Your choice of bank is your vote on where your money goes. Are your hard-earned deposits reinvested back into our local community? Or are they sent off to a banking hub in another state or halfway around the world?
As more consumers realize the benefits of keeping their money local, I encourage you to think about how banking locally right here in South Dakota can go a long way in helping our local community thrive.
For example, when you deposit funds into a community bank, you can trust that your money is being redistributed back into your hometown in the form of loans to fellow residents and entrepreneurs. This cannot be said for megabanks. Who knows where that money is going or what it’s powering?
As a local community banker for over 40 years, I see the positive power of community banking play out every day. Community Banks have the privilege of serving South Dakota’s residents and their families by making loans that help them buy a home, pay for a vehicle, or send a child to college—whatever it is, we’re there and happy to lend a hand. We also have the honor of serving many of our town’s small businesses through loans to help them get started, grow and succeed.
We’ve also served many of the local farms and agricultural enterprises that have been part of our community for generations. And we’re working with the next generation of entrepreneurs to help launch their exciting ideas and bring our community into the future. This is local money at work—a symbiotic relationship between bank and community that makes sense.
During April, which is Community Banking Month, I encourage you to think about where you bank and how your money has the power to make a meaningful impact on our community. From local farms to craftsmen to startups, banking locally with a community bank connects you to your community and your neighbors and gives everyone a stake in its financial success.
Making our community better and stronger is something that we all have a stake in. We hope you will join us by banking local and continuing to make South Dakota thrive and prosper for years to come!
My first year in the House of Representatives is just about over, one day left to deal with vetoes. Having been an active participant in the legislative process as a citizen, a school board member, and a banker for the last 36 years I had an idea of what it would be like but not the daily routine for 38 days. I knew I would be busy, but not as busy as it turned out to be.
After getting elected, I was asked to be on the Appropriations Committee. Appropriations held 3 days of committee orientations and scheduling prior to the session starting. My daily schedule in Pierre was a 7:15 a.m. briefing with the Legislative Research Council (LRC) staff, an 8:00 committee hearing, followed by a 1:00 caucus meeting, then to a 2:00 floor session. The evenings were full of receptions and a few dinners.
The purpose of the Appropriations Committee is to set the budget for the State. To speed the process the Senate and House Appropriations Committees meet as a joint committee (JCA). We received 4 to 5 presentations per day from every agency and department in state government. After that we started working to gain a better understanding of the various requests and budgets. We also review the Governor’s and LRC’s revenue projections. We then set our best estimate of the general fund revenue for the balance of FY 17 and for FY 18. The next step was finalizing Budget Setting Motion Sheets for each department and agency, balancing to our revenue projection. Not an easy task.
While working on the FY 17 budget s the revenue estimate was lowered first by $268 million and then another $286 million. Yes, $54 million in changes. Other issues included selling various pieces of State owned real estate, bills to authorize the new SDSU Animal Disease Research and Diagnostic Laboratory, plus a few more.
During our first floor session, we are sworn into office. Standing and reciting the Oath of Office with the 70 members of the House is truly an experience. After that we had to prepare for committee hearings by reading and researching the bills on the agenda. One key was to listen to the testimony and develop questions or concerns regarding the purpose, intent or language of the bill. Most of this can be heard daily by going to the state’s website: sdlegislature.gov.
Early in the session IM 22 was front and center, including how it should be addressed. Repeal and replace or try to fix it so it would be Constitutional and workable? A consensus was reached to repeal and replace. This was a bipartisan effort in the House with bills being authored and amended by both Democrats and Republicans. We managed to settle all issues before we left last week except one: campaign finance contribution limits. There will be a committee to review campaign finance and offer suggestions for next year’s session. I hope we will see limits on contributions to ballots initiatives and constitutional amendments that was left out of IM 22 by out of state PACS and authors.
I was appointed to the Revenue Subcommittee in the middle part of the session. That was an important assignment that led to a recommendation which JCA accepted on February 14th. Soon after that the Senate wanted to increase the FY 18 revenue estimates so increases could be appropriated for schools. The House members ended up blocking this effort since no new source of revenue was provided. Asking for more without a source of revenue did not meet my personal test of a balanced budget., which we in the House worked on every day. Especially when you look at our top three revenue sources – sales taxes, excise taxes and insurance taxes – were all down.
