Regulatory Relief Passes

The most significant move toward meaningful regulatory burden relief for community banks—the Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief and Consumer Protection Act (S. 2155)—passed last Wednesday by a resounding bipartisan vote of 67-31.

“Community bankers in Texas and across the nation, and those in the diverse communities we serve, are delighted and enthusiastically grateful to Chairman Crapo and the thoughtful Democratic members of the Senate Banking Committee, including Senators Heitkamp, Donnelly, Tester and Warner, for their remarkable leadership in crafting a consensus bill to ‘right the inadvertent wrongs’ created by Dodd-Frank,” said IBAT President and CEO Chris Williston. “So many other senators played key roles with a special thanks to our own Senator Cornyn for his leadership on this issue, Senator Cruz for his support of community banking and this important bill, and Senator Jerry Moran of Kansas for his steadfast resolve in crafting a bipartisan, community bank-focused regulatory burden relief bill. There were only “aye” votes from the Republican delegation, and we very much appreciate the overwhelming support. Our supporters from the minority party withstood personal attacks and misinformation from others in their party and stood strong to do the right thing. We tip our hat to you and appreciate your efforts to bring some common sense to a process frequently devoid of that quality.”

Williston added that “The House of Representatives has passed numerous bills that make up the bulk of S. 2155. We extend our sincere thanks to Chairman Hensarling, the members of the Financial Services Committee, and those members who supported these important community bank relief initiatives.”

As this legislation moves to the House of Representatives, IBAT’s position continues to be getting this bill to the President’s desk on an expedited basis. “This important legislation is critical and long overdue,” Williston added. “IBAT and community bankers across the nation have been working on these issues and begging for help for the past eight years. It’s beyond time to get this important reform enacted for community banking, and we urge prompt and priority movement through the House of Representatives.”

Stay tuned for specific action alerts as this bill is considered by the House.


As mentioned in an email to membership last week, Dell discounts are continuing in 2018. However, the format has changed. Instead of the traditional quarterly deals, Dell is now offering IBAT member banks, bank employees and customers, and IBAT associate members “evergreen” offers all year long. This means that whenever you visit www.dell.com/ibat in 2018, you will see discounts for the following products:

  • Optiplex Desktops,
  • Latitude Laptops,
  • PowerEdge Servers,
  • Precision Workstations,
  • XPS Desktops and Laptops,
  • Inspiron Desktops and Laptops, and
  • Other Dell Electronics and Accessories.

Additional discounts will also be available throughout the year, and we will share those as they become available. As always, don’t forget to use the Dell/IBAT link number (GS126658178) when placing your order to maximize discounts.


The Senate resumed debate over the bipartisan Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief and Consumer Protection Act (S. 2155) yesterday after the chief co-sponsors introduced an amended version late last week. ICBA has put out several helpful resources regarding S. 2155, including an updated bill summary and two infographics (here and here).

As reported last week, Senators Cornyn and Cruz have expressed support for this bill. We very much appreciate their help making much-needed and long-overdue regulatory reform for community banks a reality. We’re keeping close watch of Senate activity early this week as a vote—expected to pass—should happen in the coming days.

Primary Election Results

While the primary elections are over, there are a few runoff elections of interest on May 22. As many of you are aware, IBAT has a very strict policy regarding participating/contributing in open seat races and does not do so without the overwhelming (two-thirds) support of the membership in a district. Thanks to all of you who responded to our survey emails prior to the primary. We will send out additional surveys in those open seat districts where there will be a runoff, and also welcome any insights you have about which candidate you support in your district. Feel free to contact Meredyth Fowler to let us know about your support for a candidate.  

Below is a breakdown of the primary election results for open seat elections. The retiring member is listed in parenthesis and ** indicates the candidate was supported by the IBAT PAC or IBAT FedPAC based upon receiving a two-thirds majority from district bankers responding to our survey or contacting us directly. Please note that in the event we supported a candidate from one party, we will continue that support through the runoff election even if there is also a runoff in the other party primary.  

