Baker Market Update: Jan. 17, 2017

Anyone feeling any “Friday the 13th”  foreboding should just relax; it’s bad luck to be superstitious. Small business owners certainly aren’t feeling any apprehension.The National Federation of Independent Business’s Optimism Index jumped in December by the most it has since 1980 and is now at its highest level since 2002. Things are looking up for small businesses. Way up. An ever-increasing number of small business owners report that they are ramping up plans to expand their businesses and increase hiring as they perceive the advent of better times ahead. Let the good times roll.

Read More in the Baker Market Update

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.

Fun Fact Friday: January 13, 2017

Texas possesses three of the top ten most populous cities in the United States. These towns are Houston, Dallas, and San Antonio.


OCC Seminannual Risk Prespective

Last week the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) issued its Semiannual Risk Perspective, outlining its areas of greatest concern for its regulated entities, including: 

  • Incremental easing of underwriting standards by banks seeking commercial real estate loan growth;
  • Cybersecurity threats, particularly due to reliance on third-party relationships for the delivery of services;
  • Competition for customers and the need for financial institutions to evolve in response to new market entrants like financial technology firms; and 
  • Changes related to amended regulations including the integrated mortgage disclosures under TILA/RESPA and the Military Lending Act.

The risk analysis also identified the most concerning economic challenges facing national banks, including low energy prices, lagging growth of the gross domestic product and a projected decrease in farm income. 

Also published last week, Dallas Fed chief economist Anton Cheremukhin issued his analysis of whether slowing GDP growth is an indicator of a looming recession.

Staff contact: Christopher Williston, clwilliston@ibat.org, 512-275-2208

Compliance Resources

As a special year-end bonus, the IBAT compliance team recently added three new compliance resources to the association’s website:

All compliance resources are provided to IBAT members as part of your membership in the association. Additionally, don’t forget to take advantage of IBAT’s members-only compliance helpline for support throughout 2017.  

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

IBAT FS Partners with ABA Ins.

A $1.5 million distribution has been announced for current ABA members who are also policy holders of Financial Institution Bond, D&O and related insurance products from American Bankers Insurance Services. This is the 27th consecutive year that a distribution has been declared with a total payout since 1991 of $82.7 Million.

IBAT Financial Services partners with ABA Insurance Services and is proud to offer these products to our members. The program is bank-owned and banker-directed, providing products that are relative to exposures faced by Community Banks today.

To learn more about all the products and services offered through IBAT Financial Services, please contact Carol Troy.

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

Join Us

If you attend only one community bank merger and acquisition educational event in 2017, Hold, Fold or Raise? – A 2017 M&A Workshop for Community Banks is the must-attend workshop of the year. Sponsored by the Independent Bankers Association of Texas (IBAT) and presented by two leading bank M&A advisors, this program will strive to arm you with knowledge to help you make informed decisions in this financially important area. You need to be prepared to objectively and capably assess whether the most appropriate strategic plan for your bank involves being a buyer, a merger partner or, perhaps, a seller. Hold, Fold or Raise? is designed to help you make that critical assessment. And, it will assist you in acquiring the essential skills to successfully navigate the current community bank M&A environment. Register today.

This day-and-half long working session is comprised of presentations covering a vast array of issues related to community bank mergers and acquisitions. Attendance is restricted to community bankers.  

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

Legal Ease

A bank originates a temporary construction loan with the intent to provide permanent financing (if the borrower does not find permanent financing elsewhere) when the home is completed. However, they do not do a one-time close. They close the construction loan and when the home has been completed, they document the permanent loan with a Modification Agreement. Is that HMDA Reportable?

Learn the answer here.

Staff contact: Shannon Phillips, sphillips@ibat.org, 512-275-2221
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, kgoulart@ibat.org or sphillips@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.

2017 Tour de Texas

IBAT's 2017 "Tour de Texas" Regional Meetings start early next month. IBAT Chair Darla Rooke and President and CEO Chris Williston are coming to your town, or a town near you, to provide a regulatory and legislative update, as well as an overview of the year ahead. Round 1 of the tour will take place February 6-10, 2017 in the following towns:

  • February 6: Graham and Fort Worth
  • February 7: Amarillo, Lubbock and Odessa
  • February 8: El Paso and San Angelo
  • February 9: Waco and San Antonio
  • February 10: Austin

Banker registration is now open - reserve your spot today. There is no registration cost for IBAT member bankers, but we ask that you please register so that we can get an accurate head-count for meals and receptions. In Round 2, February 28-March 2, we will visit Galveston, Schulenburg, Weslaco, Corpus Christi, Houston, Kilgore, Sulphur Springs and Dallas.

Vendor companies are invited, too! Please click here to download the registration form and return to IBAT by January 30, 2017 (Round 1) and February 21, 2017 (Round 2). 

Additional registration details and other information can be found here. We look forward to seeing you soon and welcome your input beforehand on issues you’d like discussed during these meetings.

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

Our Washington, D.C. Meeting

Your IBAT government relations staff was joined by IBAT Chair Darla Rooke for a flurry of meetings last week in Washington, D.C. The feedback from discussions with a wide array of lawmakers was very positive for meaningful and timely regulatory relief for community banking.

