Thursday, June 13, 2024

Week of Jan. 7

In This Issue…

Sandy’s salutations
OBA raising money for Gov.-elect Stitt’s Inaugural Ball
Key Kansas City Fed supervisor to retire
Oklahoma legislature ready to start next month
Compliance Alliance hosting board of directors webinar
OBA education corner …

Sandy’s salutations

By Sandy Werner
OBA Chairperson

Happy new year!

We enter the new year with our federal government shut down. Nancy Pelosi defied history returning as Speaker of the House after eight years. And, as we thought, Sen. Elizabeth Warren has announced she is launching an exploratory committee to run for president.

The Federal Reserve increased rates four times in 2018. The Fed did give us a small glimmer of hope offering insights that suggest only two rate hikes in 2019. Another positive was passage of the 2018 Farm Bill. The Farm Bill gave us two surprises: First, its passage was with bipartisan support, and secondly, it removed hemp from schedule 1 opening the door to pilot programs for industrial hemp.

This year could be an interesting year for Oklahoma. Gov.-elect Kevin Stitt ran his campaign on doing things a lot differently. He is focused on reforming our state’s government structure and “cleaning up the mess.” Eleven of 48 senators and 46 of 101 House members will be new to the state legislature this upcoming session. In addition, 103 of the 149 legislators – almost 70 percent – will have four years or fewer of experience. Our elected officials have a lot of work to do. Various tax dollars were created to provide teachers the raises demanded, but our schools continue to face numerous challenges, our prison system remains overcrowded with too few underpaid correctional officers and our rural hospitals and state universities and colleges are struggling financially, just to name a few issues needing resolution.

So what about our industry? Obviously 2019 will be filled with new challenges. All of us at OBA are committed to continuing to meet the challenges that come our way, and together, make our voices heard.

We need your input always. Currently, we are working on our spring Bankers’ Night Out programs. If there is a topic you would like to have presented, I encourage you to contact either Roger or myself. We want the spring series to be impactful.

Wishing you and yours health, happiness and prosperity in 2019.

Together, we are the OBA!

——— Sandy

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OBA raising money for Gov.-elect Stitt’s Inaugural Ball

Gov.-elect Kevin Stitt will be sworn into office Monday, Jan. 14. A couple of weeks ago, we asked for member banks’ help with making a positive statement on behalf of the industry.

We are asking all member banks to at least consider helping us out by contributing to our effort to purchase a table for the inaugural celebration on Monday evening.

Our collective goal is to raise $10,000 with specific recognition for each bank that contributes to this effort. Corporate contributions are permitted.

Any amount is welcome, but so far, we still have a long way to go to reach our goal. Will you please consider helping us?

The most important element is recognition for the banking industry by listing the name of each bank that contributes. As we said, any amount contributed will enable us to feature your bank by recognizing your participation as we can.

Please consider having your bank participate. Thanks very much.

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Key Kansas City Fed supervisor to retire

After nearly 37 years of service, Kevin Moore, senior vice president of the Supervision and Risk Management Division, has announced his plans to retire, effective May 1, 2019. As you know, this is an important leadership position for the bank and industry, and Esther George, president of the bank, intends to consider qualified internal candidates.

“Kevin is a great person, and very knowledgeable about the business,” OBA President and CEO Roger Beverage said. “He has been exceptionally easy to work with and we wish him well in the next chapter of his life and career.”

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Oklahoma legislature ready to start next month

The Oklahoma 56th Legislature will open for business on Monday, Feb. 4. It should be interesting, considering 46 members of the House (46 percent) are brand new. In addition, there are 11 new senators (out of 48, or 23 percent).

According to our friends at the State Chamber of Oklahoma, 54 percent of the Senate is either new, elected in a special election or has only two years of experience. In the House, that number jumps to 75 percent of State Representatives features who have two years or less experience.

Adding the fact our new governor also comes into office from the private sector, with no prior “political” experience, and it tends to cause some of the “old hands” at the Capitol to be a bit nervous as to how that’s going to work out.

“Frankly, I’m more than intrigued and excited about how these numbers will impact the process and improve how things work out,” OBA’s chief state lobbyist Adrian Beverage said. “I’ve always favored the Founders’ idea of ‘citizen legislators’ and public servants, not career political figures who bring very little real-life or business experience.

“The good news is we still have solid leadership, with (banker!) Charles McCall (R-Atoka) remaining as Speaker of the House, and Greg Treat (R-Oklahoma City) as the new president pro temp of the Senate. We’ve known both of these fine men for some time and are convinced these leaders know the way to creating a better state, together.”

