In the March 16 edition of the Wisconsin Banker Daily, WBA shared information about on-site vaccine clinic requests. Wisconsin’s vaccine distribution is rapidly evolving, and Governor Tony Evers announced yesterday that people with certain medical conditions will be eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine on March 22, which is a week earlier than previously expected. In addition, Milwaukee is further expanding vaccine eligibility for all people age 18 and older living in 10 at-risk ZIP codes that rank high on an index of social vulnerability. See more on the ZIP code-based eligibility in Milwaukee. WBA Legal and Communications have worked together with Boardman & Clark to develop the following FAQs for Wisconsin banks. Banks should reach out to legal counsel for specific advice on their individual circumstances when contemplating or establishing an on-site clinic. 

Important Dates:  

  • March 17:  Vaccinators who will administer vaccines at on-site clinics must have their allocation requests into DHS by March 17 to receive doses for the weeks of March 29 and April 5. Contact a local vaccinator today if you wish to host an on-site vaccination clinic in the coming weeks.  WBA understands that it may be difficult to find available vaccinators in the short term due to high demand of their services.  
  • March 17: Milwaukee is expanding vaccine eligibility for all people age 18 and older living in 10 at-risk ZIP codes that rank high on an index of social vulnerability. https://county.milwaukee.gov/EN/COVID-19/COVID-19-Vaccine 
  • March 22:  Vaccine eligibility expands to include individuals age 16 and older with specified medical conditions.  
  • May 1:  DHS plans to open vaccine eligibility to all individuals age 16 and older.  

The COVID-19 vaccination program is rapidly evolving, and the state and federal governments will continue to communicate information as it becomes available. 

Question 1: Who provides and administers the vaccines for an employer-based vaccination clinic? 

Answer: Only state-authorized vaccinators, such as hospitals, doctor’s offices, pharmacies, and public health departments, can obtain and administer vaccinations. An employer must locate and work with an approved vaccinator to start the process of hosting an employer-based vaccination clinic. A list of vaccine providers is available here. Due to the fact that many of these vaccinators may be fully occupied at their regular places of employment, it may be difficult from a practical perspective to find available vaccinators at this early time. Once located, work with the vaccine provider to determine a targeted date, location, and number of vaccines needed for the clinic. Vaccinators who intend to request an allocation of vaccine specifically to support a closed, employer-based clinic can now make a separate request to DHS receive a dedicated allocation as vaccine & supplies are available. Banks may inform their employees that they must give notice if the employee intends to get vaccinated at the on-site clinic. The vaccine provider will submit a request to DHS for the vaccine. Requests will be accepted through the current bi-weekly allocation survey every other Wednesday, beginning on March 17. The vaccine provider will be notified by DHS if the request is approved. Please keep in mind that requests for vaccine exceed the current supply and DHS will not be able to fulfill all requests.  

DHS has issued the following documents for employers who would like to host a clinic in their workplace:  

DHS Guidelines: Wisconsin Employer-Based COVID-19 Vaccination Clinics  

DHS COVID-19 Vaccination Program: Planning a Vaccination Clinic Checklist  

Additional information is available from the CDC:

CDC Recommendations: Workplace Vaccination Program  

Question 2: How do I determine whether my bank needs an on-site vaccine clinic?  

Answer: Whether a bank should offer a “closed clinic” to those employees currently eligible for vaccination is a business decision to be made by the bank. Some institutions have a significant number of employees who are eligible, other institutions do not. In order to determine if there is sufficient employee interest to warrant an on-site vaccine clinic (and so that the vaccinator can order sufficient supply of the vaccine), banks can ask employees if they have received the vaccine already or if they wish to receive the vaccine through a potential on-site clinic. Such information must be retained confidentially. Due to anti-discrimination laws, banks should not ask follow-up questions such as why an individual might or might not wish to receive the vaccine. Additionally, banks may be asked by vaccinators to prioritize employees in case they do not receive the full requested number of vaccines. Employers must be careful to comply with applicable anti-discrimination laws when prioritizing employees. To that end, creating the prioritization list based on employee job duties is advisable. 

