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Reynolds Thanks Bankers for Pandemic Efforts

Archived Industry News:Reynolds Thanks Bankers for Pandemic Efforts

Last Updated: 2/12/2021 11:33 AM

Reynolds Thanks Bankers for Pandemic Efforts

Gov. Kim Reynolds thanked Iowa bankers — during a brief welcome address at the Iowa Bankers Association’s virtual Management & Policy Conference this week — for their efforts to help customers during the pandemic.

The governor applauded the efforts of Iowa banks to help their communities during the pandemic, especially Iowa's small businesses through the Paycheck Protection Program. She noted that Iowa’s response to the pandemic will help the economy return to strength while highlighting the efforts of the administration to bring high-speed broadband to all parts of Iowa, to increase the availability of affordable housing in the state and help grow Iowa's workforce by giving parents more availability to child care. She concluded her address with a challenge for Iowa bankers as they move past the challenges of 2020. She encouraged bankers to not return to normal, but rather, "to think bigger, to be bolder and to do better."

Watch the governor's address.

Following Reynolds’ address, Dave Roederer, former director of the Iowa Department of Management, (pictured with conference moderator Melissa Ballard of First Iowa State Bank in Albia) discussed the condition of the state and the impact the COVID-19 pandemic has had on the state’s budget. He provided an insider's look at the inner workings of Iowa’s Revenue Estimating Council and how it made decisions for estimating state revenue during 2020. He noted that the state’s economy is resilient and is making progress but is still not back to where it was pre-pandemic. He also discussed Iowa’s rebounding workforce, the impact of federal stimulus packages, the supply chain and agriculture.

Debi Durham, director of the Iowa Economic Development Authority and Iowa Finance Authority, concluded the first day of the conference. She discussed the state’s economic development strategy and what the state has learned from the pandemic. She called the pandemic a black swan even unlike anything she’s ever seen, but pointed to Iowa’s resiliency in how the state’s economy bounced back. She cited a report by the Council of State Governments and KPMG that noted Iowa ranked first in the nation for the lowest risk of pandemic-related impact to the economy and for highest resiliency to repair the economy after the pandemic. She said the plan to help Iowa recover includes investments in biosciences and manufacturing automation, as well as creating more affordable housing.

Watch Roederer's and Durham's presentations.

On the second day of the conference, Jeff Plagge, superintendent of the Iowa Division of Banking shared an overview of Iowa banking statistics and discussed changes that have occurred in the banking industry. He also examined the coronavirus response and relief provided by government action, echoing the statements by Gov. Reynolds in appreciation of Iowa banks' efforts regarding the PPP. Plagge also discussed the examination priorities the IDOB is focusing on, including monitoring concentrations, legal lending limits, commercial real estate and agricultural loans, integration of data analytics and cybersecurity.

Watch Plagge's presentation.

The conference concluded with an Iowa legislator panel moderated by IBA Senior Vice President Sharon Presnall and IBA Lobbyist Mike Rozenboom. Panelists included House Majority Leader Matt Windschitl (R-Missouri Valley), left, and Iowa Senate Commerce Committee Chair Jason Schultz (R-Schleswig), right. They discussed a range of issues important to Iowa banks, including the state budget and tax reform. They also covered some of the governor’s legislative priorities, including broadband and housing reform. The legislators also answered questions about the status of current bills, such as the prize-linked savings accounts legislation being pushed by the credit union industry.

Watch the legislative panel.

The conference also included annual business updates from the IBA and its service companies. IBA President and CEO John Sorensen, left, updated attendees on the association's progress in 2020. Iowa Bankers Mortgage Corp. President Dan Vessley, center, discussed the past year for IBMC, and Iowa Bankers Insurance and Services Inc. President Chad Ellsworth, right, provided an overview for IBIS.

View the presentation slides.

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