Calendar Of Events
|Dec. 26||Christmas Holiday|
|Jan. 2||New Year's Day Holiday|
|Jan. 3||Economic Forecast Forum, RTP|
|Jan. 10-12||Basic Commercial Lending School, Raleigh|
|Jan. 17||Fair Lending Audio Conference|
||CAMELS: An In-Depth Discussion with FDIC Officials
||CAMELS: An In-Depth Discussion with FDIC Officials
||Intermediate Commercial & Industrial Lending School
FBI Special Agent Dennis Kinney and Raleigh Chief of Police Harry Dolan spoke Tuesday at a press conference the NCBA hosted on bank robberies and our Robbery Reward Program. We’re seeing significant sentences for bank robbers, including 63 years for the “bearded bandit.” So far this year, less than 100 robberies have occurred. That number is the lowest since 2001. We attribute the reduction to good detective work by the FBI, local, and state law enforcement, as well as tips that are provided through our Robbery Reward Program and the ncbankrobbers.com website. If you haven’t visited ncbankrobbers.com, please go there. The website is sponsored by your NCBA and has had great success in getting information out about robberies that occur in the state. It includes pictures and other information uploaded by the FBI from branch surveillance images. Make sure your customers know about our reward program. Contact Vickie Bowers (email@example.com or 800/662-7044) to order free Robbery Reward posters you can display in your branches. By working together, and promoting the ncbankrobbers.com website and the tip line (800/229-2293), we can make every branch across the state safer.
The NCBA's Nathan Batts stands tall as he presides before the press
backed by some of the state's best law enforcement personnel!
If you're planning to hump it on over to Raleigh or Charlotte for CAMELS: An In-Depth Discussion with FDIC Officials on January 18 (Raleigh) or January 19 (Charlotte), you need to decide between the dates and the destinations. That Early Bird cutoff is January 4. Don't forget it as you are opening your gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. Wise men know that it is best to save. Keep that January 4 date in mind! Registration materials are attached to today's Bulletin.
The Credit Union National Association is recommending that the National Credit Union Administration require credit unions leaving the system to set-up an escrow account comprised of funds representing an estimate of their Temporary Corporate Credit Union Stabilization Fund future assessments. Under the CUNA proposal, the NCUA would manage the escrow account and make payments out of it as they are assessed on all federally insured credit unions. CUNA said that some credit unions believe that remaining institutions should not be left to cover the assessments that credit unions exiting the system would avoid.
The Treasury Department's lack of clarity in explaining the Small Business Lending Fund program's requirements and decisions created confusion among bank applicants, the Government Accounting Office said in a report. "Treasury’s initial announcement of program requirements did not make clear that applicants could not have restrictions on paying dividends, affecting over 200 applicants." The GAO also noted that Treasury did not explain the rationale for its funding decisions and did not notify applicants who were not approved for the program until last September − almost four months after the application deadline and the initial fund disbursements.
The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency has issued guidance on banks’ obligations and risks related to foreclosed property. The primary focus is on residential foreclosed properties. The agency notes that many of the same principles apply to commercial properties.
The Joint Legislative Study Commission on the Modernization of North Carolina Banking Laws held its second meeting on December 19. Commissioner Smith presented Articles 1A, 2A, and 3A to the Committee. The Commissioner started by listing all the groups that the draft had been taken to for feedback. Out of the almost 15 groups, he said they had no substantive objections but only small changes. A summary of the proposed changes was distributed for Articles 1A-3A. After the presentation the Committee asked a few questions about the commission structure, confidential records and a few definitions. The next meeting is scheduled for January 20 at 10 a.m. Your NCBA is closely following the progression of the Modernization of North Carolina Banking Laws. If you have any comments or concerns you may contact the NCBA’s team of lobbyists at Brooks Pierce – Elizabeth Biser, Ben Davis, and Charles Marshall (firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org) or the NCBA’s attorneys, Nathan Batts (email@example.com) and Meghan Best (firstname.lastname@example.org).
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has released two more mortgage-closing document prototypes − named “Sassafras” and “Mimosa” − that attempt to combine and simplify the Truth in Lending disclosure and the HUD-1 settlement statement. One form is similar to the existing HUD-1 settlement statement that consumers receive when closing a mortgage loan. The other uses a format similar to the CFPB prototype for the disclosure form consumers receive when they first apply for a mortgage.
