas community bankers mobile access to industry news, education
opportunities and the extensive archive of more than 500 past Legal Ease items,
is the first application of its kind developed by a state community banking
association.  

Click
the video below to learn more about the application. Click here from
your iPhone or iPad to download the app now!

2013 Legislative Session


While
the 83rd Texas Legislature is still four months away from convening,
and most of the attention these days is on the elections and the continuing
onslaught from our federal government, IBAT has also been gearing up for the
upcoming legislative session.

IBAT
has consistently offered legislative recommendations to benefit your bank, and
this session will be no exception. Your Legislative Committee reviewed and
discussed a number of issues, and has developed a recommended proactive agenda
to pursue. As per policy, the full IBAT Board of Directors reviewed and
approved these recommendations as well. Several of these issues are still
"in flux," and you will be kept apprised as the process moves
forward.  

Primary
areas of focus will include:

  • Tax Lien Lenders
     
  • Service on Financial Institutions
  • Mortgage Payoff
     
  • Debit/Credit Card Fraud  
  • Home Equity
     

Additional
information is available on our website.  As always, we encourage you to let
us know what we can do in the legislative or regulatory process to address any
of your concerns.

Financial Literacy


As
the majority of Texas public school students began their 2012-2013 school year
this week, the employees of Town and Country Bank - Stephenville are gearing up
once again to take financial literacy education into area schools via the
Junior Achievement program.  

All
in all, about fifteen Town and Country Bank employees will have a presence in
area middle and high schools during the year ahead, in addition to speaking
opportunities for elementary schools and at Tarleton State University.
 Junior Achievement - Fort Worth Chisholm Trail, Inc. will reach
approximately 400 high school and 250 junior high students this year.  

Darrell
Brown, Senior Vice President for the bank, is the program's champion. "There
was a time when people would turn to their banker for all kinds of financial
advice," Brown said, "but now people seem to steer clear. We're hoping
that being present in schools lets students, parents and teachers alike know
that community bankers are community resources." 

This
year, Town and Country Bank is teaming up with small business people in the
community to partner in bringing financial education into the classroom. "We
want local businesses to get on board to support Junior Achievement,"
Brown said, "so, we've invited them to team up with our employees to bring
the curriculum to students."

When
asked what makes him so passionate about financial literacy, Brown gets
serious, "I wish that someone had shared this information with me when I was in
school. I don't want any of our area students to be saying that twenty or
thirty years from now."

CFPB-proposed Rules


Over
the past several weeks, the CFPB has issued a flurry of proposed and final
rules.  We realize that keeping up with this information is, at times,
overwhelming. However, it is vitally important that the CFPB hear from
community bankers on a number issues.  

Currently, there are 14 proposed rules with open comment periods. Most notably,
on July 9, 2012, the CFPB issued a 1099 page proposal combining the RESPA and Truth-in-Lending
disclosures. The rules and guidance on the three page combined disclosure
comprise over 400 pages of the proposal. IBAT is particularly concerned by
changes to the APR calculation, change circumstances, the counseling
requirement, tolerances for settlement charges, and the total interest
percentage and lender cost of funds disclosures. IBAT is analyzing this proposal
and will submit a comment letter.

IBAT has compiled a list of the seven most critical proposed rules
that are still open for comment.

September 3, 2012


In
observance of Labor Day, the IBAT offices will be closed on Monday, September
3
.  We will reopen for regular business hours on Tuesday, September
4. 

Best of 100


During
last year's Convention, we initiated a new twist to the PAC Auction - Best of
100.  Purchase a $100 ticket and if your ticket is drawn just prior to the
Live Auction on October 8, you will have your choice of any item in the Live
Auction.  Remember that all proceeds benefit the IBAT PAC. 

Due to state ethics laws, only personal checks and personal credit cards can be
accepted as payment. Click here to purchase your ticket.

Make Your Voice Heard in 2013!


Dates
are now set for both the IBAT Community Banking Day at the Capitol and the 21st Annual Congressional Visit.

Mark
your calendar now for March 5-6 and plan to be in Austin to discuss pressing issues facing
community bankers in the 83rd Regular Session of the Texas Legislature. In this
newly redesigned event, participants will attend a briefing and dinner on March 5, followed by breakfast with members of the Texas House and Senate on March 6.
A room block will be provided at the Radisson on Town Lake.  Registration
details to follow.  

Texas
community bankers will join community bankers from across the U.S. for a
coordinated "fly-in" at the 21st
Annual Congressional Visit, April 23-26
in Washington, D.C.
 All participants will have the opportunity to take part in timely
briefings with lawmakers and regulators, and have ample time as well for
individual visits with members of Congress on the Hill.

As
new regulations continue to threaten the franchise of community banks, your
participation in both of these events is highly encouraged.  

Be Prepared!


As Texas prepares to mark the one year anniversary of the Bastrop wildfires and the Gulf Coast braces for the effects of Hurricane Isaac, it's a good time for community bankers to revisit their disaster preparedness efforts.  Below are links to various publications issued by regulators over the past several years to assist financial institutions with disaster preparation.   

