Bankers Nationwide Observe Get Smart About Credit Day

More than 6,000 bankers will deliver financial education lessons to nearly 156,000 teens nationwide this year as part of ABA’s Get Smart About Credit initiative, which is sponsored by Ally Financial, Citi, U.S. Bank and Wells Fargo. As the industry observes Get Smart About Credit Day today, bankers will present lessons to students on important financial obstacles facing young adults, including paying for college, knowing their credit score, managing their money and protecting their identity.

ABA staff will mark the day by partnering with staff from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, M&T Bank, Columbia Bank, Revere Bank and Sandy Spring Bank to volunteer at Junior Achievement’s Finance Park facility in Montgomery County, Md. During the presentation, approximately 150 seventh-grade students will hear directly from bankers about the importance of budgeting. Read more.

Blake Paulson Named OCC's Official for Midsize, Community Bank Supervision

The OCC has announced that Blake Paulson has been named the next senior deputy comptroller for midsize and community bank supervision, effective in December. He will succeed Toney Bland, who will retire from the agency in January. Paulson currently serves as deputy comptroller for the central district.

In his new role, Paulson will oversee a team of more than 1,500 employees responsible for supervising approximately 1,100 community and midsize national banks and federal savings associations that provide banking services to consumers, business and communities across the country. In addition, he will serve on the OCC’s Executive Committee and sit on various governance committees that oversee critical agency functions and help align its activity to its strategic goals and objectives.

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President Approves Third South Dakota Disaster Request

Gov. Kristi Noem announced yesterday that President Trump has approved South Dakota's request for a third Presidential Disaster Declaration, covering the damage done by severe storms, tornadoes and flooding that occurred June 30 to July 21.

The declaration will allow federal money to be used to help local government entities recover from infrastructure damage in Butte, Gregory, Kingsbury, Lawrence, Meade and Tripp counties, as well as the Cheyenne River and the Lower Brule Indian Reservations.  A preliminary assessment of the damage was estimated to be $2.5 million.

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ABA Foundation Honors Eight Banks with Community Commitment Awards

Eight banks earned the ABA Foundation’s highest honor today by being named Community Commitment Award winners for 2019. The annual awards recognize banks for their corporate social responsibility efforts in categories ranging from affordable housing to economic inclusion. This year’s winners also include a new award for banks going above and beyond to support military families. The 2019 winners will be presented with their award at the ABA’s Annual Convention in Seattle on Oct. 29. 

“Banks of all sizes are stepping up their corporate social responsibility efforts to serve their communities, and this year’s nominations in every category were incredibly impressive,” said Rob Nichols, ABA president and CEO. “The programs developed by our Community Commitment Award winners stood out to our judges and really demonstrate how banks are helping communities solve challenging issues.” 

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Agencies Finalize Rule Raising Residential Real Estate Appraisal Threshold

The financial regulatory agencies last Friday issued a final rule—which takes effect the day after publication in the Federal Register—raising the appraisal threshold for residential real estate transactions from $250,000 to $400,000. The new threshold addresses numerous concerns raised by ABA and other industry stakeholders over the time and cost of appraisals.

Under the rule, transactions that qualify for the exemption still need to obtain an evaluation consistent with safe and sound banking practices. This evaluation will provide an estimate of the market value of the property without requiring the involvement of a state licensed or certified appraiser. The final rule does not apply to loans sold to or guaranteed by the FHA, HUD, VA, Fannie Mae, or Freddie Mac—which will still require an appraisal, according to each agency’s rules.

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LEAD STRONG: Women in Banking Conference Launches Next Week

Photo of women.The SDBA will host the second annual LEAD STRONG: Women in Banking Conference on Oct. 9-10 at the Sioux Falls Convention Center in Sioux Falls. 

Attendees can connect Wednesday evening at a networking reception from 5:30 to 7 p.m. in Meetings Rooms 8-10 at the Convention Center. Thursday will begin with registration and a continental breakfast from 8 to 8:30 a.m., with the conference welcome at 8:30 a.m.

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Labor Department Releases Final Overtime Rule

The U.S. Department of Labor on Tuesday released its final overtime rule—a rewrite of the 2016 rule issued under the Obama administration that never took effect due to a federal judge’s ruling later that year. The final rule adopted many of the recommendations that ABA made in prior comment letters and that bankers advocated for during listening sessions held by DOL last fall. It will take effect Jan. 1, 2020.

