Banking News

Part of the Florida Bankers Association's mission is to inform the public about the good our member banks do for their community and for the state. Whether that means sharing stories about how Florida banks make dreams come true every or responding to false allegations about our industry, it is imperative that the FBA work with the news media to ensure that the voice of Florida banking is heard loud and clear.

Thankfully, the FBA is one of few associations throughout the country that is regularly sought for opinions and discussion when it comes to the financial services industry. It is a role the Association takes very seriously. Below is a list of recent articles in which the FBA is involved that you may find to be of interest. Be sure to check back regularly as this list will be regularly updated. 

For more information about the FBA's media communication, contact Renee Thompson by email or at (850) 224-2265.

With tax reform 2.0, time to end the loophole for large US credit unions
September 7, 2018 CNBC Alex Sanchez OpEd
Our national debt keeps growing each day, currently near the $21 trillion mark with no end in sight.

Credit Unions Shouldn't Get a Free Ride
August 15, 2018 Wall Street Journal - Alex Sanchez OpEd
Is this what Congress intended for credit unions to do with their tax-exempt status? Purchase the naming rights for stadiums and arenas? Lawmakers ought to eliminate this outdated and abusive tax loophole for large credit unions. 

Power Leaders in Banking
July 27, 2018 South Florida Business Journal
As South Florida continues to grow as a regional and hemispheric financial services destination, they also realize the important role they play to businesses across the Americas and civic, cultural, and philanthropic organizations across their community. To these executives, their involvement helps define the role of a power leader.

Florida banker honored
June 25, 2018 Sarasota Herald Tribune
A former Sarasota banker was recently honored by the Florida Bankers Association. William “Bill” Klich received the FBA’s “Lifetime Achievement Award” at its 130th annual meeting this month. Klich, who is retired from banking, headed several Sarasota banks during the 1990s, including the former Coast Federal Savings & Loan Association and later its buyer, SunTrust.

Opinion:  The burden of over-regulation remains a key threat
June 25, 2018 Sarasota Herald Tribune
A January 2017 Forbes article entitled “The $83,000 Question: How Much Do Regulations Really Cost Small Businesses?” noted that it costs a small business more than $83,000 in its first year to comply with the federal regulatory mountain of rules and regulations; future costs for each small business are approximately $12,000 annually. That is big money for the heart and soul of America’s economy — small businesses. 

Power Leaders in Banking
July 17, 2018 South Florida Business Journal
As South Florida continues to grow as a regional and hemispheric financial services destination, they also realize the important role they play to businesses across the Americas and civic, cultural, and philanthropic organizations across their community. To these executives, their involvement helps define the role of a power leader.

Banklike credit unions should follow bank rules
June 25, 2018 American Banker
At a minimum, if the NCUA is going down the path of allowing anyone to be part of a few credit unions, then it ought to require compliance with the spirit of the Community Reinvestment Act and enhance oversight of executive compensation.

Florida Bankers Association recognizes Bill Klich with award
June 20, 2018 Tampa Bay Times
Former Tampa Bay banking executive Bill Klich was presented the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Florida Bankers Association last week at an annual meeting.

Why this Tampa businesswoman ‘believes in magic’ after heading the Florida Bankers Association
June 18, 2018 Tampa Bay Business Journal
A new law that rolls back some of the banking regulations enacted in the wake of the financial crisis a decade ago was among the highlights of Rita Lowman’s one-year term as chairman of the Florida Bankers Association.

Briefcase: Banking
June 17, 2018 Tallahassee Democrat
Hancock Whitney market president, Emory Mayfield, has been sworn in as the Florida Bankers Association chairman for the 2018-2019 association year.

State’s banks ride tax cuts to higher profits
May 28, 2018 Sarasota Herald-Tribune
Florida’s financial institutions kicked off 2018 by posting a 23 percent jump in profits.  The state’s 127 banks and thrifts earned a combined $510 million in the first quarter, $97 million more than the previous year, according to data released last week by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.

Top Florida banker’s push for regulatory relief pays off
May 23, 2018 Tampa Bay Business Journal 
The chair of the Florida Bankers Association is cheering Congressional passage of a bill that rolls back some of the banking regulations enacted in the wake of the financial crisis a decade ago.

Column: We need another Simpson-Bowles commission to tackle the national debt
May 7, 2018 Tampa Bay Times
The longer we wait to find a solution, the more painful it will be for our country. We need the president to appoint another bipartisan commission similar to Simpson-Bowles back in 2010. We need to get a strong, bipartisan, independent group together to make recommendations to Congress to tackle this issue. Perhaps neither the will nor the means exist in Congress today to tackle this tough issue.