In addition to these links, IBAT offers a FREE emergency hotline system for use by member banks to assist you in keeping in touch with your employees in the event of a natural disaster or other business-disrupting event. Click here to revisit the extensive Disaster Preparedness article prepared by IBAT staff during the horrific wildfire outbreaks of 2011.

Basel III


To
date, only 9,000 community bank employees nationwide have signed the Basel III petition issued by ICBA.  While we
realize that capital rules are not front and center in the concerns of many
employees who are tasked with day to day operations in the bank, it is
extremely important that we send a strong message that Basel III will
irreparably harm the community banking industry.

Please
encourage ALL employees of your bank to take approximately one minute to sign
the petition.

Appraisals Summit


Six
federal regulators proposed a rule to establish new appraisal requirements for
"higher-risk mortgage loans" as mandated by the Dodd-Frank Act. A
mortgage loan is higher-risk if it is secured by a consumer's home and has an
interest rate 1.5 percentage points above the average prime rate. Under the
proposed rule, lenders would be required to disclose to mortgage applicants information
about the purpose of the appraisal and provide consumers with a free copy of
any appraisal report. Lenders would also have to obtain an additional
appraisal, at no cost to the consumer, for a home-purchase higher-risk mortgage
loan if the seller acquired the property for a lower price within the previous
six months.

Additionally,
the CFPB issued a proposed rule that would amend Regulation B and would require
creditors to provide mortgage applicants with a copy of written appraisals and
home value estimates.  Creditors would have three days after receipt of an
application to inform consumers of their right to receive a free copy of an
appraisal report or home value estimate used in connection with the
transaction.  Under the proposed rule from the CFPB, creditors could still
charge reasonable fees associated with conducting appraisals and home value
estimates; however, the rule would prohibit creditors from charging consumers
fees for obtaining the reports.  IBAT will be issuing comment letters arguing
against the proposed appraisal rules because they would increase the cost to
borrowers and may be unworkable in rural Texas communities. The joint proposed
rule is available here. The CFPB proposed rule is available here. The public has until October 15 to comment
on each proposal.

IBAT is offering a Summit dedicated entirely to appraisals on August
30, 2012. Topics range from an overview of the appraisals process to compliance
with applicable real estate regulations.

IBAT Emergency Hotline


Ice Storms, Hurricanes, Tornadoes, Fire: How Would You Communicate With Your Staff?

Do you have a way to communicate to your staff in the aftermath of an emergency or natural disaster?  IBAT established a FREE hotline/voice mail box (and web access - under construction) for each of its members as an option for Disaster Recovery or Business Continuity Plans.  Simply assign two contact people (a primary and a secondary) and send them this link to print and read:  http://www.ibat.org/pdfs/2009/04/07/ibat-emergency-hotline-instructions.  Pre-enrollment is required, but it's easy!  Hopefully you'll never need this service, but if you do, IBAT's ready.

Each firm must pre-register to participate. It's FREE and EASY.

This benefit is courtesy of your IBAT membership. 

Major Reg Z and RESPA Changes


The
CFPB issued two sets of proposals aimed at mortgage servicers. Among the
changes proposed for Regulation Z are "clear" monthly mortgage statements, a
warning before interest rate adjustments, options for avoiding forced placed
insurance, and information and options for avoiding foreclosure. Among the
changes proposed for RESPA are rules for crediting payments, maintenance of
information, requirements for handling alleged errors, servicer access for
delinquent borrowers, and review of application for foreclosure avoidance
options.  The CFPB proposed rule for Regulation Z is available here. The CFPB proposed rule for RESPA is
available here. The public has until October 9 to comment on
each rule.

ALM and Bank Investment Summits


Community bankers find themselves struggling
with unprecedented challenges. Among these are weak loan demand, regulatory
pressure and an uncertain loan environment. The Asset/Liability Management and Bank Investment Summits, taking place September 5
and 6, will provide a regulatory update, touching on strategic planning,
current regulatory hot buttons, examination preparation and capital planning.
In the presentation, we will also provide a brief overview of the Basel III
proposals, including the revisions to regulatory capital requirements and
risk-weighting of bank assets.

Don't miss out on important regulatory guidance and lively discussion with
fellow bankers.

IBAT Legislative Day


Save
the date for IBAT's Community Banking Day at the Texas Capitol, March 5-6
in Austin
.  Originally, IBAT planned on holding the event in February, but
decided to push it back to line up with committee appointments and the
commencement of the legislative process in earnest.

"A
wave of retirements and primary upsets has set the stage for a very different
composition of the Texas Legislature," said IBAT Executive Vice President
Steve Scurlock. "We felt that the legislative priorities of IBAT members
would be better served by letting the smoke clear at the beginning of the
session and getting bankers in front of their lawmakers when the real work is
being done."

IBAT Community Banking Day at the Texas Capitol is
the only event specifically dedicated to voicing the concerns of Texas
community bankers.

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