As recommended by ABA, DOL set the salary level at which an employee could be exempted from federal overtime and minimum wage requirements at $684 per week, or $35,568 per year. These figures reflect the methodology adopted by the George W. Bush administration in 2004—which set the salary level at the 20th percentile of earnings of full-time salaried workers in the lowest-wage census and in the retail sector.

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In Landmark Vote, House Passes ABA-Backed SAFE Banking Act

By a bipartisan vote of 321 to 103 last night, the House passed the SAFE Banking Act, the ABA-supported bill that would provide clarity to financial institutions seeking to serve legitimate cannabis businesses. With cannabis now legal in some form in 33 states, the bill would allow banks to serve cannabis-related businesses in those states and prohibit federal regulators from taking action against a bank solely because cannabis is involved.

ABA President and CEO Rob Nichols welcomed the vote. “By helping to provide clarity for the financial sector in those states where cannabis is legal, this bill will help banks meet the needs of their communities while reducing cash-motivated crimes, increasing the efficiency of tax collections and improving the cannabis industry’s financial accountability,” Nichols said. “It will also ensure that businesses with indirect ties to the cannabis industry—including vendors, utility companies and law firms—won’t be needlessly forced out of the financial system."

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Updated Article Discusses How to Prepare for National Flood Insurance Program Lapse

With the National Flood Insurance Program set to expire at midnight on Monday, Sept. 30, unless Congress intervenes, an updated online feature from the ABA Banking Journal examines what bankers should do to prepare themselves and their customers. ABA Senior Counsel Diana Banks walks bankers through what to do before, during and after a lapse occurs.

Banks notes that before a lapse, institutions should carefully review guidance from the prudential regulators, consult with counsel to apply it to specific business areas, and encourage borrowers whose existing NFIP policies may be expiring soon to renew before the lapse occurs. When the lapse ends, bankers should verify whether the reauthorization is retroactive or not, and ensure customers understand their coverage in either case. Read the article. For more information, contact ABA's Diana Banks.

SDBA To Hold New Event for Emerging Bank Leaders

Next Step: Emerging LeadersThe SDBA has developed a new event for emerging bank leaders. Registration is now open for NEXT STEP: SDBA Emerging Leaders Summit on Nov. 5-6 at the Hilton Garden Inn Sioux Falls Downtown.

NEXT STEP: Emerging Leaders is designed to help cultivate, connect, engage and empower South Dakota’s future bank leaders. This event will encourage emerging bank leaders to find and express their voices within their organizations, communities and the banking industry and provide opportunities to network and exchange ideas with other industry professionals. It will also increase emerging bank leaders’ knowledge of topics of interest to the banking industry and promote involvement and advocacy. 

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AARP Offers New Training to Help Banks Fight Financial Exploitation of Older Customers

Fight Financial Exploitation: Become BankSafe TodayAARP had developed and launched a new training program to help banks detect and report financial exploitation of older customers.  BankSafe is a free online platform designed to empower financial institution employees with the knowledge, skills and confidence they need to better understand and interact with older customers, identify signs of financial exploitation and take the right steps to protect the assets of older Americans. 

Tailored to meet the unique needs and demands of frontline staff, the platform is an interactive, 60-minute training that employees can complete in one sitting or at their own pace as they choose among more than 25 education and training modules. As part of the BankSafe program, financial institutions can apply to have AARP verify that at least 80% of their frontline staff successfully passed the BankSafe training and confirm that they have a financial-exploitation escalation or reporting policy.

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Hotel Blocks Added for SDBA LEAD STRONG: Women in Banking Conference

Additional hotel blocks have been added for the SDBA's LEAD STRONG: Women in Banking Conference set for Oct. 9-10 at the Sioux Falls Convention Center in Sioux Falls. 

If you plan to attend the conference and have not reserved a hotel room, the SDBA has added a block of rooms for the evening of Oct. 9 at the Holiday Inn & Suites Sioux Falls--Airport at 2040 W. Russell St. The rate is $129 per room, and the block will be released on Sept. 25. Visit the hotel block link or call the Holiday Inn at 605.331.2040.

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Save the Date for Advanced Study in Banking & Regulation at SDSU

This fall, the Dykhouse Program in Money, Banking and Regulation in the Ness School of Management and Economics at South Dakota State University in Brookings will host two free events on the subject of community banking.

On Monday, Oct. 7, at 4 p.m. in SDSU’s Harding Hall, Professor James (Jim) Barth, Lowder eminent scholar in finance at Auburn University, will present “Banks and Natural Disasters.”