Question 3: Where are bank employees prioritized in the COVID-19 distribution by the state?   

Answer: Despite efforts by our financial services coalition, bank employees — public-facing or otherwise — have not been designated as eligible as a group for the vaccine at this time by the Department of Health Services (DHS) or the Governor’s administration. However, bank personnel may be eligible to receive the vaccine using criteria that isn’t specific to their occupation, such as being 65 or older. Beginning March 22, overall vaccine eligibility will be significantly expanded to include individuals ages 16 and over who have certain health or medical conditions. For a list of individuals currently eligible, and those who gain health-related eligibility on March 22, please refer to this release from Gov. Evers.  

Question 4: What timeline do employers need to keep in mind?  

Answer: If an employer would like to host a clinic the week of March 29 or April 5, they must reach out to a vaccinator as soon as possible as vaccinators must submit their requests to DHS today (March 17). Those who miss the March 17 deadline must wait until March 31 to be approved. Also, keep in mind that eligibility for vaccines will be greatly expanded on March 22 when individuals age 16 and older with specified medical conditions will become eligible for vaccination. Therefore, an on-site clinic offered after March 22 may reach a greater percentage of your workforce. 

Question 5: What information can bankers provide to employees seeking vaccines?  

Answer: Employees may be directed to the DHS webpage COVID-19:  Where Can I Get Vaccinated for more information. WBA members are invited to attend the upcoming webinar for more information.

WBA Webinar – Coronavirus Management Series:  Vaccinations & Beyond  

On Thursday, March 25 from Noon – 1:30 p.m., WBA will be hosting Coronavirus Management Series: Vaccinations & Beyond, a free webinar detailing the current status of the COVID-19 pandemic. The webinar will be recorded and available to the membership following the live webinar. 

By, Alex Paniagua

First Business Bank is pleased to announce the promotion of Kim Preston to senior vice president, treasury management, Milwaukee market leader.

“As one of our longest-serving First Business Bank employees, Kim combines hard work with her in-depth experience to our clients’ advantage,” said Kevin Kane, president, southeast Wisconsin Market of First Business Bank. “I’m so pleased to work with Kim and it’s my honor to help recognize her accomplishments at First Business Bank.”

Preston has been with First Business Bank for over 28 years and has over 35 years of experience in financial services. Preston leads the Milwaukee treasury management team to assist businesses to improve cash flow, fraud mitigation, improve efficiencies, and maximize earnings. She has worked in numerous areas in the banking industry, including treasury management, operations, client services, business development, and internal audit.

View Bulletin Board.

By, Alex Paniagua

Q: When does the HMDA Partial Exemption Apply?

A: The Home Mortgage Disclosure Act’s (HMDA) partial exemption applies based on a loan-volume threshold for originations made during each of the two preceding calendar years. The Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief, and Consumer Protection Act created partial exemptions from some of HMDA’s requirements for certain financial institutions. In order for a partial exemption to apply, an eligible financial institution must meet a loan-volume threshold. The threshold is whether the institution originated fewer than 500 of closed-end loans and open-end lines of credit, counted separately, during each of the two preceding calendar years. For example, a partial exemption applies to an eligible financial institution’s applications for originations of, and purchases of closed-end mortgage loans if the institution originated fewer than 500 closed-end mortgage loans in each of the two preceding calendar years. To illustrate, consider the following two scenarios:

  • Bank A originated 490 closed-end loans during 2019, and 499 closed-end loans during 2020.
  • Bank B originated 490 closed-end loans during 2019, and 501 closed-end loans during 2020.

Bank A would receive the partial exemption in 2021 for closed-end mortgage loans. Bank B would not. Furthermore, Bank B would not receive the partial exemption in 2022. A similar analysis would need to be performed for open-end lines of credit. Banks should carefully consider their loan-volume thresholds in each given year if they are looking to take advantage of a partial exemption. Exceeding the threshold would mean required reporting of additional data fields.

If you have any questions on this topic or other matters of compliance, contact WBA’s legal call program at 608-441-1200 or wbalegal@wisbank.com.

