ADA Lawsuit Update

The Independent Bankers Association of Texas (IBAT) and Texas Bankers Association (TBA) have reached a settlement with Access Now, Inc. (“Access Now”), the disability rights group that, along with individuals affiliated with it, has delivered demand letters to many IBAT and TBA members alleging inadequate website accessibility to visually-impaired persons, and has filed two lawsuits against members asserting claims under the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”).

The settlement provides: a) as a reaffirmation of IBAT and TBA and its members’ continuing commitment to accessibility to visually-impaired persons, the associations have adopted and recommended to their members a non-binding Restatement of Voluntary Access Principles that are acceptable to Access Now, and b) Access Now and the individuals have released IBAT and TBA members from all ADA claims related to the provision of Electronic Banking Services, which is defined as website accessibility, online banking, mobile banking, and telephone banking.

Staff contact: Chris Williston, cwilliston@ibat.org, 512-474-6889

Legislative Priorities

With the Texas legislative session now firmly under way, IBAT has updated its priorities for the 85th session. These, and other issues likely to arise, will be discussed with lawmakers when IBAT members descend on the Texas Capitol, April 4-5, 2017:

  • Home equity enhancements, including revisions to the three percent fee cap, “seasoned refinance”, agriculture use property and home equity lines of credit;
  • Multi-party account types and disclosure;
  • Disclosure of interested parties;
  • Public funds investment;
  • Property tax lenders; and
  • Gift card purchase ID requirements.

Read up on these issues and download the priorities document from the IBAT website. In addition to joining us for IBAT’s Community Banking Day at the Capitol, please make plans to join us in D.C. for the IBAT Congressional Visit, May 2-4, 2017.

Staff contact: Steve Scurlock, sscurlock@ibat.org, 512-275-2226

PAC Drive

What happens in Washington, D.C. and Austin has a far-reaching impact on your industry, your livelihood and your community. As we look toward our PAC Drive Month in March, we would like to challenge all bank directors, officers and employees to participate in this vital fundraising effort.

As leaders in your communities, you have excellent relationships with your state and federal legislators. While your IBAT staff works tirelessly with these key decision makers to move our federal and state proactive legislative agendas, we also spend hours working to defeat proposed legislation that would be detrimental to the community banking industry. Elections are expensive and, unfortunately, they get more expensive each year. For us to continue supporting smart candidates who advocate for our industry, we need your help funding the IBAT PACs.

For those who conduct annual PAC Drives, thank you! If your bank has never hosted a PAC Drive, please consider organizing one this year. We'd also like to invite you to check the IBAT website for information on both state and federal issues and initiatives that IBAT is working on for you, your stakeholders, employees and customers. We need your involvement! Don’t hesitate to let us know how we can assist with this important effort.

Staff contact: Meredyth Fowler, mfowler@ibat.org, 512-275-2245

2017 Summits

New for 2017, IBAT is offering a series of bank lending educational programs in April in an effort to minimize employee time away from the bank.

We have combined three unique lending summits into one week—all held at the Omni San Antonio Hotel at the Colonnade. The three programs offer strategic insight into regulatory “hot buttons,” lending policies, credit analysis procedures and interactive case studies.

Register or learn more about 2017 Appraisals, held April 18; 2017 Cash Flow Analysis, held April 19; and 2017 Credit Analysis, held April 20.

Staff contact: Jessica Hernandez, jhernandez@ibat.org, 512-275-2207

Baker Market Update: Feb. 27, 2017

In her role as Fed Chairperson, it’s easy to forget that Janet Yellen is also a mother. In that context, the “fairly soon” reference in the recently released FOMC Minutes (they should be called hours) makes perfect sense. Mom, when can we go to the park? Fairly soon. Mom, when’s dinner going to be ready? Fairly soon. Mom, when are you going to raise rates again? Fairly soon. And that, in the time-honored tradition of mothers everywhere, could mean anything.  

Read More in the Baker Market Update

IBAT's Store

In case you haven't thought about your supply orders lately, we'd like to remind you about the IBAT Branch Supply Store. We’ve collaborated with Deluxe Strategic Sourcing (formerly AccuSource Solutions) to help our members consolidate, simplify and save money on the items your branches regularly buy, including:

  • Operational printing and office supplies;
  • Janitorial and breakroom necessities; and
  • Promotional items and much more.

If you want a second opinion, watch this short video from IBAT Chair Darla Rooke as she explains how Junction National Bank relies on Deluxe Strategic Sourcing as its trusted online source for branch supplies.

