Baker Market Update: May 18, 2015

Some readers may recall last week’s revelation that the nation’s economy was moving back into the comfy confines of Janet Yellen’s basement, where interest rates are always low. Unfortunately, at least for Janet, this week’s news will not make it any easier for her to dislodge her unwelcome lodger. Just as Ms. Yellen was trying to clarify the temporary nature of this arrangement, Monday brought the news that the Federal Reserve’s very own Labor Market Conditions Index fell further into negative territory. Last month’s reading of negative .3 was made more negative after a downward revision took it to -1.8. So, the thinking goes, since March was a lot worse than we thought, it means that April was not really all that bad. Okay. However one looks at it, the index is now down to negative 1.9 and that doesn’t bode well for the improving labor conditions that remain a prerequisite for rate normalization and basement evacuation. 

Read more in the Baker Market Update

IBAT Member Celebrations

Congratulations to Yoakum National Bank and First National Bank of Bellville for celebrating 125th anniversaries. Since their inception in 1890, Yoakum National Bank has met the banking needs of customers in Lavaca County while First National Bank of Bellville has served those in Austin County. Both banks have survived frontier times, world wars, the Great Depression and much more, while remaining dedicated to enhancing economic development in their communities and keeping local money local.

Yoakum National hosted a black tie affair, themed “as dependable as time,” at the Yoakum Community Center on April 25. The bank will host a celebration for the community in July (date TBD). First National Bank of Bellville hosted a dedication service and anniversary celebration at the bank on May 8.

To show IBAT’s appreciation of these banks’ dedication to their customers and communities, IBAT presented resolutions to both banks - Yoakum National Bank and First National Bank of Bellville - as part of their 125th anniversary celebrations.

AM White Paper

On Friday, IBAT released the white paper, "Building Business Relationships with Texas Community Bankers," for associate members. The white paper and presentation marked the culmination of efforts by IBAT's Associate Member Advisory Council to gauge the effectiveness of different sales techniques employed by product and service providers.

"Under the crush of regulatory burden, bankers are more pressed for time than ever before," said IBAT President and CEO Chris Williston. "This white paper is an excellent resource to ensure that associate members are making the most of their marketing and sales efforts in connecting with the Texas community banking industry."

The white paper, along with the presentation of the survey results, isavailable to download.

IBAT Press Release

IBAT Responds to Release of Senate Banking Committee Bill to Ease Regulatory Burden on Community Banks - May 12, 2015

Austin, TX – The Independent Bankers Association of Texas (IBAT) commends Senate Banking Committee Chairman Richard Shelby on draft legislation released today that would reduce the negative impact of excessive regulatory requirements on community banks, their customers and the communities they serve. 

“Since the passage of the Dodd-Frank Act in 2010 and throughout the rule-making process, IBAT has continuously raised concerns about regulatory burden and the associated impact on credit availability for community bank customers, especially related to mortgage loans,” said IBAT President and Chief Executive Officer Christopher L. Williston. “Chairman Shelby’s draft legislation is a great step forward in addressing many of these concerns.”

A recent survey of IBAT member banks found that more than 50 percent of respondents were forced to reduce their mortgage loan offerings or exit the mortgage business altogether in response to new mortgage rules put forth by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau in early 2014. 

Williston went on to praise provisions of the draft legislation that decrease the overall regulatory burden on community banks by lengthening the time period between examinations and reducing excessive reporting requirements.

“True community banks have relatively simple business models, in comparison with their big bank competitors,” Williston said. “Freeing these institutions from unnecessary burdens allows them to make community based loans to spur economic development of their hometowns.” 

Patent Trolls Final Decision

final written decision by the U.S. Patent Office’s Patent Trial and Appeals Board has invalidated two patents held by Plano-based DataTreasury Corp. The patents were for abstract ideas to transmit encrypted information. In concluding that the ideas were unpatentable, the Board said that the patents merely took existing technology and tiered it without adding anything to “transform the abstract idea into patent-eligible applications of these abstractions.”

