Local Funds

The recent “occupy” demonstrations and continued public distrust of the United States’ largest banks have led some municipalities to consider divesting their funds from “too big to fail” entities to smaller, community-owned institutions. Earlier this month, the Austin City Council passed a resolution that instructed the City Manager to research options to move funds from Bank of America and “ensure public funds are invested in financial institutions that support our local community.”

In response to the resolution, IBAT President and CEO Chris Williston drafted a letter to the Austin’s Mayor, City Manager and members of the City Council urging them “to consider transferring these funds to local community banks rather than tax-exempt credit unions.”

“Community banks in Austin—and throughout the state—are the principal buyers of municipal bonds that support local communities,” Williston noted. “We also provide a disproportionate amount of local small business and agricultural loans.”

Austin is just the latest city to consider such a move.  According to Bloomberg News, New York, San Francisco and Seattle and Los Angeles all began similar reevaluations of banking policies late last year.

IBAT Teach the Teacher Program

High school teachers from the Amarillo Independent School District and other area school districts are invited to attend the upcoming April 14, 2012  IBAT Teach the Teacher Program at West Texas A&M University. The six hour program is made possible by the IBAT Education Foundation, PULSE EFT Network, and area community banks. High school teachers who teach economics, social studies, math or business education are encouraged to attend the TEA approved course.

The one day workshop will help teachers:

  • Gain valuable insight and instruction in the TEA required principles of financial literacy – everything from balancing a checkbook, credit scores, debit cards, to understanding different types of insurance and investment vehicles, and identity theft;
  • Earn 6 required CPE hours with a TEA-approved curriculum;
  • Receive a $200 stipend;
  • A Mentor - for completing this course you will be paired with a Banker-Mentor from your local community bank to serve as a personal resource to you; and
  • Free financial planning advice from your local community bank partner!

Learn more about the IBAT Teach the Teacher Program.

CFPB Seeks Nominees

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) is seeking nominees for a Consumer Advisory Board required by Dodd-Frank. The goal of the Board is to provide the CFPB with a variety of “viewpoints” from a variety of “experts.” The Board will have 16 members and will meet at least twice annually.
Suggested nominees should have a background in financial services, consumer protection, fair lending, community development, or financial products and services. The agency is seeking individuals who can bring enthusiasm and innovative ideas to the Board.

If you know of an individual you would like to nominate that could bring expertise to the proposed Consumer Advisory Board, please take the time to nominate that individual. A nomination letter and a complete resume or curriculum vitae must be submitted via email to CABnominations@cfpb.gov by March 30, 2012.

You may also submit nominations by mail to:
Attn: Monica Jackson / CAB Nominations
Consumer Financial Protection Bureau
1500 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
(Attn: 1801 L Street)
Washington, DC 20220

Click here for more background on the CFPB Advisory Board.  See the complete Federal Register Notice for details that outline the Board’s responsibilities and the duties of its members.

Insured Cash Sweep

The Independent Bankers Association of Texas (IBAT) today announced that it has joined forces with Promontory Interfinancial Network, LLC to market Promontory’s new ICS, or Insured Cash Sweep, service to IBAT members through IBAT’s affiliate, IBAT Services.

“Community bankers can use ICS to provide their customers with access to multi-million-dollar FDIC insurance, along with the ability to earn interest and to withdraw funds six times a month,” said Chris Williston, IBAT president and CEO. “It perfectly complements Promontory’s flagship service, the Certificate of Deposit Account Registry Service® – CDARS®.”  IBAT has been a strong supporter of Promontory for many years, and IBAT Services has marketed Promontory’s CDARS service since 2009.

“As they did with CDARS, IBAT community bankers will find ICS to be an effective way to meet their customers’ needs, whether the customers are institutions, such as businesses and local governments, or individuals.  It is an important tool they can use to compete with large financial service providers,” Williston added.

Teaching Excellence Awards

Sulphur Springs High School marketing teacher Amber Weaver’s enthusiasm for the subject she teaches paid off this week.

Mary Lange with the Independent Bankers Association of Texas presents SSHS teacher Amber Weaver an award for Financial Literacy during the SSISD board meeting Monday. Weaver was nominated for the honor by local bankers, including Kevin Monk of Alliance Bank and Craig Roberts of Guaranty Bond Bank.

Independent Bankers Association of Texas awarded Weaver a $1,000 check for “Teaching Excellence in Financial Literacy” and a “Resolution” at Monday night’s school board meeting. Weaver was nominated for the honor by local bankers.

