Black Hills FCU, CMFG Life Insurance Agree to Settlement in Lawsuit Over Improperly Raised Premiums

Black Hills Federal Credit Union and a Wisconsin-based insurance company, CMFG Life Insurance Company, have agreed to pay $3 million to settle allegations that they improperly raised insurance premiums on thousands of loans, according to The Associated Press on Monday.

The proposed settlement to be considered by a judge later this month would resolve an eight-year-old class action lawsuit initially filed by a Rapid City couple.

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South Dakota Banks Make a Difference in Our Communities

South Dakota Banks Make a Difference in our Communities

The SDBA unveiled the latest results of its Banks Make a Difference Survey during its State Legislative Day yesterday in Pierre. Copies of the promotional handout were provided to all attendees and to all state legislators. Copies will also be mailed to all member banks and branches.

Each January, the SDBA surveys its member banks and collects data on the importance of banks to their local communities and to the state as a whole. The annual project is just a glimpse of how banks work every day to help South Dakotans grow and prosper. 

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Consumers Should Beware of Unlicensed Money Lenders

The South Dakota Department of Labor and Regulation on Wednesday cautioned consumers about unlicensed money lenders, both online and in-person.

All lenders providing payday loans, short-term consumer loans, title loans or installment loans to South Dakota residents must be licensed by the South Dakota Division of Banking per SDCL 54-4-52, unless specifically exempt in SDCL 54-4-37.

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SDBA Seeking Candidates for Vice Chairman

Are you interested in becoming an officer of the South Dakota Bankers Association? 

SDBA officers include the chairman, chairman-elect, vice chairman and immediate past chairman. The SDBA is currently seeking people who are interested in running for the vice chairman position, which will be elected at the SDBA Annual Convention on June 4, 2019, in Sioux Falls.

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Annual Convention Room Block Open, Business Partner Info Available

Focus Forward: 2019 SDBA/NDBA Annual ConventionThe SDBA invites you to FOCUS FORWARD at the 2019 SDBA/NDBA Annual Convention on June 2-4 at the Sioux Falls Convention Center & Sheraton Sioux Falls. Rooms have been reserved at four Sioux Falls hotels: Sheraton Sioux Falls, Ramada, Best Western Plus Ramkota Hotel and Holiday Inn Express. When making a reservation, ask for a room from the SDBA block. See accommodation details

Business partners can participate in the 2019 Annual Convention by sponsoring, exhibiting or advertising. A business partner packet including information on signing up is now available online

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Rep. Dusty Johnson to Serve on House Ag Committee

Photo of Rep. Dusty JohnsonRep. Dusty Johnson (R-S.D.) has been appointed to serve on the U.S. House Committee on Agriculture.

“Serving on the Agriculture Committee is a true honor, and I am proud to give South Dakota a voice at this table,” said Johnson. “I relentlessly advocated for a seat on this committee since being elected to Congress.”

“My placement on this committee will have a direct impact on South Dakota’s largest and most significant industry, and I am thankful to have the opportunity to advance sound agriculture policy that serves farmers, ranchers and consumers in our state. My colleagues passed a strong Farm Bill last year, and I look forward to seeing it through to implementation.”

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SDBA Provides Weekly Legislative Update Podcast

The SDBA is now providing its weekly Legislative Update as a podcast. The Legislative Update is a recap of weekly key legislative action by SDBA President Curt Everson on Fridays during session. 

You can listen to the podcast via a direct link or your favorite podcast app. Search for "SDBA Legislative Update." Listen to last week's Legislative Update Podcast. Or listen to the podcast via Anchor.

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USDA to Restore Full-Time Operation of Farm Service Agency

As the government shutdown enters its fifth week, the Department of Agriculture announced that it will temporarily resume full-time operations of its Farm Service Agency offices nationwide. Beginning today, FSA offices will be open daily until Feb. 8. Should the government shutdown extend beyond that date, offices will be open Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays if needed to provide administrative services, USDA said. 

Under this new plan, the FSA will be able to offer more administrative services to farmers and ranchers, including: making new direct and guaranteed operating loans; signing documents related to “assignment of guarantee” and two-party checks; and processing transactions related to the Margin Protection Program and disaster payments to producers whose applications have already been approved. Additionally, all existing programs under Farm Production and Conservation will continue to operate. 