With hundreds of banks achieving double-digit savings this way, IBAT decided to collaborate with Deluxe to create a one-stop supply shop for IBAT members. The IBAT Branch Supply Store ensures competitive prices on the items you need every day and lowers your overall procurement costs by saving money on purchased goods and employee time. Check it out today to see our vast selection and pricing.

Staff contact: Lori Cortez, lcortez@ibat.org, 512-275-2222

CFPB Structure

In October, a three-judge panel from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit ruled in the PHH v. CFPB case that the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) concentrates “enormous executive power” in a director who cannot be removed except “for cause.” A U.S. appellate court has now granted the CFPB’s request to rehear the case, which challenges the constitutionality of its governance structure.

In the PHH v. CFPB decision, the court noted that while other agency heads serve at the pleasure of the president or lead boards of directors, the CFPB director is virtually unaccountable to outside authority. The court then struck the “for cause” provision found in Dodd-Frank, meaning the president can now dismiss the CFPB director at will. Oral arguments for the new case will begin on May 24, 2017.

Staff contact: Kelly Goulart, kgoulart@ibat.org, 512-275-2231

Popular Webinars

Over the first six weeks of the year, IBAT members have been focused on education with great participation in webinars. If you’re looking for additional training for your staff, check out the most popular webinars of the year, now available on demand:

As always, you can view the full lineup of recorded or upcoming webinars by visiting our webinar homepage.

Staff contact: Julie Courtney, jcourtney@ibat.org, 512-275-2227

Legal Ease: February 23, 2017

We have a mortgage loan in which our borrower had “sold” the home under a contract for deed to the people living in the house. No surprise in that this blew up and all three parties ended up with attorneys. We have now reached a settlement in which we will allow the people in the home to assume the loan. Do we need to provide the people assuming the loan with disclosures? 

Learn the answer here.

Staff contact: Kelly Goulart, kgoulart@ibat.org, 512-275-2231

Legal Ease is chosen from questions received through the IBAT Compliance Adviser Helpline, available to IBAT members free of charge at 1-800-749-4228 or kgoulart@ibat.org. IBAT members can also read and/or initiate discussions with other community bankers in the IBAT Compliance Forum. The Legal Ease archives are also available on IBAT2GO, the official IBAT mobile app.


The TAILOR Act to promote tiered banking regulations was reintroduced by Sen. Mike Rounds and Rep. Scott Tipton. This legislation—known as the TAILOR Act of 2017—would require financial services agencies to tailor regulatory actions based on the business model and risk profile of financial institutions.

The 2016 version of this bill passed the House Financial Services Committee. If the 2017 version is passed, legislation would be retroactive to 2010. It would also require regulators to provide an annual report to Congress that outlines the steps they have taken to tailor their regulations.

As reported recently in the Bottom Line, a survey of IBAT members found that tailored regulation for community banks is the single greatest priority they’d like to see handled for the good of the industry. The TAILOR Act of 2017 would be a good start.  

Staff contact: Chris Williston, cwilliston@ibat.org, 512-474-6889

IBAT Webinars

Did you know? IBAT, in conjunction with Financial Education, Inc., hosts close to 150 webinars a year. Webinars are a very economical way to train your staff for one low price. Everyone can sit in on the program with the use of a speakerphone and a computer, or access archived webinars on-demand.

Topics are broken up by category or by date and include:

  • Auditing & Accounting
  • Collection
  • Compliance
  • Directors
  • Frontline and New Accounts
  • Human Resources
  • IT
  • IRA
  • Lending
  • Operations
  • Security & Fraud
  • Senior Management

You can access a complete listing of upcoming webinars and archived webinars here.


We are excited to announce the keynote speaker for IBAT's (new) FinTech Showcase (f.k.a. TechMecca)! Tony Brigmon, Southwest Airlines’ Former “Ambassador of Fun,” will join us on April 12, 2017 to kick off what we expect to be an incredible technology conference. 

Brigmon is a master storyteller. Each of his entertaining stories has a point, followed by a best practice and ending with an invitation to action. His FUNOMENAL™ CARE: Caring for Self, Internal Customers, and External Customers! will be just that. 

Don't miss this opportunity to be a part of the new and improved FinTech Showcase and experience the most FUNtastic technology showcase around. Be sure to register and join us in Fort Worth, April 12-13, 2017.

Staff contact: Julie Courtney, jcourtney@ibat.org, 512-275-2227

2017 Day at the Capitol

The IBAT government relations team is already dealing with a number of issues impacting community banks on both state and federal levels. Make sure you register for the following events and come stand shoulder to shoulder with your fellow community bankers in Austin and Washington, D.C. Your voice and support are needed and appreciated. 