Mary Lange, president of the IBAT Education Foundation, noted that IBAT first started giving the award for teaching excellence in schools four years ago. The agency, which recognizes community banks, realized there was a decided lack of knowledge about real-world finance among high school graduates. Thus, the award was given to outstanding educators to honor them for “teaching financial excellence in schools.” She said while many teachers hand out the book and teach lessons directly from the text, it takes a special teacher who has a knack for the subject to get students excited about real world finance. Read more…

CHUBB Webinar

Registration is open for the Thursday, March 22nd FREE Webinar addressing account take-over fraud and its insurance implications.  Chubb and IBAT FS are hosting the event and George N. Allport, Vice President and Worldwide Financial Fidelity Product Manager for Chubb & Son will address whether a bank is responsible for the customer’s funds and how both the Bank's Computer Crime and Professional Liability insurance may apply in these situations.

It's important to know what underwriters may expect when they determine whether to provide coverage for these exposures, so please make plans to join us for this discussion on Thursday, March 22nd.

For more information, please contact Carol Troy, ctroy@ibat.org, 512-275-2236

FDIC-Insured Institutions' Earnings

FDIC-Insured Institutions Earned $26.3 B in Fourth Quarter of 2011, $119.5 B for Full Year 2011

Commercial banks and savings institutions insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) reported an aggregate profit of $26.3 billion in the fourth quarter of 2011, a $4.9 billion improvement from the $21.4 billion in net income the industry reported in the fourth quarter of 2010. This is the 10th consecutive quarter that earnings have registered a year-over-year increase. As has been the case in each of the past nine quarters, lower provisions for loan losses were responsible for most of the year-over-year improvement in earnings... read more.

Source: Bankers Digest

Five*Star Award

Since 2002, IBAT has honored our Associate Members with the Five*Star award, recognizing those companies that routinely provide not just excellent service, but innovative solutions that help community banks grow faster, enhance profits and gain efficiency.

To be considered for this year's Five Star Awards, the Interest Form must be completed and returned to IBAT by Friday, March 23. Awards will be presented during the Leadership Conference, June 15, 2012, at The Woodlands Resort and Conference Center.

For more information, please contact Darlene Revers, drevers@ibat.org, or 512-474-6889.

Help Protect Texas Seniors

As families increasingly entrust the daily care of their aging parents to nursing homes, more than 1.5 million Americans now call a care facility home.  Among this group is the approximately 100,000 senior Texans living in 1200 nursing homes statewide.

While the large majority of these facilities seek to offer the highest levels of care and security for their residents, the elderly and disabled are at a very high risk of abuse, neglect, theft, exploitation and fraud. For this reason, the IBAT Education Foundation has partnered with the Senior Housing Crime Prevention Foundation, aimed at providing safe and secure living environments for Texas's senior housing residents.

The program works by serving as a conduit for banks to support Senior Crimestoppers while fulfilling a portion of their federally mandated Community Reinvestment Act requirements without taking a credit risk or adding an administrative burden.

With the support of banks through the Senior Housing Crime Prevention Foundation, Senior Crimestoppers operates a 24/7 toll-free tip line to report incidents of wrongdoing, provides personal lockboxes in the rooms of residents and offers continued education for management and staff to help identify incidents of wrong-doing.

To learn more about the program and ways that you can help protect the most vulnerable of Texas's citizens while earning CRA credit, visit the Senior Housing Crime Prevention Foundation website.  To gain understanding on the financial threats against senior citizents, please consider attending an upcoming webinar, Identifying & Preventing Elder Financial Abuse.

For more information contact Mary Lange, 512-474-6889


IBAT Webinars

No CD ROMs or PCs Required! Now, you can listen to IBAT Webinars on your iPad, iPhone, or Android mobile device.

It’s easier than ever to keep abreast of constantly changing banking
issues and regulations. When you register for an IBAT webinar, choose
the On-Demand Web Link registration option. This will allow you to
access the webinar for six months from anywhere, 24/7, on your mobile

Previous webinars can be ordered at any time. A full list is available here.


Exam Appeals Bill

WASHINGTON — Legislation that would let banks appeal examination findings to an outside arbiter has now been introduced in both houses of Congress.

After the House bill was unveiled late last year, a Senate version was introduced Tuesday by Republican Sen. Jerry Moran and Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin.

"Rather than provide clear rules of the road for an institution to make prudent loans to credit-worthy borrowers, banking agencies have made the lending climate worse by allowing the regulatory pendulum to swing too far... read more.

Login is required to view the entire story at www.americanbanker.com.  Subscriptions to American Banker are available for IBAT members as a FREE benefit of membership.  To gain access to your subscription, please contact Alina Greavu at agreavu@ibat.org or 512-474-6889.

IBAT Salary Survey

In March, we are offering your bank the opportunity to win free access to our online and dynamic IBAT Salary and Compensation Survey for one year.  Between now and March 31, register your bank as a survey user and you'll be entered to win.

