July 20, 2018         

Supreme Court Opines Favorably on Guarantor Enforcement

Our thanks to eagle-eyed Bill Custer with Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner, LLP for spotting an important ruling coming out of the Georgia Supreme Court related to the enforcement of certain guarantees. The case involved the question of whether a guaranty was rendered unenforceable by the Statute of Frauds if it referred to the principal debtor by its trade name instead of its legal name. The Georgia Court of Appeals had previously held that such guaranties were unenforceable. The Georgia Supreme Court in Colonial Oil Industries v. Lynchar, however, recently took that issue up and reversed the Court of Appeals in both the case before it and in an earlier, similar case decided by the Court of Appeals in 2011. According to Custer...
ABA Taps Edwards for National Leadership Role
We got some great news this week when we learned the American Bankers Association (ABA) had tapped third-generation Georgia banker Jim Edwards to begin the rotation through its chairs to become ABA Chairman for the 2020-21 year. Edwards is CEO of United Bank and chairman of United Bank Corp., Griffin. Long active with both associations, Edwards was elected by his peers as president of Leadership GBA for the 1999 year, served as GBA’s chairman in 2012-2013 and is the current chairman of GBA’s subsidiary, GBA Services, Inc. At the ABA, he is a former chair of the ABA Community Bankers Council and currently serves on both the ABA Board of Directors and the American Bankers Mutual Insurance Ltd. Board. Locally, Edwards is Past Chairman of the Thomaston/Upson Chamber of Commerce and the Thomaston/Upson Industrial Development Authority. He currently serves as Vice-Chairman of Upson Regional Medical Center and is Chairman of the Gordon State College Foundation. Congratulations, Jim!
Early Voting Ends Friday; Primary Runoff Tuesday
It takes nothing more than turning on your television or making a trip to your mailbox to know that election season is in full swing in Georgia. Early voting ends Friday, July 20, and the primary runoff is slated for Tuesday, July 24. Want to guess how many Georgians are registered to vote? If you guessed 6,174,050, you probably did like we did and peeked at the Secretary of State’s website to see. The big unknown is how many people will show up to actually vote. One prediction we heard is the percentage could be the single digits. So let’s think about that…if only nine percent of registered voters actually cast votes, that would be 555,665 people voting. If every one of the 60,000 Georgia bankers voted, you’d represent almost 11 percent of the votes cast! So, yes, voting matters; and yes, bankers can make a difference. "Between the runoff and general election in November, we’ll see more turnover among statewide and locally elected officials than we’ve seen in almost a decade. Georgia is well known as the number one state in which to business, and we believe we’re also the number one state in which to do banking. These elections are incredibly important as those elected to serve will set the direction of our state and affect the future of our industry for the foreseeable future, so please join me in voting," said GBA president and CEO Joe Brannen shown taking advantage of early voting at his precinct.
Leadership Conference a Summer Blockbuster
Unmatched industry insights, networking and family fellowship drew more than 300 Georgia bankers, Associate Members and their families to this week’s GBA Leadership Conference. Tuesday’s agenda featured an industry and advocacy update from GBA’s Joe Brannen and David Oliver that touched on the latest bank performance details, the government relations environment and fresh survey results from leaders about key Georgia bank trends. Wells Fargo Economist Sarah House shared an economic forecast that predicts 3 percent GDP growth for the rest of the year and a similar growth in 2019. GBA General Counsel Jonathan Hightower of Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner, LLP presented a compelling outline of how bank leadership can go about evaluating expansion plans into new markets or lines of business. And, Pete Stuart of State Bank & Trust Company detailed the latest banks security trends related to bank robberies, cybersecurity, ATM jackpotting and preventing elder abuse. Wednesday’s program included Ameris Bank CEO Dennis Zember sharing a checklist for lenders of the type of information bank CFOs value most from them, and attendees held group meetings and elected their representatives to the Leadership GBA Executive Committee. The conference concluded with the Ritz-Carlton’s Alexandra Valentin detailing the deliberate and effective techniques it has for achieving its world-renowned service excellence culture. See the slides from some of the conference presentations here. Special thanks to all our exhibitors and sponsors for helping make the event such a success.Be sure to check next week's E-Bulletin for a link to photos from the Leadership Conference.
