August 31, 2018

Georgia Banking in the News
Banking Performance, Branch Strategy Draw Headlines

GBA was called on as a resource by journalists for stories covering two issues this past week. In response to a news release we distributed about Georgia bank performance, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution followed up with a story adding more analysis to the results. In other news, the Macon banking market continues to evolve with bank branches changing ownership recently. The Macon Telegraph looked to GBA for insight for its story about the issue. We discussed how some banks will exit certain locations if they have significant market presence while others will look to move into those vacated branches to grow their local presence. With questions, contact David Oliver at 404.420.2036.
Four Member Banks Recognized among Best Banks to Work For
Congratulations to GBA members Capital City Bank, United Community Bank, TIB The Independent Bank and Synovus for being among the 85 banks nationally recognized by American Banker as being the Best Banks to Work For. Among the reasons for each bank being recognized were: Capital City Bank - its pension and retirement plans; United Community Bank - its employee feedback program; TIB - its family-friendly environment; Synovus - its work-life balance efforts and community outreach. Congratulations to the banks and their teams! Read more here (subscription required).
Member Profile
Football, Family and a Banker’s True Measure of Success with Johnny Smith

When it comes to his leadership style, Johnny Smith draws inspiration from three people in particular: his father and football legends Bill Curry and Homer Rice. "One similarity these great men share that resonates with me still today is the principle that no one person or position is more important than the other," Smith said. "Whether it’s competing on the football field or in the game of life, what we do for others will always be more important than what we do for ourselves." In this week’s member profile, Smith, our GBA Group 4 board member, talks about his bank’s brand promise, the role of community banks in local economies and his family’s passion for football and golf. Get to know Newton Federal Bank’s president and CEO here…
Ballot Reminder
Vote for FHLBank Atlanta Directors

Please remember to cast your vote for FHLB Atlanta directors in the election that’s ongoing. The deadline to vote is 5 p.m. EDT, Thursday, Sept. 20. Eligible institutions in the bank’s district at-large will elect the one independent director. All elected directors will serve four-year terms that begin on Jan. 1, 2019. The FHLB Atlanta emphasizes that an independent director nominee must receive at least 20 percent of the votes eligible to be cast to be elected
, so please don’t sit on yours - send it in. Former GBA Chairman Rick Whaley, who is currently serving as Vice Chair of the FHLB Atlanta Board, is one of the two nominees for the Georgia seat on the Board. His candidacy has been endorsed by the GBA Executive Committee and they encourage our members to support Rick.
First Port City Bank in Bainbridge Warns of Fraudulent Cashier’s Checks
Banks are encouraged to be on the lookout for fraudulent cashier’s checks bearing the First Port City Bank name. This activity has been occurring since Aug. 29 and is ongoing. The bank has seen the following remitter name: Jane Lewie. Checks have been written for $2,789.93. The bank asks that financial institutions do not cash or negotiate these items. If you have a question about a cashier’s check from the bank, please contact Kristy Harrell with First Port City Bank at 229.246.6200 or
Lots of Legal Chatter at Bank Counsel Board Meeting
Fraudulent transactions, de novo bank interest, the OCC’s Fintech charter, UCC issues and ADA claims were among the legal issues covered by members of GBA’s Bank Counsel Section Board during their meeting this week. The board met to review important legal issues for the banking industry and to plan the content of the annual Bank Counsel Conference coming up Sept. 30-Oct. 2 at the Ritz Carlton, Reynolds, Lake Oconee. Cavan Perry, The Citizens Bank, Nashville, chairs the Bank Counsel Board, and Virginia Harman, of McRae, Smith, Peek, Harman & Monroe, LLP is vice chair. The conference will feature two Bank Counsel specific sessions - a review of recent developments in state and federal law, and a session more specifically dealing with power of attorney issues and electronic signatures. More details here...
New Quarter Features Georgia Landmark
The U.S. Mint this week introduced a new quarter into circulation that recognizes the Cumberland Island National Seashore. The Cumberland Island National Seashore quarter is the fourth of 2018 and 44th overall in the America the Beautiful Quarters Program. The design on the tails side of the coin depicts a snowy egret posing on a branch on the edge of a salt marsh, ready for flight. Inscriptions are "CUMBERLAND ISLAND," "GEORGIA," "2018," and "E PLURIBUS UNUM." Here’s a good story from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution about the coin...
National Issues Roundup
Here’s a summary of key industry news at the national level this week.
  • OCC proposes modernizing the CRA: Comptroller of the Currency Joseph Otting mentioned this was a priority during a speech GBA members attended during the ABA Government Relations Summit back in May. Get details here.