For the past 21 years, the IBAT Community Bank Compensation survey has been the "gold standard" for salary and benefit data.  It is the go-to resource for community bank CEO's grappling with compensation issues for bank directors and all bank personnel.  But, as good as past surveys were, they only captured a "snapshot" of data from a moment in time. So, in late-2011, we moved the survey online to give you data compiled in real-time throughout the year.

The more banks that participate, the better the resource the survey becomes for all financial institutions looking to make informed salary and compensation decisions. 

All IBAT member banks that participate in the survey receive a discounted rate of $395 (a $480 savings) on access to the compiled data.

If you have any questions about the survey or need assistance please call 608-664-3822 or e-mail ibat@enetrix.com.


Texas First Bank in Texas City was awarded a Gold Eagle in the Best of Community Banking competition.  The bank added a twist to the popular board game Monopoly by turning Galveston County into a Monopoly game board where 200 high school students learned about financial literacy. Sponsored by the Charles T. Doyle Leadership Program at Texas First Bank and hosted by 25 other area businesses, students grouped in teams to learn about finance and play “Leadsopoly.” This clever and impressive all day program provides high school students high exposure and awareness to finance and business philosophy in their local community.

Reg Q Testimony

Frost Bank Sr. Executive Vice President Cliff McCauley testified on behalf of IBAT last Thursday in Washington, DC before the Financial Institutions and Consumer Credit Subcommittee.  The hearing was entitled "Understanding the Effects of the Repeal of Regulation Q on Financial Institutions and Small Businesses."

McCauley, a former Chairman of IBAT, eloquently laid out the concerns regarding this "late in the game" amendment to Dodd-Frank, and responded to numerous questions from members of the Committee.  

"The repeal of the prohibition on the payment of interest on business checking will fundamentally alter the business model of community banks, said McCauley.  "It will not only impact already shrinking net interest margins and further squeeze profitability, but also will adversely affect our ability to provide longer term, fixed rate loans to small business and local public entity borrowers.  Further, moving to a much more liability sensitive funding structure could have some very detrimental consequences for a number of our community banks."

IBAT President and CEO Chris Williston added, "Cliff has a remarkable passion for this issue, and has been instrumental in our efforts to overturn this significant but little noticed change in the law.  This is sadly one more 'hit' for community banks subsequent to a meltdown caused in no small part by our large 'brethren'.  Ironically, this clearly provides the largest too-big-to-fail banking companies a distinct advantage.  We will continue the fight on this and so many other issues to represent our community banks, and don't plan to let up."

IBAT would like to especially thank Chairman Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV) for agreeing to hold a hearing on this important issue, along with Texas Congressman (and former community banker) Quico Canseco for his work to make the hearing a reality.

We encourage you to review the written testimony as well as invest an hour watching this hearing.

The Credit Unions are Coming!


In the coming weeks, an anticipated 4,500 credit union advocates will swarm Capitol Hill in an unrelenting push for expanded small business lending authority.  The Small Business Lending Enhancement Act of 2011 (S. 509) would more than double the cap Congress put on "member business loans" that a credit union can make to 27.5% of assets (up from 12.25%).  Currently, only a handful of the very largest, most complex credit unions (about 2 percent of the nation's approximately 7,300 credit unions) are at or near the current lending cap.  Fully 70 percent of all credit unions report no member business loans at all.

Yesterday, IBAT President & CEO Chris Williston issued a warning to small credit unions via an Opinion piece in American Banker: "Be careful when you join forces with counterparts that seek an agenda different from your own, or prepare to suffer the consequences. You might soon be saddled with paying taxes and coming to grips with new regulations like the rest of us." IBAT offers each member bank a free online subscription to American Banker as a membership benefit.  Please contact Alina Greavu at agreavu@ibat.org for additional information.

The "quest" by the credit union industry to become even more like banks has been a priority issue for IBAT for decades.  Over the past several years, IBAT has written numerous letters to the Texas Congressional delegation to outline the community bank position on credit union overreach, but your grassroots support is needed to send a strong message.  ICBA has prepared resources for community bankers to make this important process as easy and efficient as possible for you.  If you have not already done so, please contact your Congressional representative and let them know that you strongly oppose this unwarranted and unneeded expansion of business lending powers to the credit union industry!


Time is Running Out!

Financial literacy is a real problem in Texas and the IBAT Education Foundation is committed to doing something about it!

The need for better financial literacy is obvious: 

  • Texans have among the lowest credit scores in the nation
  • Texas ranks 48th in household net worth and 44th in home-ownership rates
  • Major payday lenders report that fully two-thirds of their nationwide profits come from Texas

In 2011 the Education Foundation launched the IBAT Teach the Teacher Program providing teachers a practical, holistic approach to teaching money management to high school students.  This program was so successful there are plans to roll it out across Texas in 2012.  But we need your help!  By purchasing a raffle ticket you will be funding the programs of the Education Foundation.

