Week of Dec. 12

In This Issue…

Let our senators know to support reg relief bill
House Financial Services Committee mark-up today
California wildfires continue to rage; CBA asks for help
OBA education corner …

Let our senators know to support reg relief bill

Last week, we shared with you the results of the Senate Banking Committee mark up on its version of regulatory relief.  You can read about it on our website by clicking here and judge for yourself whether you think this proposal is worth the effort.

We have written to both of our Oklahoma senators and asked them to co-sponsor S. 2155. So far, neither Sen. Inhofe or Sen. Lankford have signed on to the bill (according to Thomas).

It would be immeasurably helpful if you would take the time – about 5 minutes total – and let them both know you support this effort and are asking them to co-sponsor the bill.

The American Bankers Association has made it easy to send something to both of our senators asking them to get on board and co-sponsor this bill. Click on this link to enter your information and send a letter/message asking them to co-sponsor the bill.

If you’d prefer, here’s a copy of the points we made:

Please co-sponsor S. 2155, the Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief and Consumer Protection Act.  This legislation will help Oklahoma banks better serve their customers, clients and communities – your constituents – and, in the process, create new economic opportunities in our state.

Traditional Oklahoma banks provide financial services that individuals and small businesses need to succeed. S. 2155 represents bipartisan legislation and cooperation at its best, Senate Banking Committee Chairman Mike Crapo introduced this bill, along with Democrat Senators Jon Tester, Heidi Heitkamp, Mark Warner and Joe Donnelly.  Their support enabled the bill to advance on a 16-7 vote, with the usual suspects voting “no.”

This bill will expand mortgage offerings for consumers, expand the availability of capital and other resources for increased lending, remove unnecessary paperwork requirements, and significantly lessen some of the regulatory requirements that serve no meaningful purpose when applied to traditional community banks.

This bill isn’t about increasing a bank’s bottom line; it’s about enabling Oklahomans to gain access to more capital and mortgage credit than they have been able to do since Dodd-Frank was passed seven years ago. Without this bill, fewer banks will be able to offer services Oklahoma consumers want and need.  Moreover, the cost of those services will likely increase, and some institutions that are too small to absorb the compliance costs and responsibilities will be forced to close or merge.

S. 2155, while far from perfect, is a step in the right direction of helping banks do even more in their communities.  Please cosponsor this legislation and encourage Majority Leader McConnell to bring this bill to the Senate floor as emphatically as you can.

Thanks very much.

Please take a few minutes to send the message to our state’s two Senators.  It’s important – very important.

Thanks very much.

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House Financial Services Committee mark-up today

The House Financial Services Committee is in the process of marking up a number of bills for consideration by the U.S. House of Representatives. Most of these measures would be helpful to OBA-member banks, but some more so than others.  For example:

  • HR 435, the “Credit Access and Inclusion Act of 2017” – allows the reporting of a creditor’s payment history on rent and utility payments;
  • HR 1457, the “Making Online Banking Initiation Legal and Easy Act of 2017” – authorizes banks to store or retain personal private information based on a person’s drivers license or other personal identification card;
  • HR 2219, the “End Banking for Human Traffickers Act of 2017” – an effort to expand the ability of financial institutions to better deter and detect money laundering that’s related to human trafficking;

A number of other bills are also on the agenda, including:

  • HR 2319, the “Consumer Financial Choice and Capital Markets Protection Act of 2017”
  • HR 2948, To amend the S.A.F.E. Mortgage Licensing Act of 2008 to provide a temporary license for loan originators transitioning between employers, and for other purposes.
  • HR 3179, the “Transparency and Accountability for Business Standards Act”
  • HR 3864, the “Native American Housing Assistance and Self-Determination Reauthorization Act of 2017”
  • HR 4464, the “Common Sense Credit Union Capital Relief Act of 2017”
  • HR 4519, To amend the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 to repeal certain disclosure requirements related to resource extraction, and for other purposes.
  • HR 4529, the “Accelerating Access to Capital Act of 2017”
  • HR 4537, the “International Insurance Standards Act of 2017”
  • HR 4545, the “Financial Institutions Examination Fairness and Reform Act”
  • HR 4546, the “National Securities Exchange Regulatory Parity Act”
  • HR 4560, the “GSE Jumpstart Reauthorization Act of 2017”
  • HR 4566, the “Alleviating Stress Test Burdens to Help Investors Act”