  • Fed rule offers relief for small bank holding companies: The Federal Reserve Board yesterday issued an interim final rule implementing a provision in S. 2155 that raises the asset threshold for relief under the Fed’s small bank holding company policy statement from $1 billion to $3 billion. Here’s the rule.
  • Overtime rule feedback session set for Atlanta: The U.S. Department of Labor has scheduled five public "listening sessions" in September to receive feedback about possible revisions to the Obama era overtime rule that would have raised the salary level for the executive, administrative and professional, and highly compensated employee exemptions. A session in Atlanta is scheduled for
    Sept. 7. Here’s how to register.
Compliance Conference
A Deep-dive into Fair Lending with Back-to-Back Sessions

At the upcoming GBA Compliance Conference Sept. 12-14 in Peachtree City, there are two speakers lined up to present back-to-back sessions about fair lending. First up, Gary L. Clayton, fair lending examination specialist, FDIC, will provide insight on identifying inherent fair lending risks in a bank’s credit operations as well implementing fair lending compliance management system components to help mitigate these risks. Next, Kristen Stogniew, Esq, CFE, shareholder, Saltmarsh, Cleaveland & Gund will discuss the new expectations from examiners, the new twist on redlining, REMAs and how the new HMDA rules may affect your fair lending exam. Fair lending is just one topic in an agenda packed full of the most current and helpful compliance related updates available in Georgia. Here's what Latisha Brundidge, Talbot State Bank, had to say about the conference...
You can see the full agenda here, and register today if you have not yet done so. Contact Alison Moreau with questions, 404.420.2034.
Women in Banking Conference an Empowering Experience
More than 100 female Georgia bankers gathered last week for the fifth-annual GBA Women in Banking Conference. The conference theme, "Empower A Woman, Inspire A Leader," was lived out equally on the dias and around the conference tables. A slate of powerful women took the podium, and attendees who immersed themselves fully in the learning experience and through the informal networking opportunities throughout the conference.

"I cannot even begin to tell you how much I enjoyed the conference last week! I was thrilled to be able to attend this year as it seemed to fall during busy times for me in past years. I look forward to being a regular attendee."
- Laura Finney, Vice President/Treasury Management Business Solutions, First American Bank & Trust Company, Athens
A special shout-out to our members who showed tremendous support through sponsorship... If you have questions about the conference, please contact GBA’s Kathy Friestad, 404.420.2024.
2018 BankPAC Update
The 2018 BankPAC Campaign is going full force ahead and now is the time to join your fellow bankers across Georgia in contributing to this important statewide effort. Check out our new fillable forms for use in making contributions to the GBA StatePAC and GBA FedPAC and also see how your GBA Group is faring so far. See who contributed to the GBA StatePAC and FedPAC this week...
President/CEO, Bank Counsel, and Bank Accountant Conferences
Bank Executives, Accountants and Attorneys - Register Today for Annual Conferences

Be sure that a team member from each professional focus area of your bank or firm is planning to attend our annual President/CEO, Bank Counsel, and Bank Accountant conferences Sept. 30-Oct. 2 at the Ritz-Carlton Reynolds, Lake Oconee. In addition to excellent general sessions, there are sessions tailored specifically to the interests and needs of bank CEOs, bank accountants and bank attorneys. A golf outing and clay shooting are scheduled for informal networking and fun. We’ll kick off the conferences on Sunday evening with a special speaker, Robert Dozier, executive vice president, Chief Business Officer, Federal Home Loan Bank of Atlanta, who will talk about "Banking with Heart." Tapping into his experience as a community banker, Dozier will remind us of the power of getting to know our customers and truly listening to them. Get more details here…
Calling All Marketers: GBA’s Fall Marketing Peer Group
This fall, the GBA Marketing Peer Group Meeting will be Oct. 23 at Middle Georgia State University in Macon. The committee has hand-picked programming that includes video marketing and the customer experience, as well as various other areas of interest. These presenters will provide the tools and strategies you need to tell your bank’s unique story. Also, back by popular demand, there will be ample time allotted for peer-to-peer roundtable discussions. Marketing officers and anyone with marketing-related duties should consider attending. Registration is $125 per person. Click here to register online. With questions, please contact GBA's Jenna Lynn Warner at 404.420.2035.
Related: See below for an effective marketing resource from GBA partner
Save the Date: Nov. 1
Southeast Georgia Community Bank Symposium

GBA along with the Georgia Southern University will host its annual Southeast Georgia Community Bank Symposium on Nov. 1. This event will feature leading speakers who will focus on the important issues facing the banking industry today. CEOs, CFOs, bank directors, senior lenders and retail bank managers from throughout the Southeast Georgia region should look to attend. Stay tuned as we have a detailed agenda coming soon with information about our speakers and program. Registration is $159 per person. Click here to register online. With questions, please contact GBA's Jenna Lynn Warner at 404.420.2035.
Last chance for early bird pricing!
IRA Advanced Update and Review Workshop, Sept. 13

When you attend GBA’s IRA Advanced Update and Review Workshop, you will get the latest information on the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 as well as a deeper review of the more technical areas of IRAs. This seminar will take place on Sept. 13 at Middle Georgia State University in Macon and Patrice Konarik, president of Sunwest Training Corp., will speak on recent changes as she covers content at the intermediate-to-advanced level. Each participant will receive the complete 275-page Sunwest Training IRA Training and Reference Manual, which is updated to reflect new regulations. Registration is $250 per person ($275 per person after Sept. 5). To register, click here. With questions, please contact GBA's Jenna Lynn Warner, 404.420.2035.
Comp. & Benefits Survey Results
The New Surveys Are Here, The New Surveys Are Here!

