Card Preference Rule Changes

On February 1 Visa lifted a ban that prevented merchants from incentivizing consumers to use certain credit, debit and pre-paid cards.  The move allows retailers to offer discounts when customers use store-branded, general-purpose credit cards, but could also lead retailers to encourage the use of cards issued by banks with more than $10 billion in assets.  

You'll recall that the Dodd-Frank Act authorized the Federal Reserve to conduct a study and issue interchange rate caps on banks larger than $10 billion in assets. According to the 2012 PULSE Debit Issuer Study, interchange revenue of the regulated issuers (banks >10 billion) have declined some 55% for signature-based debit and 28% on pin debit. Conversely, non-regulated financial institutions (banks < 10 billion) saw signature debit interchange decline only 6% on average while pin debit interchange declined 3%.   

"Visa's shift in policy is troubling," said IBAT President and CEO Chris Williston. "It's the realization of our worst fears during the fight over the Durbin Amendment to Dodd-Frank - that price caps on the big banks would effectively trickle down to community banks due to retailer discrimination." 

Visa rules continue to prohibit retailers from rejecting cards from any bank.

ABA Insurance Services

IBAT and IBAT Financial Services are proud to offer a wide variety of property and casualty options for Texas community banks, including ABA Insurance Services. 2013 marks the 23rd consecutive year that the ABA program has offered a dividend distribution to their qualified policyholders. Since the program's inception, declared distributions have totaled $77.9 million, according to ABA's press release.

The program offers directors and officers liability, financial institution bond, internet banking liability, employment practices liability and other related insurance to community banks.   Plans to expand their offerings are underway and property & casualty coverage should be offered in Texas in the near future.

Webinar Recording Available

In case you missed it or need to
review, IBAT's free CFPB Mortgage Rules Webinar and slides are now
available to view online. Based on questions asked during the webinar, IBAT
General Counsel Karen Neeley will also produce a helpful Frequently Asked
Questions document that will be available in the near future.

webinar provided a summary of the CFPB rules implementing Dodd-Frank mortgage
requirements. The IBAT Lending Compliance Summit will review these issues in
greater depth.  Please mark your calendar and plan to attend the Summit on August 15-16.

2013 Congressional Visit

than 100 bankers and industry partners will travel to our nation's Capitol for
meetings with members of the Texas Congressional delegation during IBAT's 21st Annual Congressional Visit, April 23-26.
 Will you join them?  

banks have been unfairly targeted with a vast array of new and costly
regulations," said IBAT Chairman Troy Robinson (Bank Texas, Quitman).
 "It is time we set about on a course to establish a two-tiered
regulatory system...one for the risky practices of the too big to fail
institutions and one for risk averse community banks. Our time to make that
happen in the US Congress is now."

March 8 deadline
to sign up for the Congressional visit is quickly approaching.  Click here to register for the 21st Annual
Congressional Visit.

Travelers Coverage Forms

As is the case periodically, insurance
companies change their coverage forms.
  This often causes concerns that coverage has
been reduced.  That's a warranted fear,
but not necessarily the case.  Another
reason that insurance carriers make a change is due to a number of losses in a
particular area that coverage was never intended or not contemplated in the
rates that were charged.  In that
situation the carriers need to clarify coverage.  Most frequently to remove coverage or
"close a loophole" or in some cases to expand coverage so that claims
are provided coverage.

We won't know until mid-March how the
Travelers Bond, Directors & Officers and other management liability
coverage forms have changed.  What
"others" are speculating is that the new coverage is much more
restrictive than what you would currently have with Travelers.  We've also heard that the basic new coverage
form is restrictive, but the broadening terms and conditions we currently enjoy
can all be "added back" by requesting specific new endorsements.  We plan to learn what is needed to provide
the broadest coverage available from Travelers and then provide that to our
clients.  But not all agents will know
how this new coverage form affects their policyholders!