“After years of frustration, I am confident that we will finally see some action to address the issues most troubling to community banks and their customers,” stated Chris Williston, IBAT President and CEO. “A variety of community banking issues are being teed up in both the House and Senate, and we are hopeful of popping the corks as early as this summer. We discussed our priorities with leaders in both the House and Senate, and there appears to be a sincere willingness to move forward. We are indeed encouraged, and hope to energize our member banks to engage actively in the coming months to get the changes we have worked on so hard over the past few years.”

IBAT’s 25th Annual Congressional Visit is scheduled for May 2-4, 2017. An impressive showing of Texas community bankers will send a strong message that the time to address these issues is long past due. Please plan to attend, or at least make sure your bank – and your opinions – are represented.

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


Last week, the FDIC released FIL-2-2017 regarding the joint final rules recently adopted by the federal financial institution regulatory agencies – FDIC, OCC, and Federal Reserve – that permit certain depository institutions with total assets of up to $1 billion to qualify for an 18-month examination cycle. Prior to this final rule, only institutions with less than $500 million in total assets were eligible. The agencies believe this will allow them to accomplish two goals:

  • Better focus of supervisory resources on institutions that present capital, managerial, or other issues of supervisory concern; and
  • Reducing regulatory burden on small, well-capitalized and well-managed institutions.

Other qualifying criteria include being well-capitalized, well-managed, not having undergone any change in control during the previous 12-month period, and not being subject to a formal enforcement proceeding or order. The agencies do reserve the right to examine more frequently when they deem it is necessary.

“I am pleased that the agencies have reduced this regulatory burden on community banks and appropriately focused their attention where supervisory concerns exist. This will simultaneously provide community banks with a bit of regulatory breathing room while enhancing the safety and soundness of the financial institution industry as a whole,” said IBAT President and CEO Chris Williston.

Staff contact: Shannon Phillips, sphillips@ibat.org, 512-275-2221

Calling All Associate Members

Calling all associate members! In an effort to keep all IBAT members informed and engaged, we are hosting two important events in the weeks ahead. As an IBAT associate member you are invited and encouraged to register for both of the following events:

  • January 20: Associate Member Engagement Points Webinar
    Looking to become a Five*Star associate member? Our new engagement point system will make it easier than ever - no guessing games. Join IBAT Executive Vice President Christopher Williston, VI, CAE, and find out how to get and track engagement points, as well as how they can give your company visibility. 
  • February 10: Complimentary Austin Area Networking Event
    Join us for a free opportunity to experience associate member "speed dating" with incentives such as: increase prospect list, enhance relationships, build your network and hear bankers discuss important industry issues. You have the opportunity to register for the Austin Regional Meeting immediately following this event, where you can network with over 40 area bankers. 

Be sure to register for these events and take full advantage of your IBAT membership. Contact Darlene Revers for additional information.

Staff contact: Darlene Revers, drevers@ibat.org, 512-275-2217

Baker Market Update: Jan. 9, 2017

So, is it just a coincidence that the first employment report of the new year falls on the Day of Epiphany? Yes, it’s just a coincidence. This morning’s report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) contained no revelations. What it did contain was a hint of anecdotal evidence that the long-expected and much-heralded tightening of labor market conditions might be underway.  The highlight of the report was the 2.9% rise in year-over-year Average Hourly Earnings, and that growth rate hasn’t been seen since 2009. The 156k growth in Non-Farm Payrolls came in below the estimated 175k, but, November’s previously reported 178k was revised to 204k. The new Unemployment Rate is up by a tenth to 4.7% while the Labor Force Participation Rate clawed itself up by the same magnitude to 62.7%.

Read More in the Baker Market Update

Dell Sale

As New Year celebrations die down and everyone returns to work this week, we'd like to give you one more reason to keep celebrating: Dell's New Year special offers for IBAT member banks, bank employees and customers. Below are offer details and you can place your order by clicking here. Make sure your order is in by January 14, 2017.

Special offers include:

  • Stack 15% off OptiPlex/Latitude/XPS
  • Stack 6% off Inspiron PCs

These deals will be available to you until 7:00 a.m. on January 14, so act fast!

Ordering is easy! Visit Dell's website or contact Bryan Horten, IBAT’s Strategic Account Manager, at 512-942-9120 to order. As a reminder, whenever ordering Dell equipment please be sure to include the unique Dell/IBAT link number GS126658178.

Staff contact: Curt Nelson, cnelson@ibat.org, 512-275-2240

FinTech Showcase

Beginning in 2017, the event formerly known as TechMecca has become IBAT’s FinTech Showcase. The new name and face of the event marks the culmination of multiple-year transition in the format from traditional expo hall. IBAT’s FinTech Showcase will include 40 seven-minute stage demonstrations from companies profiling the best of their market-ready products and services for community banks. 

Additionally, FinTech Showcase will include educational breakout sessions on topics including:

  • The Future of Online and Marketplace Lending;
  • The State of the U.S. EMV Rollout;
  • The Next Generation of Consumer Facing Technology; and
  • Fraud Defense Strategies

IBAT’s FinTech Showcase will be held at the newly-renovated Renaissance Worthington Hotel in Fort Worth on April 12-13, 2017. Click here to register as a demo company or attendee.

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