Tuesday, November 24, 2020

Week of Nov. 2

In This Issue…

From the chairman …

Time to vote

We have two important state questions and many elected positions that will be decided today and whether you consider yourself strong right, strong left or in the middle, it’s time to cast your vote.

This is an attempt to summarize the state questions with the pros and cons, but there is plenty of information available on both to perform a deep dive.

State Question 805 was discussed at the OBA Government Relations Council, then readdressed by parties in support and against the measure. If you would like to hear those discussions you can access them by clicking here. As an association, we took a neutral position.

Points made by those against the state question if passed:

  • Attempt to give repeat offenders multiple chances.
  • Allows career criminals the ability to return to commit more crimes.
  • Non-violent offenses could include domestic violence in the presence of a child, animal cruelty, home burglary, arson, DUI or soliciting sex from a minor using technology.

Points made by those in support of the state question if passed:

  • Could result in up to $186 million prison cost savings.
  • Prohibits Oklahoma judges from using previous non-violent felony convictions as a reason to increase prison sentences for defendants convicted of new nonviolent crimes.
  • Current inmates who received enhanced sentences for nonviolent felony convictions could ask the court for sentence reductions. If approved, new guidelines require the court to impose a sentence no greater than the current maximum sentence given for a person with no former nonviolent felony convictions for the same crime.
  • The constitutional amendment establishes a hearing process, appointment of counsel for indigents, notification of victims and an appeals procedure. Proponents say Oklahoma inmates convicted of property and drug crimes currently spend more than 70 percent more time behind bars than the national average.

State Question 814 changes the amount of money directed to the state’s Tobacco Settlement Endowment Trust (TSET Fund).

  • Supporters express the money from the Legislative portion of TSET would be used to get federal matching funds. Gov. Kevin Stitt, who opposed the Medicaid expansion, supports State Question 814 as a way to pay the state’s portion of Medicaid costs. A constitutional amendment is required to change the settlement proceeds formula as voters earmarked the funds in 2000 by approving SQ 692 by nearly 69 percent.
  • Opponents, such as the American Cancer Society’s Cancer Action Network, oppose SQ 814 on the grounds it diverts funding from programs that improve the health of all Oklahomans.

VOTE and encourage your employees and co-workers to VOTE.

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OBA-hosted Zoom meeting on Wednesday will discuss 2020 election results

The OBA will host a Zoom meeting concerning the results of the 2020 election at 10:30 a.m. on Wednesday. The ABA’s Rob Engstrom will join us and dive into the election results, particularly on how it impacts the U.S. Senate.

All bankers at OBA-member banks are welcome to join. The call info is below:

Topic: OBA/ABA Post-Election Analysis Meeting
Time: Nov 4, 2020 10:30 AM

Join Zoom Meeting
https://zoom.us/j/91536436174?pwd=U1ZrMGlvdk45Z2FOeFh0dHVCMUVlQT09

Meeting ID: 915 3643 6174
Passcode: 337695

For Telephone Audio:
1 346 248 7799

Meeting ID: 915 3643 6174
Passcode: 337695

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Today is Election Day, finally!

Finally. After all of the commercials, fundraisers, yard signs, door knocking for various candidates, speeches, questionnaires and private conversations it finally comes down to today and the votes that are cast for various candidates for various offices.

Importantly, the result of the “politics” over the last year or more – at the end of the day – becomes policy. That means you and your bank employees will once again face the complexities of a regulatory maze that must be navigated in 2021 and beyond.

Whatever the results may be will create or sustain policies that are, or soon will be, put into place as a direct result of the individuals from the Presidency on down who are elected this day in history. These dudes craft legislation and make key banking agency appointments, based on policy decisions that come from the top.

OBA-Member banks have been working tirelessly since mid-March in an attempt to help jump-start the economy. During the pandemic, various banks have responded in various ways. Some remained open and haven’t been closed yet; others did not. But regardless, every bank, every day faced some new challenge because the Pandemic was unlike anyone had seen in more than 100 years.

Congress and the President responded, initially with CARES Act that created the Paycheck Protection Program, or clarified the use of EIDL grants, or something else entirely. The issues kept coming, and, if nothing else, emphasized the importance of working together to keep their communities going, across the state and the country.     

Through your association and its Alliance with the other state bankers associations and the ABA, you have made your collective voices heard. We’ve kept you informed, clarified various conflicts in the “rules,” some of which were being made up as we went forward, all the while trying to help get your small business customers back on their feet.

But right now, everything comes down to TODAY. It’s important for the more than 25,000 bank employees across the state to make their individual voices heard. We all do that by VOTING.

If you have already voted, THANK YOU! If not, there’s still time!  The polls are open until 7:00 PM this evening, and if you’re in line you won’t be turned away.

We’ve been endlessly told that this may well be the most important and difference-making elections in our nation’s history. Maybe so. But regardless, make your voice heard and VOTE for the persons of your choice, based on who you think align more closely with you views about how we all move forward, together.

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Regulatory Feedback Initiative needs YOU!

You may remember that 10 years ago, your Association was one of 3 state bankers associations that researched, designed and built the Regulatory Feedback Initiative (RFI). Its purpose is simply to gather anonymous data from banks that have undergone a recent examination.

