Congress Passes ABA-Backed 2018 Farm Bill

With a vote of 369 to 47 yesterday, the House approved the 2018 Farm Bill. The bill must now be signed into law by President Trump. Ahead of the vote, ABA wrote to House Agriculture Committee leaders urging them to pass the bill, which contains several banker-advocated provisions. Among other things, the bill will increase Farm Service Agency guaranteed loan program funding to $1.75 million; make needed changes to rural development guaranteed loan programs; and provide risk management tools for farmers and ranchers through crop insurance and other farm programs. 

ABA President and CEO Rob Nichols thanked lawmakers for their work on the bill. “This important piece of legislation provides critical risk management tools and stability for our nation’s farmers and ranchers, as well as the 2,000 farm banks that serve them every day,” Nichols said. “We are particularly pleased that lawmakers recognized the vital role of crop insurance and USDA loan guarantees. These programs help farm banks make loans and manage risk in both good times and bad, which is critical to maintaining a stable and vibrant farm economy.” Read ABA's letter

ABA: CU Appraisal Proposal Would Create Inconsistent Regulatory Standard

A recent proposal by the National Credit Union Administration to raise the threshold at which credit unions must obtain appraisals for commercial real estate transactions from $250,000 to $1 million would create an unlevel playing field between banks and credit unions, ABA said in a comment letter to the NCUA on Tuesday. The letter was also shared with members of the Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council. ABA noted that the proposal would “[put] NCUA’s regulatory treatment of credit unions dramatically out-of-step with its sister agencies,” which earlier this year raised the CRE appraisal threshold for banks from $250,000 to $500,000. 

“Two different standards for commercial real estate lending appraisal thresholds or any other real estate lending thresholds, made by what are functionally equivalent lending institutions, would negatively impact prudent risk management practices and undermine local markets,” ABA said. It added that “FFIEC and all participating agencies should uniformly agree to abide by consistent standards, rulemaking and thresholds that are now in jeopardy as a result of this proposal.” Read the letter. For more information, contact ABA's Sharon Whitaker or For more information, contact ABA's Brittany Kleinpaste

Dante Bank Listed on National Register of Historic Places

Photo of Dante BankThe Security State Bank in Dante was added to the National Register of Historic Places on Nov. 1, according to the South Dakota State Historical Society.

The Security State Bank is a two-story, rectangular masonry brick commercial building. It was built in 1920 at 320 Main St., which is the southwest corner of Main Street and Haskell Avenue. The bank is the best remaining local example of early 20th century commercial history and architecture in Dante and is the only bank in Dante’s history.

The building is listed in the National Register for its significance to the history of banking and commerce in early Dante to serve the agriculture-dependent community and represents the economic difficulties that plagued South Dakota in the 1920s. Banking in South Dakota was critical in its early years for the prominent industries of real estate and agriculture, but the state also had a high bank failure rate after World War I due to the collapse of ag prices and risky banking investments.

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Webinar: Tax Security Awareness: Understanding the Dark Web

In support of the IRS' Tax Security Awareness Week next week, a free webinar is being offered on Monday, Dec. 3, to help taxpayers understand the Dark Web and how it is used as a repository for stolen identities, credit data, tax information, banking/financial information, etc. 

During this webinar, IRS criminal investigators will provide an overview of the Dark Web and answer questions that will help you recognize the risks and use of the Dark Web by cyber criminals. A Live Q&A will be included.

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Webinar: Fighting Consumer Fraud and Identity Theft in South Dakota

Join the Federal Trade Commission for a free, one-hour webinar on Thursday, Dec. 6, at 1 p.m. CT to learn about the top scams reported in South Dakota and get tips to help people in your community avoid scams, protect their identity and recover from identity theft. 

Speakers will include staff from the Federal Trade Commission; Office of the South Dakota Attorney General; U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of South Dakota; Better Business Bureau Serving Nebraska, South Dakota, the Kansas Plains and Southwest Iowa; East River Legal Services; Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services; and Senior Medicare Patrol of South Dakota.

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SDBA Office Closed for Thanksgiving

The SDBA Office will be closed November 22 - 23 in observance of the Thanksgiving holiday.

ABA Unveils New 'Basic Bank Training' for Servicemembers, Military Spouses

The ABA on Monday launched a new training initiative designed to help veterans, active-duty servicemembers and military spouses transition to careers in banking. The series--Basic Bank Training for Veterans--consists of eight self-paced online courses covering a range of topics including customer service, lending, payments and ethics. 