New Leadership GBA Executive Committee Elected
Congratulations to the new officers and new members of the Leadership GBA Executive Committee who were elected this week. "The bankers and associate members serving on the Leadership GBA Executive Committee are representative of just how strong the community of banking professionals is in Georgia. They’re already effective leaders at their banks and companies, and it’s exciting to see them step up to serve the broader banking industry through their roles with the association," said GBA Chairman John Hall, president and CEO, American Pride Bank, Macon.
The 2018-2019 officers are:
  • President: Keith Anthony, Planters and Citizens Bank, Forsyth
  • President-Elect: Andrew Ainslie, Bank of Madison
  • Vice President: Danny Minick, The Citizens Bank of Americus
  • Past President: Wade Johnson, Durden Banking Company, Swainsboro.
The new representatives to the committee are:
  • Group 3: Greg Barineau, The Peoples Bank of Georgia, Ellaville
  • Group 7: Jay Slaughter, Century Bank of Georgia, Cartersville
  • At Large: Tessa Nolan, Newton Federal Bank, Covington
  • At Large: Brad Sheffield, Synovus Bank, Statesboro
  • Associate Member representative: Ryan Barrow, Porter Keadle Moore, Watkinsville
  • Associate Member representative: Nick Schuster, Cash Transactions, LLC, Austell
Thanks to the following Leadership GBA Executive Committee members whose terms have ended. We’ve appreciated your service.
  • Chad Thomason, Group 7, ServisFirst Bank, Douglasville
  • Colin Stokes, At Large, State Bank & Trust Company, Athens
  • Randy Griffin, Associate Member representative, CSRA Business Lending, Augusta
  • Joel Foster, Associate Member representative, Raymond James & Associates, Atlanta
2018 BankPAC Campaign Progress
Good progress was made this week in the 2018 BankPAC Campaign. The BankPAC Board of Directors has been busy reaching out to their fellow bank CEOs asking for their participation in this very important effort. Check out the goals and progress for your GBA group and the contribution forms for use in making contributions to the GBA StatePAC and FedPAC. Here are those contributing to the GBA StatePAC this week...
The Halls
Georgia Well-represented at Policy Gathering
Several Georgians were among the leaders from each state gathering this week for the annual ABA Summer Leadership Meeting. GBA chairman John Hall, American Pride Bank, Macon and GBA’s Senior VP for Government Relations Elizabeth Chandler joined Jim Edwards, United Bank, Griffin who serves on the ABA Board at the meeting. Strategic issues facing the industry, all things politics and continued progress on right sizing regulations to the business model and risk profile of institutions were top of mind discussions. In a keynote address, Fed Vice Chair for Supervision, Randal Quarles, outlined the significant efforts underway to tailor supervision and the evolving regulatory structure for more complex institutions. Quarles was confirmed by the U.S. Senate this week for a full 14-year term on the Federal Reserve Board. Quarles joined the board last fall. By the way, congratulations to GBA's first family Stephanie and John Hall on their 31st wedding anniversary that occurred during the summer meeting. They're shown here enjoying some local fun at the Days of 47 Rodeo demonstration and concert featuring Michael Martin Murphey.
Modest Economic Expansion Cited by Fed
The Fed’s latest Beige Book summary of economic conditions says a tight labor market, commodity price increases and improved consumer spending were some of the conditions highlighting a period of modest economic expansion in the Sixth District since the last report. "Although a number of contacts' sentiment declined due to uncertainty related to the impact of tariffs and tariff rhetoric, the overall outlook among businesses remains positive as most expect an increase in activity for the second half of the year," the report said. Banks reporting said earnings normalized during the quarter after adjusting earlier in the year for the effects of tax reform, loans are growing and urban-market deposit competition ramped up. Read more here.
