SDBA eNews: August 6, 2015

In This Issue

Learn How to Capitalize on Today's Lending Opportunities

Capitalizing on the rebound in the lending market requires a lot more than just advertising your great rate. Unlike previous rebounds, consumers in the market for mortgages, home equity loans and other personal loans represent a new generation with new attitudes and behaviors.

This significant change requires financial institutions to build and deliver new marketing capabilities in order to capitalize on the opportunities at hand.

Deluxe will host the webinar "New Marketing Competencies in Lending" on Tuesday, Aug. 11 at 1 p.m. CDT. Drawing on consumer research and operational benchmarks, this webinar, led by Ron Shevlin, director of Research for Cornerstone Advisors, will answer key questions. Learn more and register.

Enrollment Deadline for Financial Managers School is Aug. 15

The deadline to enroll in the popular Financial Managers School is less than two weeks from now -- so the time to apply is now, while space remains. 

The school will be held Sept. 13-18 at the Fluno Center for Executive Education in Madison, Wis., and is co-sponsored by the Graduate School of Banking at the University of Wisconsin - Madison and the Financial Managers Society. 

This week-long school dives deep into asset/liability management with an integrated case study that's used to identify major financial strengths and weaknesses of institutions, examine interest rate risk profiles, evaluate issues relating to base strategy forecasts, analyze loan and investment portfolios, make pricing decisions and formulate and communicate effective strategies to improve the institution's overall profitability.

CFOs and others in senior management actively involved in the financial management responsibilities of their institution are encouraged to apply early to learn:

Upcoming Events

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

Order 2016 Scenes of SD Calendar Featuring Photos by SDBA Bankers

SDBA banks and associate members have until Sept. 1 to order the 2016 Scenes of South Dakota Calendar featuring photos of South Dakota submitted by bankers, their family members and customers.

A bank, branch or business' logo and name can be printed on each calendar to display in homes and businesses all year long. Calendar orders are due by Sept. 1, 2015, to get the low price of $1.19 per calendar.

The Scenes of South Dakota calendars are exclusive to SDBA member banks and associate members. These calendars are a great opportunity to thank your customers for their business and promote your bank or business. The SDBA logo is also included to emphasize the strength and security of South Dakota’s banking industry. Place your order today. All orders will be shipped Nov. 1, 2015.

Amateur photographers can send the SDBA photos of farms, barns, agricultural activities, historical South Dakota locations, county fairs, carnivals, parades or festivals, fall colors, winter snowfalls, spring flowers, or summer fun. Any photo that shows the history and beauty of the great state of South Dakota qualifies.The photos will be featured throughout the 2016 Scenes of South Dakota Calendar. Learn more.

Regulatory Review Meeting Focuses on Rural Banking Burdens

Rural banks face a number of challenges that are compounded by unnecessary, outdated and excessively burdensome regulations, Comptroller of the Currency Thomas Curry said Tuesday in Kansas City, Mo. The often small banks serving rural customers have faced “some serious challenges this year,” he explained, citing challenging economic conditions, rapidly changing technology and tax-advantaged competition from the Farm Credit System.

Curry also emphasized the challenge of cumulative rulemakings for rural banks. “What worries me is the way that the regulatory rulebook builds up over time, adding layer after layer of requirements that can be quite onerous for small banks,” he remarked at the fourth of five outreach meetings for the decennial Economic Growth and Regulatory Paperwork Reduction Act review, repeating his call for Congress to pass several regulatory relief measures.

Also speaking at the meeting was FDIC Vice Chairman Thomas Hoenig, who discussed the importance of tailoring regulation to a bank’s activities, not its asset size. “U.S. banks engaged in core banking activities and operating with reasonable levels of capital should not incur the same regulatory burden as those that do not,” Hoenig said. As part of its Agenda for America’s Hometown Banks, ABA has strongly advocated for tailored regulation based on a bank’s size, business model, risk profile and other differentiating characteristics.

