SDBA eNews: April 23, 2015

In This Issue

GSBC 2015 School Session Nearing Capacity

The Graduate School of Banking at Colorado (GSBC) is seeing record enrollments for the 65th Annual School Session, and only a few seats remain in the first year class.

GSBC is currently still accepting applications, but the first year class is nearing capacity. Interested candidates are recommended to apply online ASAP. The Second Year Direct (SYD) option is full, but a wait list is available. If you would like to be added to the wait list, call or email Josie Bunch at 303-492-6139.

GSBC offers bank industry professionals a well-rounded banking education, necessary for facing tomorrow's toughest challenges. The GSBC Experience.

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.

SDBA To Hold Live IRA Basics Training on May 6

For those who need a review or are new to IRAs, the SDBA will hold the IRA Basics Seminar on May 6 at the Ramkota Inn in Sioux Falls. The seminar gives attendees a solid foundation of IRA knowledge.

Real case problems and examples are included throughout the day to help participants apply information to job-related situations. Attendees will leave this session able to work with IRA holders and process basic IRA transactions with confidence.

The course is for people who are in a backup position or an IRA support person wanting to stay current. This is also a great review course for those that have been away from IRAs for a couple of years.

This course goes in a logical order from opening an IRA, to talking about contribution rules, then on to distribution rules and regulations, which includes RMDs and death distributions, plus the course will address moving money as a transfer or rollover. Learn more and register.

FHFA: Fannie, Freddie G-Fees Will Remain at Current Levels

The guarantee fees that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac charge will remain at current levels with “modest adjustments,” the Federal Housing Finance Agency said on Friday. The announcement followed a review that determined g-fees are at an appropriate level.

FHFA directed Fannie and Freddie to eliminate the “adverse market charge” imposed in March 2008, with the revenue from that fee to be replaced by targeted g-fee increases based on risk and access-to-credit considerations. “Overall, the set of modest changes to guarantee fees are roughly revenue-neutral for [Fannie and Freddie] and will result in either little or no change for most borrowers,” FHFA said.

ABA urged FHFA last year not to raise g-fees at this time, noting that higher fees would make GSE reform more difficult politically -- since GSE profits are swept into the Treasury and with higher g-fees would become a bigger stream of federal income. ABA said it supports increases as part of a “holistic approach” designed to return private capital to the secondary market. Read more.

Farm Credit Dangerous to Taxpayers

The Farm Credit System’s moves to lend far beyond the farm pose risks to taxpayers, ABA President and CEO Frank Keating said in an op-ed on Friday in the Grand Forks, N.D., Herald. He noted FCS lenders’ financing for telecommunications mega-deals and luxury estates for the wealthy -- even as the FCS enjoys federal tax subsidies and a federal line of credit should its risky deals go sour.

“This federal backstop calls to mind what happened to other government-sponsored enterprises such as Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, which needed to be rescued by taxpayers after they overextended themselves and exceeded their core missions,” Keating wrote. “Thanks to the federal guarantee for Fannie and Freddie, home prices lost touch with reality. Could the Farm Credit System's loans -- made artificially cheap by taxpayers -- be distorting prices in the farm sector?”

If the FCS gets in over its head, Keating said, it wouldn’t be the first time -- the FCS was bailed out by taxpayers in 1987 after an agricultural boom-and-bust cycle it had fueled. “The FCS is a century-old solution to a century-ago problem,” Keating said. “To let it continue unreformed would be dangerous for taxpayers.” Read the op-ed.

Obama to Nominate Terrorism Financing, Financial Crimes Official

The White House said last week that President Obama would nominate Adam Szubin to be Treasury under secretary for terrorism and financial intelligence. Szubin, who has been director of the Office of Foreign Assets Control since 2006, has been acting under secretary since David Cohen became a top official at the Central Intelligence Agency earlier this year.

Senate Bill Would Expand Eligibility for 18-Month Exam Cycle

Sens. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) and Joe Donnelly (D-Ind.) last week introduced a bill that would raise the asset threshold for banks to qualify for the extended 18-month examination cycle from $500 million to $1 billion.

The measure -- part of ABA’s Agenda for America’s Hometown Banks​ -- is similar to a provision in H.R. 1389, a regulatory relief package introduced by Rep. Andy Barr (R-Pa.).

In recent months, several regulators -- including Comptroller of the Currency Thomas Curry and FDIC Vice Chairman Thomas Hoenig -- have included wider eligibility for 18-month exam frequencies in their suggestions for regulatory relief. 

FDIC Announces Next Phase in Youth Savings Pilot Program

The FDIC on Monday announced phase two of its pilot program aimed at identifying the best approaches to bank-school programs that combine financial education with access to low-cost savings accounts. Phase two will include banks interested in expanding or launching programs for students during the 2015-16 school year. Banks have until June 18 to express interest.

Nine banks, ranging in size from $15 million to $255 billion in assets, are currently participating in phase one of the pilot. Some participating banks offer in-school branches that encourage students to open and maintain savings accounts, and one bank hired high school seniors to work as tellers at the in-school branches.

The programs incorporate financial education, sometimes delivered by fellow students trained by the bank. Other banks include savings incentives. Read more.

Exhibit Opportunity: WE WANT YOU for SDBA/NDBA Annual Convention

The SDBA is calling all business partners to exhibit at the 2015 SDBA/NDBA Annual Convention: Banker Boot Camp.

The Annual Convention will be held June 7-9 at the Sioux Falls Convention Center/Sheraton Hotel in Sioux Falls, S.D. This year’s event will refresh bankers on the basics of banking and provide an arsenal of ideas and practical ammunition to help bankers emerge as winners in the regulatory battle.

Exhibitors will have the opportunity to promote their products and services, position their solutions with top-level bank executives, show their support for the banking industry, interact with association members and celebrate their achievements.

The deadline to sign up for a booth is May 4. Space in the exhibit hall is limited, so register early to reserve your spot. Learn more.