Week of Sept. 7

In This Issue…

From the chairman …

In these uncertain times, being a good leader takes someone who has clear goals, vision, is a good communicator, sets high expectations, gives support, encourages, is inspiring – there are other qualities – but ultimately one who creates a great work environment.

Our employees and customers are dealing with a lot, as well, at and away from our banks.  Do your best to create a great work environment: It may be the best part of their day.

If you’re looking for interaction with your peers, we have the cure:

Bankers Night Out:

We are continuing to move forward with the COVID-19 friendly version of Bankers Night Out.  After discussion during our board meeting in August, it was decided to move forward with a model that includes more host locations and smaller attendance.  There will be more information coming soon on how you can host or attend one of these events near you!

Succession Planning:

Roger Beverage announced his retirement earlier this year, which set our Succession Planning Committee into action.  Led by Sandy Werner, the “request for proposals” were sent to the executive recruitment firms on May 19 with a July 31 deadline. After reviewing the many qualified firms and checking references, Schnake, Turnbo Frank was selected as the firm to lead the charge.  They are locally directed by Aaron Fulkerson, who is a partner and chief development officer.  The Succession Planning Committee’s next meeting will be Sept. 14 to meet with Aaron and his team to conduct a project scope session.  If you have any questions regarding the process, please contact Sandy Werner or myself.  The goal of the Succession Planning Committee is to have transparency during this process and achieve a great outcome for our members.


The Department of Commerce, through the Oklahoma Business Relief Grants, implemented a program to help LOCAL businesses across our state overcome the economic challenges of COVID-19.  The grants set for a maximum of $25,000 were so in-demand, the first round of grants were approved in minutes, and it left many worthy applicants without the needed help.  However, additional funds were secured to help all the applicants that initially requested funding but were unable to get processed due to the high volume. Commissioner Thompson stated it would not have happened without the resiliency of our own Adrian Beverage, Gov. Stitt and Secretary of Commerce Kouplen all working together to secure the additional funds that have helped so many of the needful applicants.  The commissioner was very instrumental in this process, as well, but asked not to be credited. Commissioner, I hope you can forgive me but thank you for your help and tenacity.

Even though COVID-19 is altering our plans and goals, we are pushing forward to have a successful year and build the framework for a prosperous future.  As always, I would welcome any discussions or comments: my cell number is (580) 512-3184.

Thank you,

Rick Walker
OBA Chairman

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Join us for our “OBA Tuesdays @ 10” Zoom session with guest Joy Hofmeister

The OBA will host the first of its planned every-other-week “OBA Tuesdays @ 10” Zoom sessions on Tuesday, Sept. 15. The first guest for these events will be Oklahoma Superintendent of Public Education Joy Hofmeister.

Hofmeister will join the OBA and member bankers on a Zoom call to discuss anything and everything related to Oklahoma schools and answer questions from Oklahoma bankers. ALL Oklahoma bankers are invited to join the call, listen in and ask questions of Hofmeister. We will have a Zoom link available via Banker Direct on Monday.

The “OBA Tuesdays @ 10” is a offshoot of the semi-regular Zoom calls the OBA held during the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic. Featuring guests such as Gov. Kevin Stitt, Sen. James Lankford, and even non-banking related individuals such as the director of the Oklahoma Hospitals Associations, these calls proved popular to our bankers.

Starting with Hofmeister, the OBA will try to include guests who aren’t always directly tied to the banking industry, but ones bankers always still find interesting and useful to hear from and interact with directly.

“Bankers sometimes underestimate their importance in the state, the community and the nation,” OBA Director of Communications Jeremy Cowen said. “They don’t realize that the news-makers, the leaders, the movers and shakers of the world, if you will, are just as interested in reaching out to the bankers as vice versa because of the importance bankers have. The OBA would like to capitalize on that and bring these news-makers and leaders directly to the bankers via the the Association, and help be a news outlet for our members.”

If you have any suggestions for guests or topics for upcoming OBA Tuesdays @ 10, or any questions, feel free to drop a line to Jeremy Cowen.

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Register for OBA Virtual Washington Visit

Join fellow bankers and industry leaders from across the South Central United States for a virtual meeting with agency leadership and lawmakers.

The OBA has partnered with the ABA and other state bankers associations for the South Central Regional Virtual Washington Visit, which is scheduled for Sept. 21-24. This year’s Washington Visit will ensure policies crucial to the banking industry remain front and center and provide a forum for critical questions from your bank.

The Virtual Washington Visit is FREE, other than the cost of your time, and we are hoping to have the greatest number of bankers registered in OBA Washington Visit history.

In addition to the meetings with the regulatory agencies, the OBA will also host meetings with the Oklahoma congressional delegation. The schedule is subject to change but the current list of events is below.

