Press Releases
Contact: Karen Armstrong, 212-297-1635                  karmstrong@nyba.com                  646-943-0388 mobile

For Immediate Release
Kevin M. O’Connor, President & CEO of BNB Bank, Elected Chairman of New York Bankers Association

(New York, NY) – April 3, 2018 – Kevin M. O’Connor, President and CEO of BNB Bank (Bridgehampton, NY), has been elected to serve as Chairman of the Board of Directors of the New York Bankers Association (NYBA).  

“I am pleased to serve in a leadership role on behalf of our State’s banking industry, and I look forward to working with my banking colleagues and the staff of NYBA to enhance the environment for banking in the State of New York and to highlight the vital role of the industry in our communities,” said Mr. O’Connor.

“NYBA will benefit enormously from Kevin’s leadership.  Our industry is changing rapidly and it is important for us to have the type of expertise and vision that Kevin has to help guide us toward the future,” said Michael P. Smith, President and CEO of the New York Bankers Association.

Kevin M. O’Connor has been President & CEO of BNB Bank since 2008, and has led the bank through a period of steady growth.  With current assets of $4.4 billion, BNB has expanded across Long Island and into New York City.  Mr. O’Connor was born and raised on Long Island and earned degrees from Suffolk County Community College and Adelphi University.  He was named one of Long Island’s Top CEOs by Long Island Business News, and has been honored by many organizations for his commitment to the community.  He serves on the boards of the Suffolk County Council of the Boy Scouts of America and the American Red Cross. He has been a member of the New York Bankers Association Board of Directors since 2014.

About the New York Bankers Association

For more than a century, the New York Bankers Association (NYBA) has been at the vanguard of the financial services industry.  NYBA is comprised of the commercial banks and thrift institutions that engage in the banking business in New York State.  Our members have aggregate assets in excess of $14 trillion and more than 200,000 New York employees.

Contact: Karen Armstrong, 212-297-1635                  karmstrong@nyba.com                  646-943-0388 mobile
JEFFEREY H. BARKER, NEW YORK STATE MARKET PRESIDENT, BANK OF AMERICA, ELECTED TO CHAIR NEW YORK BANKERS ASSOCIATION

(New York, NY) March 14, 2017 – Jeffrey H. Barker, New York State Market President for Bank of America, N.A., was elected by his peers to serve as Chairman of the New York Bankers Association for the 2017 one-year term.
“This is an exciting time for the banking industry, which presents us with the challenges of a quickly-changing marketplace. Our industry has shown time and time again that it can move quickly to adapt to market forces and be responsive to consumers and policymakers alike. I look forward to working with my fellow banking leaders from banks of all sizes to ensure that New York remains a robust banking center and a force in our State’s economic vitality,” said Mr. Barker.
As New York State Market President, Jeff is the bank’s local enterprise leader, focusing on business integration, building corporate reputation, championing local corporate social responsibility initiatives, and deepening relationships with community partners and leaders. He also leads numerous volunteer projects each year with nonprofit partners including United Way of New York City and Food Bank for New York City.
“Jeff Barker has ably served New York’s banking industry on the Board of NYBA for many years. He has keen insights about the business of banking and has thoughtfully managed the varied interests of our diverse industry. NYBA is pleased to have Jeff Barker as Chairman this year,” said Michael P. Smith, President and CEO of the New York Bankers Association.
Mr. Barker is a graduate of Cornell University and The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. He serves on the Board of Directors of the Roundabout Theater Company, the Citizens Committee for New York City, and on the Steering Committee of the Association for a Better New York. He resides in Armonk, New York.
NYBA is comprised of more than 150 community, regional, and money center commercial banks and thrift institutions operating in New York State. NYBA members have aggregate assets in excess of $10 trillion and more than 200,000 New York employees.
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Contact: Karen Armstrong, 212-297-1635                  karmstrong@nyba.com                  646-943-0388 mobile
JEFFREY H. BARKER, NEW YORK STATE MARKET PRESIDENT OF BANK OF AMERICA, N.A. ELECTED VICE CHAIRMAN OF NEW YORK BANKERS ASSOCIATION

