by CBI Lobbyist Jeff Boeyink - Partner, LS2 Group
Overview / Major Events
We are one week and counting down to the first funnel deadline of 2018. Next Thursday (2/15) is the functional close of the first funnel and policy bills that failed to clear a committee in at least one chamber are no longer eligible for the remainder of the 2018 Session.
Next week will be another marathon of subcommittees and extended committee meetings as major issues such as energy policy modernization, telecommunications policy modernization, death penalty, and workforce development (Future Ready Iowa) have yet to clear this first major legislative hurdle.
Rural Mainstreet Index Improves for December: Retail Sales Soar to Highest December Reading Since 2014
December Survey Results at a Glance:
OMAHA, Neb. (Dec. 21, 2017) – The Creighton University Rural Mainstreet Index improved from November’s weak reading but remained below growth neutral, according to the latest monthly survey of bank CEOs in rural areas of a 10-state region dependent on agriculture and/or energy.
Overall: The index, like all indices in the survey, ranges between 0 and 100 with 50.0 representing growth neutral, expanded to 47.8 from 44.7 in November. While the overall index remained below growth neutral, it is up approximately 11.4 percent from December, 2016.
“While the overall Rural Mainstreet Index (RMI) for December remained below growth neutral, this is the highest December reading that we have recorded since 2014. Clearly, based on our recent surveys, the negatives are getting less negative,” said Ernie Goss, Jack A. MacAllister Chair in Regional Economics at Creighton University’s Heider College of Business.
Only one-fifth, or 20.4 percent, of bank CEOs reported that their local economy was expanding. While this indicator remains bearish, it is well up from the 8.7 percent reporting an expanding local economy in February 2016.
by Dave Caris, CEO - Community Bankers of Iowa
Tax reform legislation has not yet been introduced in the Iowa Legislature, but the Governor, the House and the Senate are all expected to release their versions of tax reform legislation in the next several weeks. Tax or Ways and Means Committee bills are not subject to the funnel deadlines of the Legislature, so comprehensive tax reform, including the issue of credit union taxation, will be a live issue until the end of the Legislative Session in April. Prior to the introduction of legislation and the resulting debate, the Credit unions have launched a massive media and grassroots campaign in an effort to maintain their "FREE RIDE."
It's important that bankers speak out to policy makers on this critical issue to counter the onslaught of contacts from credit unions. The Iowa Bankers Association has developed an excellent and quick method of finding and emailing your State Legislator to speak out on this issue. Just click here. The IBA and CBI are united on this major issue. We urge you to email your State Senator and Representative and, in your own words, tell them it's time to end the free ride. The following are a few key points you may want to consider:
by Dave Caris, CEO - Community Bankers of Iowa
Iowa's credit unions have launched a massive media and grassroots campaign before even seeing legislation to finally require them to pay their fair share of taxes. When you are talking to your employees, friends, neighbors and policy makers about this issue, keep the following key points in mind:
by Lisa M. Smith, President & CEO
IBA Securities - Division of Broker Dealer Financial Services Corp.
The Future is Fiduciary - This rule applies to Wealth Management, Bank Investment Centers, and any bank offering retirement accounts.
Acting as a fiduciary carries a greater level of responsibility. Fiduciaries are bound to act in their clients' best interests. The regulatory framework around fiduciary status has been the subject of much attention and uncertainty in recent years. Adhering to a fiduciary standard gives your investment recommendations a greater weight and level of accountability. This standard requires you to take into account your clients' entire financial circumstances, making holistic wealth management services even more important.
The new DOL Fiduciary Rule makes one a fiduciary when a recommendation is made with respect to rollovers, transfers, or distributions from a Qualified Retirement Plan (including 401ks) or IRA -- which is collectively known as "retirement asset movement" -- and is paid a fee or other compensation as a result. In addition, the DOL Fiduciary Rule also includes existing retirement accounts for which you are advising. The retirement asset movement must be in the client's best interest. The advice regarding retirement asset movement and reasons why it is in the clients' best interest will need to be documented and maintained. As a result, one needs a number of processes and resources in place by June 9, 2017, when the rule goes into effect.
Rural Mainstreet Climbs to Highest Level in Almost Two Years One-Fourth Bank CEOs Support June Fed Rate Hike
May Survey Results at a Glance:
OMAHA, Neb. (May 18, 2017) – After dropping below growth neutral for 20 straight months, the Creighton University Rural Mainstreet Index moved above the 50.0 threshold for May according to the latest monthly survey of bank CEOs in rural areas of a 10-state region dependent on agriculture and/or energy.
Overall: The index, which ranges between 0 and 100, climbed to 50.1 from 44.6 in April. May’s reading was the highest recorded reading since July 2015. The last time the overall index was at or above growth neutral was August 2015.
“Stabilizing and slightly improving farm commodity prices helped push the overall index into a weak but above growth neutral for May,” said Ernie Goss, Jack A. MacAllister Chair in Regional Economics at Creighton University's Heider College of Business. “The U.S. Department of Agriculture is projecting that net U.S. farm income will sink by 8.7 percent to $62.3 billion for 2017, the fourth consecutive year of declines after reaching a record high in 2013. This downward trend has weighted on our survey results for almost two years.”
This month, and in May 2016, bank CEOs were asked to name the biggest economic challenge to their banking operations over the next five years. The largest share of bankers, or 28.9 percent, named rising regulatory costs as the top challenge or risk. This is almost the same percent as 2016. More than one in five, or 26.7 percent, detailed government subsidized competition from Farm Credit and credit unions as the greatest challenge, or almost double the 13.6 percent reported in May 2016.
April Survey Results at a Glance:
OMAHA, Neb. (April 20, 2017) – The Creighton University Rural Mainstreet Index remained weak with a reading below growth neutral for the 20th straight month, according to the monthly survey of bank CEOs in rural areas of a 10-state region dependent on agriculture and/or energy.
Overall: The index, which ranges between 0 and 100, slipped to 44.6 from 45.3 in March. The last time the overall index was at or above growth neutral was August 2015.
“Weak farm commodity prices continue to squeeze Rural Mainstreet economies. Over the last 12 months, livestock commodity prices have tumbled by 5.8 percent and grain commodity prices have slumped by 4.5 percent. The U.S. Department of Agriculture is estimating 2017 will mark the fourth consecutive year that farm income has declined. This downward trend has pushed our survey results into negative territory,” said Ernie Goss, Jack A. MacAllister Chair in Regional Economics at Creighton University's Heider College of Business.
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