Workplace Violence Training

After last week's unfortunate events in the Eufaula bank robbery and homicide, the ABA received quite a few inquiries regarding robbery training. CNA Insurance, our Endorsed Vendor, is offering a free one-hour educational webcast on February 17:

CPPS #1 Extreme Violence Awareness and Response
Wednesday, February 17, 2016
Time: 12:00 PM Central Standard Time

This webinar is focused on Extreme Violence Awareness and Response, including active shooter events. This may be especially helpful for bank leadership—including human resource managers and your security officers. If you feel that this would be beneficial to you or your staff members, please click here to register.

We will be finalizing more “Active Shooter” training shortly.

Banking News

Jackson Named Arkansas Bankers Association SVP/COO February 12, 2016

Mr. Barry Jackson has been named Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer for the Arkansas Bankers Association in Little Rock. Jackson will begin at the Association on February 29, 2016.

In the SVP/COO role, Jackson will provide oversight to the processes and day-to-day operations of the Association, as well as essential support and leadership to the Professional Development, Communications, Government Relations, and Finance departments. He will also continue the Association’s commitment to providing its members various programs and services to meet the needs of Arkansas’s banking industry.

“Barry’s extensive experience in our banking industry – specifically his leadership in marketing and new products – will be a great asset to our members,” said Bill Holmes, president & CEO of the Association. “I am confident that his expertise and leadership will help our Association fulfill its important responsibilities to support a strong financial sector, which is so crucial to economic growth in our communities and our state.”

Jackson has over 14 years of banking experience, leading customer focused driven teams through retail and marketing delivery channels. He has extensive knowledge of market research and analytics, consumer relationship management, digital strategic positioning, product development, and media relations.

Prior to joining the Association, Jackson served as Vice President & Product Manager for Simmons First National Bank. Formerly, he was the Senior Vice President and Marketing Manager at Metropolitan National Bank. He has also held positions with AmSouth Bank and Regions Bank in Memphis, Tenn.

Jackson is a 2000 graduate of the University of Mississippi, Oxford, where he received a bachelor’s degree in business administration with an emphasis in marketing.

Originally from Jonesboro, Barry is the son of long-time Arkansas banker Ron Jackson and Susan Ferguson Jackson. He resides in Little Rock with his wife Rachel and two children Greer, four, and Connor, one.

Arkansas Bankers Association Joins AmBA Foundation’s Safe Banking for Seniors Campaign February 11, 2016

The Arkansas Bankers Association is joining the American Bankers Association Foundation’s Safe Banking for Seniors campaign. Through this campaign, ABA will mobilize bankers across Arkansas to educate older Americans and their caregivers about elder financial abuse and how to prevent it.

“We’ve found that bankers are often the first line of defense against elder financial fraud from educating and advising customers to spotting the signs of abuse,” said ABA President & CEO Bill Holmes. “We take our role seriously, and the more we can educate seniors and their caregivers, the better protected they can be.”

“We’re pleased that the Arkansas Bankers Association has pledged to join in the fight against elder financial abuse,” said Corey Carlisle, executive director, AmBA Foundation. “We look forward to working closely with the association to educate seniors and their caregivers in Arkansas.”

Registered bankers will receive event materials, lesson plans, media outreach tools and best practices through the AmBA Foundation. The lesson plans focus on the following four topics:

• Identifying and Avoiding Scams;
• Protecting Your Assets by Preventing Identity Theft;
• Choosing a Financial Caregiver; and
• Acting as a Responsible Financial Caregiver.

Banks can register to participate in the initiative at

AmBA Raises CECL Concerns During Long-Awaited FASB Meeting

February 5, 2016

During a sometimes-heated roundtable conversation Thursday, AmBA staff and member bankers raised important concerns about the Financial Standards Accounting Board’s proposed Current Expected Credit Loss model for loan loss accounting. FASB board members said they would address several of AmBA’s concerns as the final standard is issued and implementation proceeds over the next few years.

The roundtable was convened after two years of requests from ABA, which has long argued that the weightiness of the accounting changes envisioned warranted more intensive public discussions. AmBA VP Mike Gullette and three member bankers present focused on several key points that the CECL standard still needs to address prior to implementation, including the need for further clarification on the expectations and assumptions auditors will operate under when assessing banks’ loan loss models, a more specific life-of-loan concept and the scalability of the standard to community banks of varying sizes.

Auditors at the meeting agreed about the need for more defined terms to help ensure consistency in assessing the standard, which FASB members said they would provide. Meanwhile, FASB was urged by several present to issue an updated exposure draft before proceeding with the final standard.

AmBA’s tone of firm but constructive feedback and participation contrasted sharply at times with the harsher rhetoric of other panelists. However, the tone at the conclusion of the meeting was one of careful optimism that the CECL standard could, with the inclusion of more concrete guidance, definitions and examples, be successfully implemented at institutions of various sizes. Regulators present also expressed their commitment to making the CECL standard work in the supervisory process.

Click here to read the full report from the roundtable.
Click here to listen to the conversation.
Click here to read AmBA’s high-level CECL backgrounder.
Click here to read AmBA’s updated CECL discussion paper.

MILITARY BANKING: AmBA Issues Staff Analysis on Military Status Determinations February 5, 2016

In a members-only staff analysis issued yesterday, AmBA provided background information and an FAQ on how banks can determine military or military dependent status for loan applications as required by recent Military Lending Act regulations.

The staff analysis outlines the three options for making these determinations: directly accessing to the Defense Manpower Data Center database, querying the DMDC website (which is different from the SCRA website) or requesting a credit report. The first two options are free, while the third will carry an extra charge and does not cover military dependents.

AmBA has encouraged all banks to request direct access to the DMDC database. While both direct access and using the website provide immediate individual responses, direct access will also facilitate immediate responses to batched queries. Batched queries to the website may require a 24-hour turnaround time.

Banks wishing to request direct access must email by Feb. 15. The staff analysis provides further information about how to apply. Once a bank has applied, it will receive a questionnaire that must be returned by Feb. 19. Due to limited resources, the Pentagon will determine which institutions can receive direct access based on their volume.

House Passes AmBA-Backed Anti-‘Choke Point’ Bill

February 5, 2016

By a bipartisan 250-to-169 vote, the House yesterday approved a bill that would end the Justice Department’s Operation Choke Point initiative, which sought to curtail disfavored businesses by working through regulators to pressure financial institutions to end customer relationships with these businesses. H.R. 766 -- introduced by Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer (R-Mo.) -- would require regulators to present a material reason for ordering the termination of a customer relationship.

“Banks already keep records and report suspicious activities to law enforcement; however, some recent programs instituted by federal banking agencies make banks responsible for policing customers,” AmBA said in a memo to House members. “Banks should not be judge and jury on whether customers are operating legally. Combating financial fraud works best when we work together with our regulatory agencies and law enforcement.” Click here to read the memo.

Read more

Bank Industry News

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FS-ISAC Security Update

FS-ISAC Security Information Available to ABA Members

ABA members can now access FSā€ISAC security threat information via the FS-ISAC Weekly Risk Summary Report, designed for community institutions to deliver timely and actionable information on significant security threats.

Click here to access the most recent Weekly Risk Summary Report.