By, Alex Paniagua

MADISON, Wis. – Cassandra Krause has been hired as the communications manager at the Wisconsin Bankers Association (WBA). Krause serves as the association’s primary media contact and is responsible for overseeing internal and external communications for WBA.

Krause previously worked as director of communications and marketing at the Wisconsin Association of Independent Colleges and Universities. Prior to that role, she worked in international business and development in France, Cameroon, and Germany.

Originally from Eau Claire, Wisconsin, Krause holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Wisconsin–Madison and a master’s degree from the Goethe University Frankfurt.

Katie Reiser has been hired as administrative specialist at WBA. Reiser will support the legal and education departments.

Reiser previously worked in Audience Services with Wisconsin Public Media, which is home to Wisconsin Public Radio and PBS Wisconsin. Prior to that role, Reiser was member services director at the Wisconsin Restaurant Association where she led communications, member engagement, and retention efforts.

Reiser has a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from State University of New York at Purchase and is originally from Stevens Point, Wisconsin.

“At WBA, we pride ourselves on hiring top talent and fostering a positive work environment,” said WBA President Rose Oswald Poels, who noted that the average length of service for current WBA employees is more than 14 years. “We are pleased to welcome Cassie and Katie on board and look forward to the contributions they will make to our membership and the industry.”

 

By, Cassie Krause

Origination Updates:    

As the 2021 (1st draw borrowers) are now becoming eligible for their 2nd draw PPP loan, SBA has provided the authorization to adjust the platform controls to ensure you can successfully submit second applications for these borrowers.  We plan to deploy these changes in production in the near future.  

As you know, the PPP platform already supports second draw loans for the borrowers who received their first draw loan last year (2020).  

Here is the summary of technical changes:  

  • If the 2021 first draw loan is fully disbursed, the lender can submit a second draw loan for the borrower.  This will be an important requirement to understand; the 2021 loans will still need to be fully disbursed in ETRAN. You can use the normal 1502 process or direct ETRAN. 
  • Get /api/origination/?tin=NNNNNNNNN&tin_type=N may return more than one Loan details in the response  
  • GET /api/etran_ppp_validation/?sba_number=NNNNNNNNNN can be used by Lenders to validate First draw loan  

With this advance notification, please think about your individual strategies to ensure your interface and systems will support more than one 2021 PPP loans for same borrower as applicable.  

All other PPP controls and requirements regarding 2nd draws will remain in place.  

GitHub will be updated by tomorrow to reflect these changes.

https://ussbappp.github.io/index.html 

Feel free to reach out to developer@ussbaforgiveness.com, if you have any technical queries.

By, Alex Paniagua

Wisconsin's bankers are the definition of "community advocates" in all that you do every day to improve your local economy through your bank's products and services, as well as through your generous philanthropy of time and money. This column shares and celebrates the diverse backgrounds, experiences, perspectives, and innovation of some of the extraordinary bankers in this state.

The following is a brief interview between WBA President and CEO Rose Oswald Poels and First National Bank and Trust President and CEO David McCoy. 

Rose: How did you first get into the banking industry?

David: $500. That’s all it took 36 years ago to set me on the path to becoming President and Chief Executive Officer of First National Bank and Trust (FNBT). Preparing to graduate from college with a degree in accounting, I thought I’d be an accountant. But, after receiving two job offers in one day, the bank job offered $500 more and the rest is history. I like to tell college kids that I got into banking for $10 a week.

What is your favorite aspect of your role at your bank?

Over the years, I held several positions with increasing responsibility. I joined FNBT, Beloit, as Chief Financial Officer in 2016, and was promoted to President in 2018. Now as President and CEO, I value all my experiences and most importantly the relationships with the people I’ve met.

Community banking is about building trust with everyone you come into contact with. You need to be out there, talking with everyone to build trust. That’s what I believe a true community banker does. That’s advice that I take to heart each day at FNBT. I’m a firm believer in open communication, and I believe it’s important to take time to get to know each of your employees. For me, that’s nearly 300 employees at the bank. It’s truly worth it to spend time at events and get involved in the community.

What do you wish the general public understood about the banking industry?

