SDBA eNews: April 9, 2015

In This Issue

2015 SD Professional's Range Camp June 3-5 Near Sturgis

The 2015 Professional's Range Camp will be held June 3-5 at Lamphere Campground near Sturgis.

The camp is designed for agricultural land appraisers, agricultural land assessors, agricultural lenders, agricultural realtors and agricultural educators.

Sessions include a plant ID workshop, determining forage production, range case study tours, land use planning, a sustainable rangelands roundtable, a tour of Sanford Laboratories in Lead  and more.

See the full agenda and register.

Register for Teach Children to Save

Financial Literacy Month is in full swing, and banks across the country registered for Teach Children to Save are taking to social media to show how they incorporate TCTS curriculum into their financial education programs.

Register your bank’s participation by May 1 to receive your very own STASH, the Teach Children to Save pig, postcard. Show STASH’s Teach Children to Save journey in your community when you post your pictures and stories to social media. Pop STASH out of the postcard, snap a photo and use the #TCTS2015 hashtag on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Upcoming Events

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

Still Time to Register for SDBA 2015 Ag Credit Conference

The SDBA's 2015 Agricultural Credit Conference is April 15-17 in Pierre, and there is still time to make plans to attend.

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 conference will be held at the Ramkota RiverCentre in Pierre. Experienced and new ag lenders, as well as CEOs, will all benefit from this conference. See the full agenda for the Ag Credit Conference and register to attend.

In addition, South Dakota Department of Agriculture (SDDA) will hold an informational session prior to the conference on Wednesday from 3:30-4:30 p.m. This session will provide an update on the mediation program, changes to the program including fee changes, changes to the free financial counseling services offered by SDDA, as well as the current forms being used and the process for a mediation case.

The SDDA session will be held in Amphitheatre II at the Ramkota RiverCentre in Pierre. Those who plan to attend SDDA's session should RSVP by email or call 605.773.5436.

ABA Urges Changes to CFPB Complaint Narrative Database

ABA President and CEO Frank Keating in a letter yesterday shared members’ concerns about the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s recent decision to publish consumer complaint narratives, and he urged the bureau to improve its portal and database to help “mitigate unfair and inaccurate reputational damage to the banking industry.”

The letter follows a recent conversation between Keating and CFPB Director Richard Cordray during which Cordray invited suggestions for improving the reliability and accuracy of the information published.

ABA -- which has strenuously objected to the bureau’s plan to disclose the consumer narratives -- urged the CFPB to create specific procedures for identifying complaints that are “materially inaccurate” or not submitted in good faith. The letter also suggests the bureau: notify banks if a consumer has opted to publish a narrative; strengthen its disclaimer; prevent publication of complaints for which a bank has no responsibility; and work with the industry to provide context for the data.

ABA Asks Bankers to Complete Brief TILA/RESPA Survey

ABA has developed a survey to help make the case for an enforcement grace period surrounding the Aug. 1, 2015, implementation deadline for the TILA/RESPA integrated disclosures. A grace period is important because there is no opportunity under the regulation to comply early, and the industry will not be able to properly test systems.

Bankers are encouraged to take the survey -- which consists of eight multiple-choice questions and should take less than five minutes to complete -- by April 25. Take the survey.

CFPB Lawsuit Targets Payment Processors

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau yesterday announced it had filed a lawsuit against several individuals and companies involved in what it said was a robo-calling phantom debt collection operation.

The complaint targets several debt collectors that allegedly threatened consumers and tricked them into paying phantom debt by verifying consumers’ personal information. But the lawsuit also covers four payment processors, whom the bureau said “ignored numerous red flags of the debt collectors’ illegal conduct” and enabled them to access consumers’ bank accounts to withdraw money not owed. Read moreRead the complaint.

ABA Urges Bankers to 'Tell Your Story' to Congress

ABA on Tuesday urged bankers and state associations to ramp up their communications with members of Congress and “tell your story” when explaining why various legislative solutions are needed.

“There is no time for rest,” ABA said in a memo that encouraged bankers to call or meet with their members of Congress and share specific examples of how policy issues impact the bank’s customers and community. Echoing statements made by congressional leaders at ABA’s Government Relations Summit last month, ABA stressed that the industry’s efforts must be bipartisan.

The memo also previewed two bills that are expected to be introduced soon, both advocated by ABA and the state associations: a “tailored regulation” bill that would direct regulators to ensure that rules and compliance burdens are tailored to a bank’s business model and risk; and legislation requiring all involved in the payment system to protect customers’ personal information.

The memo also updated bankers on progress made to date in advancing ABA’s Agenda for America’s Hometown BanksRead the memo.

Curry Backs ABA-Advocated Thrift Charter Legislation

Comptroller of the Currency Thomas Curry last week urged Congress to pass ABA-supported legislation that would provide federal savings associations with more flexibility to serve their customers while retaining their unique charter.

Reps. Keith Rothfus (R-Pa.) and Jim Himes (D-Ct.) recently introduced H.R. 1660, which would allow thrifts chartered under the Home Owners’ Loan Act to elect to receive the lending powers -- and compliance responsibilities -- of national banks without changing their HOLA charters. The bill is part of ABA’s Agenda for America’s Hometown Banks.

In a speech to members of the Depositors Insurance Fund -- a fund that supplements FDIC insurance for Massachusetts-chartered banks -- Curry explained that the idea for the legislation came from Massachusetts, which has long since offered its state thrifts such flexibility.

“I have long thought that the system that has worked so well in Massachusetts should also be available to federal thrifts,” Curry said. “I am pleased to say that we are making progress toward this goal. I believe that the responsible and constructive manner in which Massachusetts bankers have used their authority is one key reason why similar authority is now within reach for federal thrifts, and I applaud you for it.” Read the speech.