May/June Magazine

The May/June 2015 digital edition of IBAT’s magazine, The Texas Independent Banker, is now available online. Click here to view the full table of contents or link directly to specific content below:

As always, if you have suggestions for future content to be featured in The Texas Independent Banker magazine, please contact Bonnie Kankel.

Week in Review: April 20, 2014

The “road to normalcy” is not a real road; you won’t find it on Google Maps. It’s more of a concept, and at present, a concept that looks like an aspiration in need of affirmation. If it were a real road, you would probably want four-wheel drive. Things have gotten a little bumpy. The macro-economic thoroughfare that, by now, should be smoothly paved with growth and prosperity has developed a few potholes that have generated renewed speculation about just how much longer construction will need to continue. This week’s news provided very little help to those trying to gauge exactly when Janet Yellen’s road crew will allow travel to normalcy; that place where interest rates are above zero.

Read more in the Baker Market Update.

Dell Spring Sale!

Dell is doubling its discounts exclusively for IBAT member banks, bank employees and customers through the month of April. If you'd like to take advantage of this deal, visit Dell's website. On average, IBAT members enjoy savings of approximately 30% on each order.

Current offers include:

  • 10% off Latitude, Optiplex, XPS, Desktops and Laptops;
  • 20% off Precision Workstations;
  • 20% off PowerEdge Servers $1499 and above;
  • 4% off Inspiron Desktops and Laptops; and
  • 10% off Dell electronics and accessories.

Ordering is easy! Visit Dell's website or contact Bryan Horten, IBAT’s Strategic Account Manager, at 512-942-9120. To ensure you are getting the maximum discounts available with your IBAT membership, please include the unique Dell/IBAT link number GS126658178 when placing your order.

April Consumer Tips

To help educate consumers about EMV/chipcards, IBAT’s April Consumer Tips publication discusses the added security benefits and how the customer experience will change with this new type of card. We encourage you to share this information with your customers.

Basel III Update

Last week, federal banking regulators issued a frequently asked questions document addressing a number of questions community bankers have raised regarding the Basel III regulatory capital rules. The FAQs cover issues such as high-volatility real estate exposures and off-balance-sheet exposures, among others.

One additional Basel III-related question was answered last week by Federal Reserve Chairman Janet Yellen, who declined to pursue any policy change to Basel III’s capital conservation buffer for Subchapter S banks. Yellen’s comments on the issue came in response to a letter sent to the Chairman by Representative Blaine Luetkemeyer in the fall. “By holding more than 1.25 percent capital above the minimum regulatory capital requirement, a state member bank can distribute up to 40 percent of eligible retained earnings as dividends,” she wrote. “As a result, shareholders should be able to pay their tax liabilities under most circumstances.”

“We are disappointed by Chairman Yellen’s decision not to pursue a policy change in response to community bank concerns in this area,” said IBAT President and CEO Chris Williston. “It seems an undue and unfair hardship to limit a bank’s ability to meet its tax obligations due to its corporate structure.”

Maintaining Momentum in D.C.

The U.S. House of Representatives is back in session this week following its Easter recess. The good news for community banks is a plan by House leadership to take up several important bills, each designed to help alleviate the regulatory burden on our industry. These bills are relatively non-controversial having passed the full House in the previous Congress. The bills, supported by IBAT and ICBA, are as follows:

Yesterday, the House passed the Helping Expand Lending Practices in Rural Communities Act (H.R. 1259) to allow individuals to petition the CFPB to reassess the rural status of counties. 

“We are extremely pleased that the House is acting swiftly and judiciously on measures that will alleviate the tremendous burden that has plagued community banks since the passage of Dodd-Frank,” said IBAT President and CEO Chris Williston.

Meanwhile, hopes are fading that the Senate Banking Committee will meet its goal of marking up regulatory relief measures in April as previously scheduled. Negotiations are still underway among Senate Republicans and Democrats as to what should be included in a comprehensive bill. 


Sageworks’ 2015 Bank & Credit Union Exam Survey is now open. This biennial survey covers federal banking examinations, and bankers are invited to anonymously share feedback about their recent experiences. The survey, which will take no longer than 10 minutes, focuses on areas such as the ALLL, stress testing and loan review, among other related topics.

Participants will be able to learn from peers’ experiences once results are compiled and released. Complete the survey.

Day at the Capitol

We want to thank the more than 150 members of the IBAT family for taking time out of your busy schedule last week to come to Austin for Community Banking Day at the Capitol. We had a very impressive showing of community bankers and others in the industry who converged on the Capitol to meet with their elected officials, tell the community banking story and advocate for important legislation underway.

Attendees also had the opportunity to hear from a variety of state leaders, share fellowship with colleagues at a group dinner and enjoy a breakfast reception with a great showing of lawmakers from across the state. IBAT appreciates each and every person who was able to attend. We are successful because of you and what you do, and there is no better time to show IBAT’s strength than during the middle of the Texas Legislative Session.

A select group of pictures from the event is now available online. If you cannot access the pictures or are looking for additional photos not included online, please contact Christopher Williston for assistance.