The 85th Texas Legislature is in Austin and our proactive agenda is focused on a variety of issues, including home equity reform, card fraud/cybersecurity concerns, lien issues, and multi-party account types and disclosures. Join us at the State Capitol, April 4-5, 2017, for the 2017 Community Banking Day at the Capitol as we tell the community banking story.

Our last visit to Washington, D.C. a couple of weeks ago gave us hope that regulatory relief is finally going to happen. Our priorities have been set for the 115th Congress, as mentioned above, and we look forward to seeing you May 2-4, 2017 for the 25th Annual Congressional Visit

Staff contact: Janey Holstien, jholstien@ibat.org, 512-275-2206

Baker Market Update: Feb. 21, 2017

It should be noted at the outset of today’s missive that Baker Market Updates do not disseminate fake news. Just the facts, ma’am!  Well, mostly just the facts.  And, it’s a fact that Janet Yellen gave her semi-annual Humphrey-Hawkins testimony to Congress this week. How many synonyms are there for “moderate”? A rhetorical question; more importantly, she sees enough strength in this moderately growing economy to support what sounds like her intention to gradually raise interest rates. She also thinks that a higher interest rate environment will help keep the current level of inflation from becoming something more than, say it with me: “moderate”.

Read More in the Baker Market Update

FinTech Showcase

IBAT's FinTech Showcase, formerly known as TechMecca, is the largest regional financial services technology conference in the nation and is designed specifically for community bankers to help meet their technology, customer service and marketing needs.

The event traditionally took place in the first two months of the year. In 2017, we're changing it up! The showcase is scheduled to take place April 12-13 at the Renaissance Worthington Hotel in downtown Fort Worth.

If you’ve participated in TechMecca over the last several years, you’ve been on the forefront of an evolving event. Four years ago, TechMecca was the first IBAT event to introduce seven-minute stage demonstrations as an opportunity for bankers to get better acquainted with products and services offered by 40 different vendor companies.

“Vendors and bankers alike responded to the stage demonstrations positively,” said IBAT President and CEO Chris Williston. “The vendors like the focused opportunity to tell the story of their companies’ innovation, and bankers very much like the opportunity to get more information on a company before committing to a one-on-one conversation with months of potential follow up from a booth visit.”

Here is what you can look forward to over the two days of the event: 40 demo company presentations; 12 breakout sessions; and four networking opportunities with peers and demo companies. Click here for additional information and to register.

Staff contact: Julie Courtney, jcourtney@ibat.org, 512-275-2227

ICBA Coming to the Loan Star State

ICBA's Annual Convention, ICBA Community Banking LIVE, will be held in San Antonio, March 15-19, 2017. The early bird registration deadline has been extended and discounted rates expire February 17, 2017. Register today to save $300. Need more reasons to attend? IBAT’s own Scott Heitkamp will be installed as ICBA Chairman as part of the programming. 

The convention will feature three general sessions, more than 60 education sessions, dozens of networking opportunities, the largest trade show for community bankers and much more, including a performance by musical duo Big & Rich at the final evening banquet.

We hope to have a large turnout of IBAT members representing Texas community banks with this premiere event happening in our great state. 

Staff contact: Chris Williston, cwilliston@ibat.org, 512-474-6889

IBAT's February Consumer Tips

IBAT's February Consumer Tips article discusses a popular strategy to find the right balance in your finances. Because budgeting is about more than paying bills – it’s about determining how much you spend and on what.

Please feel free to share IBAT's February Consumer Tips with your bank customers.

Staff contact: Lindsey Gehrig, lgehrig@ibat.org, 512-275-2215

2017 Texas Tech School of Banking

Mark your calendars for the 44th Annual Texas Tech School of Banking, August 13-18, 2017. This two-year program educates tomorrow’s community banking leaders and provides practical, real-world insight that can be used immediately by graduates in their current roles.

The school is broad in scope, covering major bank management issues in a relevant and up-to-date manner. Instruction is presented in a group-live format and many of the assignments are completed in small groups. Junior banking officers, mid-level officers, managers and bank directors are all encouraged to attend.

Held at the prestigious Rawls College of Business at Texas Tech, those attending stay at the historic Overton Hotel and Conference Center in Lubbock. For additional information, click here. IBAT is a proud sponsor of the 44th Annual Texas Tech School of Banking.

Staff contact: Kelly Goulart, kgoulart@ibat.org, 512-275-2231