SDBA eNews: March 5, 2015

In This Issue

ABA Webinar to Cover .bank Registration Process, Timing

On March 16, from 2-3 p.m., ABA will host a free, members-only webinar to help bankers better understand the upcoming June launch of the .bank domain.

ABA SVP Doug Johnson and Dollar Bank’s Al Williams will discuss what bankers need to know about getting ready to secure a .bank domain for their own banks, including the launch timeline, the registration process and the verification and security standards required for .bank domains. Register now.

The Hacker's Guide to Social Engineering - Round 2

Have you ever wondered how a hacker does their job? What are their tricks? What tools do they use? What are some of their best stories? 

Join Secure Banking Solutions on Friday, March 6, as they sit down with a few members of their hacking team to discuss their social engineering hacking attempts on community banks. Stories of both successful and failed attempts will be shared.

The SBS team will also provide tips and tricks to help reduce the risk of a cyber attacker being able to compromise your network. "The Hacker's Guide to Social Engineering - Round Two" will be held 10-11 a.m. CST. Register.

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Contact Alisa DeMers, SDBA, at 800. 726.7322 or via email.

SDBA 2015 Ag Credit Conference Registration Now Open

How can we help our producers position for long-term success as we face dramatic shifts in our ag economy? Even as paradigms shift, principles don’t. We. Know. Agriculture. Count on it.

The SDBA Agricultural Credit Conference is a two-day conference designed for all lenders. This year’s conference will be held April 15-17, 2015, at the Ramkota RiverCentre in Pierre. Experienced and new ag lenders, as well as CEOs, will all benefit from this conference.

Sessions include nationally-acclaimed economist Elliot Eisenberg, a presentation on technology and drones, John Blanchfield with Agricultural Banking Advisory Services, and cartoonist Leigh Rubin of Rubin.

ABA-Backed Reg Relief Package Introduced in House

Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer (R-Mo.) yesterday reintroduced the ABA-supported Community Lending Enhancement and Regulatory Relief Act (H.R. 1233), a package of financial regulatory relief measures that is a major part of ABA’s Agenda for America’s Hometown Banks. The CLEARR Act would lift or modify many requirements in ways that make it easier for community banks to meet their customers’ needs.

The CLEARR Act includes measures that would streamline banks’ privacy notice requirements, space out the exam cycle, reduce the burden of filing Call Reports, increase the small servicer exemption in the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s mortgage rules and expand the number of loans that can be designated as Qualified Mortgages, among others.

ABA-Advocated Bill Would Avoid Arbitrary SIFI Thresholds

Luetkemeyer also introduced the System Risk Designation Improvement Act, which would eliminate the automatic designation of banks as systemically important based solely on asset size, recognizing that regulators should consider many different components of risk.

ABA President and CEO Frank Keating expressed the association’s strong support for the bipartisan bill, which was introduced yesterday with four Republican and four Democratic co-sponsors and is part of ABA’s Agenda for America’s Hometown Banks.

“Both lawmakers and bank regulators have recognized that current regulation based solely on asset size ignores careful risk management by banks, creating unnecessary costs and reducing services available to bank customers,” Keating said. “A more effective and value-added supervision regime is one that is more fully risk-based and individually tailored, taking into account a wide array of factors, including business model, complexity of operations, charter type and other concerns -- not just an arbitrary asset threshold.” Read more.

Bill Would Replace CFPB Director with Bipartisan Commission

Rep. Randy Neugebauer (R-Texas) yesterday introduced a bill that would replace the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau with a bipartisan, five-member commission, similar to other financial regulatory agencies. In introducing H.R. 1266, Neugebauer pointed out that House Democrats’ original financial reform bill included a board structure for the consumer protection agency.

ABA and several other trade groups welcomed the legislation. “We believe that a five-member commission, as Congress originally intended, will better balance consumer access to financial products with the need to ensure a fair marketplace,” they said. “A commission would serve as a source of balance and stability for consumers and the financial services industry by encouraging internal debate and deliberation, ultimately leading to increased transparency.” Read the joint letter.

Bipartisan Bill to Allow Appeals of 'Rural' Designation Reintroduced

Reps. Andy Barr (R-Ky.) and Ruben Hinojosa (D-Texas) yesterday reintroduced an ABA-advocated bill -- H.R. 1259, part of ABA’s Agenda for America’s Hometown Banks -- that would set up a mechanism for individuals and businesses in rural areas to appeal the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s designation of a rural or underserved area.

An identical bill passed the House unanimously in the previous Congress. The bureau uses rural designations to exempt certain loans from its Qualified Mortgage rule. Read more.

Congressman Criticizes Farm Credit's Telecom Deals

Rep. Mick Mulvaney (R-S.C.) on Monday wrote to the Farm Credit System’s regulator to criticize taxpayer-subsidized FCS financing for $1.5 billion in deals for telecommunications companies Verizon, AT&T, U.S. Cellular and Frontier Communications.

“Certain FCS lending institutions have utilized lending authority outside of their mission and intended purpose, put taxpayers at risk, compete[d] with private sector financial institutions in areas outside of agriculture and farm-related businesses, and distort[ed] the market,” he wrote. “I now question whether these loans exceed the authority granted under the Farm Credit Act and violate the plain language of the law.”

Mulvaney said he became concerned last year over FCS institution CoBank’s financing packages for Verizon and Frontier Communications -- a concern that was only amplified when CoBank announced $425 million in financing for AT&T and U.S. Cellular in January. “If these types of transactions continue, it will be incumbent on Congress to review the statutory authority of the FCS,” he said.

ABA has urged the House and Senate Agriculture Committees to conduct long-overdue oversight hearings on the FCS and rein in its lending outside of its core mission. Read the letter.