(New York) March 17, 2016 – Jeffrey H. Barker, New York State Market President for Bank of America, N.A., was elected by his peers to serve as vice chairman of the New York Bankers Association (NYBA) for the 2016 one-year term. 
“I am honored to serve in the role of vice chairman of NYBA at a time when the financial services industry, particularly in New York, is evolving at rapid rate. As our industry embraces new market opportunities amid growing regulatory challenges, NYBA plays an important role in unifying our diverse membership,” said Mr. Barker.
As New York State President of Bank of America, Jeff is the bank’s local enterprise leader, focusing on business integration, building corporate reputation, championing local corporate social responsibility initiatives, and deepening relationships with community partners and leaders.  He also leads numerous volunteer projects each year with nonprofit partners including United Way of New York City and Food Bank for New York City.
“As a leader from a global bank, Jeff brings an important perspective to the work of the New York Bankers Association. For more than 120 years, NYBA’s hallmark has been the ability to forge consensus from diversity, and Jeff’s service will help us to continue that tradition,” said Michael P. Smith, President and CEO, of New York Bankers Association.
NYBA is comprised of more than 150 community, regional, and money center commercial banks and thrift institutions operating in New York State.  NYBA members have aggregate assets in excess of $10 trillion and more than 200,000 New York employees.

Contact: Karen Armstrong, 212-297-1635                  karmstrong@nyba.com                  646-943-0388 mobile
STEPHEN S. ROMAINE, PRESIDENT AND CEO OF TOMPKINS FINANCIAL CORPORATION ELECTED CHAIRMAN OF NEW YORK BANKERS ASSOCIATION

(New York) March 7, 2016 – Stephen S. Romaine, President and Chief Executive Officer of Tompkins Financial Corporation headquartered in Ithaca, New York, was elected by his peers to chair the New York Bankers Association (NYBA) for the 2016 one-year term. 
“A healthy banking industry is a fundamental component of a healthy economy. NYBA’s primary mission is to ensure that our industry works collaboratively with government toward our mutual goal of prosperity for all New Yorkers. Our members care deeply about the well-being of the communities they serve,” said Mr. Romaine.
“The members of the New York Bankers Association have elected a strong, experienced leader in Steve Romaine.  We look forward to a busy and productive year with Steve as Chairman,” said Michael P. Smith, President and CEO, of New York Bankers Association.
Stephen S. Romaine was appointed President and Chief Executive Officer of Tompkins Financial Corporation effective January 1, 2007.  From 2003 through 2006, he served as President and Chief Executive Officer of Mahopac Bank.  Prior to that, Mr. Romaine was Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Mahopac Bank.
NYBA is comprised of more than 150 community, regional, and money center commercial banks and thrift institutions operating in New York State.  NYBA members have aggregate assets in excess of $10 trillion and more than 200,000 New York employees.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact:  Gus Kananis                                                                                                    
Tel: (518) 434-3556
Email: gkananis@nyba.com

