IBAT Leadership Conference - God, Family & Ducks

by Brad Garland


A couple of weeks ago some of us Garland Heart'ers were able to attend the IBAT Leadership conference. We had a great time, learned a lot, and enjoyed seeing some of our clients and other community bankers in a much more relaxed environment…no suits!

During the conference there were many guest speakers but the main headline speaker was Jase Robertson from Duck Commander, now better known across our country from the show Duck Dynasty. If you ever have a chance to listen to him I highly recommend it as he shares a great look on life. The main theme was God, Family, and Ducks…in that order. Which to some sounds incredibly odd and to others makes complete sense. If you focus on the most important things in life…then the other thing, the Ducks, in his case will be that much better. For him a focus on God and then learning and living the bible comes first. His family second - ensuring that we spend time with the people that matter most to us and we need to lean on when times are tough. Yes, the song "Lean On Me" was actually playing in the background while I am typing this….awesome huh? Now I just need Alanis Morissette's "Ironic" to follow. Back on point! Finally the "Ducks" is anything that you find important…no matter if it is work or a hobby. The key is a strong foundation.

During the conference we were also able to attend an open forum with Phillip Hinkle (Chief IT Examiner in Texas) and Charles Cooper (Texas Banking Commisioner). Here are some of the highlights including comments on two hot topics; Corporate Account Takeover and Strategic Plans:

Dodd Frank didn't consult ANY Community Bankers or examiners. This is one of the many reasons Community Banks feel it is us paying for big bank's sins.

Mr. Cooper presented: From Bank's Surveyed in regards to their biggest issues:

  1. Regulatory overload and over react
  2. Cost of compliance
  3. Margin
  4. Too many Regs

Mr. Cooper also touched on characteristics of good management from another bank/examiner survey:

  1. Experience
  2. Foresight
  3. Integrity (figured this one might be number one...)
  4. Community (a willingness to be a part of, have a presence, and impact)
  5. Effective communication

Mr. Hinkle discussed the hot topic C.A.T.O.

1. Key IT exam Patterns/Trend

  • Missing education for customers
  • Disconnect between CEO and staff - usually because of age. Not understanding what is being done and/or needed
  • Increase in dollar amount of attacks - going from hundreds of thousands to millions.
  • Profiling of the banks, not the customers. Looking at Board Members and waiting for them to go on vacation. Then request for "funds" because of an issue overseas. Hoping staff will bypass some controls for key people.

2. Best Practice must be a dynamic process = Ongoing and continue to educate customers.

Mr. Hinkle discussed the hot topic - Strategic Plan

  • What are you cutting back? Examiners are starting to look at if you are cutting back internal audit(s), external loan review, external audit, a control, or key person/function. How is this impacting potential risk?
  • New Markets and Product Lines? Questioning do you have the experience or "staff" expertise, or are you going to "learn as you go" (bad). Examiners are looking to make sure you have the experience (internal or consulting), Risk Assessments, Policies, and Procedures established.
  • Key factor of Banks - Resources and quality of management. See list earlier for management and ensuring you controls are in place both external and internal.

"Community Banks keep big banks from taking over - we are the last line of defense." Chris Williston (IBAT Pres/CEO)