Baker Market Update: May 1, 2017

Baseball fans of a certain age may recall these wise words from the legendary Casey Stengel: “The key to successful managing is to keep the five guys who hate you away from the four guys who haven’t made up their minds.” President Trump may want to keep that anecdote in mind as he attempts to rewrite the nation’s tax code. Nothing happens without legislative cooperation and, at present anyway, markets are less than convinced that he’s going to be the beneficiary of any such cooperation.With this week’s announcement of a proposed major-league tax cut, the Trump reflation trade should have reflated.  It didn’t and it hasn’t, at least not so far. And until Congress gets on board, it won’t.

Read More in the Baker Market Update

2017 Main Street Tour

As previously reported in the Bottom Line newsletter, IBAT sponsored last week’s First Lady's Texas Main Street Program (TMSP) Tour for the 23rd year. During events in Buda and Linden, both cities officially become designated Main Street communities. IBAT’s Chris Williston spoke on behalf of the association at these events.

“Everyone should, just once, experience the dedication of Main Street cities across Texas,” said IBAT President and CEO Chris Williston. “Last week I had the pleasure of welcoming Buda and Linden to Texas Historical Commission's Main Street Program with Texas First Lady Cecilia Abbott. It was truly a Norman Rockwell moment.”

Texas First Lady Cecilia Abbott and Chris Williston speak during the induction of
Buda, TX as a designated Main Street community.


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

Top Webinars

Legal Ease: April 27, 2017

What sort of garnishments, levies or freezes are subject to protection for certain federal benefit payments? And can we charge a fee for handling garnishment – even for those accounts that receive a federal benefit payment?

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.

Call for BOCB

The call for entries for the 2017 Best of Community Banking (BOCB) Awards competition was recently released. This marks the 26th year of celebrating the outstanding accomplishments of IBAT member banks.

The BOCB program recognizes the vital role your bank plays in your community. It is an opportunity to showcase the best-of-the-best efforts of IBAT members in the categories of architectural design, community service, financial education and marketing. As always, all entries will be displayed at the IBAT Annual Convention in September at the Fairmont Hotel in downtown Austin. Gold award winners will be recognized during the BOCB Awards luncheon on Monday, September 11.

The entry deadline is Friday, June 30. You should have received the BOCB brochure and entry form in the mail in the past few weeks. We can’t wait to learn about the extraordinary programs IBAT banks have taken on throughout the past year! 

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

IBAT Legislative Insider

We are pleased to report that several of our proactive initiatives are moving through the process, and last week reflected significant incremental progress. A full report is provided in the latest issue of the IBAT Legislative Insiderwhich hit your inbox yesterday afternoon. We appreciate all of those who joined us in Austin several weeks ago – your involvement and meetings with your legislators obviously made a difference!

Issues ranging from public funds collateral, home equity, ability of a merchant to deny a transaction at point of sale and new account opening disclosure requirements all moved in a positive manner.

The next few weeks will be a frenzy of activity at the Capitol, as the 85th Session winds down at the end of May. Deadlines are looming, and the normal end of session stress level is palpable. Your IBAT legislative team will continue to do everything possible to move positive legislation forward and make sure the bad ideas remain just ideas. 

Please feel free to contact Steve or Meredyth if you have any questions or concerns.

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

FinTech Showcase a Success

More than 100 community bankers from across the state attended 30-plus demo company presentations, 12 breakout sessions and various networking opportunities during IBAT’s FinTech Showcase, held April 12-13 at the Worthington Renaissance Hotel in Fort Worth. Formerly TechMecca, FinTech Showcase is designed specifically for community bankers to help meet technology, customer service and marketing needs.

In addition to the keynote session led by Tony Brigmon, Southwest Airlines’ former “Ambassador of Fun,” and the opportunity to explore Diebold Nixdorf’s Big Rig Experience Truck, attendees enjoyed the nontraditional demo format for a second year. Instead of the usual trade show exhibition hall, exhibiting companies each provided a seven-minute main stage presentation on a product or service. Below are links to half of the company demos:


Stay tuned for next week’s Bottom Line newsletter, and we’ll share the rest of the demos from FinTech Showcase.

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


Last week, IBAT registered its official support for the Financial CHOICE Act 2.0, introduced by Chairman Jeb Hensarling. As reported in last week’s Bottom Line, the legislation is an aggressive plan to overhaul some of the most damaging provisions of Dodd-Frank. 

In a letter sent to Chairman Hensarling, IBAT President and CEO Chris Williston stated IBAT members’ appreciation for his work on the bill, saying it “offers sensible regulatory relief for qualifying institutions, protects the American taxpayer and consumer from another Wall Street meltdown, and holds federal financial regulatory agencies accountable.”

“We strongly feel the passage of the CHOICE Act will help ensure that community banks throughout Texas – and the country – continue to not only survive but also thrive, in turn promoting economic growth throughout our great state,” Williston said. 

A hearing on the Financial CHOICE Act is scheduled for April 26.  

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

Welcome Janie to IBAT

IBAT is pleased to welcome its new Regulatory Compliance Officer, Janie Stratton, to the team. She began this week and brings nearly 30 years of banking experience. Stratton, who recently moved to Austin from Weatherford, spent the last 10 years focused on lending compliance at First National Bank of Weatherford.

Her main responsibility is to provide a variety of compliance services and support for IBAT members, including assisting with the Compliance Forum, Legal/Compliance Hotline, Legal Ease Q&A and Capitol Comments. She will work closely with IBAT’s Regulatory Compliance Manager Kelly Goulart and General Counsel Karen Neeley.

Stratton attended Weatherford College and Tarleton State University. She has earned the Certified Community Bank Compliance Officer designation and is certified in Understanding Appraisals for Lenders.

Please feel free to email her to say welcome or ask any compliance-related questions. 

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

Baker Market Update: April 24, 2017

Mnuchin minutiae. Markets got a little excited yesterday when Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin said that the administration would “soon” release an ambitious tax overhaul plan that would not turn upon the dismantling of the Affordable Care Act. But investors didn’t get a lot excited because everyone’s heard similar promises before. Excitement may not be the most desirable emotional condition at present as the world digests a potentially game-changing election in France, civil disobedience in Venezuela, provocations from North Korea and Russia, disconcerting rhetoric over Iran, and a new kind of frappuccino from Starbucks.

Read More in the Baker Market Update

The Texas Independent Banker

The March/April 2017 digital edition of IBAT’s magazine, The Texas Independent Banker, is now available online. Click here to view the full table of contents or link directly to specific content below:

As always, if you have suggestions for future content to be featured in The Texas Independent Banker magazine, please contact Bonnie Kankel. We welcome your thoughts and ideas.

Staff contact: Bonnie Kankel, bkankel@ibat.org, 512-474-6889

Travelers Webinar

Travelers Insurance is presenting an hour-long webinar, Financial Institutions & Fiduciary Duties: Pitfalls for the Unwary, on Wednesday, April 26, 2017 at 1 p.m. Registration is free.

The presentation is intended to point out common situations in which banks may be unintentionally and unknowingly taking on fiduciary duties with borrowers and customers, and provide strategies to mitigate and manage these risks. We invite you to participate in this webinar on a very important topic. Register here.

Staff contact: Carol Troy, ctroy@ibat.org, 512-275-2236