IBAT News

Baker Market Update: Sept. 11, 2017


Last week, the fortunes of credit markets were heavily influenced by a hurricane, a missile,  and  tawdry  political  machinations. This  week, credit  market  behavior was heavily influenced by a hurricane, a missile, and tawdry political machinations. Is this history repeating itself or just the present in a programming loop? Come to think of it, the economy has been stuck in a loop for lo, these last eight years.  The series of four rate hikes that began at the end of 2015 would support the contention that the economy had broken out of its loop and needed to be reined in. Minneapolis Fed President Neel Kashkari addressed this loopiness with his observation that “…we at the Fed might be making one of two fundamental mistakes…”. That’s right; the “M” word.

Read More in the Baker Market Update

Recovery Plan


IBAT Services is pleased to announce that IBAT Endorsed Service Provider Diebold Nixdorf has activated a recovery plan for service demands in affected areas of Hurricane Harvey to ensure safety and to facilitate a rapid restoration of service. These actions are taken to ensure seamless recovery of all branch operations in the affected areas and are applicable to both direct and indirect Diebold Nixdorf customers.  

Our actions include: 

  • Ensuring full technician availability around locations affected by flooding, so they are available to assess damage and prioritize recovery efforts, once it is safe to do so; 
  • Mobilizing technicians from nearby areas and volunteers from other regions to manage assessment and recovery efforts;
  • Staging parts and equipment and coordinating expedited parts shipments to necessary areas; 
  • Ensuring availability of appropriate personal protective equipment to deal with flooding; and
  • Executing a flexible crisis management strategy that brings together various areas at Diebold Nixdorf to perform a coordinated response.

As we respond to the storm's impact and talk with customers and local employees, our strategy remains flexible to address specific concerns within the area. Diebold Nixdorf remains focused on its disaster recovery efforts, so stay tuned for updates. 

You can contact us at 1-800-DIEBOLD (1-800-343-2653) to get immediate, 24/7 support right now, or reach out to us through our online contact form.

We care about you and your customers, and we want to get you fully operational as soon as possible. Diebold Nixdorf and the staff at IBAT Services will be there as long as it takes to make sure that happens.

For further information please do not hesitate to contact me at 512-783-4776 or mfew@ibat.org

AHPT Resource Sheet


By Melissa Nance, Advantage Health Plans Trust

During times of weather related emergencies we are often overwhelmed with  all the details of starting over. Below are a few reminders that may help you identify where to start.

  • Providers and members can speak to a representative by calling your health plan customer service number on the back of your member ID card. Here are some common numbers:
  • Advantage Health Plans: 800-324-9396
  • Aetna: 800-872-3862
  • BCBS: 800-521-2227
  • Cigna: 800-244-6224
  • Humana: 844-330-7799
  • Scott & White: 800-321-7947
  • UHC: 877-294-1429
  • Lost or damaged member ID Cards can be reordered by contacting your health plan customer service. Often, temporary ID cards can be printed online. 
     
  • The Affordable Care Act mandates that emergency services are available under all benefit plans. If you need emergency assistance, dial 911 or go to your nearest emergency services provider. 
     
  • To verify provider network participation, you may contact your health plan customer service. 
     
  • Lost or damaged prescriptions may be replaced at no cost* to the participant. Contact your health plan customer service or your pharmacy benefit manager for instructions. *This benefit may not be available from all health plans.
     
  • Maintenance medications typically ordered through a mail order program, may need to have shipment delayed by contacting your mail order pharmacy or your health plan customer service. 
     
  • Members may consider updating their mail order prescriptions shipping address to an alternate address until more permanent solutions transpire. Contact your mail order pharmacy or your health plan customer service for instructions. 
     
  • Often times, employer sponsored group life or disability plans include an Employee Assistance Program (EAP). Contact your employer or group life or disability plan customer service for details.  

Our thoughts and prayers are with you now, as always, as you, your employees, your family and friends, and the community begin to move forward from the devastation caused by weather related emergencies.

Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund


Our thoughts and prayers are with the communities affected by the devastation from Hurricane Harvey. While we have been in touch with our members in affected areas, we know it will take time—especially in heavily flooded areas—to properly assess the extent of the damage. IBAT and TBA, along with the Independent Community Bankers of America, American Bankers Association, Texas Department of Banking and Texas Department of Savings and Mortgage Lending, have established a fund to help banking families directly impacted by Hurricane Harvey.

The Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund is set up through the Texas Bankers Foundation. Click here to donate by credit card or check. Please note IBAT and TBA will absorb all credit card processing fees so that 100 percent of every dollar collected goes directly to the relief effort. The Texas Bankers Foundation is a 501(c)(3), and all corporate and personal contributions are tax deductible. Checks must be made payable to the Texas Bankers Foundation in order to be tax deductible, and please denote this is for the Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund. Thank you for your support of fellow bankers as they soon begin the difficult recovery process. Together we will recover and rebuild. God bless Texas community bankers and God bless Texas

Hurricane Harvey Aftermath


A Non-Exclusive Checklist of Post-Harvey Items For Lenders and Servicers to Remember
From Harvey’s Ancestors – Katrina, Rita and Ike

By Tom Alleman, Member, Dykema Cox Smith

The sudden arrival of Hurricane Harvey is an unfortunate reminder to lenders and servicers of the issues that arise after catastrophes. This checklist provides guidance about immediate issues lenders, servicers and special servicers must address now. It is non-exclusive, of course; a lesson from prior disasters is that they have a tendency to generate unforeseen problems.

These problems will arise again and likely in other unexpected parts of the country.

Now is the time to attend to the following critical issues and protect your rights with the assistance of experienced professionals. Even if you escaped Harvey (or Katrina, or Rita or Ike), you cannot relax.  Hurricane season doesn’t “end” until November and the next storm may strike in your area — and it is time to start preparing for fallout with experienced professionals. 

1. Do you have copies of the policies, binders or other documents providing effective proof of coverage?

  • Locate and review them with experienced professionals immediately!
  • Was the property on a binder at the time of loss? It is important to ensure that you know what coverage terms are applicable.

2. FEMA flood policies (if the borrower has one)

  • It is possible, even probable, that FEMA will extend the deadline for reporting Harvey claims as it has for other hurricanes and river flooding incidents. But until that extension is granted, there is a hard 60-day deadline from the date of loss in which the insured may report FEMA flood insurance claims. Failure to comply means a loss of coverage.
  • FEMA flood policies contain requirements as to what must be included in the insured’s proof of loss. Strict compliance is an absolute must. The standard FEMA policy requires the insured to provide current contact information on all mortgagees/lienholders. Has your borrower done so?
  • Are you listed as a loss payee? A lender loss payee? What do your loan documents say about who makes/controls the claim?

3. Business interruption policies

  • Business interruption policies are highly manuscripted forms that vary widely from insurance company to insurance company. Do you have a copy of the relevant policy?
  • Who is responsible for making the claim? Have they done so? Have the policy provisions been complied with? This is important because most business interruption coverage includes a “waiting period” before coverage/benefits begin.
  • Does the policy require the insured property itself to have suffered physical damage before there is coverage? Many basic forms of business interruption coverage provide no coverage unless this is the case.
  • Are you listed as a loss payee? Lender loss payee? What do your loan documents say about who makes/controls the claim?
  • How are damages being computed for covered losses? Whose responsibility is it to do this? Are the documents available to make/support the claim?

4. Property/builders’ risk policies

  • Do you have a copy of the policy? Are you listed as a loss payee? Lender loss payee? What do your loan documents say about who makes/controls the claim?
  • Who is responsible for making the claim? Have they done so? Have the policy provisions been complied with?
  • Co-insurance: is the valuation adequate to avoid a co-insurance or underinsurance penalty?
  • How will losses be valued? Are there special issues involved? What support does the insured have for its claims?
  • Does your borrower’s policy have a Named Storm Deductible or other percentage deductible? Does it apply? How is it computed? What is the borrower doing to comply?
  • Does the business interruption policy require direct physical damage to the structure? Are there delays or waiting periods for business interruption coverages? Is there contingent business interruption or civil authority coverage?

5. Valuation

  • a. What is the borrower doing to collect/preserve evidence to prove the amount and cause of loss? If the policy does not provide coverage for flooding, there may be coverage only for wind-driven water or wind. Proving what happened to a particular structure requires prompt action.

