Thursday, April 18, 2024

Week of March 2

In This Issue…

OBA creates coronavirus information page for member banks

The OBA has created a coronavirus resource page for our member access to quickly reach ACCURATE information and the latest RELIABLE news sources concerning the coronavirus and resulting COVID-19 illness.

Oklahoma banks have always been leaders in their communities, particularly in smaller towns across the state where the local bank sometimes has more resources to reach the public than the city halls or local governments. The OBA has created this page to particularly help those banks get accurate information to its customers, as well as all bank employees.

The OBA coronavirus resource page can be accessed in the drop-down menu under the “News” tab at the top of any page, or by clicking here. Bookmark and check back to this page frequently over the next few days and weeks.

The American Bankers Association has also created a dedicated coronavirus incident response webpage at You can access a variety of resources that will help your bank manage through the recent environment.

The worst thing people can do – in Oklahoma and in Washington – is to panic and act without thinking. And some news media isn’t helping by overreacting to the news. But – there’s no doubt that the fear and concerns about the virus are real, even if sometimes misplaced.

We think it’s important for bankers as community leaders to be prepared to address these fears and concerns in a positive way, which is why we created our own resource page.

Without intending to minimize the very real concerns people have about the coronavirus and the reality of the deaths and active cases that have taken place, let’s look at reality:

  • The “ordinary” flu (influenza) has been much more severe over the years with nearly half a million deaths and three to five million people who have been hit with it.
      • Coronavirus has confirmed 82,000 cases in 50 countries.
  • As of Tuesday morning, six people in the United States have died as a result of this virus, all of whom were residents of the state of Washington and who were in poor health.

Other ideas and questions to ask yourself suggested by ABA President and CEO Rob Nichols:

  • Do you have a pandemic business continuity plan and have you exercised it recently?
  • Have you discussed your plan with your regulator?
  • Do all your service providers have pandemic response plans, and have they shared them with you?
  • Do you have a crisis communications plan?
  • Are you prepared to communicate with your employees, customers and other stakeholders?
  • What actions will you take if an employee contracts the virus?
  • Have you encouraged cross-training among your employees on critical functions, in case they need to cover for each other?
  • Do you allow for telecommuting, and are you prepared to allow many—if not all—of your employees to work from home?
  • Have you stress-tested your online and mobile capabilities in case you need to close branches?
  • Do you have a plan to extend relief to your customers who are affected by the coronavirus?
  • Have you established a formal travel policy that addresses business and personal travel to affected regions, and the policies surrounding travelers’ return to work?
  • Is business interruption due to pandemic a covered peril under your bank’s insurance policy?

A huge shout-out to Rob and the ABA staff. These suggestions are among some of the very best we’ve seen so far.

Click here to read another good report about the virus and its impact on business supply chains. This story, as well as other reliable news resources, are also available on the OBA coronavirus resource page.

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OBA Bankers’ Night Out programs start next week

The dates for the OBA Bankers’ Night Out programs have been finalized. Mark your calendar for the date of the program that’s in your area of the state and plan to attend. Bring your coworkers with you so that everyone can be up to speed on the most recent developments affecting their job. In addition to state and federal legislative updates, the program will include a discussion on the recent developments in your industry.

As in the past, the schedule for each of these meetings is:

5:30 p.m. – Drinks
6:15 p.m. – Program
7 p.m. – Dinner

PRE-REGISTRATION IS REQUIRED. The cost is $50 per person. Click here for a registration form.

Locations and dates for this year’s events are:

  • Tulsa, March 10.
  • Krebs, March 11.
  • Oklahoma City, April 1.
  • Guymon, April 2.
  • Lawton, April 15.
  • Enid, April 16.

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Having compliance issues? How about trying virtual compliance officer?

As you may know, the OBA is a part owner of “Compliance Alliance,” a trusted compliance solution for member banks which we’ve made available for the past nine years. Recently C/A has enhanced its service offerings to member banks, and one of those offerings is your bank’s own Virtual Compliance Officer.

Our Virtual Compliance Officer gives your bank access to C/A’s well-trained, smart and experienced compliance experts. It will save your bank money and help you gain access to the critical information you need in order to make the best strategic decisions.

The world of compliance is ever-evolving, and many OBA-member banks have neither the access to nor the resources for properly maintaining this kind of expertise within the bank. The Virtual Compliance Officer is a service to help your bank navigate the complexities of the current regulatory matrix:

  • Monitoring the bank’s daily compliance responsibilities.
  • Assessing your bank’s daily compliance risk(s).
  • Assisting in implementing your bank’s system.
  • Helping maintain your bank’s monthly reporting requirements.

Federal banking regulators tell us they have no issues with this service, especially for smaller traditional community banks located in non-metropolitan areas.

  • It’s difficult to find compliance “experts” in such areas that have the necessary experience and training.
  • If you can find them, they are very expensive.
  • The overhead your bank incurs is an on-going expense item.
  • Our Virtual Compliance Officer will enable your bank create and maintain a thorough compliance system that will pass regulatory muster.