We continue to need a tractor with a front-end loader for use at our facilities at Camp Challenge. Old or new, the tractor should be in good operating condition. Its uses are many and various throughout the facility which encompasses approximately 1,000 acres. Should you see this and it strikes a chord, please give me a call. It might make a good tax write-off for someone or it might be something that some generous soul decides would be a good Christmas gift or a great way to start the New Year for Camp Challenge. I concur, it would be! Thanks to any angel out there who can help us find this needed item. We would be most grateful.
Since 1988, ICBA Securities has provided community banks with investment products at competitive prices, accompanied by a full suite of bank-specific services. ICBA Securities offers investment portfolio management advice through its affiliated registered investment advisor, Vining Sparks Asset Management. VSAM can help you plan and execute an investment strategy that complements your bank’s overall balance sheet needs. Included in the service is state-of-the-art asset/liability management. For more information, please contact Jim Reber, President/CEO (800/422-6442 / email@example.com) or Janice Royster (800/662-7044 / firstname.lastname@example.org).
|Attached to today's Bulletin is a copy of the NCBA 2012 maturity calendar. It reflects the maturity dates of the 3-month and 6-month certificates of deposit opened on each day of the year. Over the years, customer service representatives have found it to be useful. We encourage you to reproduce the calendar and distribute it to the appropriate members of your staff.|
The Financial Accounting Standards Board and International Accounting Standards Board tentatively agreed on a new approach in accounting for loan losses. Loans would be placed in one of three “buckets.” Bucket one would include loans that have no demonstrated credit deterioration. As loans deteriorate, they would be moved to buckets two and three, both of which would be measured based on expected losses.
|Our annual Washington Bank Caucus will be held February 8 – 10. Mark Holmes, President & CEO of Select Bank & Trust, Greenville, is serving as Caucus Chair.|
We will have a jam-packed line-up of activities and meetings with members of Congress and leaders of the banking regulatory agencies. If you have never been on one of these trips, you will be impressed by the incredible level of access you will have to key decision-makers. The pace and energy of it all will sweep you along. You will go home knowing that you have done your part to advance the issues of concern to our industry. Your attendance will be a valuable investment of your time. The Hay Adams Hotel will be the headquarters for our delegation. Rooms are limited. I encourage you to make your room reservation(s) now. Complete registration information is attached to today’s Bulletin. Please contact Blair Jernigan (800/662-7044 / email@example.com) for assistance.
“Small” and “intermediate small” institutions under CRA regulation asset-size thresholds will increase on January 1. A “small” institutution will be one that had assets of less than $1.160 billion as of December 31 of either of the previous two calendar years. An “intermediate small” institution will be one that had assets of at least $290 million as of December 31 of both of the previous two calendar years, and less than $1.160 billion as of December 31 of either of the previous two calendar years.
Democrat Bob Etheridge is considering running for the Congressional seat he lost last year to Republican Representative Renee Ellmers. Etheridge, who lives in Lillington, has been moved into the 4th Congressional district under the redistricting plan. That plan puts all three Democrats who had represented the Triangle in recent years ... Etheridge, David Price, and Brad Miller ... in the same district. A candidate is no longer required to live in the district of the seat for which he is running.
During the week of January 23, FinCEN will launch a Money Service Business Registration Website. This website will replace the MSB Registration List and improve the availability of such registration information. Acknowledgement letters will no longer be sent by FinCEN to MSBs, but the information will be available 24/7 on the website.
The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network has extended the deadline for banks to use its new CTR and SAR forms until March 31, 2013. The deadline was extended partly in response to industry concern about having sufficient time to transition to the new reports. The extended timeframe is expected to ease the transition.
The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network has issued an advisory intended to help banks identify account takeover activity and to file Suspicious Activity Reports.
A pair of the world's rarest birds, whooping cranes, is spending the winter in western North Carolina for the first documented time. The male and female are among no more than 550 of the species left in the wild. A report from our state's western tip, near Hayesville in Clay County, is that the birds were spotted on December 9 foraging in a soybean field. Whooping cranes stand 5 feet tall, sport snowy white plumage, and have nearly 8 foot wing spans. This is a nice holiday gift for our state! Let's all whoop it up!!
On December 14, the American Banker published a story entitled “Failures are Quiet Today, But Will Resume in 2012.” The story stated that, based on data collected by DD&F Consulting, there were 13 banks at risk in North Carolina. To determine the methodology used to make this determination, we called Randy Dennis the President of DD&F. There are a total of 18 factors DD&F uses to generate a troubled bank list. Leverage ratios, liquidity, brokered deposits, regulatory actions and a list of others are employed to evaluate publicly available bank financial data. Once all these ratios are computed, scaled scores are assigned to each category. DD&F begins to track banks with a score of 3 and closely watches banks with scores of 7 or higher. As of September 30, there were 13 banks in North Carolina with a 7 or higher. This data does not take into account mergers or infusions of capital. The accuracy rate of the evaluation is hard to determine. Since North Carolina is a large banking state, it is not unusual to have such a large number on the troubled bank list. If you have any questions, please contact Meghan Best (firstname.lastname@example.org or 800/662-7044).
