The Texas Independent Banker

The July/August 2018 issue of IBAT’s magazine, The Texas Independent Banker, is now available online. This month’s cover feature takes an in-depth look at cybersecurity, including strategies to help protect banks from attack, keep customer data safe and ensure your employees aren’t your weak link. Other articles include:

As always, we welcome your suggestions for content to be featured in future issues. Please feel free to contact Neil Ferguson with ideas.

Baker Market Update 7.16.18

While President Trump is busy sweet-talking our allies in Europe and the U.K., Fed Chairman Powell might want to think about how he’s going to sugar-coat his inflation message to American consumers. The much-desired and long-sought-after condition of rising price levels has now succeeded in eliminating any gains in the purchasing power of those that are compensated on an hourly basis. For the second month in a row, Real Average Hourly Earnings, adjusted for inflation, have been stagnant. So, while headlines herald an ever-soaring stock market and a “booming” domestic economy, the man-on-the-street may still have to do most of his shopping through windows. Not particularly positive for an economy built on consumption.

Read more in the Baker Market Update.

Protect Your Customers

We all know that banks, like other important institutions, are at risk of a cyberattack every minute of every day. According to a recent article in The Texas Independent Banker magazine, 35 percent of all cyberattacks are targeted at banks. More than likely, your bank has a plan in place that will guide it through an incident, should one occur. But wouldn’t it be nice to have the opportunity to practice your plan without the stress of a real attack?

FS-ISAC is offering a two-day exercise that will help you do just that—the Cyberattack Against Payment Systems (CAPS) exercise, which takes place October 9-10 or October 16-17, 2018. This program will challenge your response teams, find gaps and help you build a stronger response plan. Register today.

Wondering what you can do in the wake of a cyberattack? Click here for an article on how to help protect your customers and preserve public confidence. A single institution can’t prevent an attack—it takes a village.


Following the passage of S. 2155, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) announced low-volume community bank lenders will now be exempt from certain HMDA data collection and reporting requirements. Community banks that originate fewer than 500 closed-end mortgage loans or 500 open-ended lines of credit will no longer be required to collect, record and report certain data points specified in current Regulation C of HMDA.

Additionally, the CFPB restated that reporting entities will not have to resubmit HMDA data collected in 2018 and reported in 2019 for non-material reporting errors, as it will not assess penalties for data collected in 2018 and reported in 2019.

Lastly, the format of the Loan/Application Registers for institutions filing HMDA data collected in 2018 will not be affected. Read the bureau’s statement, which includes additional information about exempted data fields and HMDA reporting guidance, here.

Baker Market Update: 7.09.18

Can Superman do more push-ups than The Hulk? Could Nolan Ryan strike-out Ted Williams? Is a good Jobs Report more important than a bad trade war? Good questions all, but tough to answer. To begin with, some might wonder how an increase in the Unemployment Rate from 3.8% to 4.0% could be positively perceived. A reasonable question. Thanks to an unexpected, but welcomed, increase in the Labor Force Participation Rate from 62.7% to 62.9%, not even a larger than expected rise of 213k in Non-Farm Payrolls could prevent the rise in the rate of unemployment. A closer look at the Household Survey from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) tells us how that happens. When the number of unemployed persons rises by 499k but the number of people who are employed only rises by 102k while the labor force expands by 601k, the numerator rises relative to the denominator. Voila’,the rate goes up. But, just when you think you’ve got the “S” from the “BLS” all figured out; remember, the survey that produces the Non-Farm Payroll count is different than the one that calculates the Unemployment Rate. Got it? 

Read More in the Baker Market Update

Legal Ease

What is the TRID ‘Blackhole’ and what was the fix?

Learn the answer here. For this week's Legal Ease in a printable PDF, click here.

Contact Kelly Goulart (512-275-2231) or Janie Daniel (512-275-2221) if you have further questions or need clarification on the topic above.

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.


President Issues Proclamation


Office of the Press Secretary


July 3, 2018


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Our Nation shares the sorrow of those affected by the shooting at the Capital Gazette newspaper in Annapolis, Maryland.  Americans across the country are united in calling upon God to be with the victims and to bring aid and comfort to their families and friends.  As a mark of solemn respect for the victims of the terrible act of violence perpetrated on June 28, 2018, by the authority vested in me as President of the United States by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, I hereby order that the flag of the United States shall be flown at half-staff at the White House and upon all public buildings and grounds, at all military posts and naval stations, and on all naval vessels of the Federal Government in the District of Columbia and throughout the United States and its Territories and possessions until sunset, July 3, 2018.  I also direct that the flag shall be flown at half-staff for the same length of time at all United States embassies, legations, consular offices, and other facilities abroad, including all military facilities and naval vessels and stations.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this third day of July, in the year of our Lord two thousand eighteen, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and forty-second.