With an estimated 230,000 to 245,000 U.S. military members entering civilian life each year according to the U.S. Department of Defense, ABA developed this suite of courses to assist veterans with their transition and to help banks tap into a community of uniquely talented job candidates. The program is available free to banks and to qualified individuals--including active-duty military spouses--who request access on their own. Learn more about the training

A recent article on the ABA Banking Journal website highlights the many ways banks can support military servicemembers on their families by providing financial education and job and mentorship opportunities. Meanwhile, a new bonus episode of the ABA Banking Journal Podcast features an interview with Steve Lepper of the Association of Military Banks of America. Lepper discusses the unique financial needs of service members and veterans, the employment potential of veterans and military spouses and what banks are doing to serve these populations. Read the articleListen to the podcast

FDIC Seeks Information on Small-Dollar Loans

The FDIC is seeking public feedback on the steps it can take to encourage FDIC-supervised banks to offer small-dollar credit products to meet the needs of consumers, the agency announced yesterday. Comments will be due 60 days after publication in the Federal Register. 

Specifically, the FDIC is seeking information about consumer demand for small-dollar credit products, features and characteristics of these products, and the benefits and risks to banks offering them. The FDIC is also interested in the challenges that stand in the way of banks’ ability to offer small-dollar credit products, how technology can play a role in offering these products or assessing the creditworthiness of potential borrowers, and how alternative products or services could supplement or complement small-dollar credit offerings. 

ABA has long called on regulators to remove barriers that impede banks from making small-dollar loans, and earlier this year welcomed guidance from the OCC encouraging banks to make responsible short-term, small-dollar installment loans to help meet the credit needs of their customers. The association has previously called on the FDIC to rescind its 2013 guidance on direct deposit advance services, which imposes requirements on banks that are inconsistent with efficient underwriting standards, and will submit feedback to the bureau in response to the RFI. Read more. For more information, contact ABA's Jonathan Thessin

SDBA Partners with New Job Posting Resource for Financial Services Industry

The SDBA is excited to announce a new partnership with BankTalentHQ to connect top talent nationwide (including candidates who are outside of the industry currently) to our banks. Brought to you by an alliance of state banking associations working together, BankTalentHQ is dedicated to attracting candidates to the financial services industry. The main focus for the website is the job board.

As an introduction to this new resource, the SDBA is currently offering member banks and associate members an unlimited amount of 30-day job postings on BankTalentHQ for free until end of the year. 

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2019 High School Scholarship Program Application Now Available

The South Dakota Bankers Foundation has allocated $90,000 for the High School Scholarship Program for 2019. Matched by recipient banks, the program will result in a total of $180,000 in high school scholarships awarded to high school seniors throughout South Dakota in 2019.

Scholarship are available in $500 increments to the first 180 banks/branches who agree to match an equal amount. Banks who participated in the High School Scholarship Capital Campaign are eligible to apply for funding. 

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Podcast: Two Ways to Partner with Fintech Firms

As long as banks have existed, they've deployed innovative technology to better serve their customers and improve efficiency. On the latest episode of the ABA Banking Journal Podcast--sponsored by CSI Fintech Focus --two leading bankers discuss distinct approaches to partnering with fintech firms today.

At Lincoln Savings Bank, Mike McCrary leads fintech partnership efforts--and this more-than-century-old Iowa agricultural bank serves as bank of record for several fintech firms, including Acorns, Square, Money Lion and Qapital. LSB has flipped the script as a vendor to fintech companies. McCrary discusses how these partnerships bring in additional insured deposits in a time of heightened competition, as well as drive non-interest income. 

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Dean Franzen Joins SD Bankers Insurance & Services

Photo of Dean FranzenDean Franzen has joined the South Dakota Bankers Insurance & Services (SDBIS), Inc. as its commercial lines specialist. Franzen is an accomplished underwriter who has earned eight insurance designations. He also had a long career teaching insurance and business practices at the college level.

Franzen began his professional career in the insurance industry and spent almost 25 years in various home office roles. He worked for several companies including Mutual of Omaha, Physicians Mutual, American Republic and PCS Health Systems holding positions such as marketing manager, product development manager, health insurance specialist, senior life and disability underwriter, health underwriting consultant and manager of disability development.

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New ABA Study Finds Americans Highly Satisfied with Their Bank

The ABA on Monday unveiled new data showing that nearly 9 in 10 Americans (86 percent) say they are “very satisfied” or “satisfied” with their primary bank. Ninety-four percent rated their bank’s customer service as “good,” “very good” or “excellent,” according to the survey, conducted for ABA by Morning Consult. 