To support the IBAT Education Foundation and its mission to create a more financially literate Texas please consider participating in our 2012 Guiltless Giveaway Raffle for a chance to win:

Grand Prize - $5,000 Discover Gift Card

2nd Prize - Apple iPad2 Wi-Fi, 3G, 32GB
3rd  Prize – Apple iPad2 Wi-Fi, 3G, 32GB
4th Prize – Apple iPad2 Wi-Fi, 3G, 32GB
5th Prize - Nikon Digital Camera
6th Prize – Nikon Digital Camera
7th Prize – Tiffany Necklace
8th Prize – Tiffany Bracelet
9th Prize – Tiffany Bracelet

Buy Guiltless Giveaway raffle tickets now!
The drawing will be Friday, April 13, 2012.

Credit Analysis Summit

On April 18, IBAT will host its 2012 Credit Analysis Summit at the Sheraton Dallas.  This one day program is designed to introduce critical financial and non-financial credit analysis considerations, documentation, monitoring and other important factors central to the review of most major loan types. The program emphasizes ratio analysis, balance sheet and income statement trends, SFAS 95 cash flow analysis and non-financial considerations critical to sound underwriting principles.

Real estate lenders and others involved with lending on real estate, loan review, personnel, credit administration, accountants, other consultants and regulators are encouraged to attend.  

Topics include:

Credit Analysis Procedures

  • Purpose of Loan Analysis
  • Regulatory Authorities
  • Loan Grading

Financial Statement Analysis

  • Purpose of Financial Statement Analysis
  • Analytical Techniques
  • Cash Flow Analysis—SFAS 95/UCA Cash Flow
  • Converting Tax Return Income to Cash
  • Industry Comparisons
  • Working Capital Conversion Cycle

Non-Financial Credit Considerations

  • Character
  • Management Ability
  • Industry

The Credit Write-Up

  • Critiquing Sample Credit Write-Up
  • Collateral
  • Valuation Issues
  • Accounts Receivable and Industry Considerations
  • Tracking Systems

Regulatory Underwriting Expectations

Grading of Credits

  • Discussion of Key Components of Risk Ratings
  • Discussion of Various Grading Systems

Registration is now open for the event.

Community Banking Month


Members of the Independent Bankers Association will be joining with our counterparts across the nation to celebrate Community Banking Month.  During the month of April we recognize the contributions of our Texas-based financial institutions to the state’s economic growth.  

Community banks historically have played a significant role in the growth of Texas by providing the financing necessary to ensure the success of the towns and cities within our borders.  Today, more than 2,000 independent banks and branches in 700 Texas communities still provide the majority of small business and agricultural loans and provide a hometown choice for Texans.

Let us know how your bank plans to celebrate Community Banking Month with your customers and we’ll post it on our website!

For more information, please contact Mae Beth Palone at mbpalone@ibat.org.


Community Banking Month

With financial literacy month just a few days away, it's not too late to consider ways that you can help encourage your customers to take better charge of their financial health. This month, we've compiled a list of resources that can be helpful to you, your customers and even the next generation of community bank customers. Plus, don't miss Chairman Willard Still's IBAT column for a step by step outline to leaping into action.

A REAL Free Credit Report
Customers who are actively engaging in monitoring their credit reports are less susceptible to fraud and identity theft.  Perhaps you've heard a certain catchy jingle sung by a man in a pirate costume about his free credit report. There are so many sites that claim to offer that service, but almost all of them require a subscription and a credit card number that will be charged monthly beginning 30 days after the user first logs in. AnnualCreditReport.com is the only truly free option that allows anyone to pull their full credit report from each of the three reporting agencies for free once each year.

IBAT Career Day Resources
If your local school hasn't already contacted you about participating in a career day, then maybe it's time to reach out to them!  IBAT has a number of free career day resources already developed for community bankers to go into the schools to talk about how banks work and, more importantly, how they work in the community.

Me Save?
Everyone has their excuses for not saving enough money.  But there are plenty of ways that little decisions can make a big difference in the financial lives of your customers.  Help them see and calculate the cost of their decisions with Me Save? from Feed the Pig.   

Financial Literacy Games for Kids
There are many games that kids can play to help reinforce the concepts of saving, investing and spending wisely.  Consider letting your customers know about games like Money Metropolis, Coin Memory and Financial Football that can help get kids thinking about and understanding money. 
Financial Health Throughout Life
Each phase of life brings its own challenges and opportunities for long-term financial health.  The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission has practical tips, check lists and suggestions for consumers that coincide to life events such as a first job, marriage, separation & divorce, caring for loved ones and inheritance.  Use this information in your own bank to inspire resources for you to share with your customers to connect to these major life events.