FNBT views itself as a small business, like so many of its customers. We’re faced with many of the same challenges that all businesses navigate. As a bank, it is easy for us to relate to our customers because we’re customers too. Our employees aren’t just bankers. They are also customers and community members. I think the general public forgets that we’re people too. We attend the same churches, shop at the same stores, and have a vested interest in what’s happening locally in our area and beyond.

Where do you believe the industry’s greatest challenges are in the next 3-5 years?

Like many businesses, the banking industry is challenged by the current economic situation. Chicago Federal Reserve Chairman Evans said recently that they believe rates to stay the same or nearly the same until 2024. Banks will need to learn how to drive profit with this continued compressed margin environment. We’ll need to do even more with our existing resources. We’ve talked so much about revenue diversity in the past, but now we are being forced to come up with ways to continually sustain and grow profits for our shareholders.

The global pandemic has certainly added more complexity, but FNBT was there to provide support and resources for its community and customers. I’m proud of our team’s work. Our operations never stopped; we simply adjusted the way we delivered service. We continue to provide support for employees throughout the adjustment which allows us to focus on our customers. We constantly invest in our employee family because we care.

Please describe your current role at your bank and share with us one of your more rewarding experiences.

We helped 665 businesses secure nearly $78 million in funding which impacted more than 9,600 local jobs through the first round of the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). This was no small feat. Bankers worked around the clock to help our customers, their neighbors.

And it’s not just about providing financial support. Volunteer work is an important part of my role at FNBT. After relocating to Beloit, I became a volunteer board member of a not-for-profit hospital. I’ve also been involved with a major education initiative in Beloit. The community ranks in the bottom 10 of schools in the state, so I want to help turn that around.

In 2019, FNBT employees volunteered more than 3,200 hours of time to non-profit organizations and the bank donated to nearly 300 agencies. The pandemic changed the volunteerism landscape, but the bank donated nearly $70,000 in COVID-19 specific programs in 2020, including an Employee Directed Donation Campaign allowing employees to select area organizations to support. A total of $2,500 was donated to over 50 non-profit agencies through this initiative. These programs provided critical support to our communities during a very difficult time, and we’re all proud of our work. The commitment to our community family through giving and continued volunteerism shows that we live up to our mission of treating others like family. It has been a difficult time for everyone, but FNBT continues to do the right thing to help everyone succeed.

By, Alex Paniagua

James L. Koopman, Royal Bank, Cassville, has recently been presented with a lifetime service award plaque for 37 years of service.   

WBA is proud to recognize those who have remained dedicated to their banking communities through this award. To nominate a banker you believe is deserving of the lifetime service award, visit WBA’s online registration form here

By, Alex Paniagua

Another BankWork$ class has now graduated! WBA was proud to partner with Employ Milwaukee to bring this nationwide program to Wisconsin. BankWork$ is a free, eight-week training program to prepare participants in primarily underserved neighborhoods for retail banking careers.

This graduating class of four students included Tyree Anderson, Pia Moore, Petra Theurich, and Boonna Vue. Immediately after the graduation ceremony, a hiring event for students was held. Thank you to the following financial institutions for sponsoring this program:

  • Associated Bank
  • Bank Five Nine
  • The Equitable Bank
  • First Federal Bank of Wisconsin
  • First Midwest Bank
  • Spring Bank
  • Waterstone Bank
  • Wells Fargo

By, Alex Paniagua

The American Rescue Plan Act was signed by President Joe Biden on March 11, 2021, which includes provisions related to the Paycheck Protection Program, EIDL, and other items of interest to the banking industry, including the following: 

2021 Recovery Rebate to Individuals 

The new law offers another stimulus payment to individuals. In general, an eligible taxpayer is to receive the sum of $1,400 ($2,800 in the case of a joint return) plus $1,400 for each dependent of the taxpayer. Persons who are a nonresident alien individual, a dependent of another taxpayer, or an estate or trust is not considered eligible. Taxpayers with adjusted gross income over $75,000 or in the case of a joint return over $150,000 are also not eligible for the direct payment. The IRS has already taken steps necessary to send ACH files and to mail payments.  