For years, DataTreasury and other patent trolls have used business process patents to hold banks hostage merely for digital imaging and sending of checks. In fact, DataTreasury has filed 19 cases in the Eastern District of Texas alone against numerous banks and other financial institutions.

“This is good news indeed and hopefully, it is a sign that the tide is turning against those using patents as methods to extort money from legitimate businesses,” said IBAT President and CEO Chris Williston.

TILA-RESPA Delays Proposed

A bill (H.R. 2213) filed in the U.S. House of Representatives would provide lenders with a temporary safe harbor from enforcement of the rule integrating mortgage disclosures under the Truth in Lending Act (TILA) and the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA). The bi-partisan measure, which addresses an area of great concern for many IBAT members, would protect lenders from private lawsuits and regulatory enforcement actions through December 31, 2015.

While in Washington, D.C. for IBAT’s 23rd Annual Congressional Visit two weeks ago, a group of IBAT members and staff met with the CFPB to express concerns about the implementation of the disclosures. In that meeting, IBAT laid out a comprehensive list of concerns related to the implementation of the rule, including the lack of preparedness of third-party service providers.

Earlier this year, Representative Blaine Luetkemeyer sent a letter to the CFPB requesting information about the Bureau’s work supporting the implementation of the disclosures and requesting a similar hold harmless period. In response, Director Cordray was evasive, promising only to “continue working with industry, consumers and other stakeholders to…evaluate any issues industry and consumers experience as the Integrated Disclosure Rule is implemented.”

Related to this issue, on May 4 the CFPB issued updated exam procedures for TILA-RESPA integration. The procedures provide guidance on how compliance exams will be conducted on the rule.

IBAT and Financial Education and Development, Inc. have five webinars related to the TILA-RESPA changes effective August 1. Ensure that your staff understands the intricacies and that your bank is in compliance by registering for these educational offerings.

IBAT Endorsement News


IBAT is pleased to announce StoneCastle Financial as the newest endorsed service provider. Formed in February 2013, StoneCastle Financial is an SEC registered, closed-end investment company established to serve as a direct investor in community banks seeking capital for growth opportunities, share repurchases and other refinancing activities.

The first investment vehicle of its kind focused on community banks, StoneCastle provides client banks with access to a new pool of permanent, passive and reasonably priced capital. To date, StoneCastle Financial and parent company StoneCastle Partners have made capital contributions to more than 250 community banks across the country, including several in Texas.

“IBAT is thrilled to add StoneCastle Financial to our stable of quality endorsed service providers,” said IBAT President and CEO Chris Williston. “Access to capital is among the most pressing issues facing community banks today. StoneCastle Financial provides a unique, straightforward and non-invasive solution to Texas community banks and their capital needs.”

In other endorsement news, the IBAT Board of Directors recently renewed the endorsement of Glory Global Solutions, Inc. Glory Global’s products endorsed by IBAT include Teller Cash Dispensers, Teller Cash Recyclers, and QuickChange Machines. To learn more, click here.

2015 National Community Bank Service Awards

ICBA is seeking nominations for the 2015 National Community Bank Service awards. The annual awards recognize exceptional efforts of community banks and their employees working to sustain and improve their communities through their commitment of time and resources.

ICBA encourages IBAT member banks with community service or volunteer programs to submit a nomination. Entries should describe how these programs positively impact the local community. It is free to enter, and multiple entries are encouraged. The nomination deadline is June 1.

Award recipients will be featured in the August issue of ICBA Independent Banker magazine and will receive a donation from ICBA to use toward future community service efforts. Nominate your bank today and find out more here.

Glory Endorsement

The IBAT Board of Directors is pleased to announce the renewal of its endorsement with Glory Global Solutions, Inc. during its first quarter board meeting. World experts in the management of cash, Glory Global works in partnership with Texas community banks to identify their exact needs, establishing a framework of technology and process change that has a profound effect on business results. FirstBank & Trust –Lubbock, Bill Waller EVP/COO, commented, “The Cash Recyclers were the first step in moving our bank into a sales culture through the universal teller position. We now hire for our sales personality rather than a transaction based employee. We can truly place our emphasis and our time on our customers to build customer loyalty and ultimately grow the bank”

IBAT Services Vice President, Lori Cortez, commented. “As a former banker and Glory client, I was able to ensure that cash moved seamlessly throughout operations, significantly reducing costs while transforming staff productivity.”