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USDA to Temporarily Reopen FSA Offices During Shutdown

With the government shutdown now approaching its fourth week, the Farm Service Agency will temporarily reopen several of its offices to provide assistance to farmers and ranchers, the Department of Agriculture announced yesterday. These offices will be open on Jan. 17, 22 and 28 during normal business hours. 

The USDA noted that at almost half of FSA locations, staff will be available to help farmers and ranchers with existing farm loans and tax documents. Staff will also be available at certain offices to provide specific services including processing payments made on or before Dec. 31, 2018; continuing expiring financing statements; and opening mail to identify priority items. 

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Drew Haack and Matt Schlechter Promoted at SD Division of Banking

Drew Haack and Matt Schlechter have promoted to supervisory roles at the South Dakota Division of Banking. Haack has been promoted to chief bank examiner, and Schlechter has been promoted to chief trust examiner.

Both will continue to participate on examinations but will be assisting more with administrative functions, said Deputy Director of Banking Mike Dummer. Haack joined the Division in 2006, and Schlechter joined the Division in 2011. Both work out of the Division of Banking's Sioux Falls office. 

Bank Midwest CEO Mary Kay Bates Named BankBeat's Banker of the Year

Photo of Mary Kay BatesMary Kay Bates, CEO of Bank Midwest in Spirit Lake, Iowa, has been named 2019 Banker of the Year by BankBeat. 

Bates grew up in the restaurant business, where she learned a work ethic that has served her well throughout her banking career. She’s been at Bank Midwest, which has nearly $1 billion in assets and operates 11 offices in three states including South Dakota, since the mid-1990s. She hasn’t just witnessed the bank’s many successes; she’s been integral to them. 

Bates is the second female banker to be recognized as a Banker of the Year since the program began in 1989. With her selection, Bank Midwest becomes the first bank to have two Banker of the Year honorees selected in different years. Bank Midwest Board Chair Steve Goodenow was the magazine’s 2011 Banker of the Year.

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2019 South Dakota Legislature Now In Session

Photo of State CapitolThe 2019 South Dakota Legislature opened Tuesday, Jan. 8, with Gov. Noem giving her State of the State Address.

Bankers can stay current on legislative issues of importance to the banking industry by reading the SDBA Legislative Update and  Bill Watch. The Legislative Update is a recap of weekly key legislative action. The Legislative Bill Watch tracks the status of bills the SDBA is monitoring. Both publications are posted online on Fridays during session. To sign up for email notifications when the publications are posted, contact Alisa Bousa.

Don't forget to make plans to attend the SDBA State Legislative Day on Wednesday, Feb. 13, 2019, in Pierre. This year's event will include events specifically for emerging bank leaders. Learn more and register to attend

Agencies Finalize Three-Year Phase-In for CECL's Regulatory Capital Effects

As expected, the financial regulatory agencies on Dec. 21 issued a final rule giving banks the option to phase in over a three-year period the day-one adverse effects of the Current Expected Credit Loss standard on regulatory capital.The CECL standard, which goes into effect in 2020 for SEC registrants, 2021 for non-SEC banks that are FASB-defined "public business entities," and 2022 for all other banks, requires an estimate of expected credit losses over the life of the portfolio to be effectively recorded upon origination. 

In related news, the Federal Reserve issued a statement noting that to reduce uncertainty, it will maintain its current framework for calculating loan loss allowances in supervisory stress tests until after the 2021 test cycle. With regard to company-run stress tests, the Fed said that it would “not issue supervisory findings on firms’ stressed estimation of the allowance under CECL in CCAR’s qualitative assessment any earlier than 2022.” View the final ruleRead the Fed's statement

CFPB Issues Policy Guidance on HMDA Data Release

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has released its policy guidance describing the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act loan-level data it plans to release publicly in 2019.

Significantly, in response to concerns raised by ABA about the need to protect consumer privacy, the Bureau announced that it would not release property addresses, applicants’ credit scores or automated underwriting results. As expected, the CFPB will release “certain information with reduced precision,” including borrower ages, loan amount and number of units in the dwelling. 

