And the Winners Are...

IBAT appreciates the efforts of the 18 associate members who submitted entries as well as the independent committee for the time, effort and care that went into the selection of the 2015 IBAT Five*Star Award winners.

Congratulations to:

  • Bank Compensation Consulting, Inc. (Tier 1)
  • CalTech (Tier 2)
  • First American Payment Systems, LLC (Tier 3)

The awards will be presented during the General Session at IBAT's 30th Annual Leadership Conference on Friday, June 12 at the Hyatt Hill Country Resort and Spa in San Antonio. We hope to see you there!

2015 CEO, Senior Bank Executive and Director Forum

The Independent Community Bankers Association of New Mexico is hosting its 2015 CEO, Senior Bank Executive and Director Forum in Sante Fe, NM on May 21-22. The event is co-hosted by the Independent Bankers Association of Texas, Independent Bankers of Colorado and Community Bankers Association of Oklahoma. It is intended for bank CEOs, senior management and directors.

The Forum will cover a variety of topics such as regional economy overviews, mergers and acquisitions, and an ICBA Washington update. Speakers will include New Mexico Governor John Sanchez, the Hon. Randy Neugebauer and the Hon. Steve Pearce. Additional information and event registration can be found here

Critical Call to Action

There is plenty of activity at the Texas Capitol these days, and your IBAT staff is busy on a number of fronts. First and foremost, Chairman Rene Oliveira’s HB 1936 is facing some unfriendly fire in the Calendars Committee. Please refer to the most recent Legislative Insider for a critical call to action. If you are concerned about the property tax lien issue, the time to contact your state representative is now.

We are pleased to report that our proactive agenda is moving through the process, and we will provide a more thorough update after the events of the week unfold. Especially noteworthy is the quick movement of SB 1457 (Nichols) that will free “end users” from frivolous patent troll lawsuits. This bill is on the Senate Intent Calendar this week.

Among the bills being heard in committee this week are three initiatives addressing the ongoing problem of data breaches. We are pleased that Scott Sharp of Sharp BancSystems will provide testimony on this important issue on Wednesday.

As more of the activity turns toward floor action, you will have opportunities to weigh in with your elected officials. Please watch for additional action alerts in the coming weeks. Your engagement in the process is appreciated and critical to success for community banking.

Weekly Update

As IBAT members prepare to take the community banking message to the halls of Congress during next week’s 23rd Annual Congressional Visit, a number of pressing regulatory relief issues are making progress. In last week’s edition of the Bottom Line newsletter, we reported on the passage of two measures passed by the full House. These two bills were part of a package of eleven bills reported out of House Financial Services Committee.

Further action on the other nine bills up for consideration in the House is not anticipated until the Senate begins the heavy lifting on its own regulatory relief bill. Last week, Senate Banking Committee Chair Richard Shelby announced plans to mark up yet-unseen legislation on May 14. The markup comes a month later than initially planned, as Shelby has been working with committee democrats to find common ground for community bank relief. 

“IBAT has worked directly with Senate Banking Committee staff to prioritize meaningful regulatory relief measures in the Senate bill,” said IBAT President and CEO Chris Williston. “We are confident that the committee will bring forward a bill that will loosen up some of the restrictions that current rules have placed on community banks’ ability to meet the needs of their customers.”

Regulatory relief, particularly in the mortgage arena, is at the top of IBAT’s agenda in the short term. However, IBAT supports the sentiment of FDIC Vice Chairman Thomas Hoenig, who advocated for a shift from asset-based thresholds in the applicability of statutes in favor of a model based upon the business activities of a financial institution.

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.