April 20, 2018        

We’re D.C. Bound for Meetings with Congress, Regulators
GBA members and staff next week head to Washington, D.C., for our annual visit with elected officials and regulators. A big group of representatives from the GBA Board of Directors, GBA BankPac Board of Directors and the Leadership GBA Executive Committee will attend. We’ve got meetings scheduled with Sens. Johnny Isakson and David Perdue, as well as Reps. Drew Ferguson, Austin Scott, Rick Allen, Rob Woodall, David Scott and Barry Loudermilk. We’ll also get a briefing from FDIC Chair Martin Gruenberg and the OCC’s Mike Brickman, deputy comptroller, Thrift Supervision, Donna Murphy, deputy comptroller, Compliance Risk, and Charlie Steele, deputy chief counsel. We’ll also attend ABA’s Government Relations Summit, which will feature Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Acting Director Mick Mulvaney among others. Find out more about our D.C. trip here...
Loudermilk Presses Fed’s Quarles about CRA
The Fed’s supervision boss this week testified to the U.S. House Financial Services Committee, and among the topics was the need to modernize the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA). The agency has said it intends to issue a proposal for updating the law soon. During his testimony, Fed Vice Chairman for Banking Supervision Randal Quarles was complimentary of the Treasury Department’s recent report urging such reform. Georgia Rep. Barry Loudermilk (R-GA11) is on the committee and had several questions for Quarles about CRA and whether such reform can be effective, in particular related to how technology has changed access to bank services. Read more about Quarles' testimony here...
CNBC’s Cramer at 30,000 Feet
We saw an interesting article this week from CNBC’s Mad Money host Jim Cramer taking a contrarian view against what some in the investing community have had to say about recent bank earnings. Cramer’s comments came after most of the largest banks reported strong earnings and predicted future loan growth in the low single digits and how some investors perceive that as the economy is stalling thereby negatively affecting bank stock prices. "The banks are not sending a signal that the economy's slowing, or that tax cuts have failed to bring about growth, or that we're headed into recession, either. Instead, I think they're saying, 'Things are good, not amazing, not overheated, but good and responsible,' and the financials are the healthiest they've been in years. If that makes you want to bet against the U.S. economy, you might want to seek some professional help," Cramer said. While his comments reflected what the biggest banks are seeing, we’ve also heard these same comments from our community bank members in a recent survey we did of GBA’s Credit Committee. More here...
Fed Nominee Has Strong Community Bank Background
Kansas Bank Commissioner Michelle Bowman is President Trump’s nominee to fill the designated community bank seat on the Federal Reserve Board of Governors. The position has been vacant since it was created by Congress during the Obama administration, so if confirmed she’ll be the first person to hold that seat. Our colleagues at the Kansas Bankers Association have nothing but great things to say about Bowman, a fifth-generation banker who worked in a senior role at a small bank before taking the reins as the state’s banking commissioner. Read more about her here. The President also announced the nomination of economist and monetary policy specialist Richard Clarida to serve as Federal Reserve vice chairman. More about Bowman and Clarida here...
Annual Meeting Breakout Session Spotlight
Are You Using Social and Digital Channels to Reach Your Customers?

To capture the attention of today's digital-savvy consumers, your bank’s brand needs to be authentic, relevant, engaging and simple across all touchpoints. Amber Farley, Director of Interactive Service and Media, Financial Marketing Solutions, will discuss the latest trends and tactics on how to reach your target audience in one of the several great breakout sessions at GBA’s 2018 Annual Meeting set for June 17-20 at The Ritz-Carlton, Half Moon Bay, CA. A complete meeting package was mailed this week, but you can view the brochure and register online. With questions about the GBA Annual Meeting, please contact GBA’s Susie McGehee at 404.420.2010.
GBA Member Profile
Wilcox County State Bank’s Sam Giddens Enjoys Getting Schooled--in Banking

