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.

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

PAC Drive

What happens in Washington, D.C. and Austin has a far-reaching impact on your industry, your livelihood and your community. As we look toward our PAC Drive Month in March, we would like to challenge all bank directors, officers and employees to participate in this vital fundraising effort.

As leaders in your communities, you have excellent relationships with your state and federal legislators. 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 unfortunately, they 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 us know how we can assist with this important effort.

Staff contact: Meredyth Fowler, mfowler@ibat.org, 512-275-2245

Legal Ease: February 09, 2017

Can we take an assignment of life insurance in connection with a Texas home equity loan?

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.

Ruling Against CFPB

A U.S. appellate court ruled against three groups – 17 Democratic state attorneys general, Sen. Sherrod Brown and Rep. Maxine Waters, and a consortium of consumer advocates – appealing a prior ruling that the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s (CFPB) single-director structure is unconstitutional. The October ruling of the original case, PHH v. CFPB, found that the Bureau concentrates “enormous executive power” in a director who cannot be removed except “for cause,” making him virtually unaccountable to outside authority. The court then struck the “for cause” provision found in Dodd-Frank, meaning the president can now dismiss the CFPB director at will.

Also in the PHH case, the CFPB seemed to have disregarded the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) regulatory guidance that captive insurance arrangements are not prima facie illegal. The CFPB sought to apply its own more stringent view of Section 8 as applied to captive insurance arrangements and do it retroactively, seeking a significantly higher fine. The D.C. Circuit Court agreed with the lenders’ appeal and struck down the dramatic increase in the fine by Director Cordray.

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

Trump Issues Executive Order

Last Friday, President Trump issued an Executive Order directing the Treasury Department to work with financial regulators to review statutes and regulations impacting the industry and the economy.

Additionally, the Department of Labor was directed in a Presidential Memorandum to suspend and review the “fiduciary duty” rule impacting investment advisors. This rule has created concerns for community banks offering IRA and retail brokerage products.

“We continue to be optimistic that meaningful changes are forthcoming for community banks,” stated Chris Williston, IBAT President and CEO. “The Executive Order indicates that the White House is firmly behind the move to address this critical issue, and we look forward to continuing our work with all parties to ensure community banks get back to the business of banking.”

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

Regional Meetings Survey Results

IBAT’s Tour de Texas Regional Meetings are underway in 10 cities across the state this week. In preparation for round one of the tour, last week IBAT circulated a survey to banker attendees inquiring about the issues on their minds.

Below are a few of the takeaways that the travel team will be discussing this week:

  • Texas community bankers identified tailored regulation for community banks as the single greatest priority they’d like to see handled for the good of the industry.
  • Coming in a close second is the need for mortgage reform to address onerous new rules such as QM/ATR and TRID. 
  • Bankers cited “quality loan growth” as their single greatest strategic issue, followed by management succession and liquidity.
  • Nearly 60 percent of bankers surveyed identified “further regulatory encroachment” as the biggest threat to their enterprise, beating out cyber threats.

We look forward to seeing many of you during round one of the tour this week. And, don’t forget, registration for round two of the tour (February 28-March 2) is open.

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

Meet our New Team Member

IBAT welcomes lifelong community banker Mark Few to its staff as Senior Vice President, Membership and IBAT Services. A community banker for 40 years, Few has served on the IBAT Services Board and as Past Chair of the IBAT Leadership Division. In his new role, he will split his time between calling on IBAT member and prospective member banks, and assisting with IBAT’s existing and new endorsement offerings.

“Mark Few brings with him not only a comprehensive bank operations background but also a working knowledge of IBAT and our program of work,” said IBAT President and CEO Chris Williston. “We are thrilled to welcome this talented individual to the IBAT staff family.”

Few, who began his career in 1976, most recently served as executive vice president and chief operations officer at Centennial Bank in Lubbock. He is a graduate of the Texas Tech School of Banking, University of Wisconsin’s School for Bank Administration and University of Colorado’s Graduate School of Banking. Married for 36 years, he has two grown daughters. Few is a deacon and Sunday school teacher at First Baptist Church in Marble Falls, where he and his wife live.

Please feel free to drop him a note of congratulations. He will officially begin on February 20.

Staff contact: Chris Williston, cwilliston@ibat.org, 512-474-6889

Baker Market Update: Feb. 6, 2017

The best thing found in [Friday] morning’s dizzying array of jobs numbers was, well, the jobs number. The U.S. economy, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), added 227k jobs to Non-Farm Payrolls in January, and that’s the most in four months. But, and there’s always a “but”, the growth rate in Average Hourly Earnings cooled considerably to 2.5% from December’s downwardly revised 2.8%. The weakness in that compensation measure has prompted some observers to boldly predict that a rate hike in March, when the FOMC next meets, is already off the table. Bonds are rallying.

Read more in the Baker Market Update.

For Community Bank Lenders

New in 2017! In an effort to accommodate bank employee time away from the bank, IBAT is offering a series of bank lending educational programs in April.

We have combined three unique lending summits into one week, same location. The three programs will offers strategic insight into regulatory “hot buttons,” lending policies, credit analysis procedures and interactive case studies.

Click on the links below and choose the program(s) that work best for you.

 2017 Appraisals
April 18 | San Antonio
2017 Cash Flow Analysis
April 19 | San Antonio
2017 Credit Analysis
April 20 | San Antonio