Big congratulations to IBAT member Happy State Bank for taking third place in the first-ever Forbes Best-in-State Banks and Credit Unions list. Only 124 banks and 145 credit unions made the list.

The nationwide study focused on customer opinion, surveying over 25,000 individuals on overall satisfaction, trust, terms and conditions, branch services, digital services and financial advice of their financial institution.

On a scale of 1 to 5, customers gave banks a general satisfaction rating of 4.24. This goes to show that customer relationships and customer service are still just as (if not more) important as the balance sheet.

Happy 4th of July!

On this 4th of July may your hearts be filled with love for our nation, compassion for our fellow Americans and the determination to make our communities and country better than they already are.

Your IBAT leadership and staff are proud to represent the greatest industry in the greatest country in the world and wish you all the blessings for a happy and safe holiday as we celebrate the birth of our nation!

IBAT will close at noon on Tuesday, July 3, 2018 and will remain closed thru Wednesday, July 4 in observance of Memorial Day. We will resume to regular office hours on Thursday, July 5.

OCC Update

The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) has issued updated versions of “Bank Supervision Process,” “Community Bank Supervision,” “Compliance Management Systems,” “Large Bank Supervision” and “Federal Branches and Agencies Supervision.”

The revisions or updates to the previous versions:

  • Clarify the applicability of each booklet to banks, legal language and terminology and the roles of bank boards of directors and management;
  • Provide examiner guidance for assessing asset management and BSA/AML/OFAC risks; and
  • Incorporate relevant aspects of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act.

For a complete list of changes and highlights, please visit the OCC’s website.

Baker Market Update: 7.02.18

The economically erudite among us devote much of their time these days to the discussion of cyclic behavior. Business cycles, price cycles, rate cycles. This week, though, it was another type of cycle that garnered the most attention; the kind that’s powered by a V-twin and has belt drive. When HarleyDavidson announced that it would be moving some of its production facilities abroad, you’d have thought Ol’ Yeller died. Fingers immediately began pointing to the European Union’s recent imposition of retaliatory tariffs as the culprit while critics of the President’s trade policies were quick to declare the Milwaukee-based manufacturer as the first casualty of an escalating trade war. Not to worry, though. Just this morning, Treasury Secretary Stephen Mnuchin told a journalist on one of the business shows that we are not in a trade war; we’re in a trade dispute. Thank you, Steve, that’s good to know

Read More in the Baker Market Update

2018 Convention

If you haven’t signed up to be a sponsor or exhibit at IBAT’s flagship event—our upcoming 44th annual convention, September 23-25—time is running out. Don’t miss your opportunity to connect with 350-plus community bankers at San Antonio’s La Cantera Resort.

In addition to a dozen booths still available at the trade show ($2,045 for members, $2,940 for nonmembers), sponsorships range from as little as $1,000 for a general convention sponsor to $36,000 for the PAC Auction dinner sponsor. Also, there is one hospitality suite sponsorship still available on Monday evening for $2,045, and one stage demo spot remaining for the Sunday afternoon general session for $3,500.

For a complete list of sponsorships available or for more information regarding opportunities to maximize your company’s visibility, contact Janey Holstien.

House Voted

The House voted 213-211 to pass its version of the farm bill, the Agriculture and Nutrition Act of 2018 (H.R. 2), which maintains commodity price protections and a strong crop insurance program. Additionally, the bill increases the guaranteed farm loan limits to $1.75 million from $1.39 million and opposes granting the Farm Credit System new lending powers. This comes a month after the bill was initially voted down in the House due to issues such as food stamp-work requirements and immigration.

Earlier this month, the Senate Agriculture Committee passed its version of the bill (S. 3042) that excludes the controversial work requirements. A conference of the two versions would begin in July if the full Senate considers its bill this week.

Join Us

It’s only been a week and a half since Leadership Conference, but if you’re already missing it—or wish you had been able to attend—go ahead and mark your calendars for next year! We’ll be at the Omni Frisco Hotel at the Star, June 20-22, 2019.