What we encourage you to consider
is whether or not your agent will be reviewing the new forms with the same diligence
- and whether or not they will know what to request so that you will continue
to purchase the broadest coverage available. 
If you currently have Travelers
coverage - consider IBAT FS when your coverage comes up for renewal.  We can co-broker with your local agent,
meaning that we would be your agent of record and negotiate with the insurance
carriers on your behalf, but your local agent would retain a portion of the
  In taking this approach, you
would also have access to our invaluable claims advocacy at the time of a loss
and the knowledge that we are only providing coverage to Texas Community Banks
and therefore are constantly looking for the best coverage available for your
unique exposures.

We hope you will allow IBAT FS to help you
and your local insurance agent navigate these upcoming changes.

CFPB Mortgage Rules

make it to yesterday's webinar on the new CFPB mortgage rules?  The slides
are now available online.  Please click here to access them via PDF.

Silver Alert


Shreveport, Lake Charles, Houston, Corpus Christi, Austin/San Antonio


Deer Park PD is searching for John Rudolph Henson, White, Male, 80 years old,
DOB 08/05/1932, height 5'8", weight 154, Brown Hair, Brown Eyes, wearing
Brown Jacket, Blue Plaid Shirt, Jeans, Brown Shoes with condition(s): Dementia.

senior citizen was last seen 02/21/2013 08:00AM at 2712 Dow Circle, Deer Park,
TX driving a Tan, 2000 Buick Le Sabre with Texas License Plates
091WBL. Law enforcement officals believe this senior citizen's disappearance
poses a credible threat to HIS own health and safety.

you have any information regarding this missing senior citizen, contact the
Deer Park PD at 281-479-1511.

Media Point of Contact is
Deer Park PD at 281-932-2903.

Changes to Article 9

to article 9 of the U.C.C., governing secured transactions, take effect on July
1, 2013. To date, Texas and 27 other states have adopted these amendments, and
bills to adopt them are pending in several others. A white paper on the changes from Daniel Callahan,
Shareholder of Kessler and Collins, a new IBAT Associate Member, has been
posted on the IBAT website.

most significant amendments deal with the proper identification of debtors on
financing statements. Other changes relate to:

  • electronic
  • what
    happens when a debtor changes its name, merges or relocates;
  • restrictions
    on assignments;
  • the
    filing of information statements; and
  • how
    the transition to the amended statute is to be implemented.

here to download the full white paper.

Fair Housing Act

The U.S. Department of Housing
and Urban Development (HUD) issued a final rule to formalize the national
standard for determining whether a housing practice violates the Fair Housing
Act as the result of discriminatory effect.

HUD is statutorily charged with the authority and responsibility for
interpreting and enforcing the Fair Housing Act and has long interpreted the
Act to prohibit acts that have a disparate impact on a group of persons because
of race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, or national origin.

View the final rule.

Week in Review

you're a Labrador Retriever, you were probably disappointed to learn [last]
week that you and your kin are now "0-137" when it comes to winning
the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show. If you're the U.S. Treasury, you were
probably disappointed to learn [last] week that not as many people wanted to
buy your bonds. In three separate auctions, the Treasury sold $72B of
"threes, tens, and thirties" to a universe of investors who were a
little less eager to soak up all that debt than they were last month. As a
gauge of investor demand, the bid-to-cover ratio compares the number of
competitive bids tendered to the amount of bonds sold. For all three auctions,
that ratio was lower than the previous month's results, with higher yields... Read more in the Baker Market Update

Mandatory Flood Insurance

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) announced that it rescinded its publication Mandatory Purchase of Flood Insurance Guidelines
because The Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2012 (signed
by the President on July 6, 2012) causes it to be out of date. According
to FEMA's website, "lenders should consult their respective regulatory
agency for information regarding compliance with the mandatory purchase

State non-member banks can refer to The FDIC Compliance Manual at V. Lending - Flood Insurance,
which was updated December 2012. Unfortunately for state member banks
and national banks, neither the OCC nor the Federal Reserve have updated
the flood sections of their handbooks. Use caution when using manuals
that haven't been updated since July 2012. The Association of State
Floodplain Managers has a good summary of the Biggert-Waters Act.