Loan Officer Sam Giddens has been able to absorb a lot of knowledge about banking in a pretty short period of time thanks to, among other things, his commitment to spending time with and learning about each of his customers. He says he feels fortunate that was the type of culture he found when he joined Wilcox County State Bank in Ocilla four years ago. Giddens also told us this week that the bank’s culture and leadership, along with a little family influence from his banker older brother and some participation with GBA, all have helped him realize the positive impact he can have on his community while working in a fun, fulfilling industry with terrific people. We have gotten to know Giddens well as he has gone through GBA’s Georgia Banking School in Athens and now as a student at the GBA-supported Graduate School of Banking at LSU, where he was elected by his peers as class president. He shared some more about both of those programs and other details about himself in this week’s GBA Member Profile here…
News to Know about Your GBA Staff
We’ve done a bit of reorganization to the staff here at GBA that takes effect July 1. Susie McGehee will be retiring June 30. For more than 18 years, Susie has spent every day making sure we have a first-class professional development program. “While her retirement creates a big hole in our hearts, her legacy will be felt for years to come through the work of the professional staff she has recruited,” said Joe Brannen, GBA President and CEO. Upon McGehee’s retirement, David Oliver will expand his role to add our professional development program to the areas he currently oversees related to member services and communications. Bo Brannen will move into a long-vacant fulltime position overseeing all member services activities. Kathy Friestad will be managing the annual meeting, Leadership GBA, the concurrent President/CEO, Bank Accountant and Bank Counsel conferences, the Economic and Legislative Forum and Reception, the President/CEO and Fin Ops Roundtables and other major events like the community bank forums we cosponsor with Valdosta State and Georgia Southern and our Leadership GBA golf and clay shooting fundraisers. Alison Moreau will be managing all our other committee-led conferences, the Georgia Banking School, the Basic and Advanced Compliance Schools. Katina Prokos will add the Senior Lending Officer Roundtables and the Compliance and Marketing peer groups to her current responsibilities overseeing our in-person seminars. We are looking to bring on new team members soon to work on our webinar programs and overall marketing and communications. Read more details here....
Rooms Selling Out Quickly for 2018 Leadership Conference!
Rooms at the Ponte Vedra Inn & Club are selling out quickly for Leadership GBA’s 2018 Leadership Conference. If you have not already done so, you can make your reservations by calling Ponte Vedra Inn directly at 904.285.1111 or 800.234.7842. Be sure to let them know you are with the Georgia Bankers Association group to get the discounted room rate of $219 - $239 per night. The cut-off date for reservations is June 8. After this date, all reservations will be subject to prevailing rate and space availability. Also, be sure to check out the conference brochure and register online on the GBA website. With questions about hotel rates and availability or the Leadership Conference in general, please contact GBA’s Susie McGehee at 404.420.2010. Make your reservations today!
Thank You GBA Volunteers!
When we wrap up our fiscal year June 30, those of us here on the GBA staff will have so much to be grateful for. In our 125th year our focus has been on the middle word of our association’s name: Bankers. It’s the 60,000 Georgians who happen to be bankers that we’ve been celebrating. And more than 305 of those bankers volunteer their time each and every year to serve on a GBA committee or board. We rely on our volunteers to shape our advocacy efforts, educational programs and planning, the products and services we provide members and in our role as the industry's principal voice to the media and general public. We hear that the personal connections bankers make when serving together toward a common goal far outweigh the hard work they put in and can last a lifetime. In recognition of National Volunteer Week, we want to send a special thank you to every single individual who has, whether it be in the past or present, helped the GBA be The Resource that Empowers Georgia's Banks.
Solid Loan Growth Reported by Banks
The latest Federal Reserve’s Beige Book overview of economic activity for the Atlanta District cites reports from banking contacts that commercial and consumer loan growth is solid. That comes in an environment of modest overall growth in economic activity, the latest report said. Retail sales were stable. Manufacturers noted an increase in new orders and production, and ag contacts noted a favorable export environment and easing drought conditions. Read more here….
Wire Transfer Fraud Webinar - April 27, 11 a.m.
Identify Gaps in Your Wire Transfer Program before a Fraudulent Attack

What are the common blind spots that financial institutions miss in their wire transfer fraud prevention program? On April 27 at 11 a.m., the Wire Transfer Fraud - Moving from Reactionary to Preventative webinar provides a deep dive into a vulnerable wire program, ranging from how wire transfer instructions are received to how the wire transfer is funded and originated. Our presenter will also cover the following…
The Information Security Officer (ISO) Seminar - May 1
Leading the Business Continuity and Incident Response Teams