Some Oklahoma banks have participated but have hit various snags in the process. We believe those have been worked out. Here’s why we believe the Regulatory Feedback Initiative is more important now than ever.

The Atlanta Fed President and CEO Raphael Bostic recently said, “We’ve tried to be as clear as possible that we will remember that banks have operated in an emergency situation, have made emergency decisions, and we won’t penalize them for that 9 to 12 months from now when we do our regulatory reviews, I’m going to make sure we hold to that.”

We all know we are in unprecedented times and banks have gone way out on a limb to help their small business customers. We were happy to hear that commitment, but let’s be honest, we are all going to have to fight to make sure the regulators honor those commitments they made during the crisis.

Whether it’s due to changing political winds, misunderstandings as to what was intended, what precise commitments were actually made versus what we heard or seeing field examiners march to their own drumbeat. We are going to have to be diligent in fighting for member banks during the upcoming exam cycle.

“I can’t think of a more critical time for EVERY BANK IN THE COUNTRY to tell us what is actually happening in their examination through our ‘Post Exam Survey,’ ” said OBA’s Government Relations Director and Chief of Staff Adrian Beverage.  “First of all, if the agencies KNOW we are watching them like hawks, field examiners will be far more careful to ensure their examinations are consistent with what has been promised to bankers during the crisis.

“Secondly, we will be able to quickly identify inconsistencies between the way we believe crisis era standards should be implemented versus how they are actually being implemented from agency to agency or region to region within each agency,” Beverage said. “I know bankers are concerned about this, in part based on what happened during the mid-‘80’s, but knowing ahead of time what’s ‘hot’ in the minds of field examiners is surely a better result than going blindly into an exam and just praying it works out.”

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Fed announces actions to make MSLP loans available to smaller businesses

To encourage greater participation in the Main Street Lending Program, last Friday the Federal Reserve announced several actions it has taken to make MSLP loans available to more businesses. The Fed lowered the minimum loan size for three MSLP facilities available to for-profit and nonprofit borrowers from $250,000 to $100,000, and adjusted fees to “encourage the provision of these smaller loans.”

Additionally, the agency issued a set of frequently asked questions that clarify that Paycheck Protection Program loans of up to $2 million may be excluded for purposes of determining the maximum loan size under the MSLP. The amount of the loan for which the borrower has applied for forgiveness may be excluded from the “existing outstanding and undrawn available debt” calculation, unless the PPP lender or SBA determines it is ineligible for forgiveness, the Fed said.

For borrowers who have not yet applied for PPP forgiveness, the Fed will permit the exclusion of “the amount of its PPP loan that its principal executive officer has a reasonable, good-faith basis to believe will be forgiven in accordance with applicable PPP requirements.”

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Promontory Interfinancial Network changes name

Promontory Interfinancial Network is now known as IntraFi Network. The fintech is adopting a new name that better describe its suite of financial services – products that until now have included CDARS, Insured Cash Sweep, Insured Network Deposits. Going forward, the company’s deposit products will be consolidated into IntraFi Network Deposits and its funding products will become IntraFi Funding.

Find out more by clicking HERE.

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OBA education corner …

Election Day is finally here. Whether you’re waiting in line at the polls or you’ve already cast your vote, take a minute to look at the upcoming OBA education events. More and more live events are starting to peek their heads out from underneath the pandemic blanket! Look for those coming up 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.

  • Advanced Commercial Loan Documentation, webinar, Nov. 16 — This fast-paced seminar will focus on the purpose, use and content of the six core commercial loan documents: the promissory note, the loan agreement, the security agreement, the guaranty, the letter of credit and the subordination/intercreditor agreement. It will provide relevant, up-to-date and practical information to help commercial lending personnel.
  • Compliance for Commercial Lenders, webinar, Nov. 17 — This two-hour program identifies the major compliance regulations that apply to commercial transactions and reviews particular issues from each of those regulations that cause problems for commercial lenders.
  • Introduction to Conducting a Compliance Audit/Review, webinar, Nov. 18 — This webinar will provide an overview of the tools and resources available for conducting a compliance review as well as areas to review and questions to ask.
  • Legal Liabilities when Check Fraud Occurs, webinar, Nov. 19 — If you’re confused about what your financial institution’s legal responsibility might be in various check fraud situations, this seminar is for you.
  • Top Fifty “Most Important” Safe Deposit Procedures, webinar, Nov. 24 — This webinar will provide clear, concise answers to all the basic or complicated questions regarding your institution’s responsibility, liability and daily operating procedures. In addition, you will receive information about many current safe deposit lawsuits and other nationwide horror stories.

Mark your calendars for these other future events. The 2021 OBA Convention will be held on May 24-26 at the new Omni Hotel in Oklahoma City, and the OBA Senior Management Forum, March 28-30 at the Bellagio in Las Vegas. Look for more information coming soon on both these programs.

Also, this year is (finally!) coming close to an end, and we have next year’s OBA schools on the calendar. Click here to download the schedule and sign up to receive more information on schools you may be interested in.

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