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Three SDBA Member Banks, One Associate Member Named Best Banks to Work For

Photos of Best BanksSDBA member banks First Bank & Trust, Dacotah Bank, First PREMIER Bank and SDBA associate member Bell Bank were named “Best Banks to Work For” by American Banker. Bell Bank was named number two; First Bank & Trust was named number 22; Dacotah Bank was named number 30; and First PREMIER Bank was named number 58. These banks’ leaders work purposefully every day to ensure that employees are engaged, having fun and enjoy what they are doing.

American Banker Magazine on Aug. 29 published its seventh annual list of the 85 best banks to work for. The banks had to answer survey questions about their leadership philosophy, going above and beyond for employees, efforts to recruit a diverse workforce, their most effective ways to communicate and more.

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SBA to Hold Lender Training in Aberdeen

The Small Business Administration (SBA) has scheduled a lender training in Aberdeen on Sept. 18. Topics to be covered include origination, underwriting policies, SBA resource partners, USDA programs, how to’s and Q&A’s. The SBA previously held similar lender trainings in Sioux Falls and Rapid City earlier this month. 

The Aberdeen training will be held from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the Small Business Development Center at 416 Production St. North.To register, email Pamela K. Selberg.

South Dakota Farm and Ranch Stress Summit Set for Sept. 23-25

Image of FarmersThe SDSU Extension Rural Behavioral Health Team is partnering with the South Dakota Counselors Association to provide the South Dakota Farm and Ranch Stress Summit on Sept. 23-25 in Oacoma. 

The purpose of the Summit is to provide the ag community with information on working through individual stress and how to provide support to individuals dealing with stress. Including farmers and ranchers--as well as those in support positions such as counselors, bankers, consultants, clergy, crop insurance agents and other business members--in these conversations will strengthen communities across South Dakota. 

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South Dakota Woman Sentenced for Elderly Exploitation

Jennifer Ahrendt, 46, of Trent, S.D., has been sentenced following a guilty plea entered on May 21 for the crime of theft by exploitation of an elder or adult with a disability, a Class 4 Felony, according to a press release from South Dakota Attorney General Jason Ravnsborg's Office.

Ahrendt was entrusted under a power of attorney to handle the financial affairs of her elderly, now deceased, grandmother. Between Dec. 29, 2016, to May 11, 2018, Ahrendt took money from the accounts she was managing on behalf of her grandmother and used the funds for herself, including gambling away a large portion of the funds. 

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FDIC, OCC Finalize Volcker Overhaul Proposal

The FDIC and the OCC on Tuesday approved a long-awaited set of changes to the Volcker Rule simplifying the rule’s compliance burden and better targeting its effects toward indended activities. The final rule streamlines and tailors the Volcker Rule by focusing its restriction on proprietary trading and investments in covered funds on banks with “significant” and “moderate” trading activities. Banks with limited trading assets and liabilities of less than $1 billion will have a rebuttable presumption of compliance with the Volcker Rule. Once approved by the Federal Reserve, SEC and CFTC, the changes will take effect on Jan. 1, 2020, with mandatory compliance not required until Jan. 1, 2021.

“We appreciate the actions taken today by the FDIC and OCC, which have started the agencies’ process of finalizing sensible reforms to the Volcker Rule that will help banks better serve their customers and the broader economy,” said ABA President and CEO Rob Nichols. “These improvements will allow bank supervisors to focus on systemic risk, while providing the tailored and precise oversight that was the Volcker Rule’s original purpose.”

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South Dakota Businesses Alerted of Credit Card Scam

South Dakota Attorney General Jason Ravnsborg along with the South Dakota Retailers Association are alerting businesses to be on the lookout for a credit card scam which is impacting the state. 

Multiple South Dakota businesses have been contacted by out-of-state entities looking to purchase goods. The orders initially appear to be legitimate, but scammers are attempting to pay with fraudulent or stolen credit cards. 

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SDBA Holds Ag Credit Conference this Week

Picture from 2019 Ag Credit ConferenceMore than 150 ag bankers from across South Dakota are attending the SDBA's Agricultural Credit Conference today and tomorrow in Pierre. The annual conference was originally scheduled for April but postponed due to a snow storm. 

Following a pre-conference workshop by Farmer Mac yesterday afternoon and an opening reception last night, the conference kicked off this morning with an update from Washington, D.C., by Dan Martini, vice president of congressional relations and political affairs with the ABA. 

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