US House of Representatives

  • District 2 (Ted Poe) – Kevin Roberts** and Dan Crenshaw in Republican runoff  
  • District 3 (Sam Johnson) – Van Taylor**
  • District 5 (Hensarling) – Lance Gooden and Bunni Pounds in Republican runoff
  • District 6 (Joe Barton) – Jake Ellzy** and Ron Wright in Republican runoff 
  • District 16 (O’Rourke) – Veronica Escobar (D) won
  • District 21 (Smith) – Matt McCall and Chip Roy in Republican runoff; Joseph Kosper and Mary Street Wilson in Democrat runoff
  • District 27 (Farenthold) – Bech Bruun** and Michael Cloud in Republican runoff 
  • District 29 (Green) – Sylvia Garcia** (D) won

Statewide Offices

All incumbents were re-elected.

Texas Senate

  • District 8 (Taylor) – Angela Paxton (R) won
  • Texas House of Representatives
  • District 4 (Gooden) – Stuart Spitzer and Keith Bell in Republican runoff
  • District 8 (Cook) – Thomas McNutt and Cody Harris in Republican runoff
  • District 13 (Schubert) – Ben Leman and Jill Wolfskill in Republican runoff
  • District 15 (Keough) – Steve Toth (R) won
  • District 45 (Isaac) – Ken Strange (R) won; Rebecca Bell-Metereau and Erin Zwiener in Democrat runoff
  • District 52 (Gonzales) – Cynthia Flores** (R) Won 
  • District 62 (Phillips) – Reggie Smith** and Brent Lawson in Republican runoff  
  • District 89 (Laubenberg) – Candy Noble (R) won (IBAT supported John Payton)
  • District 106 (Fallon) – Jared Patterson (R) won
  • District 109 (Giddings) – Carl Sherman, Sr. and Deshaundra Lockhart Jones in Democrat runoff
  • District 113 (Burkett) – Jonathan Boos (R) won
  • District 121 (Straus) – Steve Allison and Matt Beebe in Republican runoff
  • District 126 (Roberts) – Sam Harless** (R) won

As indicated above, we will send district surveys throughout the next several weeks to determine our participation in the runoff elections. As a member-driven association, your opinion and insights are critical as we determine who we wish to support in these important elections.

Baker Market Update: 3.19.18

Today falls uniquely between two contrasts in the karmatic spectrum of things. March 15, the Ides of March, was made infamous by the conspiratorial murder of Julias Caesar at the hands of trusted friends, and most certainly represents a low point in the fortunes of those not smiled upon by fate. Tomorrow, however, is St. Patrick’s Day, and for those that celebrate the eradication of serpents from the Emerald Isle, the positive karma positively flows. Often into vessels of one-pint capacity.

Read More in the Baker Market Udpate

Congratulations IBAT Members

Five community bankers were recently named to the 2018 Texas Bankers Hall of Fame at Sam Houston State University (SHSU) in Huntsville. The following individuals are recognized for their significant contributions to the banking industry:

  • David S. Barnard, The National Bank of Gatesville, Gatesville
  • H. Gary Blankenship, Greater Southwest Bancshares, Inc. and Bank of the West, Grapevine
  • David R. Brooks, Independent Bank Group, McKinney
  • The late Walter G. Hall, Citizens State Bank, Alvin State Bank, League City State Bank, Webster State Bank and Bay City Bank & Trust, League City
  • Jill Sharp Vaughan, numerous banks/currently at Zions Bancorporation, Montgomery

Blankenship and Brooks have held many IBAT leadership positions throughout their long community banking careers. Additionally, Blankenship is a recipient of the prestigious IBAT Chairman’s Award. The late Walter Hall was a founding director of IBAT in 1974.

The Texas Bankers Hall of Fame was established by the Smith-Hutson Endowed Chair of Banking at SHSU to honor bankers who have served their industry, community and state. The honorees will be inducted at the Sixth Annual Texas Bankers Hall of Fame Gala at SHSU on April 26, 2018. Congratulations to these distinguished bankers, and thank you for the vital role you play in the Texas community banking industry.


Support IBAT PAC

What happens in Washington, D.C. and Austin has a far-reaching impact on your industry, your livelihood and your community. As PAC Drive Month is well under way, we challenge all bank directors, officers and employees to participate in this vital fundraising effort. Please note the resources, such as a sample letter to employees, found in the “Useful Links” sidebar.

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 they’ll only 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.

You should have received Bank PAC Drive Month information in the mail recently. 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 Steve Scurlock or Mere Fowler know how we can assist with this important effort.