ABA to Agencies: Put Court's Disparate Impact Framework into Guidance

ABA yesterday asked the financial regulators and law enforcement agencies to include in their guidance, exam procedures and appropriate regulations the Supreme Court’s framework for using disparate impact analysis to enforce the Fair Housing Act.

The court’s decision in Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs v. Inclusive Communities Project included a key limitation that statistical disparities only impose liability if plaintiffs can connect it to a defendant’s policy causing the disparity in order to “protect defendants against abusive disparate-impact claims.” In effect, the court’s decision places the burden of proof with plaintiffs. ABA asked the agencies to incorporate the court’s framework into their practices and procedures.

To help banks lend without fear of abusive claims, ABA asked the agencies to state their reliance on the court’s framework by focusing initially on enforcing fair lending requirements under a disparate treatment paradigm and using disparate impact analysis “only where there is demonstrable evidence that the lender is applying an artificial, arbitrary and unnecessary barrier in its credit granting process.”

“The banking industry supports equal housing opportunity and strives to make housing credit available to all qualified borrowers and to treat all similarly situated applicants alike,” ABA said, urging the agencies to incorporate the court’s framework now rather than have it embodied in case law through in enforcement actions over several years. The sooner the agencies issue clear guidance, ABA added, “the more positive the impact will be on the promotion of the availability of finance to creditworthy borrowers.” Read the letter. For more information, contact ABA’s Wayne Abernathy.

CFPB Issues Guidance on Canceling Private Mortgage Insurance

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau on Tuesday issued a bulletin outlining the obligations of servicers in handling private mortgage insurance under the Homeowners Protection Act. The bureau said it had observed instances in which servicers had improperly collected PMI premiums after the policies should have been terminated, delayed timely requests to cancel PMI and placed excess premiums in escrow accounts instead of refunding them.

The CFPB’s bulletin outlines when borrowers may request that PMI be canceled, when servicers are required to cancel PMI automatically, how refunds of excess premiums are handled and how to make annual disclosures. It also includes guidelines for investor-owned mortgages. Read the bulletin.

Bankers Urged to Seek Extension for Overtime Proposal Comments

As part of the Partnership to Protect Workplace Opportunity, ABA and other trade associations representing employers have urged the Department of Labor to extend by 60 days the comment period on its controversial overtime proposal, which would more than double the salary level required for the exemption from overtime requirements.

ABA is likewise encouraging bankers to take action in seeking more time, as the Sept. 4 deadline does not provide enough time to assess fully the effect of the proposal on employers. Bankers can use the PPWO’s website to urge an extension and to customize their messages to reflect the ways their institutions would be affected by the proposal.

Senate Passes Long-Term Highway Bill with ABA-Opposed Measures

President Obama last Friday signed a three-month extension to the Highway Trust Fund that the Senate had passed on Thursday and the House passed the day before. The extension provides both houses of Congress with more time to resolve differences about how to fund a longer-term roads bill. The Senate also passed by a 65-34 vote a bill that would fund the Highway Trust Fund through fiscal year 2021, but the House recessed before considering it.

ABA strongly opposes two revenue-raising provisions in the long-term Senate bill. One would substantially cut the dividends paid on Federal Reserve Bank stock to Fed member banks with more than $1 billion in assets, and another would extend the increase in the guarantee fees charged by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Both of these measures are contrary to sound public policy, ABA has said, and are inappropriate for inclusion in a bill entirely unrelated to banking.

Bankers are encouraged to contact their lawmakers during the August recess to express opposition to these provisions appearing in the long-term bill this fall. Fifteen of the 22 members of the Senate Banking Committee voted against the long-term highway bill; among committee members, only Sens. Heidi Heitkamp (D-N.D.), Dean Heller (R-Nev.), Mark Kirk (R-Ill.), Jerry Moran (R-Kan.), Mike Rounds (R-S.D.), Jon Tester (D-Mont.) and David Vitter (R-La.) voted for it.

In related news, the short-term highway bill included a provision backed by ABA’s HSA Council allowing veterans receiving Veterans Administration health benefits to have health savings accounts. Read ABA’s latest letter on Fed dividends. Read ABA’s latest letter on g-fees.