The Biltmore Estate is the largest privately owned home in the United States. The main house, modeled after a French chateau, has 250 rooms and more than 33,000 square feet of living space. Biltmore was constructed between 1885 and 1898 by the George Vanderbilt family. Seeing the estate at Christmas makes a memory never to be forgotten.
Moving their own money to a credit union wasn’t enough for the San Francisco Occupy movement. They want to start their own. This move comes weeks after depositing money into a local Wells Fargo branch instead of a credit union caused an uproar. The credit union has tentatively been named, People’s Reserve Credit Union. The credit union plans to make microloans to the working poor and homeless and low-cost loans to students. Two branches will open in San Francisco starting with 500 members. Supporters anticipate 2,000 members by December 2012.
There has been a dramatic shift in consumer compliance examinations from a supervisory to an enforcement approach. Our upcoming Fair Lending Audio Conference will discuss such developments, how to best protect the bank from civil money penalties, restitution orders and other sanctions, as well as tips for adjusting to this new reality and strategies in the event the bank suspects the examination is going the wrong way. Hunton & Williams LLP is an international firm with 19 offices, including offices in Charlotte and Raleigh. Speakers from Hunton & Williams will lead this program. They include: Peter Weinstock, bank regulatory counsel; John Delionado, a former Department of Justice attorney; and Jessica Pollner, Ph.D. and Eduardas Valaitis, Ph.D., from PriceWaterhouseCoopers, experts on regression analysis. This teleconference will be held on January 17 at 10:00 a.m. Registration information is attached to today’s Bulletin. For more information, please contact Blair Jernigan (email@example.com) at 800/662-7044.
|The most family-friendly and wholesome gift of the season is the package under the tree which, when opened, tells every member of your family "we're going to Hilton Head, June 16-20, as a family for the NCBA Convention!" That's a whole lot better than a tie, a picture frame, or some more chocolate candy. Wow!!! All of us on the beach at the Marriott Resort. Fun on the beautiful golf courses and friendly family competition on the tennis courts. A lovely sunset cruise. And some of the best beach music you have ever danced to. Make the decision in 2011 for the experience in 2012! We hope to see you and your entire family at our annual 116th Annual Convention at Hilton Head. For more information, please see the attached registration materials or call our Meetings Department (800/662-7044).|
OCC has issued a revised electronic version of the Concentrations of Credit booklet that is part of the Comptroller’s Handbook. The revisions include an expanded framework for identifying potential credit concentrations, an enhanced definition of credit concentration, and a renewed emphasis on using stress-testing to identify and quantify credit concentration risks.
Bank of North Carolina (BNCN), Thomasville, has signed an agreement in which KeySource Commercial Bank, Durham, will merge into Bank of North Carolina. The acquisition will expand Bank of North Carolina's presence in the Triangle. This transaction will be a 100% stock exchange and is expected to close in the second quarter of next year.
The Federal Reserve Board has approved PNC Financial Services Group's plan to acquire Raleigh-based RBC Bank (RY).
Ron Black, President and CEO, Bank of Oak Ridge (BKOR), has been elected to a vacancy on the NCBA Board and its Executive Committee.
Like a scene from the SciFi movie The Machines, a group of East Carolina Bank (ECBE) employees, including CEO, Dwight Utz, recently grabbed sledge hammers and demolished old Sharp teller calculators as part of the destruction of the community bank's decidedly old school past. "You either have a culture that embraces change or goes against it. Our staff is so ready for the new technology that they were champing at the bit," Utz said. The bankers even shot a video of the episode and posted it on YouTube.
South Carolina Bank & Trust (SCBT), Columbia, has struck a deal to acquire Peoples Bancorp of Easley.
Bank of America (BAC) is hosting its first customer outreach event in Charlotte, January 12-14. This is a part of the bank's commitment to help customers in need of assistance in avoiding foreclosure. The location will be the Hilton Charlotte Center City, 222 East 3rd Street, from 8 a.m. - 8 p.m. on January 12, 13, and 14. For more information, contact Kim Graham (firstname.lastname@example.org).