Baker Market Update: Apr. 13, 2015

A metaphor for [last] week’s market news might best be found in a description of Spring’s capricious weather. Hailstones and twisters one day; cloudless skies and sunshine the next. Monday morning brought us the first dark clouds in the form of more bad news for the jobs picture. On the heels of the prior week’s dismal Unemployment Report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the Federal Reserve announced that their Labor Market Conditions Index (LMCI) fell to negative .3 from a downwardly revised previous level of +2. A bit of piling on! Nobody got hurt, however, and the danger was swept away by Tuesday’s encouraging JOLT’s (Job Openings and Labor Turnover) Report. The 5,133k number of job openings is the highest monthly total in 14 years. While that is certainly good news, the “quality” of these positions is of concern to many as the lower-paying and lower-skilled service sector continues to be the epicenter of much of the job growth.

Read more in the Baker Market Update.

Lending Compliance Summit

Join IBAT’s General Counsel Karen Neeley as she presents IBAT's twelfth annual Lending Compliance Summit

Come for the latest information and an unparalleled opportunity to network and share ideas with your peers. Applying lessons learned from experience with theDodd-Frank Act, the Summit will look at the recurring issues and pending changes related to QM versus ATR as well as RESPA servicing issues and appraisal requirements. Additionally, the Summit will include a moderated best practices session.

This Summit will provide an overview of recent regulatory changes, litigation of interest and practical recommendations for implementation at community banks. Topics that will be covered include:

  • Integrated Disclosure
  • Third Party Vendors
  • Unfair, Deceptive, Abusive, Acts and Practices
  • Fair Lending
  • Home Equity Lending
  • Lending Compliance Management
  • Human Resources
  • Marketing
  • Residential Mortgage Lending Challenge
  • Pot Pourri of Current Hot Topics

This Summit will benefit anyone responsible for the lending and compliance departments at community financial institutions

Upcoming Compliance Meetings

IBAT is hosting a series of information-sharing meetings with compliance officers from around the state. This is your opportunity for a face-to-face meeting to exchange information with other compliance officers and IBAT staff. To ensure the information exchanged is relevant to you, there are three meetings divided by asset size. If your bank’s asset size qualifies you for two meetings, choose the meeting that best fits you. If you received an email about one of these meetings and have already registered, there’s nothing more to do.


  • April 23 – Banks with assets of $300MM or less
  • May 12 – Banks with assets of $250MM to $750MM
  • May 14 – Banks with assets of $700MM or more

All meetings will take place at IBAT headquarters in Austin from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. (at the latest). There is no cost to attend and lunch will be catered. Each meeting is limited to the first 20 registrants.

New FFIEC Committee Appointment

The Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council (FFIEC) recently announced the appointment of Commissioner Caroline Jones to the Council’s State Liaison Committee (SLC). Jones currently serves as the Commissioner of the Texas Department of Savings and Mortgage Lending. She will serve as the American Council of State Savings Supervisors (ACSSS) representative on the SLC for a two-year term that goes through March 31, 2017. 

The four current SLC members that Commissioner Jones joins are SLC Chairman David Cotney, Commissioner of Banks for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts; Mary Hughes, Financial Institutions Bureau Chief of the Idaho Department of Finance; Lauren Kingry, Superintendent of the Arizona Department of Financial Institutions; and Karen Lawson, Director of the Office of Banking within the Michigan Department of Insurance and Financial Services.

Descending on the Capitol

IBAT members are gathered in Austin this week for Community Banking Day at the Capitol. Throughout the day on Tuesday and Wednesday, community bankers from across the state will meet with legislators to discuss issues on IBAT’s proactive legislative agenda, including:

  • Common sense measures to curb some forms of debit card fraud;
  • Address the matter of liability in losses from data security breaches;
  • Enforcement of the prohibition on debit card surcharges at the point of sale;
  • A fix for the calculation of points and fees on home equity loans;
  • Clarity on account beneficiaries; and
  • Provide prior notice to existing lien holders on property tax loans.

IBAT members will also hear from a number of dignitaries during a legislative briefing on Tuesday. Among those scheduled to address the group are Speaker Joe Straus, Texas Comptroller Glenn Hegar, Banking Commissioner Charles Cooper, Sen. Kevin Eltife, Sen. Lois Kolkhorst, Sen. Kirk Watson, Rep. Tan Parker and Rep. Larry Gonzales.

“While many of the issues affecting community banks are decided at the federal level, IBAT is first-and-foremost a state lobbying organization,” said IBAT President and CEO Chris Williston. “The show of force that Texas community bankers are bringing to the Texas Capitol this week is nothing short of impressive.”

A full recap of Community Banking Day at the Capitol will be included in next week’s Bottom Line newsletter.

New Member Resource

Pursuant to an IBAT suggestion earlier this year, the Department of Banking and the Department of Savings and Mortgage Lending eliminated the annual requirement in the User Notice on ATM Safety Rules for state banks (page 39), state savings and loan associations (page 73), and state savings associations (page 77). In addition to eliminating the annual requirement, the amended rules updated the information that must be contained in the safety notice provided whenever an access device is issued or renewed. It is not necessary to provide the notice when an access device is replaced.

IBAT created an ATM Safety Notice Form for your bank’s use. Please feel free to personalize it for your bank and distribute it to your customers.