You must be registered to receive the virtual meeting invitations/login information. Two simple steps to register:

1) Click here to register through the ABA.

  • This is to receive meeting information for the agency briefings.
  • Please note: This is open to all bankers, ABA members and non-members.
  • If your bank is not an ABA member, you’ll need to create a free ABA.com account and then you’ll be all set.

2) Email megan@oba.com.

  • This is to receive meeting information for the Oklahoma congressional delegation meetings.

Questions? Contact Adrian Beverage or Megan McGuire with the OBA.

Monday, Sept.  21

9-10:30 a.m.      

ABA Policy Briefing

Briefing Moderator TBD

Tuesday, Sept. 22

Afternoon, exact times TBD

Meetings with Oklahoma delegation


3:30-4:30 p.m.

OCC Briefing

Senior Agency Staff

Wednesday, Sept. 23

8-9 a.m.              

Federal Reserve Board Briefing

Michelle Bowman
Governor, Federal Reserve Board


Afternoon, exact times TBD

Meetings with Oklahoma delegation

Thursday, Sept. 24

Afternoon, exact times TBD

Meetings with Oklahoma delegation


1-2 p.m. FDIC Briefing
Jelena McWilliams

Chairman, FDIC


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FDIC acting director of Office of Minority and Women inclusion testifies before House subcommittee

Nikita Pearson, FDIC’s acting director, Office of Minority and Women Inclusion, testified today before the Subcommittee on Diversity and Inclusion of the Committee of the House Financial Services Committee.

The focus of her testimony was on holding financial regulators accountable for diversity and inclusion purposes, but we think it says more than that, and we want to make certain you’re aware of why we have this concern.

“The FDIC plays an important role in maintaining public confidence in the U.S. financial system,” she told the Committee today. “Part of that role includes ensuring that (banks) treat consumers and depositors fairly, comply with anti-discrimination laws and serve all parts of their communities.”

So it seems clear Pearson is sending a message to all FDIC-insured institutions. Pearson has worked at the FDIC for less than two weeks.

Raised in Thomson, Georgia, Pearson told the Committee about her various first-hand experiences as a Black woman and, specifically, about her family’s first-hand experiences involving banks. While her great aunt and uncle worked to clean the bank every evening and were trusted with keys to the bank, when her mother applied for a loan at that same bank, “the (white) loan officer so disrespectfully denied her (loan) application.”

“This is just one experience that came to mind when FDIC recruiters came to Savannah State University,” she testified. “(Savannah State is) a historically black university … “(They) spoke to my accounting class about the mission of the FDIC. While I had more financially lucrative job opportunities to consider, none of them compared to the important mission of the FDIC.

“As a public servant at the FDIC, I have the opportunity to influence policies and procedures that ultimately help to make sure that no person ever feels like my mother felt …  I know firsthand the impact of the decisions that financial institutions make, particularly in low-income communities.”

For 17 years, Pearson was a bank examiner and that experience has shaped her perspective of life in general and has resulted in a commitment “to ensuring that the FDIC’s workforce is diverse and inclusive, reflecting the communities we serve, and respecting the value and contributions of all employees.”

Click here to read her extensive testimony:

“We wanted to highlight Director Pearson’s testimony because it confirms what we’ve been thinking about since the beginning of the 116th Congress,” said OBA Chief of Staff Adrian Beverage. “Federal regulatory agencies were bound to focus on DEI (diversity, equity and inclusion) matters, sooner rather than later.

“Our concern is not about what happens in a diverse community, such as Oklahoma City or Tulsa. Rather, it’s about what happens when the population of your community is not in and of itself ‘diverse.’ What happens then?”

It’s a good question. We just don’t have enough facts at this point, about DEI matters, among other things. We’re on it, and we’ll keep you informed.

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Absentee voter program remains in effect for general elections

Many OBA-member banks participated in the absentee voter program over the summer that provided alternatives for Oklahomans to cast their absentee ballot.

The governor’s COVID-19 state of emergency is in place 45 days prior to the general election, so all the same services that you provided during the primary and the run-off will be in effect for the Nov. 3 election.  If you would like to remove your bank from offering these services, please contact Adrian Beverage at the OBA or the State Election Board at (405) 521-6547.

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ABA gathering info on Core processors

The American Bankers Association is working hard with the CORE processors for member banks. As part of that effort, we’re trying to help them gather information about what’s going on between you and your CORE processor.

In case you missed it, here’s the email from Rob Nichols asking all banks to take the survey below.

Dear Colleague:

In December of 2018, ABA created an 18-person ABA Core Platforms Committee with the ultimate goal of ensuring that banks can deploy the modern, innovative tools they need to complete effectively in today’s marketplace.