New Century Bank (NCBC), Dunn, has entered into a definitive agreement to sell two of its branches (Pembroke and Raeford) to Lumbee Guaranty Bank, Pembroke. Lumbee will acquire all of the real property, equipment, and other selected assets and has agreed to assume all of the deposits of the two branches. New Century will retain substantially all loans associated with the two branches.
Here is a business development idea you might want to consider. Beginning early in the New Year, why not bring in the top 10 employers in your market and have them meet with your management team, including your board leadership? Emphasize how important they are to the community and to your bank. Ask them about their challenges, their regulatory burden, their market frustrations. Let them know how your bank is dealing with regulatory burden. Tell them what you learned from attending the Economic Forecast Forum and other such events. Establish closer relationships with them at both the business and personal level. You might even want to bring in your member of Congress and have him/her speak with the entire group about what lies ahead in Washington. It would certainly make for an interesting gathering of community leaders right there in your boardroom. Seems to us that it would be a positive undertaking for you to consider.
Credit card trends remain worrisome as debit cards tend to be the prevailing method of payment with younger generations. Consumers have become overwhelmed by their debt. Younger adults, unlike their parents, prefer debit cards and the daily control it provides over their finances. Credit cards are becoming a product for older, more affluent consumers, and the younger generation shows a preference for debit cards that is unlikely to change.
A fair minded director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is imperative. That person will make calls on the merits of many issues. President Obama, according to The Wall Street Journal, has portrayed Richard Cordray as a bi-partisan angel. But as Ohio's Attorney General, Cordray led the effort to squeeze billions of dollars out of large mortgage servicers, was tight with the tort bar and has publicly said that he wants to seek higher political office as a Democrat. With the President running for re-election on a "bash-the-banks" platform, the country doesn't need a regulator who sees his job as punishing banks because it's popular politics.
Attached to today’s Bulletin you will find a new Legal Memorandum (Vol. 43, No. 2) prepared by Ben Davis and Mary Pena of the Brooks Pierce law firm. The legal memo provides an overview of the changes required by the Final Rule amending Regulation Z (Restrictions on Mortgage Loan Originator Compensation). The final rule implemented restrictions on mortgage loan originator compensation and applies to all loans originated on or after April 6, 2011. If you have any questions about the legal memo please contact Nathan Batts (email@example.com) or Meghan Best (firstname.lastname@example.org) at 800/662-7044.
The President is considering nominating Jeremiah Norton of JPMorgan Chase to the board of the FDIC. Norton, former Treasury Department official in the Bush Administration, has been recommended by Senator Mitch McConnell, the Senate Minority Leader. Unless unforeseen issues arise, Norton is likely to be chosen for the independent board seat.
The Federal Reserve released a proposed rule that would implement the enhanced prudential standards and early remediation standards required under the Dodd-Frank Act’s Sections 165 and 166. The proposal’s requirements generally would apply to U.S.-based bank holding companies with total consolidated assets of $50 billion or more. Several parts of the proposal, such as those involving risk management and stress testing, would apply to bank holding companies with $10 billion or more in assets.
The House approved by voice vote the Senate-passed version of a bill introduced by Rep. Lynn Westmoreland (R-GA) that would require an FDIC study on how bank failure resolutions have affected surviving banks and their communities.
"I have always wanted to have my family history traced, but I can't afford to spend a lot of money to do it?"
Sam in North Wilkesboro
"Register as a Republican and run for public office."
Banks often use phone calls to alert customers of potential fraud. Cyberthieves are aware of the mode of communication banks use and have begun to manipulate the victim’s phone line. A cyberthief can pay $5 an hour or $40 a day for a service that makes “junk calls.” This service provider will call the victim’s phone line for the time period, thereby, not allowing the bank’s calls to get through.
North Shore Bank in Peabody, Massachusetts, has decided it will pay its customers to increase their use of debit cards and automated channels as a way to increase fee income, attract younger consumers and adhere to an expected squeeze on credit cards. The bank, like many others, is flush with cash because lending is down so it is beginning to focus on accounts. Each consumer who hits certain balance, digital channel and transaction targets will receive $3 each month. The bank will also reimburse up to $25 per month in ATM fees from other banks. The program requires an average daily balance of $1,000 to avoid a $12 service fee. To receive both the $3 and ATM reimbursement, the consumer must receive direct deposits, sign up for and receive electronic ATM statements and conduct a minimum of 10 debit card point of sale transactions and a minimum of three bill payments through the bank’s consumer web-portal.