The reports from the 2018 GBA Compensation and Benefits Survey are complete and ready for purchase. There are three sections to the results this year, and this is the most comprehensive look at bank jobs throughout Georgia available. There’s salary ranges, as well as data about director compensation, salary increase and other benefit information, peer bank pay information and asset-size breakouts. You can even get custom reports with multi-state information. We’ve emailed those who participated and already delivered a whole slew of reports to folks. Even if your bank did not participate in the survey, it’s a great resource for you. Associate members with HR related businesses may find it useful, as well. To order a copy of the results, please contact GBA's David Oliver, 404.420.2036. The price for the survey results is $400 for those that did not participate by submitting salary and non-salary information, and it costs $150 for those who provided data. Bonus: $10 off for the first order from someone who can name the movie the headline on this article loosely references.
401(k) Testing Relief through Safe Harbor Design - Time to Review for 2019!
Is 401(k) testing limiting what your bank officers can contribute to your 401(k) Plan? Plans that guarantee a 100% match up to 4% of compensation or a 3% non-elective contribution (similar to a profit sharing contribution) can be exempt from ADP/ACP discrimination testing and even exempt from top-heavy testing depending on different factors. Employees must become immediately 100% vested in all safe harbor contributions. In addition, there is another safe harbor design that ends up with a 3.5% maximum annual match for participants, but has automatic enrollment features built in. The Master 401(k) Plan offered under GBA Retirement Services, Inc. is already set up to accommodate traditional and automatic enrollment safe harbor plans. Anyone electing safe harbor options for 2019 must decide by early November in order to allow time for the required amendments and participant notices. Now is a great time to make final decisions about your plan design for 2019. Benefits of the 401(k) plans offered through GBA Retirement Services include...
There’s No Better Time to Talk with GBA Strategic Partner (BMC), is a web-based marketing portal that helps banks quickly and easily produce professionally designed, bank-branded marketing material. For the same amount you would normally pay for one agency-designed ad or one quality stock photo, you’ll instead have access to thousands of professionally designed marketing materials, and OVER 9 MILLION STOCK PHOTOS FROM GETTY IMAGES. Once your marketing resources are created, you can easily send, via BMC’s portal, through your bank’s compliance approval process and send it to the printer or publisher of your choice. Each item will be saved in an organized order history, which can be helpful for during regulatory exams. BMC also has a comprehensive and easy to deploy digital display solution. GBA members interested in learning more about BMC are encouraged to request an online demo by visiting this link, or by contacting BMC’s Keith Pagel at 678.528.8041 or
Employee Benefit Selections are Easy and Affordable with Holmes-Shaw
The Holmes-Shaw Agency 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:
  • Medical Benefits
  • Group Life Insurance
  • Long Term Disability Insurance
  • Dental Coverage
  • Voluntary Accidental Death Coverage
  • Voluntary Short Term Disability Insurance
  • Voluntary Life Insurance.
The wide variety helps Holmes-Shaw meet each company's unique needs, and Holmes-Shaw develops programs directly with insurance companies or through strategic partnerships, allowing them to present the best options to its clients. With questions or to learn more about how Holmes-Shaw can help your company enhance its current benefit offerings, please contact Bruce Shaw, 770.642.2150.
Online Classes - September
Bank Performance, Basics and Trust

ABA facilitated online courses feature an online learning community with fellow students, instructor guidance and feedback. For more information, contact Alison Moreau, 404.420.2034. Click here for a list of all ABA offerings. There are five upcoming courses scheduled to begin in September...
ABA Certificate in General Banking
Are you looking for a broad understanding of the underpinnings of the banking industry? The ABA Certificate program in General Banking dives deeply into the purpose of specific banking functions and the role of banking in the economy. You’ll gain practical knowledge of the core principles of accounting and economics; explore legal and regulatory issues, compliance matters, as well as the fundamentals of bank marketing; and learn how to identify and resolve ethical issues. You must complete the following courses to earn your certificate:
To register for the courses, click on the individual course titles above. For more information about any of these offerings, contact Alison Moreau, 404.420.2034. Click here for a list of all ABA offerings...
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 Katina Prokos at 404.420.2021.
Click the image to learn more
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 Katina Prokos and David Oliver, or if your company would like to sponsor this content, let us know. Here's our latest installment...
Queensborough National Bank & Trust Company, Inc.
Southwest Georgia Bank
WB&T; Bankshares, Inc.
Jassmine Sarratt
Dexter Steverson
Larry Shackelford
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 Katina Prokos.