SDBA eNews: March 19, 2015

In This Issue

ABA Releases Audio, Slides from .bank Webinar

After ABA’s webinar on getting ready for the .bank domain attracted more than 900 participants on Monday, ABA released the audio recording and slides from the webinar to assist bankers who were unable to participate.

Featuring ABA SVPs Doug Johnson and Sam Lisker, as well as Al Williams, EVP of Dollar Bank in Pittsburgh, the webinar covered what bankers need to know before .bank launches on June 24 -- including pre-registration activities, the registration process, pricing and the verification and security standards required for .bank domains.

Bankers Invited to Take Part in SD Indian Business Conference

South Dakota Indian Country is open for business and is forging ahead with exciting commercial, entrepreneurial, and housing ventures, on and off the reservations. Yet access to affordable capital is crucial, and financial institutions are vital partners for ensuring successful economic development endeavors.

The Community Affairs Offices of the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC), in partnership with the South Dakota Indian Business Alliance, invite bankers to explore lending opportunities in Indian Country at the 2015 South Dakota Indian Business Conference: Expanding Economies in the New Native America on May 18–20, 2015. The event will be held at The Lodge at Deadwood.

The conference will highlight resources and partners to consider when putting together safe and sound commercial and home mortgage loans, including loans to low- and moderate-income communities and to low- and moderate-income borrowers. Learn more and register.

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

Bankers To Be Honored, Recognized at Annual Convention

The SDBA will honor and recognize bankers with 40 and 50 years of service in banking at the 2015 SDBA/NDBA Annual Convention on Tuesday, June 9, in Sioux Falls.

If you know of someone who has been in banking for 40, 50 or even 60 years, please complete the recognition form. The SDBA will also acknowledge those bankers who have passed away since the last convention. See the honor/memorial form.

The 2015 SDBA/NDBA Annual Convention: Banker Boot Camp will be held June 7-9 at the Sioux Falls Convention Center/Sheraton Hotel in Sioux Falls. Be watching for convention registration to open later this month.

NSU, Dacotah Bank Bringing Banking Expert to Aberdeen

Nationally-known banking expert Dr. Timothy Koch will speak on April 9 at 11 a.m. in Northern State University’s Krikac Auditorium. Koch will discuss his book, “Community Banking: From Crisis to Prosperity,” which examines the impacts of the banking crisis on community banks, as well as other issues pertaining to the financial industry.

Koch is president of the Graduate School of Banking at Colorado, which is strongly supported by community banks in South Dakota and the surrounding region. In addition, he is a professor of finance at the University of South Carolina. He received his B.A. in mathematics from Wartburg College and Ph.D. in economics from Purdue University

The event, which is free and open to the public, is part of Business Week at NSU. The speech, sponsored by the NSU School of Business and Dacotah Bank, is the inaugural event of the Lamont-Rhodes Lecture Series. This new, annual lecture series is made possible thanks to contributions from descendants of longtime Aberdeen residents Ernest and Louise Rhodes, William and Frances (Peg) Lamont, and Robert and Ruth Lamont. Read more.

Farm Banks Report Strong 2014 Performance

Farm banks increased their agricultural lending by 13.6 percent in 2014, extending $94.6 billion in farm loans, according to the ABA Center for Agricultural and Rural Banking’s annual Farm Bank Performance Report released today.

“The agricultural economy may be faced with headwinds in 2015, but farm banks are well positioned to continue serving the needs of farmers and ranchers across the country,” said ABA Senior Research Manager Brittany Dengler. “Banks hold nearly half of all farm loans and will remain an important source of ag credit.”

Farm banks reported continued improvement in asset quality in 2014, with non-current loans declining to a pre-recession level of 0.5 percent of total loans. They also continued to build high quality capital, with equity capital rising 4.8 percent to $46.2 billion. In addition, more than 97 percent of farm banks were profitable in 2014, with 65 percent reporting an increase in earnings.

The report also shows that small and micro-small loans made up almost half of bank agricultural lending in 2014. The nation’s 2,036 farm banks -- defined as those whose ratio of domestic farm loans to total domestic loans is greater than or equal to the industry average -- added more than 2,300 jobs, a 2.8 percent increase, and employed 89,000 rural Americans. Read the report.

Rep. Barr Introduces ABA-Backed Reg Relief Bill

Rep. Andy Barr (R-Ky.) on Tuesday introduced the ABA-advocated American Jobs and Community Revitalization Act (H.R. 1389), a package of financial regulatory relief provisions that are core components of ABA’s Agenda for America’s Hometown Banks.

Barr’s bill would institute an extended 18-month exam cycle for highly-rated community banks; streamline the process and reduce the number of currency transaction reports; and allow dividends to be paid for tax purposes, thus eliminating disadvantages in Basel III for the 2,000 community banks organized as S corporations.

H.R. 1389 also includes ABA-backed provisions that would allow loans held in portfolio to be designated as Qualified Mortgages and a process to apply for designation by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau as being in a rural or underserved area -- both of which Barr has introduced as separate bills.

ABA President and CEO Frank Keating welcomed the legislation, noting that it “would help reduce regulatory burden on community banks and make it easier for them to meet their customers’ needs. We stand ready to work with members of the House as they move forward with this important effort.” Read more.

Farmer Mac Announces Addition to Its Team

Curt Covington will join Farmer Mac as senior vice president of agricultural finance later this month. Farmer Mac is the stockholder-owned company created to deliver capital and increase lender competition for the benefit of American agriculture and rural communities.

In his new role, Covington will lead Farmer Mac’s business development efforts in its farm and ranch and USDA guarantees business segments, as well as oversee the company’s overall credit administration and underwriting functions.

Covington's career in agricultural banking spans more than three decades, and he is a widely recognized and highly regarded leader in the industry. Before joining Farmer Mac, he served as managing director for the ag and rural banking division at San Francisco-based Bank of the West, where he was responsible for managing the growth and performance of the bank’s $2 billion agricultural loan portfolio.

SD State Fair Foundation Raising Funds for New 4-H Exhibit Hall

The South Dakota State Fair Foundation is in the final stretch of its capital campaign to construct the new Nordby Exhibit Hall for 4-H, youth and community. The Foundation is working to raise the final $900,000 of its $4.7 million goal in order to start construction this spring.

The new 48,000 square-foot exhibit hall will provide multipurpose space for 4-H activities during the State Fair, such as public speaking, exhibit, food competitions and performances. Year-round, the building will be available to 4-H rent-free for 4-H activities such as judging schools, competitions, meetings and learning opportunities. Other public off-season events including conventions and trade shows will provide rental revenues for the new building's upkeep.

The Foundation is currently seeking donations for the final phase of funding. Each $1,000 donation will be recognized with an engraved quartzite paver placed near the new building. Learn more about donating.