Wisconsin state capital building view from above

Rose Oswald PoelsBy Rose Oswald Poels

In all facets, 2021 has been a busy year for WBA. Between keeping up with COVID-19 regulations and providing up-to-date resources for our member banks, WBA staff have worked tirelessly to advocate for the banks which our association serves.

Our government relations team has had a particularly busy fall from a policy perspective and so we decided to create periodic videos to keep you, your staff, and your board of directors easily (and quickly) informed not only on what is occurring in the industry but also how these key issues impact Wisconsin banks.

On October 6, WBA and 87 member banks joined in opposition of the Credit Union Legislation (AB 478/SB 451) which would provide credit unions with even more tools to grow beyond the intention of their original chartered mission much to the detriment of Wisconsin’s taxpaying banks and citizens. The grassroots involvement by bankers from around the state that signed on to the letter as well as appeared in person at the hearing allowed us to stop the bill’s current progression, though the work is certainly not done yet. It is because of your engagement that WBA is able to effectively fight against threats to our industry. In taking time out of your day to meet with legislators, they become more informed about the issues that impact us the most.

Twice in the fall session, banks have faced threats related to interchange/credit card swipe fees which call for the prohibition of interchange fees on the tax portion of a transaction. WBA successfully opposed this from being included into the state budget but have and will continue to oppose it as a standalone bill (AB 587/SB 572) as brought forth by the retail coalition.

While both of these bills will remain on our radar as we look onward into 2022, through the efforts of WBA and its member banks, each bill has only been heard by the Assembly Committee of Financial Institutions. It remains important for us to maintain momentum with our legislators until the sessions on each of these bills expires early next year.

Please share this inaugural video with your staff and Board so that they are informed of the top state legislative issues affecting banks. We plan to continue to produce the advocacy-focused videos periodically throughout the year to share both policy and political updates. Thank you again for your active engagement on policy issues as we navigate the next several months of the legislative session. Your voice on behalf of the industry leaves lasting impacts on legislators and doesn’t go unnoticed.

North Shore Bank has announced John Whalen as the new consumer loan originator. In this new role, Whalen will be responsible for assisting customers in finding, processing and securing a variety of loans.

“We couldn’t be more excited for John to join our team,” said Chris Boland, vice president of consumer lending manager at North Shore Bank. “His vast experience and emphasis on customer service will be a great benefit to our customers and employees.”

Whalen has nearly 25 years of banking experience. He currently resides in Hustisford, Wis. and is a board member and vice president of the Lake Sinissippi Association.

Midwest Bankers Insurance Services (MBIS) will be celebrating its 10-year anniversary in December. Following several years of financial downturn throughout the U.S. and an increasing need for state association-run insurance agencies that could defend and advocate for the banking industry, MBIS was founded in 2011. What started as a purchase of BancInsure’s “Book of Business” flourished into policies that span multiple insurance carriers and specialization of offerings that better help protect local, Midwestern banks.

“Wisconsin Bankers Association (WBA) is a co-owner of MBIS along with the Minnesota Bankers Association (MBA). MBIS is an independent insurance agency focused exclusively on community banks” says Daryll Lund, MBIS president as well as WBA executive vice president and chief of staff. “As an association owned company, ultimately revenue we receive from our success in MBIS supports the overall mission of WBA. MBIS now serves over 225 bank clients in Wisconsin, Minnesota, and North Dakota.”

MBIS prides itself on their understanding of community banks, emerging claim trends, best practices, internal control guidance, and policy placement which provides safety and security to banks. “Insurance for banks by people who know banks” has allowed each of MBIS product offerings to be customized for insurance protection and a high level of policy education to meet the needs of member banks.

MBIS is comprised of a team of dedicated professionals who understand insurance and community banks. Along with Jeff Otteson, vice president of sales, the Wisconsin MBIS team members include Melissa Noonan, account manager, and Becky Gatzke, insurance assistant.

As well as providing professional insight and education, keeping up on industry trends that effect community banks is a priority for MBIS. “In my 32 years working with financial institutions, I haven’t seen a market harden [like] I’ve seen the cyber liability market” said Otteson. “This is primarily due to the huge increase in ransomware claim payments. The insurance carriers are requiring various internal controls, getting ahead of these internal control requirements before renewal date will be key to securing terms and to soften the premium increase.”

By proving the highest quality service and education, MBIS has helped community banks protect their earnings and capital in times of uncertainty while providing guidance ahead of emerging trends.

By Hannah Flanders

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Public Continues to Place Their Trust in Banks

Banks continue to be a safe place for consumers to keep their money, as evidenced by a 10.42% year-over-year (YoY) climb in deposits from Q3 2020 to Q3 2021. Net loans and leases have seen a slight increase quarter over quarter from Q2 to Q3 of 2021 (0.62%), led largely by an increase in residential loans. A notable downward trend of noncurrent loans and leases (-32.76% Q3 YoY) highlights the financial health of borrowers and their ability to repay their loans. The economy continues to show positive signs of rebound for banks and consumers in the state alike.