Last week we covered highlights from this year’s Leadership Conference, including:

  • More than 200 Texas community bankers and industry advocates, along with their families, attended;
  • Two winners of the Excellence in Leadership Award were announced – Rogers Pope, Jr. (Texas Bank and Trust, Longview) and Darla Rooke (Junction National Bank, Junction);
  • Three Five*Star Award winners were honored – BKD, LLP, Bank Compensation Consulting and Kennedy Sutherland LLP; and
  • The 2018-2019 board of directors for the Division, led by new chair Christy Hester, was sworn in.

And now, without further ado, photos from this year’s conference are now up on our Facebook page.

Salary Survey

Data collection is open for IBAT’s 2018 Community Bank Salary and Compensation Survey. The data collection deadline is August 3, 2018. Participants receive a complimentary copy of the comprehensive PDF report and custom reporting tool (a $450 value), due out in mid-September.

We make this process as simple as possible with two easy ways to participate:

  • Enter data online by clicking here. It takes less than a minute to create an account, then click “participate” to provide salary and compensation data for the survey. You can begin the survey and come back to it at a later time to complete it.
  • Print this form and return it by mail or fax to the contact listed at the bottom.

The more banks that participate, the more valuable the report becomes. Please contact Lindsey Gehrig with any questions.

Baker Market Update: 6.25.18

Fed Chairman Jerome Powell was in Portugal yesterday speaking at a conference hosted by the European Central Bank. One assumes he was there to share his wisdom and experience with his counterpart, Mario Draghi. “As is often the case,” said Mr. Powell, “in the current environment, significant uncertainty attends the process of making monetary policy.” There’s a reason that Jerome sits at the head of our big, shiny table. His impressive and comprehensive grasp of the obvious isn’t something taught in business schools; one either has it, or they don’t

Read More in the Baker Market Update

Your New LD Board

The conclusion of IBAT’s 33rd Annual Leadership Conference marks the beginning of a new year for the Division, and with that comes a new board of directors. Congratulations to our new executive committee and board! We look forward to an amazing year ahead. The Leadership Division is divided into 13 regions, each with its own president, who also serves as the region’s board member.  

Executive Committee:

  • Chairman - Christy Hester, Texas Bank and Trust (Longview)
  • Chair Elect - Marty Rivers, First State Bank (Gainesville)
  • NEW: Secretary-Treasurer - Peter Smith, Happy State Bank (Lubbock)
  • Immediate Past Chairman - Hazem Ahmed, Independent Bank, ssb (Pasadena)

Board Members:

  • Region 1 President - Geoffrey W. Phemister, Happy State Bank (Amarillo)
  • Region 2 President - Brett McDowell, Centennial Bank (Lubbock)
  • Region 3 President - Barry Gober, First State Bank (Graham)
  • Region 4 President - Chad Golden, TIB-The Independent BankersBank, NA (Dallas)
  • Region 5 President - Justin D. Steinbach, Frost Bank (Dallas)
  • NEW: Region 6 President - Rob Barton, JD, MBA, Bank Compensation Consulting (Plano)
  • NEW: Region 7 President - Abbey Carnes, Ozona National Bank (Ozona)
  • Region 8 President - Audie Wienecke, TransFund (Hico)
  • Region 9 President - Matthew A. Crable, Texas First Bank (Pearland)
  • Region 10 President - Cory R. Flencher, Citizens State Bank (Brenham)
  • Region 11 President
  • Region 12 President - Melissa Nance, PHR, Advantage Health Plans Trust (Oklahoma City)
  • Region 13 President - Robert Priestley, Centennial Bank (Austin)
  • At Large Banker - Brian May, Vista Bank (Ralls)
  • NEW: At Large Banker - Sam Nunn, Citizens Bank (Amarillo)
  • At Large Associate Member - Kevin Moore, American National Insurance Company (League City)

Each region hosts a myriad of events throughout the year. Click here to view upcoming events or be on the lookout for an email later this week.

33rd Annual LD Conference

The 33rd Annual Leadership Conference is in the books! Last week, more than 200 Texas community bankers and industry advocates, along with their families, attended the big event in San Antonio. Present and future community bank leaders were able to connect and take advantage of educational sessions, leadership development activities, networking opportunities and entertainment. “Connecting Leaders” was a very appropriate theme for this year’s gathering. From golf, to Kids Camp, to Family Fun Night, there was something for everyone.

Several awards were also given during the conference, including the Excellence in Leadership Award, which was presented to not one, but two incredibly outstanding individuals – Rogers Pope, Jr. (Texas Bank and Trust, Longview) and Darla Rooke (Junctional National Bank, Junction). Both recipients have served IBAT and the community banking industry in more ways than can be counted.

