BankWise - March 21, 2019

“Grassroots politics works.”

Sen. Mike Crapo (R-Idaho) addressing ICBA members this week at the Washington Summit.


Minnesota community bankers visit Washington D.C.

ICBM members joined their fellow community bankers in Washington D.C., for ICBA’s Capital Summit this week. It proved a great opportunity to speak with and hear from regulators and Congressmen.

Community bank grassroots advocacy was instrumental in passing the S. 2155 regulatory relief law and remains critical to advancing additional reforms, said Senate Banking Committee Chairman Mike Crapo (R-Idaho). 

FDIC Chair Jelena McWilliams told listeners that regulation can stifle innovation. She also cited regulatory efforts to modernize the Community Reinvestment Act, increase transparency in Bank Secrecy Act reporting, and mitigate the negative impact of the Current Expected Credit Loss accounting standards.

Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.), chair of the House financial services committee, told attendees community banking remains a top priority, highlighting support for the recent SAFE Banking Act which would create a safe harbor for pot banking.

“I have an open-door policy,” she said. “This is your government and you deserve to be heard.”

ICBA took the opportunity to roll out its 2020 policy priorities.

CSBS solicits input on industry

The 2019 national survey of community bankers is now live and we encourage you to add your voice to this study of the industry, conducted by the Survey Research Institute at Cornell University on behalf of the state banking regulatory agencies and the Conference of State Bank Supervisors. Last year, 521 banks from 37 states participated. Results are used by researchers and policymakers.

This year’s survey includes 10 questions about regulations, competition, economic conditions and market prospects. The answers will be combined to form an overall sentiment index of community bankers. 

“Going forward, these questions will be circulated on a quarterly basis in hopes of getting a more accurate understanding of how bankers are feeling about the future and to help provide an important barometer of the state of the community banking industry,” said a CSBS spokesperson. Contact CSBS at 202-296-2840 to participate.

2018 numbers for ag lending, small business roll in

The number of small businesses reporting revenue and employment growth increased from 2017, but the share of firms operating at a profit remained flat, according to a Federal Reserve survey.

The outlook for 2019 is more tempered. While credit demand increased marginally in 2018, the share of firms receiving credit remained essentially flat.

Also last year, ag lending hit $108 billion, and farm banks’ asset quality remained healthy and non-performing loans stayed at a pre-recession level of 0.52 percent of total loans. More than 94 percent of farm banks were profitable in 2018, with more than 63 percent reporting an increase in earnings.

Registration is open for a Bank Member Appreciation event near you!

Want to meet Mike Max, the new face of WCCO Sports? Want to golf on a beautiful June day?


Faces and Places

  • Citizens Bank Minnesota, New Ulm, named Jon Maier director of sales and marketing and Missy Visser was named marketing and culture officer.
  • The Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis is participating in the city’s Open Doors event, which encourages passersby to explore and learn about local businesses and buildings.
  • ICBA released its list of top performing community banks — congrats to the Minnesotan institutions who made the top 25!
  • Conrad Newburgh is retiring as CCO at United Bankers’ Bank, Bloomington, and will be replaced by Dawn Tollefsrud.

Agriculture: New Farm Bill raises CCC loan rates

For the first time in several years, Commodity Credit Corporation national loan rates as part of the new Farm Bill. National loan rates for corn, soybeans and wheat for the 2019-2023 crop years are increasing. This is important because county crop loan rates at FSA offices are based on these rates.

Click through for details and cautions to keep in mind when considering CCC loans.

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