In This Issue…
Greetings from Guy
The Regulatory reform bill, S. 2155, continues to make its way through the Senate with a vote expected by the end of this week. All indications are the bill will pass with bipartisan support.
I read one story that said the bill could receive as many as 17 votes from Democrats. After passage in the Senate, the bill will go to conference committee where differences between the House and Senate bills will be reconciled.
This is where it gets tricky. Rep. Jeb Hensarling, House Banking Committee chairman, made comments last week indicating he wants to add several more reform items to the bill. While I support more reform, these changes could result in losing much needed Democratic votes in the Senate and, ultimately, the failure of the bill.
My position is we get what we can get while we can get it! While I remain very optimistic, we need to keep up the pressure on Congress to get this across the finish line.
The Bankers’ Night Out meetings begin this week with stops in Krebs and Lawton. It’s not too late to sign up for a BNO near you. Look forward to seeing you there.
Goings on with S. 2155
As Chairman Sims noted above, it appears the Senate will vote on the regulatory relief proposal that has been nurtured along by Senate Banking Committee Chairman Mike Crapo (R-Idaho). Sen. Crapo has been walking a very fine line to maintain the balance he has been able to create with and keep the 13 Democrat co-sponsors on the bill.
The bill cleared a key procedural hurdle Monday afternoon with a vote on what the Senate calls “cloture.” What it means is they broke the possibility of a filibuster that would have made consideration of the bill all but impossible. Both Sens. Inhofe and Lankford voted for cloture and for the banking industry.
There are a lot of arguments flying around on the Senate floor, both pro and con on this bill.
“I have been dismayed by some of the opponents’ arguments,” OBA President and CEO Roger Beverage said. “But this afternoon, one of the bill’s Democrat supporters – Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (N.D.) – went on offense to criticize some of her Democrat colleagues for their outright misrepresentations about the bill. Here are some of the things she highlighted:
- “This bill only helps the nation’s biggest banks.”
- Not true. 98 percent of the nation’s 5,700 banks have assets less than $10 billion. The majority of the provisions in this bill are directed toward these community banks by reducing rules that were not meant for them.
- “This bill ‘rolls back’ Dodd-Frank.”
- Again, not true. Dodd-Frank was all about higher capital standards for large banks, closer oversight of the nation’s very large and complex banking organizations. It also was intended to end “too-big-to-fail” by creating a very solid resolution plan for large banks that were in bad shape.
- Two other points: Dodd-Frank provides for better oversight of the derivatives markets and created the independent Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.
- NONE of these critical provisions are touched by 2155.
- This bipartisan bill is a step toward right-sizing rules and builds on bipartisan measures approved in the U.S. House of Representatives.
- By making some of these minimal adjustments to the bill, the result will be that millions of Americans will be helped because they will have greater access to credit, something they do not have now.
- “Dodd-Frank exempted smaller institutions, so these changes aren’t necessary.”
- Also not true. Banks less than $10 billion were exempted from direct CFPB oversight, but they are still subject to the agency’s new rules. That’s been the problem: Dodd-Frank treats all banks as if they are the same. They are not.
- Traditional community banks did not cause the near-meltdown of the global financial system in 2008. Nevertheless, their customers have paid a very high price for the sins of others.
- “S. 2155 means banks will no longer have to face stress tests.”
- Banks with more than $100 billion in assets will continue to be subject to stress tests.
- “Banks are profitable. They don’t need this relief.”
- So what? Profitability has nothing to do with this bill.
- This bill is meant to provide consumers with greater access to credit than they have today.
- It will also help grow the nation’s economy by allowing small businesses, entrepreneurs and homeowners to have greater access to credit.
- This bill will help MILLIONS of Americans.
Stay tuned for updates on the progress of this important measure.
OBA unveils new app for events, news alerts
A new app for iPhone and Android-based phones is available from the OBA for its upcoming major events, such as senior management conference, convention and OBA schools.