The last week the budget process moves quickly and several bills that had moved through one house needed to be modified in the other house and the differences settled in a conference committee. One such bill was SB 35 which set the local real estate taxes for K 12 education. I was appointed to this conference committee. We made changes to reflect the 0.3 per cent index change in aid to education. The bill also repealed the percentage split of the half cent sales tax passed the previous year. This repeal was an important step. Sales tax collections are down for the current FY 17 budget. K-12 school aid was $3,724,000 too high and would have to be lowered by $1,182,000 for FY 18. By repealing the percentage split, we held education harmless for the shortfall in sales taxes and gave it 0.3 per cent inflation factor index required by last year’s bill. In conference, I also added an amendment to retain important language on the methodology of distributing money to the Technical Institutes for high cost and high need instructors. We also added an inflationary index increase to start in FY 19. LATI and the Watertown School District thought both were important.
Working in a different chamber than D-5 Sen. Neal Tapio, D-5 Rep. Nancy York and I only ran into him a couple of times a week. Rep. York and I compared notes and keep each other abreast of communications from home and issues every day. I loved kidding her about her easy schedule of committee meetings only two days per week, but she was there every morning sitting in on committees to follow bills of interest to our district. She was a big help to me since I spent almost every minute in Appropriations.
I look forward to working on the Interim JAC this summer and fall. We will meet 4 to 6 times to review programs and approve limited changes in the budget. I have also been appointed to two National Conference of State Legislature committees by the Speaker of the House. Through these committees, I hope to become better acquainted with how Medicaid works and the changes currently being discussed in Washington D.C. Medicaid is the second largest use of general funds dollars in South Dakota.
If you have issues or need assistance on a state issue please feel free to contact me at home or email email@example.com Going to Pierre has been a wonderful and educational opportunity. I would like to thank the voters of District 5 for their trust and confidence.
Just one week to Christmas as I write this brief article. I hope and pray that you and your family have a Merry Christmas. At this time of year as bankers we are very busy from family and community to all the things happening in our banks; finalizing budgets for 201 7, working through ag renewals; closing the books on 2016 and anticipating new projects and pushes for the coming year. I hope we all take the time to remember the reason for the season and to spend quality time with family and friends.
I believe 2016 was a great year for community banking in South Dakota. As we look forward to 2017 we need to remember while we are responsible for our own success there is strength in working together through ICBSD and ICBA. As the administration changes in Washington we all need to keep our status as Community Bankers at the forefront of regulatory changes that are anticipated in D.C. We have made several strides toward tiered regulation and we need to continue to remind regulators and Congress that there is a difference between Community Banks and the mega banks.
Personally, 2017 will be my first year in the South Dakota House of Representatives. I have been assigned to the Appropriations Committee. I am looking forward to getting to know a lot more about every part of state government. The Joint Appropriations Committee gets a head start by meeting for three days prior to the session, January 3rd, 4th, and 9th. The first day of Legislature in January 10th. I hope to see you all in Pierre. My state email is Hugh.Bartels@sdlegislature.gov.
I can hardly believe this is late October and my second article. Time appears to be going by faster every day, except when Presidential candidates are debating. Those three debates have to be the longest 90 minutes on record. And then they are followed by hours and days of news commentators reliving and analyzing them. Well, I hope I have that out of my system.
I hope you all have been following the ICBA’s lawsuit against the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) alleging that the agency violated the Federal Credit Union Act when it issued its final member business lending rule allowing tax-exempt credit unions to exceed limits on commercial lending established by Congress. NCUA’s final rule excludes from a credit union’s member lending limit (MBL cap) commercial loans as well as participations in commercial loans that were purchased from another credit union as long as the loan was made to someone who is not a member of the purchasing credit union. This is the same “regulatory cheerleading” we experienced with Farm Credit when their regulator called commercial loans investments. I hope that the court decides that rules cannot expand the language contained in the law.
To make this successful, ICBA has asked that we all consider making a donation to ICBA’s legal fund to pay for the expense of the lawsuit. If we all make a small contribution, hopefully it will add up to a successful outcome.
Also the ICBA is asking that member banks that experience
Credit Union completion for commerce loans to complete a
short questionnaire: If your bank has lost a commercial loan to a credit
union because of interest rate or terms or for some other reason, Please visit https://www.icbsd.com/stop-the-ncua.html to fill out and submit a questionnaire.
Thank you for the honor of being able to serve our industry as this year’s Chairman. As you may be aware earlier this year the ICBSD was left with a vacancy in the Vice Chairman position. While Scott Campbell was willing to serve a second term as chairman the association by-laws do not allow for consecutive terms as Chairman.