Currently, there is no exemption in the new law from garnishment. WBA is working with others to encourage quick, standalone legislation to protect the new stimulus payment from garnishment orders.  

Modifications to PPP 

The new law adds additional funding into the program, increasing the CARES Act commitment of $806,450,000,000 to $813,700,000,000. The new law adds COBRA premium assistance costs as allowable payroll costs under PPP.  

The new law also expands eligibility to “an additional covered nonprofit” which is a nonprofit other than a 501(c)(3),(4),(6), or (19), and is exempt from tax under 501(a) of the Internal Revenue Code. To be eligible, the additional covered nonprofit entity cannot receive more than 15% of its receipts from lobbying activities; the costs of the lobbying activities of the nonprofit entity did not exceed $1,000,000 during the most recent tax year of the additional covered nonprofit entity that ended prior to February 15, 2020; and the nonprofit entity employs not more than 300 employees.  

The new law also makes eligible an Internet publishing organization. This includes a business concern or organization that was not eligible before the enactment of the new law that is assigned a NAICS code of 519130, certifies in good faith it is an Internet-only news publisher or Internet-only periodical publisher and is engaged in the collection and distribution of local or regional and national news and information. The organization is eligible to receive a covered loan for the continued provision of news, information, content, or emergency information. The entity cannot employ more than 500 employees, or the size standard established by SBA for that North American Industry Classification code, per physical location of the business concern or organization. The business concern or organization must make a good faith certification that proceeds of the loan will be used to support expenses at the component of the business concern or organization that supports local or regional news. 

The amendments apply only to applications for forgiveness of covered loans that are received on or after the date of enactment of the American Rescue Plan Act.  

Targeted EIDL Advance 

The law appropriated an additional $15,000,000,000 to the EIDL program. $5,000,000,000 is to be used in amounts of $5,000 to covered entities that suffered an economic loss of greater than 50% which employ not more than 10 employees.  

Relief to Restaurants  

The new law creates a Restaurant Revitalization Grant Program for those that suffered pandemic-related revenue loss. “Restaurants” include food stand, food truck, food cart, caterer, saloon, inn, tavern, bar, lounge, brewpub, tasting room, taproom, licensed facility or premise of a beverage alcohol producer where the public may taste, sample, or purchase products, or other similar place of business in which the public or patrons assemble for the primary purpose of being served food or drink. 

An eligible restaurant that receives a grant may use the grant funds for certain expenses incurred as a direct result of, or during, the COVID–19 pandemic, including: payroll costs, payments of principal or interest on any mortgage obligation (which shall not include any prepayment of principal on a mortgage obligation), rent payments, including rent under a lease agreement (which shall not include any prepayment of rent), utilities, and certain maintenance expenses.  

Agricultural Programs 

The new law creates an emergency rural development grants program for rural health care, funding for USDA Office of Inspector General for oversight of COVID-19 related programs, and farm loan assistance and USDA assistance and support for socially disadvantaged farmers and ranchers.  

Housing Provisions 

The new law provides emergency rental assistance not to exceed 18 months, including for the payment of rent, rental arrears, utilities and home energy costs and arrears, and other expenses related to housing to be defined. Appropriations were also made for homelessness assistance and supportive services program.  

The new law also creates a Homeowner Assistance Fund meant to mitigate financial hardships associated with the COVID-19 pandemic. Funds are to be provided to eligible entities for the purpose of preventing homeowner mortgage delinquencies, defaults, foreclosures, loss of utilities or home energy services, and displacements of homeowners experiencing financial hardship after January 21, 2020, through qualified expenses related to mortgages and housing.  

Qualified expenses include: mortgage payment assistance, financial assistance to allow a homeowner to reinstate a mortgage or to pay other housing-related costs related to a period of forbearance, delinquency, or default, principal reduction, facilitating interest rate reductions, payment assistance for utilities, including electric, gas, home energy, and water, internet service, including broadband internet access service, homeowner’s insurance, flood insurance, and mortgage insurance, and homeowner’s association, condominium association fees, or common charges.   