Baker Market Update: 3.12.18

While former White House Economic Adviser Gary Cohn may have joined the ranks of the unemployed this week, there are 313,000 other non-farming Americans who just found new jobs. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) released its February Jobs Report this morning and last month’s increase in payrolls far exceeded the anticipated rise of 205k. On top of that, January’s count of 200k new jobs turned out to actually be 239k. What’s not to love about that?! Well, there are many who are not loving the meager boost of just 0.1% in Average Hourly Earnings as the year-over-year rate of wage gains actually fell from the previous month’s downwardly revised 2.8% to this month’s 2.6%. Well, you can’t have everything, but the 0.0% change in Q4 Non-Farm Productivity amounts to pretty much nothing. 

Read More in the Baker Market Update


The newest edition of the IBAT GreenBook is now available to download. The GreenBook (f.k.a. The Texas Financial Institutions Directory™) is a powerful resource filled with detailed contact and performance data for Texas banks and savings and loan institutions.

For your convenience, the GreenBook is now completely digital and free of charge to download. Complete the GreenBook download form and save the searchable PDFs to your desktop or favorite digital device. Still prefer the paper copy? Feel free to print it and bind it.

IBAT Congressional Visit

With regulatory relief efforts in full swing in Congress, the community banking industry has the first real opportunity in years to make a significant impact with our lawmakers to effect long-overdue change. What can you do? Register for IBAT’s 26th Annual Congressional Visit. We need to make our voice heard—louder than ever before.

Please join IBAT, and your fellow community bankers from Texas and across the country, in Washington, D.C., April 10-12. Our visit once again overlaps with the ICBA Capital Summit. Please note the hotel deadline has been extended through tomorrow, Wednesday, March 7. Accommodations must be secured through this form. Please complete and return to Janey Holstien as soon as possible. We look forward to walking the halls of the Capitol with you!

CECL Workshop

As the effective date of the Current Expected Credit Loss (CECL) model gets closer, it’s time for in-depth training to ensure successful implementation. The IBAT Education Foundation, in conjunction with BKD CPA & Advisors, is hosting the half-day workshop, CECL From End To End: Discussions, Data, Decisions, on April 17 in Lubbock, April 18 in Dallas and April 19 in San Antonio that focus on how to prepare your bank for CECL implementation. Registration and additional information can be found here.


Baker Market Update: 3.05.18

Better watch your step, boys; there’s a new tariff in town. Actually, there are two new tariffs in town. March Madness begins a little early this year thanks to yesterday’s announcement by President Trump that he plans to impose heavy import tariffs on steel and aluminum. For those who were educated in a time when schools still taught American history, you may recall learning how well the Smoot-Hawley Tariffs of 1930 worked out. Think Herbert Hoover. 

Read More in the Baker Market Update


Early voting began last week and runs through March 2 with the primary election scheduled for Tuesday, March 6. If you haven’t made it out to vote yet, there’s still time. For polling locations and hours, check with your county clerk’s office. The Texas Secretary of State has a wide array of voting information available as well.

As is customary, we sent surveys in each of the open seat districts. Per the policy approved by the IBAT PAC Steering Committee, we provided financial support to the following candidates (departing incumbents are in parentheses) based upon feedback from IBAT members:



CD 2 (Poe) - Kevin Roberts

CD 3 (Johnson) - Van Taylor

CD 6 (Barton) - Jake Ellzey

CD 27 (Farenthold) - Bech Bruun

CD 29 (Gene Green) - Sylvia Garcia


Texas House of Representatives

HD 52 (Gonzales) - Cynthia Flores

HD 62 (Phillips) - Reggie Smith

HD 89 (Laubenberg) - John Payton

HD 126 (Roberts) - Sam Harless


Additionally, we are frequently asked about judicial races. We are members of the Texas Civil Justice League and are pleased to share its list of endorsements for judicial races across the state. Please take the time to vote and encourage those in your circle of influence to do the same. If you have questions or need additional information, please email Meredyth Fowler or Steve Scurlock or call 800.749.4228. 

New Compliance Resource

Your IBAT Compliance Team has been hard at work. Not only do they answer compliance emails and phone calls on a daily basis, but they are also focused on rolling out new tools to assist our bankers’ needs.