As you also may be aware my day to day duties with Reliabank recently ended, however I still remain an active part of the Relaibank board of directors. I came to the ICBSD spring board meeting expecting to step down from the board. After a lengthy board discussion, I felt it my duty to step up and fill the Vice Chairman void.
I am honored to be your Chairman because this is my chance to give back to the community banking industry that has given me so much! I look forward to staying busy and am excited that I will have ample time to keep up with issues that impact our member banks and time to devote to the ICBSD mission of helping community banks succeed.
It is my intention to continue the growth and further the influence the ICBSD has been marching towards since 2012 with the hiring of Greg McCurry as our President & CEO. This will be done through continue to work on the strategic plan action items started in the fall of 2015.
Your association will continue to be a strong independent voice for community banks. We will continue to improve the recognition of South Dakota’s community banks with both our state and national elected officials. We will continue to expand the value of membership through strategic partnerships with community banks vendors. We will also continue to expand our ICBSD relationship with other state community banking organizations to find synergies and common items that will be of value to members on a regional basis. Lastly we are continuing to raise the caliber of speakers and presenters at both our Retreat and Director/Executive Management Conference.
The quality of the speakers at this year’s Retreat were the best we have ever had. Feedback from members in attendance has been great. I would encourage you to attend next year’s event, you will not regret it.
Please help us be a strong voice for South Dakota’s community banks by getting involved. Attend event’s, utilize our webinar training product, invite the ICBSD to speak at your bank’s board meeting or execute committee meetings and lastly contact me with your ideas about how we can use our resources to help your bank.
In closing I want to share the words that were shared by this year’s ICBA representative at the Retreat. Jack Hartings, ICBA Immediate Past Chairman asked the group to “Stand Up, Step Up and Speak Up”. If not, you then who will advocate for our industry?
There is nothing like an early morning in May and June after an evening shower. It seems that all the crops put on an inch or two of growth and the birds are busy scavenging the abundance of worms forced out of the ground from the evening shower. I was on a farm visit a few days ago and my client and I were cruising around in his side by side ATV counting cows and calves in his pasture. The sun was shining, there was very little wind and the air was cleansed crystal clear from the evening rain. I thought to myself that there was no other place on earth that has air this pure and clean and how lucky we are to live in this beautiful state.
At the end of April a group of ICBSD bankers traveled to Washington DC for the ICBA Washington Policy Summit. Jack Hopkins, David Ebbers, Dick Behl, Emily Hofer, Lynn Peterson, Tim Prince, Greg McCurry and I had the opportunity to speak with Senator Thune, Senator Rounds and Representative Noem about the issues that are affecting community banks. We focused our discussion on the CLEAR Relief Act (mortgage lending relief), The Community Bank Access to Capital Act (Basel III exemption), Data Security Act (National Data Security Breach Notification Standard), CFPB small bank exemption from reporting data on small business loans and our concern for expanded powers for Credit Unions and Farm Credit. I had the feeling that our meetings were well received by our congressional delegation. Since this is an election year, I’m not very optimistic that much will get done. I would like to say thank you to the bankers that made the trip to Washington, DC.
The ICBSD and ICBND had a joint meeting in Jamestown, ND on May 11 and 12. We talked with the North Dakota community bankers about possible cooperative projects in advocacy, Education and Products & services. I would like to thank Bell State Bank & Trust for sponsoring our dinner and ICBA for sponsoring our lunch.
There has been chatter around the state that banks should have one unified voice to advocate for regulatory change. I do not believe that would be beneficial for community banks if that one voice would include too big to fail banks like Wells Fargo, Citibank and JP Morgan Chase. Washington has no appetite to give the too big to fail banks regulatory relief. I believe that the voice of community banks needs to be through the ICBA. Community banks need to unite under the ICBA banner for effective advocacy for regulatory relief. Please get involved, the future of community banking depends on it.
Since this is my last newsletter column as chairman of ICBSD, I would like to thank our president Greg McCurry for the great job he is doing for our association. Greg has been busy traveling the state visiting with community banks and working on ways to add value for our ICBSD members. Kudos to Greg for a job well done. I would like to thank our board members and all the community bankers that get involved to advocate for community banking.
I pray that everyone has a safe summer and that our rainfall is adequate for our crops. I look forward to seeing everyone at our retreat at Sylvan Lake Lodge in July. Please go to the ICBSD web site and register for the retreat if you have not already done so. This is a very family orientated event so bring the kids.