Additionally, three of IBAT’s associate members were given the Five*Star Award for routinely providing not only excellent service but also innovative solutions that help community banks grow faster, enhance profits and gain efficiency. This year’s winners are BKD, LLP, Bank Compensation Consulting and Kennedy Sutherland LLP.

Congratulations to all! If you were unable to attend this year’s conference, we hope you make plans to join us next year, June 20-22, 2019, at the Omni Frisco Hotel at the Star. Check out next week’s edition of Bottom Line for photos of this year’s conference.


We know the beginning of summer is a busy time for many so we’ve decided to push the deadline for the 2018 Best of Community Banking (BOCB) Awards to next Friday, June 29. Please be sure your entry is delivered to the IBAT office by 5 p.m.

A few reminders if you’re just starting your entry:

  • Entries are now free (max two per bank);
  • We added a ‘bank culture’ category this year to recognize our banks’ efforts to develop and train, engage, recognize and incentivize your employees;
  • The five entry categories are community service, financial literacy, marketing, architectural and bank culture;
  • All gold, silver and bronze award entries will be on display during IBAT’s 44th Annual Convention, with gold award winners recognized at the BOCB Awards Luncheon on Sunday, September 23.

We can’t wait to see the many ways IBAT member banks have bettered the quality of life for those around them through your BOCB entries. Additional information can be found in the BOCB brochure and entry form, and please don’t hesitate to contact Lindsey Gehrig with questions or entry ideas.

Mark Your Calendar

IBAT’s lending summits are coming to Austin this fall. Additional information will be provided in the coming weeks.

  • Advanced Credit Analysis (September 12-13): Examine current trends in banking, credit analysis challenges and software applications; perform in-depth financial statement analysis; and participate in peer-to-peer case studies to help take your credit analysis knowledge, skills and abilities to the next level
  • Appraisals (September 14): This summit will cover the critical regulatory “hot buttons” causing concern for bankers, as well as the most common appraisal and collateral evaluation deficiencies. Attendees will learn sound real estate lending policy, an overview of the appraisal process, compliance with applicable real estate regulations and minimum requirements of an “evaluation” vs. an appraisal.

Baker Market Update: 6.18.18

In a thinly veiled response to ABC’s recent cancellation of “Roseanne”, Fed Chairman Jerome Powell announced this week that he will be holding a press conference after each of the FOMC’s meetings rather than the traditional every-other-one schedule. Ratings will soar. The telegenic Mr. Powell indicated that interest rates, while perhaps not soaring, will still be gaining altitude. To the surprise of no one, the Federal Open Market Committee effected its seventh, quarter-point increase of this cycle in the target rate for Fed Funds and strongly indicated that two more hikes could well be coming before the year is out. “The decision you see today is another sign that the U.S. economy is in great shape,” said Jerome. “Real (inflation adjusted) Average Hourly Earnings have a year-over-year growth rate of 0.0%,” said the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Read More in the Baker Market Update


The Independent Bankers Association of Texas (IBAT) is pleased to announce the selection of Christopher L. Williston, VI to serve as the organization’s next president and chief executive officer. Williston has been a member of the IBAT staff since 2009 and currently serves as the association’s chief operations officer. He will succeed his father, who has served as IBAT’s president and chief executive officer for the past 30 years, effective January 1, 2019.

Williston was selected to lead IBAT—the largest community banking association in the nation—following a nationwide search, which led to him being named as the sole finalist for the position recommended by the IBAT Search Committee. That recommendation was approved by the IBAT board of directors late last week. 

“I cannot overstate how proud I am of the work performed by our dedicated committee volunteers who worked tirelessly and with great integrity to recommend IBAT’s next president and CEO,” said Rogers Pope, Jr., search committee chairman. “Suffice it to say our vetting process was rigorous, including interviews with many qualified and impressive candidates. Throughout the process, it became clear that Christopher’s knowledge, experience, passion and vision made him the right choice to lead IBAT into the future.”

In addition to his work with IBAT, Williston is a well-respected member of the Texas association community, having recently completed his term as chairman of the Texas Society of Association Executives (TSAE). He is also a past winner of TSAE’s Young Professional Leadership Award and a finalist for the AU40 (Austin Under 40) Award. 

Christopher and his wife, Michelle, live in the suburbs of North Austin with their six children. They are active in their children’s schools and in their church home of the last 12 years, St. Thomas More Catholic Church in North Austin. 