IBAT recently revised and released a new, free resource for our members: Compliance Guidelines: IBAT Regulatory Compliance Reference Chart - Federal. This tool provides links to the current federal regulation, basic requirements/coverages and basic penalties, along with additional helpful resources to help comply with the rule(s). When beginning any compliance research regarding federal bank regulation, this is an ideal product to utilize.

Legal Ease

We would like to charge an ‘administrative fee’ on consumer loans. Two questions: first, can the bank finance the administrative fee? And second, can a financed administrative fee accrue interest?

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.

Baker Market Update: 2.23.18

Those pesky Russians can't seem to stay out of the news these days.  Whether they're hacking social media, meddling with elections, or blood-doping the curling team; yes, the curling team, those rowdy Russians can't seem to avoid notoriety, and not the good kind.  With the release of January's FOMC minutes, many are wondering if the report idd, in fact, actually come from the FOMC.  It's got Russian fingerprints all over it. 

Read More in the Baker Market Update

Regulatory Relief

Last week the House passed two bills to ease the regulatory burden on community banks. Sponsored by Reps. Patrick McHenry and Greg Meeks, the Protecting Consumers’ Access to Credit Act of 2017 dictates that a loan valid under federal law will remain valid when sold or reassigned to a third party. Passed on a 245-171 vote, this bill restores the “valid-when-made” doctrine and would overturn the Madden v. Midland Funding case.

The House also passed the TRID Improvement Act on a 271-145 vote. Sponsored by Reps. French Hill and Ruben Kihuen, this bill clarifies the disclosure of homeowners’ title insurance to mitigate consumer confusion.

Congressional Visit

If you haven’t already registered for IBAT’s 26th Annual Congressional Visit, we encourage you to do so. For the first time in years, the community banking industry has the opportunity to make a significant impact with our lawmakers to effect real and long-overdue change. Comprehensive community banking regulatory relief is within reach. It’s more important than ever to show up in large numbers to tell our story, including firsthand anecdotes of the unnecessary and frustrating challenges you face daily.

Please join IBAT, and your fellow community bankers from Texas and across the country, in Washington, D.C., April 10-12. Our visit once again overlaps with the ICBA Capital Summit. Please note the hotel deadline is quickly approaching on March 1. Accommodations must be secured through this form. Please complete and return to Janey Holstien at your earliest convenience. We look forward to walking the halls of the Capitol with you!

Mark Your Calendar

One challenge that is top of mind for all community bankers is succeeding in a highly competitive marketplace. That is why the IBAT Education Foundation created the Human Resources and Operations Summit, April 24-25, 2018 at the Omni Mandalay in Irving.

This Summit will provide an overview of recent regulatory changes, litigation of interest and practical recommendations for implementation at community banks while specifically addressing employment compliance priorities, HR audit, employee engagement strategies, hiring and nurturing generations, vendor management and more.

This is a must-attend event for supervisors, operations officers and HR officers. Watch your email for additional information and registration coming shortly.


Comment Letter

IBAT submitted a comment letter this week to the Federal Reserve Board of Governors regarding proposed guidance on supervisory expectations for boards of directors.

IBAT’s letter is brief because the majority of the proposal affects banks over $50 billion in assets. However, we believe it is important to file this letter in support of the basic principles laid out—shifting the emphasis to management from boards in certain respects.

Legal Ease

We have income tax refunds being made via ACH to an account that is not in the name of the taxpayer receiving the refund. Can we accept the deposit?

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..

Tour de Texas

IBAT hit the road last week for the first round of our Tour de Texas regional meetings, talking to hundreds of community bankers, vendors and industry advocates in ten cities about issues important to community banking.

Media in tour markets were also interested in learning about community banking opportunities and challenges, the latest on regulatory reform efforts and other topics addressed at each meeting. Coverage resulted in the Wichita Falls Times Record, Amarillo Globe-News, San Angelo LIVE!, Waco Tribune-Herald and El Paso Inc. with other outlets pending. 

Baker Market Update: 2.12.18

Remember when a 500 point swing in the stock market was considered a big deal? Back when baseball bats were made of wood and golf shoes had real spikes. Ah, the good ol’ days. Now, little-leaguers are armed with aluminum bats, golf shoes look like sneakers, and a 500 point plummet in the Dow is just Wall Street having a bad day. 

Read More in the Baker Market Update