The much anticipated arrival of spring is underway. As the spring and winter air masses battle, the lengthening days, migrating birds and blooming pasque flowers are sure signs that spring will prevail. The sounds and smells of spring are signals for us to prepare for the upcoming growing season. Our Ag producers are busy anticipating spring field work and the calving of their livestock. As I finish up my last farm renewals, I always look forward to venturing out of the bank and visiting with my Ag clients.
In early March I had the good fortune to attend my first ICBA national convention in New Orleans. I was in awe at the size of this event. The trade show offered hundreds of vendors tending their booths, showing their products and services to the passing bankers. The ICBA Convention presented many educational sessions that fit the needs of all types of bankers. The sessions I attended were very good. I met and visited with many bankers from all over the country. It was an impressive site seeing thousands of bankers come together with the common interest of community banking. I discovered that New Orleans is a very fun city that offers some very exquisite dining experiences. South Dakota was well represented at this year’s convention.
This coming month, ICBSD will be busy attending events and promoting community banking around the state. Greg McCurry, Emily Hofer and I will be visiting with NSU students at the NSU-Business Round Table on April 14. I look forward to meeting with these students about opportunities they might have in community banking.
ICBSD will be well represented at the ICBA Washington Policy summit in Washington DC at the end of April. Several board and committee members will head to Washington, DC to carry the community banking message to Capitol Hill. The policy summit allows community bankers to take up a grass roots approach to discuss overregulation, preferred tax treatment of Farm Credit and Credit Union and other issues with the state’s congressional delegation.
The ICBSD nominating committee will be actively seeking bankers to serve on the ICBSD board. If you are interested in serving on the ICBSD board, please contact Greg McCurry or me. Serving on the board is a very rewarding experience that provides benefits which greatly exceed time commitments that are required. You will meet great people and develop lifelong friendships with other bankers.
As I close, I would like to remind everyone that April is Community Banking Month. This month gives community bankers a chance to toot their horns and celebrate this great occasion. Community banks are the backbone of our communities. It is community banks and bankers that are committed to seeing that our communities survive and prosper.
January is a busy time for a community banker. Since I am the President, CEO, CFO, Loan Officer, Security Officer and Compliance Officer, a lot of my time is spent working on farm line renewals, the call report, monthly reports, quarterly reports, annual reports, bank tax return preparations and all the other tasks that a community banker has. The last thing I needed was an e-mail that asked to get my newsletter article completed for the February ICBSD newsletter. However, since the wind is blowing 60 miles an hour and any outdoor activities are out of the question, I decided to write this on Super Bowl Sunday. It doesn’t seem possible that two months have passed since the last newsletter. Now that January has blown by, February means that the South Dakota legislature has convened and our association is busy monitoring bills that will impact our community banks. It’s comforting to know that the ICBSD is out there reviewing legislative bills and fighting for the interests of community banks.
ICBSD President, Greg McCurry, and the ICBSD staff do a great job keeping us informed on the various bills and may call on us bankers to call our local legislators and inform them how a bill will affect our banks. Look for the Communications Update e-mail that the ICBSD office sends out every Wednesday.
Something new for ICBSD bank members is the ICBSD Member Networks. Most small community banks have limited staffs and the ever changing world of banking makes it a real challenge to stay up to date with the latest regulatory changes and trends.
The ICBSD Member Networks will bring community bankers together to exchange ideas. Forming these peer groups is a fantastic way for community bankers to stay up to date with the latest changes. ICBSD President, Greg McCurry, has set up the Member Networks programming and they will begin in late March. Please visit our ICBSD home page to learn more about our Member Networks.
The ICBA Washington Policy Summit at the Hyatt Regency, Washington, DC, is April 24-27. Contact Greg McCurry if you would have an interest in going to the Washington Policy Summit. Teresa and I went last year and it was a very educational experience. It was impressive to see all these community bankers take up a grassroots effort to meet their congressional delegation and share their concerns.
As I close, I just want to say how fortunate I am to be a community banker. Despite the challenges of burdensome regulation, it is very rewarding to see the positive influences we have on our communities. Thank you to all the community bankers and the ICBSD staff whose mission it is to make community banks better.
Our mild November and December has given farmers and ranchers time to finish up late fall projects and graze their cattle on corn stubble and cover crops. We are blessed and thankful to have an extra month of fall.