In addition, the Bureau also announced that it would begin the rulemaking process in 2019 to consider what HMDA data it will disclose in future years. ABA has long called for a formal rulemaking on the public disclosure of HMDA data and will continue to work closely with the agency to ensure its concerns about consumer privacy are addressed. Read more. For more information, contact ABA's Rod Alba

After ABA Advocacy, FEMA Reverses Decision on Flood Insurance During Shutdown

Effective immediately, the Federal Emergency Management Agency will allow operations of the National Flood Insurance Program to resume, even while the government remains partially shut down, the agency announced last Friday. The move was retroactive to Dec. 21, ultimately leaving no lapse in NFIP availability.

ABA, along with members of Congress and other trade groups, strongly objected to FEMA’s surprise decision earlier this week halting regular operations, despite Congress’ passage and the president's signature of a bill to reauthorize the NFIP before the shutdown began.

ABA applauded FEMA's action. The association has emphasized in its public statements that suspending the sale and renewal of NFIP policies could complicate and potentially delay loan closings for borrowers seeking mortgages where NFIP coverage is required. For more information, contact ABA's Joe Pigg or Diana Banks

FEMA Halts National Flood Insurance Program

“On December 26, the Federal Emergency Management Agency announced its intention to halt regular operations for the National Flood Insurance Program. This decision comes even as Congress passed and the President signed legislation last week that was specifically intended to keep the program operating during the government shutdown," said ABA President and CEO Rob Nichols in an ABA statement today.

“FEMA’s unexpected decision will complicate and delay loan closings for borrowers who are required to carry flood insurance and seek NFIP coverage for as long as the government shutdown continues. This result is in direct conflict with what Congress and the President intended when legislation was passed and signed into law last week to extend the NFIP’s authorization for six months. FEMA’s failure to inform Congress and the public earlier that such action would be taken despite the passage of the extension is distressing. We hope that FEMA will reconsider this unfortunate action immediately."

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Bank Regulators to Stay Open While Other Agencies Partially Close

With the federal government shut down since Saturday morning, several agencies are closing all but essential operations. Federal banking regulators--the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, FDIC, Federal Reserve and OCC--will remain open as their funding does not come from congressional spending. However, federal lending programs, including the Small Business Administration, Federal Housing Administration and USDA programs, will be curtailed.

The Securities and Exchange Commission said that it will prioritize investor protection and market integrity functions starting on Dec. 27 should the shutdown persist; the Commodity Futures Trading Commission will likewise shut down all but essential market support functions. The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network will continue to process industry anti-money laundering filings. For more information, visit individual agency and department websites.

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House Members Call for CECL Study, Delay

As the Financial Stability Oversight Council met yesterday to discuss, among other topics, the Financial Accounting Standards Board’s Current Expected Credit Loss model for loan loss accounting, 28 Republican House members urged a delay in CECL’s implementation date and a comprehensive study of its effects on the banking industry and access to credit. Read the letter.

Led by House Financial Services Committee member David Kustoff (R-Tenn.), the signers called on Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin as chairman of FSOC to “closely evaluate the negative consequences this standard will place on the banking industry, small businesses and the consumer.” They added that uncertainty about CECL’s effects on bank capital “may cause many community banks to reduce the number of financial products offered to consumers.”

ABA and four other trade groups yesterday called for a quantitative impact study of CECL and a delay in implementing the standard until the study can be conducted. Meanwhile, the Financial Accounting Standards Board announced that it will hold a public roundtable on CECL implementation issues in January. Read more about the roundtable

Registration Open for SDBA State Legislative Day

Photo of State Capitol

Find your seat in the process. The SDBA will hold its 2019 State Legislative Day on Wednesday, Feb. 13, at the Ramkota Hotel & Conference Center in Pierre.

The State Legislative Day is your opportunity to stay up-to-date on both state and federal legislation which could affect the banking industry and to visit with state legislators. The day will include a luncheon, featured speaker, chance to visit with legislators at the State Capitol and an evening reception. The Governor has also been invited to address bankers. In addition, a special reception and sessions will be held for emerging leaders.

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SDBA 2019 Media Kit Available

The South Dakota Bankers Association is the premier avenue for businesses to target their marketing message to the top decision makers in South Dakota's financial services industry.

There is no better way to get your products or services in front of South Dakota bankers than to advertise in the SDBA's SDBANKER Magazine or sponsor the SDBA eNews. Learn more about advertising and marketing opportunities available for 2019 in the SDBA's 2019 Media Kit.

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