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December 21, 2018

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays from GBA

At the top of our holiday wish list is for everyone to enjoy a festive, safe and memorable season with your families and loved ones. Unless there is some critical breaking news, we won't be publishing an E-Bulletin next week, so look for our next edition during the first week of the New Year. Enjoy this special holiday video from our GBA family to yours. Click the image below for a short video message.

President Signs 2018 Farm Bill

Flanked by USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue and Vice President Mike Pence, President Trump Thursday signed H.R. 2, the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018, more commonly known as the Farm Bill. Coincidentally, it was Sec. Perdue’s birthday and the President mentioned signing the bill was a nice birthday present. "This bill is an important measure to ensure stability for our Georgia producers, their communities and our members so intimately involved in funding their success. Having this certainty for the next five years is crucial for Georgia’s number-one industry: agriculture," said GBA Chairman John Hall, president and CEO of American Pride Bank, Macon. We’re also closely following the debate around disaster funding for so many parts of the country that were affected by acts of nature this year. Hurricane Michael caused an estimated $2.5 billion loss to Georgia’s agriculture sector and the President specifically mentioned Georgia and the farm disaster, and directed Sec. Perdue to continue working on a relief package. Georgia representatives Austin Scott (R-GA-8) and Rick Allen (R-GA-12), both members of the House Agriculture Committee, attended the signing ceremony.

CRA Asset-Size Thresholds Adjusted

Most Georgia Banks Meet Small or Intermediate Classification

Regulators Thursday posted their annual adjustment to the asset-size thresholds used to define small banks, small savings associations, intermediate small banks and intermediate small savings associations under the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) regulations. The new threshold for "small bank" classification is for banks with assets of less than $1.284 billion at year end of either of the prior two calendar years. The "intermediate small bank" threshold is for banks with assets of at least $321 million and less than $1.284 billion at the end of the prior two calendar years. Simply based on a look at the most current total assets of Georgia-based banks, all but nine of Georgia’s banks would meet the small bank definition, and 32 would be considered intermediate small banks. More details here.

Seen and Heard at the GBA Credit Conference…

Georgia’s top credit and lending professionals packed their annual conference last week in Atlanta. "I have been attending this conference since 2006 and this year’s content was probably the best," said Wade Johnson, EVP and senior lending officer, Durden Banking Co., Swainsboro. Click here to read about the program, which included a pre-conference housing update, inspiring leadership talk, detailed breakout sessions, two strong panels, advocacy and legal updates, peer-group discussion and more. Congratulations to the Credit Committee, chaired by Queensborough National Bank & Trust Company’s Bill Thompson and co-chaired by Colony Bank’s Eddie Hoyle on a successful conference. Thanks also to our sponsors and exhibitors listed here. With questions, contact Alison Moreau, 404.420.2034.

Move on Brokered Deposit, Rate Cap Rules Welcomed

We are pleased that the FDIC has opened up the rulemaking process for updating brokered deposits and the national rate cap. The current rules are more than 30 years old and need significant tweaking to account for modern banking methods. We’ll be submitting a comment letter, so please send us your thoughts on important items to include, and we encourage each member bank to submit a letter, as well, outlining specific changes that would benefit your bank and customers. Comments are due within 90 days of publication in the federal register. With questions, Joe Brannen, 404.420.2026, or Elizabeth Chandler, 404.420.2027.

CECL Phase in OK’d by FDIC, Loudermilk and Others Call for Delay

The FDIC this week approved a final rule allowing banks the option for a three-year phase in of any adverse effects of the Current Expected Credit Loss standard on regulatory capital once the standard goes into effect. SEC registrants must use the standard beginning in 2020, non-SEC banks that are FASB-defined "public business entities" begin in 2021 and all other banks in 2022. Georgia Rep. Barry Loudermilk was among 28 Republican House members who took time this week to urge Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin and the Financial Stability Oversight Council to delay the implementation dates and deploy a thorough study of the effects the CECL standard would have on access to credit and the industry. The delay-and-study approach is one we’ve been advocating for along with most other state and national industry groups. Read the letter here. The Financial Accounting Standards Board announced that it will hold a public roundtable on CECL implementation issues in January. With questions, Joe Brannen, 404.420.2026, or Elizabeth Chandler, 404.420.2027.

Upcoming GBA Events

How to Clear your To-Do List

If you’re wrapping up all you need to do before taking some time off here at year-end, why not clear the decks right now on your to-do list by going ahead and registering for a GBA event you plan to attend in 2019? All the key links are below.