Early last month, ICBSD held its CEO/Directors Conference in Sioux Falls, SD. ICBSD tried something different this year and scheduled this event the day after the EideBailly conference. This allowed our member banks to attend both events without an extra travel date. Our speaker, Philip Smith, spoke about director and officer responsibilities, methods to enhance shareholder value without buying and selling and enhancing shareholder value through purchase or sale. Mr. Smith did a great job speaking and kept our bankers and directors engaged in his case studies. In my opinion, Mr. Smith was definitely a top-tier speaker and the subject of his presentation was right on. Based on the comments we received and the increase in attendance, it appears that our CEO/Directors conference was successful and a great value for our membership.
On the regulatory front, it appears that community banks got a small victory. The highway bill recently passed, and with the help of the ICBA, Federal Reserve member banks under $10 billion will not have to surrender any of their Federal Reserve dividends. This is a small victory, but a victory is a victory. We need to stay diligent in fighting for more regulatory relief, and hopefully, we will elect leaders that recognize that the cumulative effect of regulations are quite burdensome for community banks. I was encouraged when I watched the Republican Debate that Fox Business Channel hosted in October. A number of the candidates spoke about the regulatory burden that community banks are facing and that the impact was much worse for a small community bank due to the lack of economies of scale. The candidates also recognized that the community banks are the lifeblood for the local economy of small communities. It seemed like they were very sympathetic to the need for community bank regulatory relief.
As we pray for the victims of the San Bernardino terrorist attack, it is being reported that the two terrorists were financed through a personal loan of $28,000 obtained through an online bank. The online bank wired the loan proceeds to the terrorist’s bank account and they withdrew $10,000 cash. I hope that those banks had good CIP procedures and that they were followed. This reminds us bankers that we need to know who we do business with, an advantage that community banks have over big banks. Most community banks have a business model that builds relationships with their customers and that the owners, directors, officers and employees live in the communities they serve. It could be argued that the community bank model helps keep our country safer.
Thank you to the banks and associate members that attended this year’s CEO/Directors conference. I would also like to thank our sponsors for this event. It would not be possible to host a quality event without the help from our sponsors. I had a great time reconnecting and meeting other bankers from around the state and I always look forward to the next time we meet.
I wish everyone a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
As we transition from summer to fall, we plan and prepare for the upcoming seasons. Farmers and ranchers start harvesting, move
cattle from summer pastures and gather feed and hay for the upcoming
winter. I like to visit with my Ag customers to see how harvest is going and how the cattle faired over the summer. So far this fall has been ideal for harvesting and making preparations for the winter season. With the weekend temperatures in the 90’s.
On August 25 the ICBSD board of directors met for a strategic planning session in Sioux Falls, SD. Mr. Philip Smith of Gerrish McCreary Smith Consultants and Attorneys was the facilitator. Also in attendance was Joe Schneider, ICBA Senior Vice President State Relations. We had a wide-ranging discussion on various areas to improve the association. This was a productive session that gave us some useful ideas to improve the value of ICBSD for our members.
Two things that stood out, and that the board members unanimously agreed on, was that it was very important that the association remain independent and that additional staffing is needed to help with the administrative functions of our association. We will be in the process of satisfying our staffing needs by hiring an administrative assistant, or
partnering with another association to handle the administrative
functions of our association. This will free up President Greg McCurry’s time for more productive tasks. The strategic planning session was a valuable process and gave the board a road map to plan for the future of
The association is trying something new with the upcoming CEO/Directors’ Conference at the Hilton Garden Inn, Downtown Sioux Falls, SD. We scheduled the CEO/Directors’ conference the day after the Eide Bailly Bankers Seminar. The Eide Bailly seminar starts at noon
on November 4th and concludes with dinner and an evening speaker. Our CEO/Directors’ conference begins at 8:00am November 5th and concludes at 3:00 pm. This will give our members an opportunity to attend both quality events. Please visit our web site at www.iscsd.com
and sign up for this year’s CEO/Directors Conference. A link to the Eide Bailly seminar can be found on our web site as well.
Congratulations to Emily Hofer, who has been elected to the ICBA Federal Delegate Board. Emily will be a great voice for South Dakota community banks. With Emily’s election to the ICBA Federal Delegate Board, the ISBSD board will be looking for a replacement to fill Emily’s
vacancy on our board. Please contact me or one of our board members if you or someone you know would have an interest in serving on the ICBSD board.
I hope everyone has a great fall and a safe hunting season, and I look forward to seeing you at the ICBSD CEO/Directors Conference.