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State of the Industry
Fine Previews Year Ahead for Community Banking Industry
As ICBA and the community banking industry rings in 2014, community banks can celebrate recent successes while bracing for continued challenges, ICBA President and CEO Cam Fine said in a new online video.

In a brief address on the state of the industry, Fine noted that the community bank presence in Washington has never been stronger as ICBA continues its push for common-sense financial regulation.

Community banks have also reaffirmed their commitment to their industry and embraced emerging technologies as the industry looks ahead to the upcoming ICBA Community Banking Live conference, Fine said. Watch the Video Address.

Volcker Rule
ICBA Offers Recording of Audio Call on Volcker CDO TruPS
Community bankers can request a recording of yesterday’s free ICBA audio conference designed to help community banks affected by Volcker Rule provisions on collateralized debt obligations backed by trust-preferred securities. The audio conference covers the agencies’ interim final rule and how it will affect CDO TruPS.

Following ICBA’s frequent communications and meetings with policymakers, regulators this week released an interim final rule to mitigate the negative impact of a provision of the rule on hundreds of community banks. The interim final rule permits banks to retain TruPS CDOs they owned as of Dec. 10, 2013, if the CDOs were issued before May 19, 2010, and are backed primarily by TruPS or subordinated debt of bank holding companies that had less than $15 billion in assets when the securities were issued or of mutual holding companies.

The rule will avoid the dramatic market impact of revised accounting treatment and forced divestiture of these securities, an important response to ICBA’s repeated calls for the regulators to exempt TruPS CDOs from the Volcker Rule.

Additional resources are available on ICBA’s comprehensive webpage dedicated to the Volcker Rule CDO TruPS provisions.

Request a Recording of the Call.

Visit ICBA’s Volcker Rule Resource Page.

Request a Recording of ICBA’s Target Security Breach Town Hall
Community bankers can still request a recording of this week’s ICBA town hall audio conference on the security breaches at Target and other retailers. The “Target Security Breach: What You Need To Know” webinar, which was held as ICBA’s comprehensive toolkit dedicated to the breach, offered a recap of the available facts of the case and how community banks can respond.

Community bankers can continue to ask questions and share their experiences by emailing SecurityBreach@icba.org, ICBA’s email address dedicated exclusively to helping community bankers with the breach.

The audio conference is part of the ICBA Toolkit on Maintaining Consumer Confidence During a Data Security Breach. The toolkit provides a variety of resources community bankers can use to respond to these security breaches and to defend against future criminal acts.

Request a Recording.

Visit ICBA’s Toolkit.

ICBA Thanks Ranking Member Waters for Letter to Incoming Fed Chair
ICBA thanked House Financial Services Committee Ranking Member Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) and other committee Democrats for their recent letter to Federal Reserve Vice Chair Janet Yellen. In the letter, the committee members called on Yellen to ensure the Fed’s policymaking and regulatory agenda takes into account the unique challenges facing community banks.

The lawmakers underscored the importance of community banks, the financial services they provide and their importance to local economies. They noted that community banks continue to face strong regulatory headwinds.

In a letter to the committee members, ICBA wrote that community bankers appreciate the lawmakers’ recognition and support. Community banks will need the cooperation of the Federal Reserve to continue to best serve their communities, ICBA noted. Read ICBA Letter. Read Letter from Waters.

Call Report
Agencies Announce Call Report Changes for March 31 Report Date
The federal banking agencies recently announced changes to the call report for the March 31, 2014, report date. The proposed reporting requirements, which, ICBA told regulators in April, represent a regulatory burden on community banks, affect international remittance transfers, consumer deposit accounts and bank trade names.

Effective March 31, 2014, institutions will be required to report:
  • remittance information, which would be collected initially as of March 31, 2014, and semiannually thereafter as of each June 30 and Dec. 31, with institutions with more than 100 transactions per calendar year reporting the estimated number and dollar value of remittance transfers,
  • any bank trade names (other than an institution’s legal title) used to identify physical offices and the addresses of any public-facing Internet websites (other than the institution’s primary site) at which the institution accepts or solicits deposits from the public.
  • a response to a yes-no question on whether the reporting institution offers any deposit account products (other than time deposits) primarily intended for consumers, and
  • for institutions with $1 billion or more in total assets, the total balances of these consumer deposit account products.
Effective March 31, 2015, institutions with $1 billion or more in total assets that offer one or more deposit account products (other than time deposits) primarily intended for consumers must report the amount of income earned from each of three categories of service charges on their consumer deposit account products.