2018 Compliance Conference is at a New Location
Compliance professionals, we invite you to join us for the 2018 GBA Compliance Conference, Sept. 12-14, at the Crowne Plaza Atlanta SW in Peachtree City. The hotel and conference center is located on a picturesque 38 acres, so we’re excited about the new venue. The conference is planned and hosted by the GBA Compliance Committee, led by Sterling Williams, BrandBank, Lawrenceville. Rick Freer, senior director, Examination and Compliance Programs, Center for Regulatory Compliance, American Bankers Association, will kick off the conference again this year with a regulatory update from Washington. His talk is always a favorite. More details here...
Crime and Punishment
Bank Fraudsters Sentenced for South Georgia Schemes
Two Quitman men have been sentenced to extensive federal prison terms for bank and credit card fraud schemes that defrauded Thomasville National Bank and First Federal Savings and Loan in Valdosta, as well as other people and banks. Darius Hollis Jr. has been sentenced to serve 26 months and Leon Thomas has been sentenced to serve 24 months. The men were also sentenced to pay significant sums in restitution to the victims. More details here…
Perdue Makes Case for Pay Reform at Consumer Bureau
Georgia Sen. David Perdue and Sen. Mike Enzi (R-WYO) have introduced a bill to that would require salaries at the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection (BCFP) to follow the government’s General Schedule for salaries as opposed to its own salary scale for its employees. In an article about the bill, the Senators chronicle how salaries at the bureau are well out of line with average government employees and the average wages of the population in general. The average salary for an employee of the bureau is $51,000 higher than the average government employee, and about $83,000 more than the average for all U.S. occupations.
IRA Advanced Update and Review Workshop, Sept. 13
Attending GBA’s IRA Advanced Update and Review Workshop is a must to obtain 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. On Sept. 13 at the Idle Hour Country Club in Macon, Patrice Konarik, president of Sunwest Training Corp., will be discussing these topics as well as answering questions like, "What are the legislative updates for 2018 and 2019?" and "How do you report Qualified Charitable Distributions on the 1099-R?" This program content will be presented at the intermediate to advanced level. 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.
Four Ways to Save, Make Money or be More Effective
It’s getting to be budget time, so it’s a good time to remind you of some member benefits we think can help banks in the coming year. Check out these offerings from GBA Strategic Partners:
Tax Credits: Georgia-based Monarch Private Capital (MPC) is a syndicator and broker of state and federal tax credits. MPC operates in multiple states and transacts tax credits in more than 20 states, in addition to Federal credits. MPC is one of the largest and most reputable firms brokering both the Georgia low income housing and film/entertainment credits. Details here…
Online Ad and Marketing Portal: BankMarketingCenter.com (BMC) is a web-based marketing portal that empowers banks to produce professionally designed, bank-branded marketing materials in a matter of seconds. BMC puts you in complete control of the ad production process for your bank, saving valuable time and money. Details here...
Debit Card Program: With Discover® Debit, your bank can develop a more profitable debit program that makes your brand stand out. Discover Debit is the only program that delivers superior economics, simplified rules, fee transparency and unmatched program flexibility. For cardholders, Discover Debit offers fraud protection and convenience. Discover Debit is an offering of the PULSE Network, a Discover Company. Details here…
Overdraft Revenue: John M. Floyd and Associates’ Overdraft Privilege® is a valuable non-discriminatory, 100-percent compliant automated overdraft program that strengthens account holder satisfaction and raises market share. Here's a link to additional information about JMFA Overdraft Privilege.
Those four areas are just the tip of the iceberg of how GBA can help member banks succeed. See more of our Strategic Partners here and our full list of specialized products and services here. With questions, contact Bo Brannen, 404.420.2014.
Online Classes - August
Back to School with CTFA, CRCM Exam Online Prep
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 seven more courses scheduled to begin in August...

CRCM – Become an Expert
The CRCM certification demonstrates your expertise in the regulatory compliance field. Discover what sets the CRCM apart and the benefits of certification. To earn the certification, candidates must have six years’ experience in the compliance field or three years of experience and two of the following training programs...
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.
Click the image to learn more about CDARS/ICS from Associate Member Promontory Interfinancial Network
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.