Tennessee Bankers

This Week Newsletter



January 23, 2017 - Issue No. 1703


Haslam Proposes Gas Tax Hike, Tax Cuts Elsewhere

Governor Haslam announced last Tuesday, Jan. 17, his IMPROVE Act ("Improving Manufacturing, Public Roads and Opportunities for a Vibrant Economy")—the first piece in his NextTennessee legislative plan—policy proposals aimed at building and sustaining economic growth and the state's competitiveness for the next generation of Tennesseans. 
 
The IMPROVE Act increases the gas tax by 7 cents per gallon and 12 cents per gallon for diesel while increasing car registration fees by $5. It also places an annual road user fee on electric vehicles and increases charges on vehicles using alternative fuels. Fuel taxes would be indexed—but also capped—to the Consumer Price Index in order to keep up with the rate of inflation.
 
Haslam's proposal cuts the sales tax on groceries another .50 percent ($55 million) to 4.5 percent, creating a total cut to the sales tax on food of 1 percent, or $101 million, during his administration; makes Tennessee's franchise and excise tax on manufacturing businesses more competitive by allowing companies to go to a "single weighted sales factor" ($113 million); and cuts the Hall income tax 1.5 percent this year with a commitment to cut it another 1.5 percent next year (3 percent, $102 million). 
 
IMPROVE cuts taxes by an estimated $270 million annually, bringing the total number of cuts made and proposed since 2011 to $540 million annually, roughly nine times more than any other administration. For more on the IMPROVE Act, click here.

Senate Banking Subcommittee Chairs, Ranking Members Named

The Senate Banking Committee last Tuesday, Jan. 17, announced subcommittee chairmen and ranking members for the 115th Congress.

  • Dean Heller (R-Nev.) is the new chairman of the securities, insurance, and investment subcommittee. Mark Warner (D-Va.) will remain ranking member.
  • Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) will remain chairman of the financial institutions and consumer protection subcommittee. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) will serve as ranking member.
  • Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) will chair the economic policy subcommittee. Heidi Heitkamp (D-N.D.) will serve as ranking member.
  • Ben Sasse (R-Neb.) will chair the national security and international trade, and finance subcommittee. Joe Donnelly (D-Ind.) will serve as ranking member.
  • Tim Scott (R-S.C.) will remain chair of the housing, transportation, and community development subcommittee. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) will continue to serve as ranking member.

To see a complete list of Banking Committee members, including Bob Corker (R-Tenn.), click here.

DOL Publishes Second Round of Fiduciary Rule FAQs

The Labor Department on Jan. 13 released a second set of frequently asked questions on its final rule redefining who counts as a fiduciary under ERISA and the Internal Revenue Code. The FAQs address questions received by DOL from the industry since the rule was issued and are intended to offer additional clarity about the rule and what institutions must do to comply. Specific areas of focus include exemptions regarding investment recommendations, investment education, general communications, independent fiduciaries, and platform providers.

In questions 1 and 12, DOL clarified that providing educational information to IRA and retirement customers about investment alternatives, such as product features, returns and fees (for example, bank CD rate sheets), would not be considered "investment advice," provided that the bank did not make a specific recommendation to the customer. Read the FAQs.

OCC Launches Web-Based Filing System

The OCC launched a new web-based system for banks to file licensing and public welfare investment applications and notices. The Central Application Tracking System, or CATS, is designed to help institutions draft, submit, and track these applications and notices. Access to CATS will be introduced in three phases, and OCC staff will notify institutions several weeks before their phase rolls out. Read more.

Fed Encourages Bankers to Sign Up for Webinars

Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis EVP Julie Stackhouse is encouraging bankers to register for the "Ask the Fed" webinar programs. To receive information about upcoming calls, go to www.askthefed.org and create an account. All registrants receive notifications when new sessions are scheduled. Upcoming programs include: The Energy Sector, A Deep Dive into Multifamily Commercial Real Estate, Appraisal Practices, and more. For additional information, please contact Erik Soell at erik.soell@stls.frb.org.

Essentials of Commercial Lending Hotel and Early Registration Deadline Approaching

Essentials of Commercial Lending, scheduled for Feb. 23 and 24 at the Loews Vanderbilt Hotel in Nashville, focuses on the basic concepts and techniques of commercial lending, including those that help identify the underlying business reasons for borrowing. You will develop the ability to use financial information to make credit decisions and to structure loans properly. The presenters will introduce attendees to the basic lending concepts, basic accounting concepts, and basic financial analysis.

 

The hotel registration deadline is Feb. 6 and the early registration deadline is Feb. 8. Click here to sign up.

Today Marks Discounted Tuition Deadline for TSSACL

The Southeastern School of Advanced Commercial Lending, scheduled for Feb. 20-22 at Nashville's Loews Vanderbilt Hotel, has an ideal curriculum that meets the needs of today's commercial lender. This intensive program focuses on advanced cash flow and loan structure, commercial real estate lending, and new approaches to predicting portfolio credit performance and managing portfolio credit risk. 

 

The program, with housing optional, provides instruction applicable to both community and holding company bankers. This school's curriculum will benefit commercial lenders, relationship managers, portfolio managers, senior credit managers, and others who currently are responsible for, or are interested in, growing the bank's loan portfolio profitably and better managing portfolio credit risk. 

 

The discounted tuition deadline is today, Jan. 23. Click here to enroll.

FinancialPSI has Medicare Options for Your Retirees

From competitive insurance coverage to top-notch employee benefit plans, Financial Products and Services, Inc, continues as a valuable resource for Tennessee banks. But did you know FinancialPSI provides consultation services for bank retirees regarding their Medicare options? Thanks to their dedicated staff, many banks have referred their upcoming retirees to our wholly-owned agency for quite some time. 

  

FinancialPSI's Matt Dressel and Karen Stewart are two industry veterans who carefully navigate through their client's preferred doctors and list of medications to find the Medicare Supplement or Medicare Advantage plan that best suits their needs.  

  

The key is to start the planning process early—as soon as the employee mentions that they are considering retirement. By starting early, they will have more time to work through any adjustments necessary by the time of the actual retirement date. For more information about FinancialPSI's Medicare options for retirees, contact Matt Dressel or Karen Stewart, or call 615-244-5100.

 

FinancialPSI is a subsidiary of the Tennessee Bankers Association. For more information on how they can provide your bank with insurance solutions, click here.

Welcome New Associate Members

TBA welcomes new associate members Baker Hill Solutions in the category of software/computers and WrightCore in the category of information technology. Please thank this company for their support of the Tennessee banking industry through membership and when evaluating vendor partners review the list of all TBA associate members in our online directory.

Renasant Corp. to Acquire Metropolitan BancGroup Inc.

Tupelo, Miss.-based Renasant Corp. announced last week plans to acquire Ridgeland, Miss.-based Metropolitan BancGroup Inc. in an all-stock transaction valued at around $190.2 million, set to conclude in the third quarter. Metropolitan is the privately held bank holding company of Metropolitan Bank that had about $1.2 billion in total assets as of Dec. 31, 2016 and Renasant Corp. had assets of $8.7 billion at Dec. 31, 2016. Through the deal Renasant Corp. will expand in Tennessee by seven branches.

TBA On the Road

  • TBA holds Fundamentals of Compliance seminars in Nashville and Knoxville.

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