Statement on the release of third-quarter 2021 Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) numbers from Rose Oswald Poels, president and CEO of the Wisconsin Bankers Association:

“A slight increase seen quarter over quarter continues a positive, albeit slow upward trend in lending, led primarily by real estate lending. In terms of business lending, trends reflect business owners’ caution with their borrowing needs. While some businesses have fewer borrowing needs due to government stimulus funding and the Paycheck Protection Program, other business owners are more hesitant to borrow due to supply chain issues and worker shortages that are hindering their abilities to grow.” 

FDIC-Reported Wisconsin Numbers (Dollar Figures in Thousands)

   9/30/2021  6/30/2021  QoQ Change  9/30/2020  YoY Change 
Net loans and leases  93,094,545  92,517,179  0.62%  95,421,724  -2.44% 
Total deposits  115,910,175  112,163,897  3.34%  104,974,630  10.42% 
Commercial and industrial loans  15,937,802  17,112,381  -6.86%  20,794,154  -23.35% 
Residential loans  22,778,040  22,568,675  0.93%  23,396,775  -2.64% 
Farmland loans  3,552,841  3,544,220  0.24%  3,530,046  0.65% 
Farm loans  4,411,240  4,272,003  3.26%  4,786,095  -7.83% 
Total assets  141,975,630  138,249,203  2.70%  133,465,411  6.38% 
Noncurrent loans and leases  517,173  546,518  -5.37%  769,135  -32.76% 
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WBA-member banks are asked to participate in the American Bankers Association’s survey of the costs of implementing the CFPB’s proposed section 1071 rule (small business data collection). This survey collects information on both the one-time costs of preparing to collect and report the 1071 data, as well as the ongoing costs of collecting and reporting the data once the 1071 rule is in effect. 

We encourage your bank to participate in this important survey. Answering the questions in the survey will help us formulate a comment letter to the CFPB explaining the impact of the 1071 rule, including but not limited to the impact on small banks, and also on small businesses themselves. The CFPB’s estimates of one-time costs were based on a survey of only 100 respondents which was issued before the proposed rule was released, so respondents did not know how broad the rule’s scope would be or how many data points would be required. The CFPB based their estimate of ongoing costs on the costs of reporting HMDA data; we believe there are important differences between mortgage lending and small business lending that require a different assessment of ongoing costs of implementing the 1071 rules.

Be assured that all financial institution data will be kept confidential. If you are not the correct contact for this survey, please forward this request to your bank’s subject matter experts for consideration. We apologize to those of you who are members of more than one related working group as you are probably receiving this survey more than once — as noted below, please only send one response.

Please designate a survey coordinator for your institution, if at all possible, so that we receive one coordinated response from your institution. If you are not able to respond to a question, or if it does not apply to your institution, please skip it, and continue with the rest of the survey. 

Access and complete the survey here. Please respond by Wednesday, December 1. 

Thanks in advance for your cooperation. If you have questions, please contact Kitty Ryan. 

Standing left to right are: JK Walsh, BOM vice president; Molly Scully, BOM vice president; Mike Lindert, BOM president and CEO; and GOLD Representatives Randy Reeg, city administrator; Tonya Petrick; and Jordan Wilke.

Bank of Mauston was proud to donate $10,000.00 to Guardians of Lake Decorah (“GOLD”) for the purchase of an Eco Harvester. GOLD is a non-profit lake association working towards improving water quality in Lake Decorah in Mauston. The purchase of the weed harvesting machine will help provide immediate water quality benefits while still working towards long-term solutions.

According to Michael Lindert, Bank of Mauston president and CEO, “Lake Decorah is a wonderful and important natural resource. Bringing it back to a healthy state will make a real positive impact in the entire Juneau County area. We appreciate the ability to partner with local organizations.”

Ken Thompson, president and CEO of Capitol Bank, is pleased to announce the election of Jay Sekelsky to the Board of Directors of Capitol Bank. He was elected to the position in October 2021 and will serve a three-year term. Sekelsky is currently a partner at Zermatt Investors, LLC, a private partnership that invests in early-stage companies. He retired in September 2018 from Madison Investment Advisors where he was a partner and the Chief Investment Officer. Jay holds a BBA and MBA from the University of Wisconsin – Madison and graduated from the Applied Security Analysis Program.

“Jay’s extensive experience will be an asset to our business, and his passion to serve on nonprofit boards aligns with our Capitol Bank core values,” said Thompson.

Sekelsky has made community involvement a big part of his life and currently serves on several nonprofit boards including Chair of the American Family Children’s Hospital Advisory Board, United Way of Dane County, Wisconsin School of Business Center for Professional & Executive Development, and Edgewood High School Board of Directors. Sekelsky is currently serving on the forprofit boards for West Bend Mutual Insurance Company, eCIO Inc., and Intellivist Inc.