Battle between banks and credit union heats up
April 20, 2018 Business Observer

Many want to make this a bank versus credit union debate. Not so fast. It is not. The banking profession has no quarrels with the credit union industry. This debate is all about one question: Why should a family of four pay more in state and federal taxes than a $90 billion financial institution like Navy Federal Credit Union?

Podcast: Taking Flight with Pilot Bank
April 19, 2018 ABA Journal

On the podcast, Lowman also discusses her experience as a bank turnaround executive, working on acquisitions of troubled lenders for a major southeastern bank and her views on the de novo environment in Florida. And, as the current chairman of the Florida Bankers Association, she talks about her efforts to develop the banking leadership pipeline in the Sunshine State. 

Banks fell in the Great Recession, but they're stronger now
March 14, 2018 USA Today
"Community banks play a vital role in our economy," said Sanchez, with the Florida Bankers Association. "Community banks give 50% of the small-business loans in the United States, and small business is what our economies are based on here in our country."  Instead of a one-size-fits-all-approach, he said financial regulations need to be more tailored to the model and the risk profile of the banks, so they're not so overly burdensome on smaller banks. 

New legislation, technology, population growth may aid banks
January 30, 2018 Miami Today

“Florida Bankers Association President and CEO Alex Sanchez sees the lessening of bank regulations as a positive move for the local economy at large. He said, ‘Publix is in the business of selling food. We’re in the business of making loans and providing the capital to businesses so they can start and hire employees.’” 

What’s a Florida graduation requirement when it’s not required?
January 23, 2018 Tampa Bay Times

“Florida Bankers Association President and CEO Alex Sanchez sees the lessening of bank regulations as a positive move for the local economy at large. He said, ‘Publix is in the business of selling food. We’re in the business of making loans and providing the capital to businesses so they can start and hire employees.’” 

Dream Team
December 15, 2017 Business Observer
“An all-star team of area bankers gathered in late October to talk about an issue close to their hearts, and careers: the future of banking.

Tax reform: The great equalizer for business and economy booster
December 7, 2017 Orlando Sentinel

“A plan that equalizes the tax playing field for businesses — not only with global competitors, but also here at home — will help strengthen American companies. Government should not be picking winners and losers; it should treat all industries the same.”

Battle Lines Drawn Over Credit Union Tax Break in Reform Fight
September 11, 2017 Tax Analysts
Sanchez made a similar argument: “Government should not be picking winners and losers in the free enterprise system . . . and that’s what we’re doing with credit unions.” He also placed the exemption in the context of tax fairness and paying for the country’s fiscal needs, accusing Navy Federal Credit Union, which extends membership eligibility to members of the military and veterans (and their families), of “not paying for the defense of this country . . . because you don’t pay state and federal corporate income taxes and you’re a $60 billion financial institution.”

How tech is helping banks prepare for Irma
September 6, 2017 America Banker 
Many Florida bankers are hurricane veterans, including three storms in 2004 and Matthew last year. Banks have plans they can activate in times of a natural disaster. A number of banks have already held meetings to prepare for Irma.  “Our bankers have no hurricane parties. That ended a long time ago,” said Alex Sanchez, president and CEO of the Florida Bankers Association. “Bankers have plan A, B and C to serve their communities.”

Florida and California Bankers, Far Apart but Flying Together
August 29, 2017 Bloomberg BNA
Bankers in California and Florida may have a continent between them, but that’s not getting in the way of an annual pilgrimage to Washington, where both groups lock arms and make common cause in meetings with policymakers.

FBA: Credit Union Tax Exemption Must End
August 25, 2017 Florida Bankers Association
The Florida Bankers Association (FBA) yesterday sent a letter to Washington, D.C. leaders and decision-makers, including U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and House Speaker Paul Ryan, urging them to closely examine credit unions’ tax-exempt status.

Bank risks federal scrutiny, does business with marijuana growers
August 2, 2017 Palm Beach Post
Alex Sanchez, head of the Florida Bankers Association, lauded First Green Bank for pushing into an untested industry. “To their credit, they have checked every box,” Sanchez said. “They have done an incredible amount of due diligence to get to this point.”

Top bankers drive economy, community and culture
July 28, 2017 South Florida Business Journal
Yes, South Florida’s banking and finance executives help drive our economy. But they also reflect who we are as professionals and community citizens across the tri-county region.