NEW YORK BANKERS ASSOCIATION MOVES ON SOCIAL MEDIA COMPLIANCE, ENDORSES SOFTWARE COMPANY, GREMLN

NEW YORK, NY 12/10/2013 (readMedia)—As consumer adoption of social media continues to rise, financial institutions across the country are recognizing the necessity of incorporating social media into their business efforts. Financial services professionals are actively embracing social media, with 75% of financial advisors using at least one social network for business purposes (LinkedIn/FTI Consulting). According to industry regulations put forth by the FFIEC and FINRA, financial institutions are held accountable for employees’ business communications made via social media. Regulators’ strong encouragement of careful brand monitoring, social media moderation, and archival practices, means banks must be careful to monitor and protect themselves, their employees, and their customers against non-compliant behavior. As such, the New York Bankers Association (NYBA), through its wholly owned subsidiary, the New York Bankers Service Corporation (NYBSCO), identified and endorsed GREMLN’s social media management software and compliance toolkit as an essential method for member banks to compliantly and securely participate in social media.
“We know that the use of social media for marketing and engagement is crucial for our members. In our search for a solution to help eliminate the risks of violations and fines, GREMLN’s social media dashboard and compliance toolkit stood out as one that would make it possible – and easy – for our members to get involved. GREMLN allows banks to moderate their social media posts, filter non-compliant keywords, and archive their social media activities as outlined by industry regulations. We look forward to working with them,” said Michael P. Smith, NYBA’s President and CEO.
A recent study by Forrester found that 70% of consumers trust brand recommendations from their friends when making purchasing decisions, and Forbes reported that 82% of consumers trust a company more if they are involved on social media. Financial services are no different – 83% of consumers believing it is important to read user-generated content before making a decision about banking or other financial services (Bazaar Voice). Organizations like NYBA recognize the inherent value of meeting consumers where they are, and are eager to encourage their member banks to embrace a social media presence.
To meet this growing industry need, GREMLN’s web-based platform offers compliance tools designed to regulate all social media activity. GREMLN’s software includes team management, approval, filtration, and archiving capabilities – along with marketing and ROI tracking tools – making it an ideal fit for financial services and other regulated industries.
“GREMLN is committed to supporting all NYBA members in securely participating in social media,” said GREMLN’s CEO Ryan Bell. “We’re passionate about helping regulated industries get started, and work to strip away those fears that so often go hand-in-hand with financial services and social media.”
NYBA will be partnering with GREMLN on a special program designed specifically for its members beginning in 2014, providing access to tools and resources to help them securely manage their social media efforts.
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For more information about the New York Bankers Association go to www.nyba.com, or contact Gus Kananis by phone, (518) 434-3556, or by email, gkananis@nyba.com.
For more information about GREMLN, please visit GREMLN.com, or contact David Bell by phone, (314) 915-8738, or by email, david.bell@GREMLN.com.

NYBA TOUTS PROGRESS ON SANDY CHECKS
ALBANY, NY February 28, 2013 – Michael P. Smith, President and CEO of the New York Bankers Association (NYBA) today testified before the New York State Senate Standing Committee on Banks concerning the handling of insurance claims checks by banks in the aftermath of Storm Sandy.
In addition, Smith testified about other positive actions taken by banks and the banking community in the aftermath of Sandy, including waiving certain fees, penalty-free loan payment delays, donating money to various charitable efforts, expediting the issuance of debit and credit cards, ensuring the availability of cash in ATMs in the storm zone, and raising money for a special emergency loan fund for small businesses in storm-ravaged communities.
Smith testified that the industry is “responding aggressively to insure that claims are processed and completed, with the homeowner receiving the full amount of his or her payment.”  
“The monitoring of insurance check disbursements is the standard practice that has been in place for the processing of these payments used in other disasters across the country for many years.  The goal is to ensure that all applicable laws and regulations are adhered to, that the properties are properly repaired,” Smith testified.
Smith emphasized that banks have supported efforts to urge GSEs, such as Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, for greater flexibility and clarity on regulations they must meet, and commended the NYS Department of Financial Services for its role in the effort. Last Friday, Smith noted, Fannie and Freddie issued temporary changes to their insurance claim processes, giving lenders greater discretion and flexibility in the release of these funds. 
“This new change in federal policy has already resulted in tens of millions more dollars flowing to customers within days,” Smith testified.  He outlined the policy that is required for large claims and noted that “while the process is in place to protect homeowners and their property,” citing lessons learned from Katrina.  However, “Our banks are developing new processes in light of the new GSE guidance that allows banks discretion consistent with their own policies for mortgages serviced within their own wholly-owned portfolio.”
Smith concluded by reminding Senators that many NYBA banks “have set up dedicated disaster assistance hotlines to help homeowners with their unique needs.  A list of relevant hotline numbers can be found at www.nyba.com.
Read Michael Smith’s testimony here.