Don’t stress about having to carry around unwieldy pocket programs for these events. Just rely on your cell phone and this app to get where you need to go! It includes a map of the event location, times of all sessions, lists of sponsors and exhibitors and any additional materials that might need to be downloaded, such as handouts and PowerPoint slides. Additionally, there is a comments section for each conference where attendees can easily post a question or receive up-to-date information about the conference they are attending.
This app will replace the need to continually download a new app for each OBA conference or event – we will simply update this app, when needed, with new information.
Additionally, the app includes push notifications to allow us to contact our bankers in case of breaking news or if urgent action is needed involving their industry. We understand the initial worry from our busy bankers of being “harassed” by such push notifications, but we assure you we won’t be bothering you unless it’s absolutely pertinent to your industry and your job.
OBA education corner …
Remember to stay current with everything that’s coming up on the Events Calendar at OBA.com, but also take note of the following:
- BSA/AML Compliance Management, April 3 – Tulsa; April 4 – Oklahoma City — This is our flagship BSA/AML training event. The program incorporates a review of all of your institu-tion’s BSA’s technical compliance responsibilities; it is the annual review everyone needs to remember their critical duties. It also reviews the required elements of your AML program from CIP to en-hanced due diligence.
- 2018 OBA Rural Bankers/Ag Conference, April 5, Oklahoma City — Bankers in agricultural and rural markets should plan to attend this year’s conference.
- BKD-OBA CECL Workshop, April 18 – Oklahoma City; April 19 – Tulsa — The workshop will provide examples and group discussions to assist bankers in developing or refining processes to develop process to implement the CECL standards.
- Basic New Accounts Seminar, April 24 – Tulsa; April 25 – Oklahoma City — The biggest change to hit the new accounts desk since 2003 arrives May 11 – the new BENEFICIAL OWNER AND CUSTOMER DUE DILIGENCE RULE! But wait! Before we can add on something new, we need to absolutely nail down the basics and solidify our understanding of the new account principles, definitions, concepts that are with us always. So, we’ll do both at this seminar!
- Federal Benefit Payments Garnishment Requirements, March 20, webinar — Compliance officers, legal counsel and financial institution personnel who process garnishment answers should think about attending this webinar.
- CRA Nuts & Bolts: Five Steps to Pass the Exam, March 21, webinar — This webinar will focus on several simple steps to ensure a successful CRA exam outcome.
- HMDA Three-Month Checkup, March 21, webinar — Get the latest interpretations, guidance and best practices before you go any further. Plus, we’ll answer questions you didn’t know you had until you dove into the new requirements.
- Right of Setoff, March 22, webinar — “Right of Setoff” is used frequently in the banking industry when trying to collect on past-due debts owed by customers. Unfortunately, many bankers don’t understand the legal requirements and procedures necessary to use this process.
- Legal Liabilities When Check Fraud Occurs, March 27, webinar — If you’re confused about what your financial institution’s legal responsibility might be in various check fraud situations, this seminar is for you.
- Records Management and Retention, March 28, webinar — To manage an effective program in a cost-effective manner, compliance professionals must rely on information from a broad range of resources within the organization. Records management is the point of convergence of these resources, which is why effective and reliable records management must be part of your compliance program.
- Annual Regulation Training for the Branch, March 29, webinar — This regulatory review completes your financial institution’s annual training requirements. It also helps the front line understand that we can be fined and sued if we do not follow our regulatory responsibility.
In additional news, now is the time to GET INVOLVED with your industry and your Association! The easiest and best way to do this is to join an OBA committee. There are several to choose from, ranging from school boards to agriculture and bank fraud. Click here to learn more about OBA committees and to download a Committee Interest Form!
Finally, it’s always a good idea to see what the graduate schools of banking across the country have on their schedule. Click here to see GSB-Madison online seminars for April and May, and click here for information on upcoming events from GSB-Colorado.