The agencies did not proceed with proposal to require institutions with a parent holding company that is not a bank or savings and loan holding company to report the amount of the parent holding company's consolidated total liabilities.

ICBA wrote in an April comment letter on the consumer-product changes that the costs and resources required to complete the disclosures in a timely manner outweigh any of the intended benefits. The association also wrote that details on consumer-related service charges are equally unnecessary because the total fee income amounts are already presented on the call report as an income statement line item. The association called on regulators not to apply the new requirements to financial institutions with consolidated assets of $10 billion or less.

In a separate comment letter, ICBA and a coalition of other financial trade groups urged regulators to allow remittance transfer reporting to be conducted through an annual or semi-annual survey of all bank and nonbank remittance transfer providers instead of through the call report. The associations also asked that institutions only be required to report remittance transfers for which they are the providers and that regulators exclude institutions serving as intermediaries. Read More from the Agencies.

ICBA NewsWatch Today is sponsored by FIS:
When it comes to serving community banks, FIS is right in your neighborhood.  FIS understands that you’re more than a bank. You’re a vital resource to your community.  That’s why we offer a wide range of integrated solutions that can be tailored to the unique needs of your valued customers.  To stay competitive in an ever-changing banking landscape, you need to be more connected with your customers than ever before and  FIS is focused on connecting the best people, processes and technology to your business to help you succeed.  For more information on FIS’ complete suite of technology solutions, visit www.fisglobal.com.

CFPB Increases Higher-Priced Mortgage Loan Escrow Threshold
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau recently implemented a final rule adjusting the asset-size threshold for certain creditors to qualify for an exemption from the requirement to establish escrow accounts for higher-priced mortgage loans.

The CFPB established the threshold at $2 billion as part of its 2013 Escrows Final Rule. Each year, this threshold will automatically adjust based on changes in the Consumer Price Index. The asset-size threshold exemption for certain creditors increased to $2.028 billion for 2014.

As a result, these creditors with assets of $2.028 billion or less as of Dec. 31, 2013, that also originate 500 or fewer mortgage loans annually and meet other requirements of Regulation Z will be exempt from the requirement to establish escrow accounts for higher-priced mortgage loans in 2014.These institutions must also provide mortgage loans primarily in a rural or underserved area as defined by the CFPB to qualify for the exemption.

The adjustment to this asset-size threshold will also increase the threshold for small-creditor and balloon payment Qualified Mortgages under Regulation Z. The rule took effect on Jan. 1.

Go Mobile at ICBA Community Banking Live
With the ICBA Live 2014 mobile app, you'll be ready for everything during ICBA Community Banking Live in Honolulu, Hawaii, scheduled for March 2-6. Designed for smartphones and tablets, the interactive ICBA Live 2014 mobile app will connect you to the latest convention events, exhibitor information, social media discussions, other attendees and more.

To download the ICBA Live mobile app, search “ICBA” in your App Store or Market. If you have the association’s “My ICBA” app, the convention mobile app is pre-populated within it, so there is no additional download required. Register Today.

Take This Week’s Quick Poll
Take this week’s Quick Poll on the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s new mortgage rules, and view results from the previous poll on the Target payment-card breach. View the Archive.

ICBA Hosting Upcoming Auditing Institute
ICBA is hosting a two-week Auditing Institute to help community bankers establish, rebuild and sustain the growth and culture of their bank while providing new ways to look at, analyze and solve some of the industries toughest challenges. At the institute, slated for April 28-May 2 and May 5-9 in Kansas City, top industry professionals will discuss new strategies and tactics to improve bank performance, succeed in the current market and maintain an effective internal auditing framework. Register for Week One. Register for Week Two.

Products and Services
Winter Weather Preparedness Checklist: “Simple Steps to Protect Your Business”
No doubt about it … winter is here. And as temperatures fall, business interruptions rise. Don’t let a broken water pipe, a burst water main or downed power lines interrupt your ability to conduct business. Download ICBA Preferred Service Provider Agility Recovery’s Winter Weather Checklist for helpful tips on protecting your business this winter. Download Now.

Holiday Note
ICBA Offices Closed Monday for MLK Day
ICBA offices will be closed Monday for Martin Luther King Jr. Day. ICBA NewsWatch Today will resume publishing on Tuesday.

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