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


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

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.

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

Legal Ease: February 16, 2017

Why can’t a Fresh Start Repayment Plan in connection with an overdraft program exceed four installments? Do we need a promissory note?

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.

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

Texas Legislature

With the naming of House Committees last week, the work of the 85th Texas Legislature will begin in earnest. You may view these appointments by committee or by member if you are interested in seeing where your local representatives will be focusing their attention for the next 105 days.

Additional information regarding committee assignments and important issues we are working on was sent yesterday afternoon in the most recent issue of Legislative Insider. We anticipate that committees will begin meeting as early as this week and with a number of new faces on our key committees, we will spend quality time with these members and their staff to explain a variety of issues impacting community banking.

Don’t forget IBAT’s Community Banking Day at the Capitol on April 4 and 5, 2017! We have been pleased with the response thus far and highly encourage you to register to join us in telling the community banking story.

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

Dell's Sale

This Valentine’s Day show your staff some love by making a move to ditch your end-of-life workstations and laptops. Between now and May 1, 2017, IBAT members can take advantage of special member-only deals from Dell, including:

  • Save an additional 10% on Precision Workstations
  • Save an additional 5% Optiplex/Latitude PCs

These savings are stacked on top of the approximate 30% savings IBAT members enjoy on all orders from Dell. Ordering is easy, just 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.

Dell deals are accessible for bank staff for business or personal use. For your convenience, you can download this flyer and post it in your bank for everyone to see.

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

Congress Request to IBAT

IBAT has been approached by several members of Congress—most recently Congressman Roger Williams—requesting “real-world” stories about how over-regulation has impacted both your bank and, more importantly, your ability to meet the needs and desires of your customers.

Are there provisions of Dodd-Frank or other federal laws and subsequent regulatory rules or interpretation that have kept you from being able to provide a mortgage, small business loan (or deposit account) or smaller consumer loan that you would have otherwise provided? Have you hired additional staff to keep up with compliance issues, and roughly how much more of your total expenses are being spent on compliance compared with 10 years ago? Are there issues with tax-advantaged competitors (credit unions, FCS) that are creating an unfair playing field? Is there anything else on your mind that you would like for us to share?

Please send an email to Steve Scurlock and let him know if you would like your comments submitted with or without attribution. These will be compiled and forwarded to the appropriate offices. We are committed and optimistic that meaningful change is forthcoming, and your input will be critical to moving legislation forward. We appreciate your help!

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

First Regional Meeting a Success

The 2017 IBAT Regional Meetings kicked off in 10 cities last week. Meetings were held in Graham, Fort Worth, Amarillo, Lubbock, Odessa, El Paso, San Angelo, Waco, San Antonio and Austin. IBAT Chair Darla Rooke, President and CEO of Junction National Bank, spearheaded a panel discussion that included IBAT President and CEO Chris Williston, The Baker Group President and CEO Jeff Caughron, ICBA EVP of Policy and Political Operations Aaron Stetter, IBAT Executive Vice President Christopher Williston and Texas Banking Commissioner Charles Cooper (in Waco and Austin meetings).

Nearly 1,200 bankers and industry partners attended throughout the week, setting a new record for combined registration. The meetings focused on the seismic shift of expectation that occurred in the industry following the 2016 general election and handicapped the prospects for regulatory reform in the current Congress. Jeff Caughron of The Baker Group also examined the market reaction since the election and how it might influence investment strategies for community banks.

“The large number of bankers who turned out around the state speaks to the optimism pulsing through the industry right now,” said Williston. “If we can translate the positive energy into proactive grassroots action, the industry will see great gains in the year ahead.”

The regional meeting tour resumes later this month in Galveston and moves on to Schulenburg, Weslaco, Corpus Christi, Houston, Kilgore and Sulphur Springs before concluding in Dallas. Click here for additional information or to register for Round 2.

Baker Market Update: Feb. 13, 2017

Donald Trump may have given equity investors an early Valentine’s Day gift yesterday when he remarked at a White House meeting that he would be making, within three weeks, an announcement that would be “phenomenal in terms of taxes.” Phenomenal!  Unfortunately, the boost that the curmudgeonly cupid’s remarks gave to the stock market came at the expense of bondholders.

Read More in the Baker Market Update