The Willistons further serve the Austin and greater Texas community through the Mary Claire Project, a nonprofit they founded in 2015, to provide free or low-cost burial options to families who experience the loss of a child through miscarriage or stillbirth. 

“Michelle and I have a shared understanding of our family’s mission to dedicate our lives to service of others,” Williston said. “We are honored to have the support and confidence of the IBAT board to serve the Texas community banking industry and the vital role it plays in the lives of men and women who make up the places we call home.”

Williston is a graduate of Texas Christian University (TCU) and holds a master’s degree from Brite Divinity School at TCU. He is also recognized as a Certified Association Executive by the American Society of Association Executives, the sole mark of distinction for those serving in the Association industry.   

Compliance Overview

We pushed for regulatory relief for many years and celebrated the passage of the Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief, and Consumer Protection Act (S. 2155). Now it’s time to figure out what the new law really means for community banks. IBAT General Counsel Karen Neeley offers her thoughts in a Compliance Overview. The changes—and how they affect community banks—include:

  • Improving consumer access to mortgage credit;
  • Regulatory relief and protecting consumer access to credit;
  • Protections for veterans, consumers and homeowners;
  • Tailoring regulations for certain bank holding companies;
  • Encouraging capital formation; and
  • Protections for student borrowers.

For a detailed explanation of each bullet above, download the overview. Also included in the PDF is an action plan for your bank.



During an IBAT Legislative Committee meeting last week in Austin, members voted to approve a proactive agenda for the 86th Texas Legislative Session (details will be forthcoming) and voted unanimously to oppose H.R. 4058, the Securing All Livestock Equitably (SALE) Act of 2017. This bill creates a dealer statutory trust when cattle are sold and potentially impedes the lien position on those cattle held by a bank lender. Members of the committee who are active in cattle financing expressed concerns this would significantly impact the granting of credit, and was not in the best interests of either the lender or the borrower.


President Issues Proclamation

Please note, President Donald J. Trump issued the following proclamation concerning Flag Day and National Flag Week, 2018. 


Office of the Press Secretary


June 8, 2018


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More than two centuries ago, on June 14, 1777, the Second Continental Congress formally adopted the Stars and Stripes as the official flag of our new Republic.  Through the many triumphs and trials of our Nation, our flag has reflected our heritage of liberty and embodied the American virtues of bravery, justice, and loyalty.  Each year, we celebrate Flag Day and National Flag Week to honor our timeless national emblem.

Our flag symbolizes our solemn pride and eternal gratitude to our service members, who willingly raise their hand in front of our Nation's colors and take an oath to support and defend the Constitution of the United States.  Our flag also serves as a final acknowledgement of our country's gratitude to the families of those soldiers, sailors, airmen, marines, and coastguardsmen who have given their last full measure of devotion to our country.  After the echo of the last rifle volley and the final notes of "Taps" fade away, the flag is carefully folded and presented to the grieving families of our fallen heroes to serve as a source of comfort and strength in times of immense sorrow.

Our majestic flag flies during our country's most memorable occasions.  In the early morning of May 10 of this year, a large American flag undulated in the breeze over the homecoming of three Americans released from captivity in North Korea.  It also presided during our astronauts' many missions exploring the moon's surface, the heroic triumph of the Marines at the battle of Iwo Jima, and the recovery operations at New York City's ground zero and the Pentagon immediately following the attacks of September 11, 2001.  Our country's colors -- bold and brilliant -- symbolize to the world those values we hold sacred, freedom and liberty, and our hope for a better world.

Today, we celebrate the ideals of our country's founding, which are represented so proudly by the broad stripes and bright stars -- that all men are created equal and endowed by their Creator with unalienable rights, including life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.  May we never forget the tremendous sacrifices required to secure and maintain our freedom.  Let us proudly stand and remember our founding principles and our country's ever continuing march to achieve a more perfect Union.  As we raise our flag, let us resolve always to cherish it with reverence and eternal gratitude so that the red, white, and blue may forever wave from sea to shining sea.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, DONALD J. TRUMP, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim June 14, 2018, as Flag Day, and the week starting June 10, 2018, as National Flag Week.  I direct the appropriate officials to display the flag on all Federal Government buildings during this week, and I urge all Americans to observe Flag Day and National Flag Week by displaying the flag.  I also encourage the people of the United States to observe with pride and all due ceremony those days from Flag Day through Independence Day, set aside by the Congress (89 Stat. 211), as a time to honor America, to celebrate our heritage in public gatherings and activities, and to publicly recite the Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this eighth day of June, in the year of our Lord two thousand eighteen, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and forty-second.