The top three things consumers valued most about their banks were: little or no fees, security of account and personal information, and location. They also said that banks were far and away the most trusted guardians of their personal information; 42 percent said they trust banks the most to keep their data safe, compared to 15 percent who said they trust healthcare providers the most and 7 percent who said they trusted non-bank providers like Apple Pay, Venmo and Paypal. 

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Registration Open for 2019 National Beginning Ag Bankers School

Registration is now open for the SDBA's 2019 National School for Beginning Ag Bankers set for June 24-27 at Black Hills State University in Spearfish. The purpose of the school is to prepare ag bankers to make better loan decisions. 

The school is designed to train in all facets of agricultural lending with emphasis on credit analysis, credit scoring, risk rating, problem loans and group case study. Attendees will receive personalized instruction and continual peer interaction fostered through a limited class size, case study and group exercises.

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Indian Ag Finance Roundtable to Take Place in Rapid City

The South Dakota Indian Business Alliance will present the Indian Agriculture Finance Roundtable on Oct. 26 in Rapid City at the Best Western Ramkota. 

The event will explore innovative solutions that are supporting tribal members as they start or grow their ag operations. Discussion topics will include: the Keepseagle V. Vilsack settlement and the new Native American Agriculture Fund, utilizing tribal courts and the Uniform Commercial Code, and Native American farmer and rancher lending success stories.

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Podcast: A Rural Ag Bank Dodges the Consolidation Trend

Peg Scott is a family farmer who joined Union State Bank a couple years out of high school as a teller and went on to hold virtually every role in the bank. When the bank’s owners were looking to sell, she and her husband got a group of investors together, bought the bank and kept it local in Greenfield, Iowa. “People who have no money buy things all the time,” she recalls telling her husband jokingly. “Let’s see what we can do.”

On the latest episode of the ABA Banking Journal Podcast, Scott--who is also chairman of the Iowa Bankers Association--discusses how she teamed up with investors in her community to keep Union State Bank independent and provides advice for community bankers seeking to follow the same path. She also discusses:

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New Report to Help Banks Prepare for Upcoming Exams

The Coalition of Bankers Associations has released the first Bank Exam Monitor, Insights on Recent Examinations report created by its Regulatory Feedback Initiative strategic partners at FinPro.

"Regulatory examinations continue to be tilted toward liquidity risk with stress testing, interest rate risk with a flattening yield curve, asset quality concerns in a highly competitive environment, and corporate governance," said Scott Polakoff, executive vice president, FinPro. "The examiners persist in their apprehension with the length of this economic expansion and the possibility of a downturn over the next 12 to 24 months.  Strategic planning remains the roadmap to planned performance, and the examiners expect to see quarterly assessments of actual to budget results documented in Board of Director minutes."

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U.S. Bank to Receive Community Commitment Award

The ABA Foundation has recognized six banks for their outstanding commitment to their communities, including U.S. Bank for affordable housing.

The ABA Community Commitment Awards--to be presented on Oct. 23 during ABA’s Annual Convention in New York--are given in six categories to honor innovative, high-impact bank programs and projects that produce lasting results in the communities they serve. Categories are: affordable housing, community and economic development, economic inclusion, financial education, protecting older Americans and volunteerism. 

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SDBA's First Women in Banking Conference a Huge Success

photo of conference attendeesThe SDBA's Lead Strong: Women in Banking Conference held Tuesday in Sioux Falls was a huge success with more than 230 women from across the state in attendance.

"Thank you for such an AMAZING event," commented Angela McCoy, American Bank & Trust, Sioux Falls. "Each speaker was so inspiring! One of the best conferences I have attended!"

"This was the most start-to-finish captivating conference I have been to in years," said Joan Larson with Richland Loan Processing Center in Sioux Falls. 

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Abbie Ranschau Wins SDBA Communications Survey Giveaway

Photo of Abbie RanschauAbbie Ranschau, a trust and wealth advisor with Dacotah Bank in Sioux Falls, was the winner of the SDBA's communications survey giveaway of a $100 Visa gift card.

The SDBA last month conducted a survey of its members to learn their thoughts on the SDBanker Magazine and member communications. The SDBA wanted to know what readers like and dislike about the monthly magazine, in what format they read the magazine, how often they would like to receive the magazine, and how they prefer to get their information from the Association.

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