6. What ifs — real situations from prior disasters

  • What if the property is at some point in foreclosure proceedings? Who handles the claim? What must the lender/servicer/special servicer do?
  • What if the borrower is unable or unwilling to proceed with a claim? What does the lender/servicer/special servicer do?
  • What if there are multiple properties each with a different lender on a single policy?
  • What if the insurer denies coverage and the borrower is unwilling or unable to proceed with a claim?

All of these questions can be addressed, but experience teaches that now, rather than later, is the time to do so. Starting today, begin triage of possible issues, reach out to affected borrowers and consult with and assemble experienced professionals to assist in earlier and easier resolutions.

Hurricane Harvey Aftermath


By Melissa Nance, Advantage Health Plans Trust

During times of weather related emergencies we are often overwhelmed with  all the details of starting over. Below are a few reminders that may help you identify where to start.

  • Providers and members can speak to a representative by calling your health plan customer service number on the back of your member ID card. Here are some common numbers:
  • Advantage Health Plans: 800-324-9396
  • Aetna: 800-872-3862
  • BCBS: 800-521-2227
  • Cigna: 800-244-6224
  • Humana: 844-330-7799
  • Scott & White: 800-321-7947
  • UHC: 877-294-1429
  • Lost or damaged member ID Cards can be reordered by contacting your health plan customer service. Often, temporary ID cards can be printed online. 
     
  • The Affordable Care Act mandates that emergency services are available under all benefit plans. If you need emergency assistance, dial 911 or go to your nearest emergency services provider. 
     
  • To verify provider network participation, you may contact your health plan customer service. 
     
  • Lost or damaged prescriptions may be replaced at no cost* to the participant. Contact your health plan customer service or your pharmacy benefit manager for instructions. *This benefit may not be available from all health plans.
     
  • Maintenance medications typically ordered through a mail order program, may need to have shipment delayed by contacting your mail order pharmacy or your health plan customer service. 
     
  • Members may consider updating their mail order prescriptions shipping address to an alternate address until more permanent solutions transpire. Contact your mail order pharmacy or your health plan customer service for instructions. 
     
  • Often times, employer sponsored group life or disability plans include an Employee Assistance Program (EAP). Contact your employer or group life or disability plan customer service for details.  

Our thoughts and prayers are with you now, as always, as you, your employees, your family and friends, and the community begin to move forward from the devastation caused by weather related emergencies.

Baker Market Update: Aug. 28, 2017


We all know how it is with monetary policy; timing is everything. It may be somewhat telling, and perhaps apropos, that Kansas City Fed President Ester George’s timing was a little off in the planning of her celestial watch party. It was actually Monday when the path of totality crossed Wyoming, but so what, Janet and Mario are coming to town for the big Economic Policy and Post-Eclipse  Symposium!  Mrs.Yellen  is speaking this morning in Jackson Hole on the topic of financial stability because, well, she can’t really talk about  inflation,  can  she? Rising asset valuations and the lack of volatility have many Fed officials concerned  that complacent investors  are failing  to see the potential  risks lying in wait. Take off those funny-looking glasses!

Baker Market Update: Aug. 21, 2017


Double, double toil and trouble; Fire burn and caldron bubble.

Shakespeare’s “Song of the Witches” may have even more relevance for the modern world than it did for the age of Macbeth.  The latest terrorist event in Spain reminds anyone who might need reminding  that the world can be a dangerous  place, even without evil spells, and financial markets are exposed to risks beyond those described by economic conditions.

Read More in the Baker Market Update

Law Changes


The Texas Legislature convenes for 140 days for its regular session in each odd numbered year, and thousands of pieces of legislation are filed. IBAT wants to ensure our members are aware of upcoming changes affecting financial institutions, many of which take effect September 1, 2017. 

We’ve compiled detailed guidance related to changes in laws pertaining to multi-party account disclosures, powers of attorney and elder financial abuse. Additionally, we’ve created a white paper addressing other legislation impacting community banks that IBAT was engaged in during the 85th Legislative Session. We also recently held a webinar to discuss the outcomes of the 85th Regular Session of the Texas Legislature and what it all means for Texas community banks. We encourage you to access these resources to ensure you will be in compliance with updated laws.  

BOCB Winners


And the Winners Are...

We were blown away, yet again, by this year’s Best of Community Banking Award submissions. Our bank members should be commended for the outstanding work they do both in their banks and in their communities. Special congratulations to First Convenience Bank (Mesquite), a division of First National Bank Texas (Killeen), for its Nexus Teen Residential Program partnership that received the 2017 Best of Show Award.