Bonus Member Resource

Financial Markets Outlook from GBA Retirement Services

Don’t let volatility in our current market scare you. While market pullbacks like we have seen recently can be unsettling, GBA Retirement Services (GBARS) urges its participants to keep a long-term perspective on their investing. Unified Trust Company, the discretionary Trustee and Investment Manager of the GBA Master Trust, has released its monthly commentary and a memo for 401(k) participants about market volatility. Click here to read the market commentary or click here to read and share the market volatility memo with your employees. The key message for 401(k) participants to remember is that it is important not to overreact or make hasty investment decisions based on emotions when the market goes down. Keep in mind your time horizon and your overall objectives and goals before making any significant changes to your investment portfolio. Participants invested in the Managed Account Solution have complete oversight with asset allocation and Unified Trust even offers more downside protection with a wealth preservation strategy for those within five years of retirement date. Please contact Mandy Richards at 404.420.2025 or Danielle Driggers at 404.420.2002 for more information on how GBA Retirement Services can improve your bank’s 401(k) Plan and help your plan participants.

Kraninger Reverses Course on CFPB Name Change

New CFPB Director Kathy Kraninger this week put the brakes on a full change of the bureau's name, a project her predecessor Mick Mulvaney started. In halting the full name change, Kraninger recognized the cost associated with the project and the general public recognition built over 10 years of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau name. “To be clear, I care much more about what we do than what we are called,” Kraninger said in an email to staff. The agency, she said, will use the bureau's statutory name -- Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection -- in official rulemakings and legal documents, but not on websites and other places, for example. “In other words, we have a legal name, but will be using our colloquial name and the branded acronym ‘CFPB,’" she said.

Limited Quantities of 2019 GBA Decals Holiday Decals Remain - Order Now to Get Signs Up for New Year’s

We want to let everyone know that 2019 GBA Holiday Decals have been shipped to the banks on our standing order list, and we now have limited numbers available for anyone who may have overlooked making plans to use them next year. New Year’s Day will be here soon, so don’t wait to call us. Our top-quality window or door decals provide a consistent appearance across all your branches and communicate the 10 holiday closings recognized by the Federal Reserve Bank in accordance with FDIC rules. The decals are easy to spot and read from a distance and feature a variety of holiday-themed scenes. Prices are $35 per set: 1-5 sets; $32 per set: 6-10 sets, $30 per set: over 10 sets. To order, please contact GBA’s Bo Brannen, 404.420.2014.

Streamline Vehicle Title & Lien Release Management with DDI Technology

GBA has endorsed DDI Technology for more than 10 years because its Premier eTiltleLien® solution enables your bank’s loan operations team to improve reporting and manage exceptions within a simple, user-friendly application. Committed to excellence, DDI continues to focus on improving its products, education and consulting services in all areas of vehicle registration. DDI fosters partnerships with progressive and innovative businesses including federal, state and local governments by supplying them with the technologies to enable dealer and finance partners to provide the best service to their customers while saving time and money. See the four biggest benefits of working with DDI here. For more details about DDI Technology or to join the more than 4,000 customers they have today, please contact director of sales Todd Phillips, 803.808.4937.

Protect Your Human Capital and Your Bank with Employment Law Resources

Monitoring revisions and changes to labor laws affecting the banking industry can be a challenge. Your bank can stay ahead of the curve with help from GBA Strategic Partner Employment Law Compliance, Inc. (ELC). ELC creates employment solutions and services specifically tailored to community banks and updates them regularly to comply with changing regulations and HR best practices. ELC has a successful history of working with banks of all sizes that may not have a large HR staff or in-house employment counsel. The professionals at ELC average 25 years of experience in their field. ELC's entire staff is committed to designing and maintaining the best solutions and services to help your bank. For more information, please contact ELC's Steve Greene at 770.206.3371.
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. If you have any questions, please contact GBA's Katina Prokos at 404.420.2021.
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...
First Port City Bank
Planters First Bank
Ameris Bank
Citizens Bank of the South
Quantum National Bank
Access to Capital for Entrepreneurs
Signature Bank of Georgia
Read All About It: Send Us Your News
We want to share your news with your colleagues around the state. Please forward your announcements about promotions, new employees and special recognition your bank has received along with any available photos to GBA's David Oliver and Katina Prokos.