The OBA’s Government Relations Council meets on Tuesday Jan. 22, to consider some issues that have come to our attention. One of those issues involves Property Assessed Clean Energy lending.

PACE loans are loans used to finance energy efficiency upgrades or renewable energy installations of residential, commercial and industrial property owners. Such financing can involve several methods of making more energy-efficient improvements that includes things like seismic retrofitting for both individual homes and commercial buildings located in areas more prone to earthquakes (like Oklahoma).

These loans can be utilized for hurricane preparedness measures, solar panels energy-efficient roofing and some lighting upgrades. The difference here is the property is the collateral used to secure the loan, and the debt relates to the property, not to its owner or borrower. What makes these loans a bit unusual is should there be a remaining balance on a PACE loan, it becomes a debt that remains with the property if and when the property is sold or otherwise changes hands.

“We’ll have a lot on our collective plate to say grace over,” Beverage said. “I hope a record number of bankers sign up for our ‘Contact Banker’ program so they can establish a good working relationship with their senator and representative. It’s participation by the local banker that enables us to successfully do our work on behalf the industry.

“It’s really pretty simple: Together we are stronger! The more we recognize the truth of that basic premise, the better our results will be going forward.”

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Compliance Alliance hosting board of directors webinar

Compliance Alliance will hold the first of its quarterly board of directors webinars for 2019 at 2:30 p.m., Tuesday, Jan. 15.

The board of directors at banks has the critical role of oversight over the entirety of the Bank Secrecy Act program. The board also has the duty to ensure the BSA Officer is sufficiently experienced to run the program, and staff and management have the skills, training and resources needed to comply with the BSA requirements, and meet the Act’s stated mission: to prevent money laundering and fraud. This webinar presentation will also cover regulator expectations related to how the board reviews its own effectiveness and ensures that the bank is meeting the needs. This presentation will also cover BSA consent orders due to lack of Board oversight and hot topics.

There is no fee for participation. If you believe you might be interested, register in advance. The webinar is expected to last one hour.

Click here to register.

Please white-list the email address to ensure receipt of confirmation registration. You must first be logged into C/A’s website to register for this event. If you receive an error that states, “You are not authorized to access this event,” you are not logged into the C/A website.

If you have any questions, please contact C/A at (888) 353-3933.

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OBA education corner …

The new year is here! Time to make your resolutions for 2019. One resolution we hope many of our bankers make is to take advantage of the numerous education opportunities available through the OBA! Take note of the following:

  • Nailing Your Job of Head Teller, Jan. 15, webinar — The leadership provided by the frontline supervisor is critical to employees’ success enabling them to perform productively and efficiently.
  • Smart Social Media, Jan. 16, webinar — In this basic level class, we will review social media channels and trends, give specific suggestions for updating and content, and touch on how to set internal guidelines for staff. We’ll also review how to handle negative press and information.
  • Basics of Real Estate Loan Documentation, Jan. 23, webinar — This webinar provides a comprehensive overview of essential real estate loan documentation requirements, regulatory compliance issues, sound loan administration issues and best practices.
  • Heath Savings Accounts, Jan. 23, webinar — Whether you are now offering HSAs or are thinking about offering HSAs, this two-hour, extremely informative webinar will give you the information you need to make sure you are setting the accounts up correctly and performing the proper maintenance and reporting.
  • 2019 Compliance Updates, Jan. 29-Operations, Tulsa; Jan. 29-Lending, Tulsa; Jan. 30-Operations, Oklahoma City; Jan. 30-Lending, Oklahoma City — The 2019 Compliance Updates will provide a review of issues and concerns facing every bank’s compliance team. The sessions will focus on “hot” topics, trends and areas that may need more emphasis. Common compliance mistakes also will be covered.
  • 2019 OBA Intermediate School, Session I-Feb. 4-8; Session II-June 3-7, Oklahoma City — Presented in two sessions, this school is designed to prepare students to serve effectively and profitably the needs and desires of their banks and the banking public.
  • 2019 OBA Commercial Lending School, March 3-8, Oklahoma City — The OBA Commercial Lending School is an intensive, one-week functional school designed for bankers with a basic understanding of credit and financial analysis. The school will demonstrate how to apply this knowledge in profitable commercial lending situations.

One education program, in particular, to be aware of is the OBA Intern Program. The Intern Program will again be active in 2019 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!

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