If every person in the United States wrote a check to the U.S. Treasury for $4,500, we would wipe out the nation's deficit ... but for only one year!
North Carolina’s exposure to a recession in Europe is fairly limited, according to a recent report published by Mark Vitner, senior economist at Wells Fargo Securities. Compared to other states, North Carolina would feel only a small impact if Europe were to slip back into a recession because exports to Europe represent only 1.3% of the state’s GDP. In comparison, South Carolina has a much higher exposure to Europe—the second-highest in the country—with 4.1% of GDP in European exports, owing largely to its automobile manufacturing plants. Fortunately, some of the vehicles and auto parts that are shipped to Europe from South Carolina are re-exported to other markets around the world.
The number of cosponsors of H.R. 3461, the Financial Institutions Examination Fairness and Reform Act, has grown to 62. This legislation would make needed improvements to the bank examination process by providing for more timely examination reports, clearer exam standards, an interagency ombudsman, and an expedited appeals process. There are now 6 cosponsors from the North Carolina delegation. We would like to recognize Representatives Ellmers, Foxx, Jones, Kissell, McHenry, and McIntyre for signing on. We urge their remaining colleagues to join them. We still need the support of Representatives Butterfield, Coble, Miller, Myrick, Price, Schuler, and Watt. Please take a moment, if you have not already done so, to send a letter on this issue. You can use this link to send an electronic letter. You can also use the U.S. Capitol Switchboard at 202/224-3121 or the locator tool at www.house.gov to contact your representative. We have also provided a background document on our website that incorporates an ABA summary of the legislation. If you have questions, please contact Nathan Batts (email@example.com) or Meghan Best (firstname.lastname@example.org).
The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) is reporting that a group of hackers in China breached the computer defenses of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, America’s top business-lobbying group, and gained access to everything stored on its systems, including information about its three million members. This break-in is one of the boldest known infiltrations in what has become a regular confrontation between U.S. companies and Chinese hackers. The WSJ reported that it wasn’t clear how much of the compromised data was viewed by the hackers. Chamber officials say internal investigators found evidence that the hackers had focused on four Chamber employees who worked on Asia policy. Six weeks of their email had been stolen. The Chamber was alerted to the break-in by the FBI. The hackers are believed to have ties to the Chinese government. This incident is sure to raise suspicions that China-based hacking is more prevalent than previously thought. We urge our members to exercise extreme care as it relates to information technology security.
As of year-end, Community Bank Service’s endorsement of Bankvue and of Renaissance Bank Advisors will come to a close. Community Bank Services, the NCBA’s wholly-owned subsidiary dedicated to identifying, vetting, and providing business products and services to NCBA members, is constantly searching for new partners that help create value. If you know of an outstanding vendor of a product or service that other members might benefit from having, please contact Janice Royster (email@example.com / 800/662-7044).
The Community Investment Corporation of the Carolinas has given Camp Challenge a major gift of $100,000. These funds will be directed to the restricted endowment of the Camp as we continue our efforts to raise $2 million for that endowment. Our goal looks ahead to a time when interest paid on deposits is higher and the interest earned will enable us to defray much of the cost (which is now sought from individuals) to fund campers for this financial education experience at $350 per child. The CICCAR gift is huge! We are all grateful for the kindness of Cindy Wiggins-Tiede and her wonderful Board of Directors for their well-timed and most meaningful benevolence.
We welcome you who are supporters of Camp Challenge and our industry's campaign for financial education and reading, writing, and speaking skills for young people in our state. We hope you will help us find other major resources who believe in this cause. Together, we can reach the $2 million goal and we can continue the positive impact we are making upon thousands of middle school kids across our state.
Attached to today's Bulletin is the weekly Honor Roll for the month of December. We hope you will send a kid to Camp ... or many kids to Camp in 2012. We promise to work hard to mold them into responsible, law-abiding, tax-paying citizens for a better future for our state of North Carolina.
Mary Nette Link Stroup, mother of Chip Stroup, President, First Federal Savings Bank, Lincolnton, has passed away at the age of 93. Funeral services were held earlier this week at Emmanuel Lutheran Church in Lincolnton. Memorials may be sent to the church at 216 South Aspen Street, Lincolnton, NC 28092, Hospice of Lincoln County, 107 North Cedar Street, Lincolnton, NC 28092, or to Camp Challenge in care of the NCBA.
State Treasurer Janet Cowell announces that effective December 21, the rate of interest charged to banks and savings institutions for state funds invested in certificates of deposit and savings certificates is 3/8%.