Tennessee Bankers

This Week Newsletter



January 17, 2017 - Issue No. 1702


TBA Shares Priority Issues with Congress

TBA President Colin Barrett and General Counsel Tim Amos last week welcomed Tennessee's Congressional delegation to the 115th Congress in a letter outlining the industry's priorities for 2017. 
 
With a new administration and Congress being sworn in next week, TBA plans to aggressively pursue several priority issues for Tennessee banks. Those include tailoring regulation based on a bank's business model and risk; reforming mortgage regulations; ensuring all parties share accountability in the event of a data breach; and repealing the Durbin interchange amendment. Read TBA's letter.

TBA's Amy Heaslet Elected to Board of Directors of Tennessee Lobbyist Association

TBA Senior Vice President and Deputy Counsel Amy Heaslet was elected last Tuesday, Jan. 10, to serve a three-year term on the Board of Directors of the Tennessee Lobbyist Association. The association represents over 270 registered lobbyists in Tennessee and advocates for fair and equitable laws to protect their clients' rights to petition elected officials. 

Tennessee's 110th General Assembly Convenes

State House and Senate members convened last Tuesday, Jan. 10, for the first day of the 110th General Assembly. One of their first orders of business was electing Sen. Randy McNally (R-Oak Ridge) to his first term as Speaker of the Senate and Rep. Beth Harwell (R-Nashville) to her fourth term as Speaker of the House. Tennessee's Constitutional Officers—Secretary of State Tre Hargett, Treasurer David Lilliard, and Comptroller Justin Wilson—were all re-elected to another term.
 
The legislature began a two-week organizational recess and will reconvene for regular business on Monday, Jan. 30, with the deadline for filing bills set for Feb. 9. Lawmakers will then tackle several controversial issues, including funding of highways and roads, whether to raise the gas tax, and requiring out-of-state retailers to collect sales tax on internet sales.

2017 State Legislative Outlook for TBA

TBA's government relations team will spend their time during the two-week recess finalizing details of the association's legislative agenda for the year. The association expects to file only one bill this year, addressing the banking industry's role in preventing and deterring financial exploitation of the elderly. TBA has worked with the Tennessee Commission on Aging and Disability and a group of bankers to study this issue and address ways to make reform.
 
Another priority of TBA will be opposing legislation, if filed, that would authorize local governments to enact property assessed clean energy (PACE) programs. The legislation is expected to be brought by a California for-profit company that would act as a third party administrator of PACE loans made to homeowners to make energy efficient improvements.  TBA's core concern with the measure is that it would put local governments in the lending business by allowing them to use their bonding authority to finance these PACE loans.
 
We will continue reporting on these and other bills of interest throughout session. You can also receive more detailed updates on banking-related bills by participating in TBA's bi-weekly legislative update conference calls. The next call is scheduled for Friday, February 3. Please contact Penny Powlas if you would like to join the calls.

New Chairmen Named for Senate, House Committees

Newly elected Lt. Gov. Randy McNally appointed Sen. Bo Watson (R-Hixson) as Chairman of the Senate Finance Committee—the position McNally held before being elected Speaker of the Senate on Tuesday.  Sen. Jim Tracy (R-Shelbyville) will replace Watson as Senate Speaker Pro Tempore, and Sen. Paul Bailey (R-Sparta) will succeed Tracey as Chairman of the Transportation Committee. All other Senate committee chairs will remain the same. View the full Senate committee assignments.


House Speaker Beth Harwell appointed Ron Travis (R-Dayton) as Chairman of the Insurance and Banking—a position that was vacant after former Chairman Steve McManus lost his general election to Dwayne Thompson (D-Cordova). Travis is a strong supporter of the banking industry, having sponsored last year's TBA's legislation to remove condominium associations' super priority liens for unpaid dues.

 

Other notable changes in House Committee assignments include Barry Doss (R-Leoma) replacing Jimmy Matlock (R-Lenoir City), who unsuccessfully challenged Harwell as House Speaker, as Chair of the Transportation Committee. Andrew Farmer (R-Sevierville) will now chair the House Civil Justice Committee, a post previously held by former Rep. Jon Lundberg, who was elected to a Senate seat in November. All other House Committee chairs will remain the same. View the full House committee assignments.

CU Member Business Lending Bill Introduced

Reps. Ed Royce (R-Calif.), Jared Huffman (D-Calif.), Don Young (R-Alaska) and Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.) last Tuesday, Jan. 10, introduced a bill (H.R. 389) excluding nonowner-occupied, 1 to 4-family dwellings from the calculation of the cap on credit union member business loans. According to Royce's office, the bill would boost credit unions' member business lending by $11 billion.

The measure would come on top of recent actions by the credit union regulator—currently subject to litigation by the banking industry—to loosen the cap on member business loans. Read more.

Washington Conference Schedule Update; Now Set for May 1-3

TBA's Washington Conference, which is an excellent opportunity to meet with the federal bank regulatory agencies, national trade associations, and Tennessee congressional delegation and their staff, is now scheduled for May 1-3. House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy just released the 2017 House calendar and they will not be in session during our originally scheduled dates of May 8-10.  For more information, please contact Penny Powlas.

FHA Cuts Mortgage Insurance Premiums

The Federal Housing Administration will reduce by 25 basis points the mortgage interest premiums most borrowers pay for FHA loans. The new rates, which the agency projected would save new FHA-insured homeowners an average of $500 this year, will affect most new mortgages with a closing/disbursement date of Jan. 27 or later.

The agency said the cut reflects the fourth consecutive gain in the Mutual Mortgage Insurance Fund, which has gained $44 billion in value since 2012. Additionally, the MMIF's capital ratio of 2.32 percent last year exceeded the statutorily required 2 percent threshold. Read more from FHA.

Call for Young Bankers Division New Officer & Directors

The success of the Young Bankers Division is measured through the many leaders in the banking industry who are past participants, directors and officers of this division. Since its establishment in 1960, a significant number of bankers who were active in the Young Bankers Division have advanced to become officers, directors, and committee chairmen of the TBA. The Young Bankers board of directors serves as statewide ambassadors for the TBA and YB division, the board of trustees for The Southeastern School of Banking, the steering committee for the annual Leadership Convention, the hosts of the statewide Leadership Luncheons, and also oversees the Personal Economics Program (PEP). 
 
Each year, the YB Board nominates one new director from each of the grand divisions and a vice chairman who will proceed through to become chairman. The board will submit a list of nominees for approval by delegates of the 2017 Leadership Convention.
 
If you are interested in serving on the Young Bankers Division board, please submit a Young Bankers Board of Directors application to Stacey Langford by March 1. The application includes more detail as to the commitment involved with board service.

TBA On the Road

  • Stacey Langford conducts membership visits in East Tennessee.

See where TBA goes while "on the road" by following @TNBankers.