“I think this is an impressive list of ideas and proposals that are likely to be moved on to the full House,” OBA President and CEO Roger Beverage said. “I’m just not sure this effort is realistic, because it’s very unlikely the Senate will take any of them up during this session. I’m not big on doing ‘something’ just to be doing something, or increasing banker expectations that ‘something’ is going to happen when most of us know it’s not.”

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California wildfires continue to rage; CBA asks for help

Our colleagues at the California Bankers Association just sent us an email and asked us to share it with you.

“The multiple Southern California fires raging over the past several days have created massive devastation and loss to so many in our state. Nearly 100,000 people in Southern California have been displaced, and the Thomas Fire has grown to become the fifth-largest wildfire in modern California history. The destruction that these fires have caused is truly heartbreaking, and recovery for these individuals, families and communities will take much time and many resources.

“Financial support for California disaster recovery efforts is desperately needed, and any level of support that you can provide will be greatly appreciated. Relief for those impacted by the fires is being provided by several charitable organizations, including the American Red Cross and the Salvation Army.

“The CBA is making a contribution to the Salvation Army to support their relief efforts, and we hope you will consider making a contribution to one of the organizations as well. We know that this has been a year marked by several natural disasters across our country, but it is absolutely critical that we continue to offer support to those who are so much in need. We would also very much appreciate it if you would share this email with your members as well.

“Please know that we are grateful for the continued support that has been expressed from across the country.

“On behalf of the California banking community, we thank you for your thoughts, prayers and offers of assistance.”

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OBA education corner …

Christmas is just around the corner, with New Year’s following a week afterward. But, even with the holidays upon us, don’t forget to plan ahead for continuing education, courtesy of the OBA through our seminars, schools and webinars. Take note of the following:

  • Onboarding Your New Hire, Dec. 18, webinar This dynamic program will help raise the bar when it comes to engaging and training new employees from the start.
  • Writing Business Account Procedures – New CDD Rules, Dec. 19, webinar Learn from A to Z the best practices for opening business accounts, documenting the authority and changing signers in the new regulatory environment.
  • FATCA and Tax Reporting, Dec. 19, webinar During this program we will do a line-by-line review of the new forms and the subsequent tax reporting to the IRS.
  • Best-Ever Compliance Checklists for Consumer Loans, Jan. 3, webinar — The colorful and easy-to-use checklists are designed to chronologically lead lenders and processors through the various compliance requirements, and financial institutions that properly use these checklists will virtually eliminate compliance errors.
  • Sexual Harassment – Establishing a Respectful Workplace, Jan. 4, webinar — In many organizations sexual harassment seems all too common. Yet in others it rarely arises and is quickly and effectively addressed. What is the difference?

Additionally, for long-range planning, note the upcoming 2018 OBA Schools: 2018 Intermediate School, Feb. 5-9 and June 4-8; 2018 Commercial Lending School, March 4-9; 2018 Compliance School, Aug. 27-31; 2018 Consumer Lending School, Oct. 1-5; and 2018 Operations School, Nov. 12-16.

One education program, in particular, to be aware of is the OBA Intern Program. The Intern Program will again be active in 2018 and we’re looking for participating banks! For more information on this IMPORTANT program – important not only to aspiring students, but also to participating banks – Click here for more information or contact the OBA education department at (405) 424-5252!

Finally, make sure to save the date for the 2018 Community Bankers Leadership & Senior Management Conference, set this year for April 8-10 in Las Vegas. If you work for a community bank or if you’re looking for ways to improve your bank’s performance, then this event is for you!  Click here for more information.