Denise Sonnemann, Marshfield branch manager of Prevail Bank (left), presenting a $500 donation to the Founder of the “CHRISTMAS IN JULY” Charity, “Santa” Greg Cemke (right). The funds will be used to help make a child’s hospital experience in the Marshfield Children’s Hospital a little more bearable and happy.

Prevail Bank donated $500 to support the only Children’s Miracle Network Hospital in central and northern Wisconsin. That hospital is the Marshfield Children’s Hospital. The funds will be used to help make a child’s hospital experience a little more bearable and happy, and to help provide comfort to those parents that are going through a very anxious and nervous time in their lives.

“The charity’s main goal is to help bring smiles and comfort to children and families that have to endure hospitalizations and medical treatment,” said “Santa” Greg Cemke, “CHRISTMAS IN JULY” Charity Founder. “We are very appreciative of Prevail Bank’s donation which will assist with the Charity’s mission of providing a means of allowing the children to escape the hospital environment. This is extremely important during this time. A big Ho! Ho! Ho! Santa thank you to Prevail Bank for being part of the Charity’s effort!”

Denise Sonnemann, Prevail Bank branch manager – Marshfield, shared, “Prevail Bank is proud to support the “CHRISTMAS IN JULY” Charity, the children receiving treatment at the Marshfield Children’s Hospital, and those parents preparing to say good-bye to their child for the last time. Whatever we can do to soften the hurt, accelerate the healing, and provide comfort is priceless.”

The “CHRISTMAS IN JULY” Charity helps fund non-budgeted items that help children in the Marshfield Children’s Hospital. This is its 7th year and the Charity is raising funds for three child experiences: 1) Star light ceiling tiles for treatment and recovery rooms that will help distract and sooth children as they recover from surgery or other procedures, 2) The purchase of six portable gaming systems that can be moved throughout the hospital so families may have fun with their child, and 3) Precious Moment Memories. Life is full of precious moments and for those parents that are preparing to say goodbye to their child, a mold of their child’s hand within theirs, forever captures their love.

Prevail Bank’s goal is to pursue what’s possible within the communities it serves. It is passionate about economic development, financial stability and growth for individuals, families, and businesses. Prevail Bank is a community bank that is continuously looking for ways to give back, support those pursuing dreams, and make things better in central Wisconsin.

Prevail Bank’s Charitable Contributions program is available for local non-profit organizations that help local people in need, especially those with low-to-moderate incomes; stimulate communities financially; and/or enhances the standard of living of those less fortunate. If your organization is interested in applying for funds for a major initiative in your community, go to: Prevail.bank/resources/community.

North Shore Bank has announced it is assisting the Milwaukee Dancing Grannies organization in collecting donations from the public to assist its members and member families impacted by the Waukesha Christmas Parade tragedy. The incident on November 21, 2021, took the lives of three of the dance group’s members and one of its volunteer helpers, and injured and traumatized others.

Milwaukee Dancing Grannies has also set up a GoFundMe page for online donations but it did not have an avenue to accept cash or check donations so North Shore Bank offered assistance.

“We are happy to help our community come together and show support around this tragedy and provide an avenue for cash or check donations,” said Susan T. Doyle, senior vice president of retail banking at North Shore Bank.

Cash or check donations can be made through the drive-up, video tellers, and lobbies at all 45 bank offices throughout eastern Wisconsin and northern Illinois.

WBA Legal has prepared a new toolkit to help senior management, commercial lenders, loan processors, compliance officers, and others involved with small business lending to better understand the impact of CFPB’s recently proposed small business rule on the bank. Once finalized, the requirement to collect and report certain data about small business credit applicants will have a dramatic impact on current application and processing operations and record retention.  

A PowerPoint summarizing CFPB’s proposed rule has been created for use by staff who seek to present the main components of the proposal to lending and processing staff. The PowerPoint provides a background, proposed compliance dates, information regarding covered financial institutions, definition of small business, minority-owned and women-owned business, definition of covered application and covered credit transaction, what data must be collected, and reporting information.  

In addition to the PowerPoint, the toolkit also includes a complete outline of the proposed rule, including the proposed commentary and several appendices. CFPB’s proposed rule summary and a data point chart are also included.  

CFPB is accepting comments regarding its proposal. WBA hopes each bank will take into consideration the information provided in this toolkit, assess the proposal’s impact on the bank, and provide comment to CFPB regarding such impact.  

WBA Legal will be creating a draft comment letter for use by members to reply to CFPB regarding concerns and impact of the proposal on banks. WBA encourages each bank to consider submitting its own letter reflecting bank-specific information.  

Feel free to contact WBA Legal at wbalegal@wisbank.com regarding CFPB’s proposal.