Anti-money laundering efforts examined at House subcommittee hearing
July 6, 2017,  Financial Regulation News
Lloyd DeVaux, president and CEO of Sunstate Bank, said the world has drastically changed since the BSA was adopted in 1970. “Criminals keep evolving and staying one step ahead of banks and law enforcement. As the United States takes steps to combat terrorism and financial crime, now would be a good time to update the compliance requirements to develop a system suited to the twenty-first century,” DeVaux said, speaking on behalf of the Florida Bankers Association. More...

Florida Banker: BSA/AML Rules Must Change with the Times
June 28 2017,  ABA Banking Journal
The regulatory framework put in place to prevent money laundering and stop the financing of terrorist activity should be updated to reflect the changes that have taken place over the past several decades, banker Lloyd DeVaux, president and CEO of Sunstate Bank in Miami, Fla., said today in a hearing before the House Financial Services Committee.  More...

Penney earns Chairman’s Award by bank association
June 26, 2017,  TC Palm
Marine Bank & Trust President and CEO Bill Penney was presented with the 2017 Chairman’s Award by the Florida Bankers Association at the association’s annual June meeting in Naples. More...

Banker takes helm of powerful lobbying group
June 19, 2017, Business Observer
Rita Lowman has officially taken over as chairman of the Florida Bankers Association — the third female in the 130-year history of the organization to be named chair.  More...

Tampa bank executive Rita Lowman takes helm of Florida Bankers Association’
June 15, 2017, Tampa Bay Times
During her tenure, Lowman will work to make sure Florida banks can "compete effectively and profitably while remaining a positive influence on the economic wellbeing of all Floridians."  More...

‘Proud Moments’
April 21, 2017, Business Oberver
In addition to Pilot, Lowman has another significant job — and proud moment — as incoming chairwoman of the Florida Bankers Association, one of the more prominent lobbying and advocacy groups in the state. Lowman, when she’s installed in June, will be the third woman in the history of the 130-year old group to hold the chair position.

Low inventory pinches Tallahassee housing market
March 27, 2017, Tallahassee Democrat
Alex Sanchez, president and CEO of the Florida Bankers Association, said interest rates will continue to pick up if the economy remains strong.  “Now, will they go from 4 percent to 8 percent in a month? No. In a year? No. But they will go up,” Sanchez said. “The economy is doing well and the Federal Reserve Bank wants to control inflation so they will tinker with usually a quarter point.”


Bankers wary of credit union bill in Florida Legislature
MIami Today, March 21, 2017
Bankers are closely watching bills that are making their way through the 2017 legislative session. At the top of the list for many is Senate Bill 1170, which would allow credit unions to become qualified public depositories if they meet certain requirements. That means they could receive municipal funds for deposit.  “Our guys are totally against it,” said Anthony DiMarco, executive vice president of governmental affairs for the Florida Bankers Association. “To us, it’s ironic that they’re taking in tax money, and loaning it back out, when they don’t pay taxes.” 

POINT OF VIEW: Credit unions twist truth in attempt to expand powers
Palm Beach Post, March 17, 2017
“There is room for both credit unions and banks to compete and thrive, but we should do so on a level and fair playing field. Why don’t large credit unions pay taxes to support the needs of our state and nation, like the war on terror, defense needs, the needs of our children and seniors, our transportation needs, and all the other needs we have? Banks do.” 

Credit unions' free ride
Tampa Bay Timess, March 07, 2017
“It is the height of irony that the credit unions are asking the government to let them accept public deposits, which are the same tax revenues that they do not contribute. Why should the government create a more unlevel playing field by letting credit unions hold these tax revenues? Until credit unions pay their fair share of taxes, the government should not pick winners and losers in the economy and credit unions shouldn't be able to accept taxpayers' public deposits.” 

Client Alert: Fourth DCA Reverses Itself in Ober, Restores Certainty with Foreclosures
JDSupra Business Advisor, February 15, 2017

In particular, the Court referenced the amicus brief filed by the Florida Bankers Association, which noted that foreclosure lawsuits are unlike typical civil lawsuits, as “much remains to be accomplished after entry of final judgment, including the foreclosure sale, the issuance of certificates of sale and title, and, in many instances, the prosecution of a deficiency claim, all under court supervision.” 

Credit union loophole should be first casualty in tax reform
American Banker, January 20, 2017
As our nation swears in its 45th president, many of the big public policy issues relate to the nation’s finances. How does the U.S. maintain its strength when it is saddled with a $20 trillion national debt? We can start by putting credit unions’ tax exemption on the chopping block.

Briefcase:  Banking
Tallahassee Democrat, January 15, 2017
The Florida Bankers Association recently hired Katie Crofoot as Assistant Vice President of government affairs. She will advocate on behalf of the FBA at both the state and federal levels, while also collaborating with BankPac to support Florida’s pro-business candidates.