Glory Global’s products endorsed by IBAT include Teller Cash Dispensers, Teller Cash Recyclers, and QuickChange Machines. 


The TILA/RESPA Integrated Disclosure is one of the hottest - and most complicated - regulations this year. With the August 1, 2015, deadline approaching, make sure your staff understands the intricacies and that your bank is in compliance.

You can register for any of these webinars by following the related link. Archive availability extended until December 31, 2015.

To see all of our offerings, go to the webinar calendar.

Webinar content is subject to copyright and intended for your individual financial institution's use only.


Baker Market Update: May 11, 2015

The news this week can only reinforce the notion that the economy, like so many millennials, has moved back in with the parents and is now living in the basement of the Fed. To be fair, the economy would like to be independent. It would like to be self-sufficient. It would like to be able to stand on its own two feet. But it can’t; not yet anyway. And, since there are no openings in graduate school, Janet’s low-rate cellar is looking pretty good. Which, if you close one eye and squint with the other one, is what might be said about this morning’s Unemployment Report.

Read more in the Baker Market Update.

FDIC Teleconference

The FDIC’s Division of Depositor and Consumer Protection (DCP) will host a teleconference about the implementation of the CFPB’s mortgage rules on May 21 from 1:00-2:30 p.m. CT. During the teleconference, FDIC staff will share observations from FDIC examiners during initial examinations, including highlighting a number of practices currently used by institutions that may be useful to bank compliance officers. Questions can be submitted prior to the teleconference by emailing BankerTeleconference@fdic.gov.

Participants must register by May 19. Registration and additional information is available here.

SHAZAM Network News

DES MOINES, Iowa (April 24, 2015) — The SHAZAM Network today announced the addition of Patrick Dix to the company’s marketing team. Hired as a senior public relations manager, Dix brings 20 years of public relations and writing experience to the member-owned EFT network.

Prior to joining SHAZAM, Dix spent the majority of his career as an anchor of the #1 morning newscast on WHO-HD in Des Moines. During his tenure at the station, he covered five Iowa Caucus cycles, city and county government and countless stories about Iowa weather including two major floods.

Dix has been recognized for outstanding reporting with awards from The Society of Professional Journalists, The William Randolph Hearst Foundation and the Midwest Broadcast News Association. In 2012, he began developing and teaching media training courses. The classes focused on how news rooms work, how to get stories on air and how to deal with media in a crisis situation. As PR manager at SHAZAM, he’ll offer similar services to community financial institutions.

Dix holds a degree in journalism from the University of Missouri.

About SHAZAM  

The SHAZAM Network was founded in 1976 and is one of the last remaining member-owned and -controlled electronic funds transfer (EFT) networks and processors in the industry. SHAZAM provides choice and flexibility to community financial institutions throughout the U.S. SHAZAM is a single-source provider of the following services: debit card, core, fraud, ATM, merchant, marketing, platform, risk and automated clearing house (ACH). To learn more visit shazam.net and follow @SHAZAMNetwork.

Data Security Act of 2015

On Friday, Congressman Randy Neugebauer followed through on his promise to file new legislation to apply consistent data security standards to all industries that handle sensitive consumer information.

In meetings with Neugebauer and other members of the Texas Congressional delegation last week, IBAT members urged greater consumer protection by applying Gramm-Leach-Bliley security standards for all entities that handle sensitive data. Neugebauer’s bill, the Data Security Act of 2015 (HR 2205), does just that. 

“Consistent standards for the protection of consumer data is imperative,” said IBAT President and CEO Chris Williston. “This, along with shifting the liability for fraud losses to the entity that experiences the breach, are the guiding principles behind IBAT's and ICBA’s efforts for new data security legislation in this Congress.” 

IBAT members are urged to call the Capitol offices and ask their Congressional representatives to co-sponsor HR 2205.