Listed below are the 2017 BOCB Gold Eagle Award winners, and all other winners can be found here. Thank you to all entrants for enriching the lives of Texans each and every day.

Architectural Design

  • Citizens National Bank, Henderson (COMMUNITY SPIRIT AWARD) - Restoring the Past, Bringing Legacy to Life

Community Service

  • First United Bank, Lubbock (COMMUNITY SPIRIT AWARD) - Community Spirit Project
  • Texas Regional Bank, McAllen - Building Dreams: One Home at a Time
  • American Bank, Corpus Christi - American Bank Wears Jeans for a Cause

Financial Literacy

  • First National Bank Texas, Killeen (BEST OF SHOW) - Nexus Project
  • Happy State Bank, Amarillo - Kid's Bank
  • Industry State Bank - The Building Blocks of Financial Education
  • Fort Hood National Bank - FHNB Financial Readiness Program

Marketing

  • HomeTown Bank, Galveston - HomeTown Bank's 50th Anniversary
  • Independent Bank, McKinney - Corporate Culture
  • First State Bank, Gainesville - First State Bank New Website
  • Independent Bank, McKinney - Employee Milestone Program

Flags at Half-Staff


governor of the state of texas

 

The State of Texas lost a distinguished leader with the passing of former Governor Mark White today. As a mark of respect for his public service, it is fitting that flags in Texas be lowered to half-staff.

Therefore, pursuant to Chapter 3100 of the Texas Government Code and 4 U.S.C. § 7, I do hereby direct the lowering of all Texas and United States flags to half-staff in memory of Governor Mark White. Flags throughout the state should be at half-staff from sunrise on Sunday, August 6, 2017, until sunset on Thursday, August 10, 2017, and again on the day of his interment once it has been determined by his family. Please notify all pertinent personnel within your agency and other state agency leaders of this directive.

Individuals, businesses, municipalities and other political subdivisions and entities are encouraged to fly their flags at half-staff for the same length of time in memory for this deserving public servant.

Our prayers of comfort are extended to Linda Gale and the White family in their time of grief. I urge all Texans to appropriately remember Governor White’s life of service to the State of Texas.

Respectfully,

  Greg Abbott

Governor

Baker Market Update: August 7, 2017


While the arrival of August may herald the dog days of summer, this morning’s Jobs Report was no dog. No offense to our canine friends, but without the viewing lens of the “new normal”, a report like this ten years ago would have had four legs and a tail.  But that was then. Now, the 209k addition to Non- Farm Payrolls looks like a barn burner, especially in light of the 180k expectation. And, our already fully-employed economy became even more fully-employed as the Unemployment Rate fell by a tenth to 4.3%. Yet, Average Hourly Earnings growth remains unchanged at 2.5% year-over-year. The biggest job gainers (+53k) were food services and drinking places as the nation readies itself for football season.Go team!

Read More in the Baker Market Update

Call to Action


The CFPB (Bureau) issued a Request for Information Regarding the Small Business Lending Market that was published in the Federal Register on May 15, 2017. Based upon comments received, the Bureau extended the comment period to September 14, 2017.

At issue is Section 1071 of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (Dodd-Frank) that amends the Equal Credit Opportunity Act (ECOA) to require financial institutions to compile, maintain, and report information concerning credit applications made by women-owned, minority-owned, and small businesses.

There are nine specific “data points” that financial institutions must compile and maintain, submit annually to the Bureau, and make available to members of the public upon request.

IBAT believes that this reporting requirement is the epitome of regulatory burden and has the potential to signficantly harm Texas community banks.  With this concern in mind, there are three actions we're asking of IBAT member banks on this issue:

  1. IBAT has prepared a draft version of its comment letter on this issue. We ask that you review our comments and provide any additional feedback on how the proposed rule will affect your customers and/or your willingness to make small business loans.  If you would like to include some non-attributable quotes for us to include in our comment letter, please feel free to do so.  Please send all comments to Kelly Goulart at kgoulart@ibat.org.
  2. We encourage all IBAT members to file a comment letter of their own before the September 14, 2017 deadline. You can now file your comment letter online, via IBAT's Grassroots Action Center.  Instructions can be found on the Grassroots Action Center page.
  3. IBAT is also encouraging the passage of legislation that would address this issue. Click here to contact your Congressional representatives and register your support for the House version of the CLEAR Relief Act, H.R. 2133. You'll also have the option of submitting a letter of support for the Senate version of the CLEAR Relief Act, S. 1002 which does not currently address this issue.