Other Provisions 

The new law also offers relief in the areas of nutrition, education, public transportation, and an extension of unemployment assistance.  

WBA will report on more of the American Rescue Plan Act as programs begin and as Treasury implements the various new or revised programs. Click here to view the bill.    

By, Alex Paniagua

Willard Leonard Ogren, 87, of Iron River, Wis., died on Friday, March 5th, 2021 at St. Luke’s Hospital in Duluth, Minn. Willard was born on Sept. 22, 1933, in Superior, Wis., the son of Swan Leonard and Amanda Sabina (Gustafson) Ogren.

Willard grew up in Port Wing, Wis. and graduated from South Shore High School in 1951, where he was an outstanding athlete in basketball, track, and baseball. Sadly, his athletic endeavors were cut short when he was diagnosed with tuberculosis and had to spend the majority of his senior year in the Bayfield Sanitarium.

He married Geraldine Marie Renier, “Jeri”, the love of his life, on July 26th, 1958. They celebrated 62 wonderful years together before his passing. Willard and Jeri raised their family in Port Wing, Wis. and then moved to Iron River, Wis. Neighbors often saw Willard on the pontoon in the summer, snowmobiling in the winter, or driving his “thoroughly used” 4-wheeler with Jeri, or side-saddle, through the neighborhood visiting family and friends. Willard’s passions were traveling the world with Jeri, family ski trips, and attending all of his children’s or grandchildren’s academic or athletic events.

In 1952, Willard started working as a teller at Security State Bank in Port Wing, Wis. and attended college at the University of Wisconsin-Superior. After one year of college, he left to pursue banking full time. In a short time, he was promoted to bank manager at Security State Bank in Iron River, Wis. Throughout his years, Willard and Jeri purchased stock and became the owners of the Security State Bank (Port Wing, Iron River, Brule). Later acquired Security Bank and Farmers State Bank (New Auburn, Ridgeland, Dallas, Sand Creek, and Bloomer, WI.) At 87, Willard was still working at the bank every day closing in on a 70-year career in the industry he loved and where he always had time and a story to tell anyone who called or stopped in. He felt great gratification when customers’ businesses grew and prospered. His appetite to be busy lead him into additional business endeavors in the insurance, hotel and other various ventures.

Over the years, Willard has served on many boards and associations including the Wisconsin Bankers Association, the American Bankers Association Council, Washington D.C., and the Minneapolis Federal Reserve Bank Nominating Committee.

Throughout his years, Willard has given back to his community by volunteering to numerous organizations, some being: Lions Club Charter member 56 yrs, Salvation Army board member 20yrs, Management of Toys for Tots and Teens which has provided Christmas presents for over 25 years. He and Jeri have provided scholarships to South Shore and Northwestern School Districts and to U.M.D. He purchased computers for all South Shore K-12 students along with donating funds to improve the athletic facilities. He created the First Lutheran Church Trust in Port Wing to ensure the churches future existence.

He was preceded in death by his parents, infant daughter, Diane, brother, Vernon, and sister, Evelyn Addis.

Willard is survived by his wife, Geraldine; children, Scott (Melanie), their children, Eric, Kayla (Lamine Aidara), Weston, Amanda, and Andrew; Mark (Lisa), their children Will, Derek (Cassie), and David; Lori; and Greg (Chris), their children Brooke, Jack, and Grant; sister-in-law, Helen Ogren, and brother-in-law, Paul Addis.

A visitation will be held on Sunday, March 21st, from 4-6 p.m. at Downs-LeSage Funeral Home, 1304 Hammond Ave, Superior, Wis. The funeral on Monday, March 22nd, will be for family only, but the celebration of life is open to all and will take place after the funeral at Northern Pines Golf Course in Iron River, Wis. from 3-6 p.m.

In lieu of flowers, a memorial can be made to Port Wing and Iron River Lutheran Churches.

The Downs-LeSage Funeral Home, 1304 Hammond Avenue, Superior is assisting the family with arrangements. To leave a condolence or sign the guestbook, please visit www.downs-lesage.com.

View Bulletin Board.

By, Alex Paniagua