BankWise - February 7, 2019

“Challenges and Solutions: Access to Banking Services for Cannabis-Related Businesses.” 

The title of the first marijuana hearing of the new Congress, scheduled on February 13 before a subcommittee of the House Financial Services Committee.


ICBM testifies: Proposed loan guarantee program needs work

ICBM testified on January 15 before the House Commerce Committee on HF319, a new bill which proposes to create a loan guarantee program for furloughed federal employees.

“I want to commend the author of the bill and the committee on your spirit of service, your desire to solve problems, and your goal of helping Minnesotans who need help,” said ICBM President and CEO Jim Amundson. “This is exactly how community banks operate each and every day. We do so because it is at the very core of our business, not because there’s a program established by any government or regulatory agency, but because it’s in the very fiber of who we are and what we do.”

ICBM made four requests of the committee to help ensure that community banks’ can utilize the loan guarantee program while also managing safety and soundness, and other risks:

  • Solicit comments from regulators regarding the fair lending implications, if any, for banks that participate.
  • Establish more flexibility in loan documentation, payment schedules and disclosures to allow required consumer disclosures to be prepared accurately and within diverse operating environments.
  • The debt should be due and payable when the borrower receives their back pay.
  • An all or nothing guarantee structure when the guarantee is offered as a credit enhancement at origination.

Without those accommodations, many of Minnesota’s community banks wouldn’t be able to participate in the program, Amundson said. “Having said that, I would like to be clear, community banks want to support this bill and others like it as we work with all of you to improve the lives of Minnesota residents.”

ICBM has met individually with Representative Zack Stephenson (DFL-Coon Rapids), the bill’s author, to express our concerns. We met with Rep. Stephenson again this week to discuss improvements to the bill.

190050 ICBM Day at the Capitol 2
Lawmakers want to meet you!
ICBM’s Day at the Capitol makes it easy for you to meet them.
We’ll set up the transportation and get you up to speed on key issues.

IRS passes sub S rules

Minnesota’s 201 subchapter S banks can breathe a sigh of relief over a new IRS rule. Income from the origination and sale of loans, including mortgages, will qualify for the 20 percent deduction on qualified business income provided by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017.

Here are the details.

Small business optimism freezing over?

The scene is dire for small business owners, with many becoming more cautious about their investment and hiring plans—at least according to Wall Street Journal analysis of a recent survey. About a third of small-business CEOs (36 percent) expect the economy to get worse this year, and less than half of respondents (42 percent) thought the Trump administration had improved their business prospects, down from just over half in 2018.

Not so, cried the Job Creators Network in response, offering a different take on the survey. While the number of CEOs expecting revenue growth this year is down from 2018, it still remains at two-thirds of respondents. Sixty percent expect higher profits, and 64 percent expect they’ll hire more workers.


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February 21, 2019

Faces and Places

Agriculture: USDA publishes new guide to FSA deadlines

The USDA has released an updated guide to extended deadlines for Farm Service Agency programs. 

The extensions apply to the FSA’s Market Facilitation Program, Marketing Assistance Loans, and more. 

Agriculture: How should farmers insure their crops in 2019?

Farmers will soon be finalizing their crop insurance decisions for 2019—the deadline is March 15—the decision is especially critical as profit margins remain very tight. 

Producers have several crop insurance policy options to choose from, including yield protection (YP) policies and revenue protection policies. There are also decisions with using enterprise units versus optional units, and whether or not to take advantage of the trend-adjusted actual production history (APH) yields for 2019. 

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