Questions? Call or email Roger Beverage (

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Interested in leading our Emerging Leaders?

The OBA is looking for bankers interested in serving as chairperson of the OBA Emerging Leaders Division.

Any OBA Emerging Leaders who are currently enrolled in the OBA Emerging Leaders Academy or have previously graduated from an OBA Emerging Leaders Academy or OBA Leadership Academy are eligible for the position.

The Emerging Leaders chair will serve a two-year term and will work closely with OBA staff to continue to build and direct the OBA Emerging Leaders program. The chairperson will also serve as a voting member on the OBA Board of Directors.

Are you interested? If so, download the Emerging Leaders-Chair Interest Form by clicking here!

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Alliance members demand action by Crapo, Brown

The Alliance of State Bankers Associations and the ABA have jointly signed a letter to Senate Banking Committee Chairman Mike Crapo (R-Idaho) and Ranking Member Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) asking them to take immediate action to advance S. 1200, the SAFE Banking Act.

The Alliance is made up of all state bankers associations, which work together with the ABA on behalf of all banks and the industry. Your OBA has been an active participant in this Alliance since its creation in 1994.

“The SAFE Banking Act is a banking-specific solution that would address the reality of the current marketplace and allow banks to serve cannabis-related businesses in states where the activity is legal,” we all urged, together.

The letter can be viewed on our website by clicking here.

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Employee benefits survey participation ending soon

Blanchard Consulting Group and the OBA would like to invite you to participate in our 2020 Compensation Trends and Employee Benefits Survey.

The survey covers recent trends in various compensation programs such as: annual incentive plan design and payouts, equity/long-term incentive programs, executive benefits, including employment/change-in-control agreements, deferred compensation plans/supplemental executive retirement plans, perquisites and employee benefits surrounding 401K plans, tuition reimbursements, medical coverage and more.

This survey will provide valuable market data on a wide variety of compensation related topics.

Below is the pricing for the 2020 Compensation Trends and Employee Benefits Survey results (results will be provided via email in PDF format):

  • OBA Member Participants: $150
  • OBA Member Non-participants: $300

To complete the survey, please click here. The deadline to submit is Friday, March 6.

If you would like to pre-order your copy of the survey, or if you have any survey questions, please contact Laura Roth at or 612-886-1225.

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OBA education corner …

Did you vote today? If not, get out to your polls and flex your constitutional muscles! Afterward, take a second to look over the events we have planned via the OBA’s education department:

  • New Rules Regarding IRA Beneficiary Payouts, March 12, webinar — Learn more about the old and new rules for IRA non-spouse beneficiary payouts.
  • Regulation E, March 13, webinar — As consumers continue their shift to a nearly all-digital platform for conducting personal financial transactions, a thorough understanding of Regulation E and the Electronic Fund Transfers Act is an absolute necessity for financial institutions.
  • What To Do When A Customer Dies, March 17, webinar — We’ll walk you through the best practices when dealing with a customer’s death – both on the deposit side and the loan side, as well as unique issues that can arise when doing business with the decedent’s estate.
  • 25 Safe Deposit Compliance Issues, March 20, webinar — At this workshop, you will receive current information about all of these issues and an in-depth explanation about how they impact on your financial institution and your safe deposit box renters.
  • 2020 Vendor Management Seminar, March 24, Oklahoma City — Susan Orr has assisted numerous institutions with developing their Outsourced Third Party Risk Management Program and will share her insights into developing an effective program in this full day seminar. We will do a deep dive into specifics of the Outsourced Third Party Risk Management Program and examiners expectations. Bring your Program so you can review it as we discuss what the Program should address.
  • 2020 Fair Lending, March 24, webinar — While the rest of the industry is focusing on TRID, Flood Insurance and HMDA, the regulatory agencies, the Department of Justice and plaintiff attorneys are focused intently on the issue of fair lending.
  • CTRs: Line by Line, March 24, webinar — The webinar will go line by line through the CTR. You will learn how to avoid pitfalls and common errors.
  • Basic New Accounts Seminars, March 25-Oklahoma City; March 26-Tulsa — This program will provide an overview of state law requirements in the area of new accounts, plus federal requirements for beneficial ownership, disclosures, basic TIN compliance, CIP, anti-money laundering and deposit insurance.
  • 2020 BSA/AML Workshops, April 14-Tulsa; April 15-Oklahoma City — These one-day seminars provide a comprehensive and up-to-date overview of top industry concerns related to BSA/AML compliance responsibilities.

Also, the OBA is co-hosting this year’s women in banking conference with the Federal Reserve. This year’s event, titled “Banking and the Economy: A Forum for Women in Banking” is scheduled for April 17 at the Embassy Suites in Norman. Click here for more information.

Also, are you interested in joining an OBA board or committee? Click here to complete the Committee Interest Form for 2020-2021. We would love for you to get involved!

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