Since the committee’s launch 18 months ago, we have engaged with the core providers, outlined bank concerns and listened to their responses. We have heard anecdotal feedback of improved bank-core provider relationships, but we want to get a broader perspective. We are writing today to ask your help in assessing how firm and universal such progress is by completing our Core Processor Survey. (emphasis added)

Click here for a link to the survey:

The survey assesses whether our efforts – which have included an extensive dialogue with core providers  – help banks understand the core provider marketplace and make informed decisions – are effecting change and where. It also will highlight any additional steps we need to take.

We are asking both members and nonmembers to take this survey, since our efforts are intended to benefit the entire industry. We would appreciate your response by Friday, Sept. 11. Should you have any questions in the interim, please direct them to the committee at: abacpc@aba.com.

Thank you for helping to inform our efforts on behalf of the nation’s banks.

Rob Nichols
President and CEO
American Bankers Association

Julieann Thurlow
Chair, ABA Core Platforms Committee
President and CEO
Reading Cooperative Bank

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Abrigo updates SBA forgiveness platform

Abrigo’s PPP Forgiveness Platform updated its software to comply with new guidance making the SBA process easier than ever.

Abrigo’s PPP Forgiveness & Administration solution contains the functionality needed not only for a smooth borrower experience but also for lenders to easily administer and track the forgiveness process all the way from forgiveness application submission through SBA remittance of forgiven amounts. It provides a secure portal for document collection, a dynamic version of both 3508 forms, along with the necessary reporting and quick submission to the the PPP Forgiveness Platform via API integration. By automating this complicated process from beginning to end, your bank will be able to get back to normal operations instead of spending resources on the PPP process.

For more information about how Abrigo can help, contact them by clicking here or check out this quick overview of the solution: https://abrigo.wistia.com/medias/ut8u319wgm.

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OBA education corner …

You can smell the fall in the air! We hope you’re enjoying this weather and we hope you are partaking in OBA education events, even during the pandemic. Some live events are starting to peek their heads out from underneath the blanket! Look for those coming up soon. You can also download a flyer highlighting upcoming webinars by clicking here, or just peruse below for those coming soon!

NOTE: Effective March 16, and until further notice, TTS (our webinar provider) has extended the OnDemand access period for all ‘Live Plus Five (Days)’ registrants to 60 days (versus five business days). Also, they are waiving the $75 per location fee for additional locations.

  • Agricultural Loan Documentation & Administration, Sept. 16, webinar — Gain an essential understanding of agricultural collateral, risk management, loan documentation, loan administration and loan monitoring.
  • Deposit Regulatory Update and Review, Sept. 16, webinar — During this one-day program we will cover many issues that are a hot spot for regulators.
  • BSA Officer & Staff Annual Update and Review, Sept. 17, webinar — During this all-day program, we will talk about current sanctions, regulator expectations for 2020.
  • Opening LLC Accounts, Sept. 21, webinar — During this webinar, we will bring you up to speed on all the new intricacies with LLCs.
  • BSA Office Annual Training, Sept. 22, webinar — Learn how to manage risk, CIP, enhanced due diligence in this updated program.
  • TRID for Beginners, Sept. 23, webinar — This webinar is a great opportunity to introduce newbies to TRID at the ground level.
  • Employment Records and How to Keep Them, Sept. 24, webinar — This program provides information not just on what records you should keep and for how long, but on the several underlying and even more important issues of record creation, storage, and the DON’TS, which create the major liabilities.
  • Ten Practices to Create and Present Engaging Training, Sept. 28, webinar — Are you and your PowerPoint presentations in harmony or do you feel like you’re in a constant battle for attention with your slide deck?
  • Virtual Essential Teller Issues Seminar, Sept. 28, Sept. 29, virtual seminars — The program zeroes in on six modules that remind your tellers of the importance of what they do, how they do it, what they say, and how they deliver customer service.
  • The Right of Setoff, Sept. 29, webinar — Do you know when the right of setoff is allowed and when it isn’t? Do you know if your financial institution has a statutory or contractual right of setoff? Do you understand the financial risks of using your setoff rights incorrectly?
  • Opening Trust Accounts, Sept. 29, webinar — This webinar will cover standard trust-opening procedures and many “dos and don’ts” that arise as trusts and account holder situations change.
  • Analyzing Financial Statements, Sept. 30-Oct. 2, Oklahoma City — This three-day seminar is a must for those in commercial lending.
  • Virtual Real Estate Lending Compliance Seminar, Oct. 27-28, virtual seminar — The program provides an overview of the real estate lending requirements from 10 regulations, along with comprehensive coverage of selected topics, policy suggestions, employee training tips, audit techniques and steps to eliminate past problems.
  • Virtual Fair Lending Seminar, Oct. 29, virtual seminar — This information-packed seminar provides the refresher on the basic concepts of fair lending.

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