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Security
ICBA Continues Advocating Reforms Following Retail Data Breach
ICBA continued its efforts to ensure Congress understands the impact of recent retailer data breaches on community banks and the need for a stronger payments system.

In a statement for a Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee hearing on protecting personal information, ICBA noted that community banks are actively responding to the breaches and absorbing the costs of making their customers whole.

In its statement and in repeated meetings and communications with Congress, ICBA is advocating that:
  • the costs of data breaches should ultimately be borne by the party at fault for the breach,
  • all participants in the payments system—including merchants—should be subject to Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act–like standards,
  • a national data-security breach and notification standard should be enacted to replace the current patchwork of state laws, and
  • unnecessary barriers to effective threat-information sharing between law enforcement and the financial and retail sectors should be removed.
Additionally, ICBA continues to clarify that while community banks and other financial institutions are migrating to chip technology for debit and credit cards, this technology may not have prevented the recent retailer breaches and does not protect against fraud in “card-not-present” transactions, such as online purchases.

ICBA continues offering data-security resources for community banks and their customers on the association’s online security breach toolkit. Read ICBA Statement. Access ICBA Data Breach Toolkit.


Regulation
Feds Voting Tuesday on New Megabank Leverage Ratio Capital Rules
The Federal Reserve Board and FDIC board of directors are scheduled to meet this Tuesday to vote on a final rule to implement enhanced supplementary leverage ratio standards on the nation’s largest financial institutions and to make revisions to the denominator measure for the supplementary leverage ratio.

Under the standards proposed in July, regulators would apply a 6 percent supplementary leverage ratio to the eight largest U.S. insured banking organizations and a 5 percent standard on their bank holding companies. The higher capital levels would apply to bank holding companies with $700 billion or more in total consolidated assets or more than $10 trillion in assets under custody.

The proposal requires a 2 percent leverage buffer on top of the current 3 percent supplementary leverage ratio for certain institutions. Additionally, the proposal would require subsidiary banks to maintain a 6 percent supplementary leverage ratio to be considered “well capitalized.”

In an October comment letter to federal financial regulators, ICBA wrote that the proposal would help rein in the nation’s too-big-to-fail problem and account for the kinds of derivatives exposures that affected many financial institutions and exacerbated the last economic crisis. Approval of the proposal without significant changes would be a key victory for community banks.

The FDIC said its board meeting will include a briefing on updated Deposit Insurance Fund projections.


Go Local
ICBA Continues Offering Community Banking Month Resources
ICBA continues offering Marketing and Communications Toolkit to help community bankers celebrate Community Banking Month throughout April. The toolkit includes customizable news releases, marketing ideas, and sample social media posts and graphics that community banks can use in their communities.

Meanwhile, ads running on Washington, D.C.-area buses, trains and a key Capitol Hill Metro station are spreading the community bank message and encouraging consumers to find a community bank on ICBA’s Community Bank Locator. The ads will run through the ICBA Washington Policy Summit, slated for April 29-May 2 in the nation’s capital.

Community bankers can register for free to the ICBA Washington Policy Summit to see the Community Banking Month ad campaign firsthand. The summit will feature face-to-face meetings with policymakers and remarks from Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen, FDIC Chairman Martin Gruenberg and Senate Banking Committee members Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) and Heidi Heitkamp (D-N.D.).

Also in April, community bankers can celebrate Community Banking Month by tweeting with the #BankLocally hashtag and sharing their photos with ICBA on Facebook.


Security
Financial Regulators Issues Statements on Cyber-Attack Expectations
Federal regulators issued statements to notify financial institutions of the risks associated with cyber-attacks on ATMs and card-authorization systems and continued distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks on public-facing websites.

The statements from Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council members describe steps they expect institutions to take to address these attacks, and they highlight resources institutions can use to help mitigate the risks posed by such attacks.

Cyber-attacks on financial institutions to gain access to and alter the settings on Web-based ATM control panels used by small to medium-size institutions are on the rise, the FFIEC said. FFIEC members said they expect financial institutions to review the adequacy of their controls over information technology networks, card-issuer authorization systems, ATM usage parameters and fraud-detection processes.


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Taxes
ICBA Backs Senate Bill Supporting Tax Code Certainty
ICBA expressed its support for legislation that would extend important tax provisions that have expired or will expire this year. The association urged Senate Finance Committee members to help pass the Expiring Provisions Improvement Reform and Efficiency (EXPIRE) Act to provide much-needed tax code clarity and certainty for millions of families and businesses served by community banks.

In a letter to committee members, ICBA wrote that failing to extend the measures included in the EXPIRE Act would prolong harmful tax code uncertainty, dramatically increase tax burdens, and needlessly disrupt the economic recovery and job creation.


SBA
SBA Revises 7(a), 504 Program Rules
The Small Business Administration recently issued a final rule that eliminates or revises several requirements for its two main loan programs, 7(a) and 504. The rule is designed to expand eligibility, make it easier for small businesses to secure SBA-backed financing, and encourage job creation. The rule eliminates a personal resource test and revises collateral and corporate governance requirements.


Regulation
OCC Mutual Council Slated to Meet
The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency announced it will host a public meeting of the Mutual Savings Association Advisory Committee on Tuesday, April 29, in Washington, D.C. The MSAAC provides advice to the Comptroller of the Currency about mutual savings associations and assesses the current condition and regulatory changes to ensure their health and viability. The committee includes officers and directors of mutual savings institutions.


Economy
ADP: Private Sector Adds 191K Jobs in March
Private-sector employment increased by 191,000 jobs in March, according to the ADP National Employment Report. Small businesses added 72,000 jobs, while medium-size and large businesses added 52,000 and 67,000 jobs, respectively.



Poll
Take This Week’s Quick Poll
Take this week’s Quick Poll on celebrating Community Banking Month, and view results from the previous poll. View the Archive.


Education
ICBA Call Report Audio Call Slated for Next Week
Each year the call report experiences revisions, and 2014 is no different. An ICBA audio conference scheduled for 11 a.m. (Eastern time) Thursday, April 10, will review the 2014 revisions related to remittance transfers, trade names, consumer deposit accounts and regulatory capital as well as a recap of 2013 revisions. Learn More and Register.


Products and Services
Spring Weather Preparedness White Paper Available
Spring is right around the corner, and with the change of season comes the dangers of severe weather. A new white paper from ICBA Preferred Service Provider Agility Recovery offers nine things you can do right now to ensure that your employees and your organization are ready for spring.  The white paper will cover how to ensure you have proper insurance, how to prepare your office for spring weather, and key things to consider as spring weather approaches. Read it Now.









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