GBA’s Information Security Officer (ISO) seminar May 1 at Idle Hour Country Club in Macon will cover the A to Z’s of an ISO’s regulatory requirements and internal responsibilities. Current and prospective ISOs, network administrators and compliance officers will all benefit from this full-day session presented by Tom Hinkel of Safe Systems. This year, Hinkel will cover…
GBA Marketing Peer Group - May 9
Compliance Hot Topics for Bank Marketing Pros

GBA’s next Marketing Peer Group Meeting May 9 at the University of Georgia’s campus in Athens is a can’t-miss program for marketing officers and any banker with marketing responsibilities. The meeting will kick off with Jim Bedsole, SVP/Chief Compliance & Risk Officer, BankSouth, providing a high-level overview of the regulatory hot buttons marketing pros must be aware of. Attendees will then meet among themselves for resource sharing and peer discussion before joining first-year Georgia Banking School students to hear from UGA Marketing Professor Marcus Cunha about consumer behavior. Click here to register online...
South Georgia Community Bank Symposium
- May 16

Economic Update for South Georgia Bankers

Get the economic outlook for 2018-2019 from Dr. Roger Tutterow, Professor of Economics at Kennesaw State University, at GBA’s next South Georgia Community Bank Symposium on May 16 at Valdosta State University. Presented in partnership with the Langdale College of Business, this annual event features expert speakers who will focus on the challenging issues facing today’s banking industry. In addition to Dr. Tutterow’s economic update, attendees will also hear sessions on real estate market trends, a legislative update from the Georgia Banking Commissioner and more. Registration is $159 per person. Click here to register. With questions, please contact GBA’s Katina Prokos at 404.420.2021or Susie McGehee at 404.420.2010.
State Veterinarian to Speak at May Rural Development and Lending Conference
If your bank is involved in agribusiness, be sure your lender or someone from your executive team is registered to attend the 2018 Rural Development and Lending Conference, May 21-22 at The King and Prince Hotel on St. Simons. Dr. Robert Cobb, Director of Animal Industry and State Veterinarian for the Georgia Department of Agriculture, will be on hand to discuss a number of topics of great interest to ag lenders and those in agri-business in our state. Click here to access the brochure, register online or to see hotel reservation information.
Online Classes - May
Marketing, Lending, Trust

ABA facilitated online courses feature an online learning community with fellow students, instructor guidance and feedback. These four courses are scheduled to begin in May:
For more information, contact Alison Moreau, 404.420.2034. Click here for a list of all ABA offerings...
How to Tune up Your Overdraft Program
GBA Strategic Partner John M. Floyd and Associates has built a new overdraft program - complete with new analytics, new strategies, new reporting and tracking, as well as new communication materials for account holders. This updated program will help your bank provide a customer-focused, fully compliant overdraft program. Here are a few questions you can ask yourself to determine if your overdraft program is up to date...
Employee Benefit Selections are Easy and Affordable with Holmes-Shaw
has built a full portfolio of complementary products and services around the GBA Insurance Trust's core benefit programs, allowing participants and their employees to expand their benefit selections affordably. Some of these products and services include…
Fill a Job, Find a Job with the GBA Job Bank
The GBA Job Bank is among the most popular and valuable benefits we provide to member banks and bankers. The Positions Available and Bankers Available sections on our website consistently are among the most visited pages. Best of all, the service costs nothing for member banks and bankers. To make the process of posting a job or resume easier and to answer any questions you may have, we've developed this Q & A document as a resource. It outlines how to submit open positions and resumes, our deadlines and timelines for posting, and other helpful details. If you have any questions, please contact GBA's Bo Brannen at 404.420.2014.
GBA Community Connections
We want to share all the good work GBA member banks, bankers, Associate Members and Bank Counsel Section members do to support their communities. Read all about the Community Connections our banks and members have below. Share your Community Connections by sending a brief paragraph and any photos of activities you have to us and we'll publish them at our earliest opportunity. Send information to Bo Brannen and David Oliver, or if your company would like to sponsor this content, let us know. Here's our latest installment...
Team BSA and Team AML
Calumet Bank
GBA Staff Service Anniversary Recipients
Read All About It: Send Us Your News
Please remember to include the Georgia Bankers Association on the list of recipients for announcements about promotions, new employees and special recognition your bank has received. We want to share your news with your colleagues across the state. Please forward your announcements and photos to GBA's David Oliver and Bogan Brannen.