If you have any question or concerns, please contact Chris Williston at cwilliston@ibat.org or 512-474-6889.

The Texas Independent Banker


The July/August issue of IBAT’s magazine, The Texas Independent Banker, is available online. Read about IBAT’s grassroots efforts, the impact of underfunded public pensions, CRE lending best practices, a convention preview and much more.

2017 Salary Survey


Are your bank's salaries competitive in the marketplace? Are your bank directors over paid for their service? There's only one way to really know.

Data collection is now open for IBAT’s 2017 Community Bank Salary and Compensation Survey. Before the data collection deadline on August 7, I hope you'll take time or designate someone in your bank to complete the salary survey data form.

As a participant in the survey, you’ll receive a complimentary copy of the comprehensive PDF report and custom reporting tool (an $875 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. In just a few moments, you can create an account, then click "participate" to provide salary and compensation data for the survey.
     
  • 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. 

If you have any questions about IBAT's Salary Survey, please contact Christopher Williston at clwilliston@ibat.org or 512-275-2208.

Baker Market Update: July 31, 207


Janet Yellen and her minions came to a unanimous decision [last] week. Mitch McConnell and his minions did not. As a result, monetary policy and the Affordable Care Act both remain unchanged. The former was universally expected while the latter symbolizes the growing challenges to the Administration’s agenda for fiscal stimulation. The Senate’s making the Fed look pretty good.

Read More in the Baker Market Update

Baker Market Update: July 24, 2017


“Downside risks primarily relating to global factors continue to exist.”  When Mario Draghi, President of the European Central Bank (ECB) uttered this phrase, he wasn’t talking about O.J. Well, he probably wasn’t talking about O.J.  He was trying to explain why the ECB wasn’t planning on any changes to its version of Quantitative Easing.  Prior and somewhat hawkish comments had hinted, not so subtly, that some kind of diminution of those purchases was in store.  This week’s remarks, and subsequent inaction, bespoke a dovish intent. Pick a side Mario!

Read More in the Baker Market Update

Baker Market Update: July 17, 2017


At the risk of oversimplification, a risk too often avoided, Janet Yellen’s two-day Congressional testimony could be succinctly paraphrased by a single statement; “I’m not sure.” Not sure when inflation will kick in, but sure that it will. Not sure when wages will rise, but sure that they will, too. Not sure when the next rate hike will happen, but it will happen. Well, pretty sure it will happen, just not sure when. Her uncertainty is certainly understandable. Traditional relationships among interest rates, growth, unemployment, inflation, and incomes are all out of whack. Some might say downright wacky, not unlike the nation’s fiscal policy. But that’s another story for another day.

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.

Legislative and Regulatory


In Case You Missed It (ICYMI)
IBAT recently held its webinar to discuss the outcomes of the 85th Regular Session of the Texas Legislature and what it all means for Texas community banks. Click here to view the webinar. Click here to download the legislative whitepaper.

Texas Lege Returns to Austin Next Week
The special session of the Texas Legislature gets underway one week from today. While no issues effecting Texas community banks are on the call from Governor Abbot, we’ll closely monitor the goings on at the Capitol.

Get Involved
IBAT is current running two grassroots action campaigns for bankers to speak out against further regulatory burden. Click on the following links to contact your Congressional Representatives about:

  • Exemption of community banks from expanding HMDA reporting requirements
    (click here)

Support for the CLEAR Relief Act, a comprehensive regulatory relief package (click here)

Compliance


Research from the Federal Reserve has revealed the most common themes for instances in which banks experience issues with third parties. The top three are:

  • Over-reliance – It remains the responsibility of the bank to stay in compliance with all laws and regulations.
  • Failure to understand or retain knowledgeable staff – Someone at the bank must understand and oversee vendor activities.
  • Failure to monitor vendors – How is the vendor performing? Who is overseeing customer complaints?

Shameless Plug
Vendor management will be just one of the topics covered during the operations portion of the IBAT Compliance Conference. Click here to learn more about the three-day event covering lending and operations compliance, as well as other areas of common concern for Texas community banks.

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