FEMA will continue to provide assistance on NFIP-related questions
regarding underwriting, rating and claims processing. Inquiries should
be directed to Jeffrey Woodward, Senior Lender Compliance Officer,
Industry and Public Relations Branch, at 202-212-2183.

Guiltless Giveaway (2G)

many, 2G represents the speed and bandwidth of your phone service. However, for
IBAT, 2G is an important fundraising project over the next three months,
February-April, for the IBAT Foundation. We call it the IBAT Guiltless Giveaway (2G).

Why is it guiltless? Because it does not require you
to spend time and money for  an expensive dinner, cocktail attire and
attend a Gala. Instead, by donating $20 online, your name is entered  into
a drawing on April 1.

What's in it for you? The
Guiltless Giveaway supports the ongoing work of the IBAT Education Foundation
to build financially literate communities through programs like the IBAT Teach the Teacher ProgramTM. Besides the
goodwill you'll earn for helping build the IBAT Foundation corpus, there is a
very good possibility of winning one of 16 very nice prizes. The more tickets
you buy, the more possibilities you have to win. Time is of the essence.

The drawing will be April 1. Don't delay, only 2000 tickets will be sold.

CFPB Rule Changes

The CFPB recently completed the task of
writing rules to implement the Dodd-Frank Act (DFA) residential mortgage
changes. Under the rules, the implementation date is generally deferred until
January 2014. Without rules, the DFA requirements would have gone into effect
automatically January 21, 2013. On February 21, 2013, Karen Neeley will present
a free webinar for IBAT members discussing the rules as passed, including:

  • The
    qualified mortgage requirements;
  • MLO
    compensation issues;
  • Appraisal
  • Servicing
    requirements and more!

click here to register for this free webinar.

February Consumer Tips

February edition of IBAT's Consumer
is now available for download. Ten times a year, IBAT
staff and other contributors write helpful tip columns for distribution to
Texas's many weekly news publications.  We invite you to co-brand these
releases with the name and information of your bank, for distribution to your local
paper(s) or in your bank lobby.  

hope that you find this a helpful tool for continuing to heighten the profile
of your bank in your local community. 

Welcome Marni!

IBAT is pleased to welcome Marni
Robinson as the newest member of the IBAT Services team. In her new role, Marni
will be supporting the efforts of IBAT Services by working closely with the
IBAT Endorsed Service Providers to deliver quality products and services to the
IBAT membership.

brings more than 25 years of experience in a variety of administrative roles. During
this time, she also gained valuable marketing experience. She has worked in
diverse settings, including an energy company, advertising agency, church and
the office of the Attorney General of Texas.

recently, Robinson served as an executive assistant at Commercial Metals
Company. In this role, she assisted the regional director, managed accounts
payable and compiled and analyzed data for executive reports. Previously, she
served as executive assistant and associate marketing manager at American Achievement
Corporation. In these roles, her responsibilities included facilitating sales,
marketing and business operations in addition to creating and managing budgets
for several departments and product lines.

has a certification in marketing from The University of Texas at Austin. Please
welcome Marni Robinson!

Tour de Texas

IBAT Chairman Troy Robinson of
Quitman, along with past IBAT leaders and staff, will be traveling to some 8
Texas cities in February to conduct briefings on vital issues
affecting Texas community banks.  This will be your opportunity to learn
of our efforts on your behalf and provide us important feedback to voice your
concerns and help us determine the most important priorities for our
legislative and regulatory program of work over the next several months.
 And, more importantly, an opportunity to gather with fellow community
bankers in your area to network.  In addition, we are pleased to welcome
senior officials with the ICBA in Washington who will share our program agenda
and provide insight from inside the Beltway.

the Regional Meetings homepage, view the full schedule
of stops and register for one or more of the meetings!