July 27, 2018        

The organizing board
GBA Bank Accountant Section Organized
Ten local, regional and national accounting firms have been longtime members of the Georgia Bankers Association. The professionals from these firms are generous with their time and expertise by teaching classes, leading workshops and helping us with comment letters. They also attend many events, often sponsor activities and host an annual conference in conjunction with the GBA President and CEO Conference. In an effort to further recognize their importance to the industry, the GBA Board of Directors authorized the creation of a formal Bank Accountant Section similar to the GBA Bank Counsel Section that’s comprised of the top legal professionals serving Georgia banks. The organizing board of the new Bank Accountant Section met this week to elect officers, adopt bylaws, develop a list of the most important accounting and tax issues bankers are facing and discuss topics they will cover at their conference this fall. Elected Chair and Vice Chair of the section were Tim Keadle, Porter Keadle Moore, and Ron Mitchell, Mauldin and Jenkins. Other members of the organizing board are:

  • Doug Mims, Carr, Riggs & Ingram, CPAs
  • Sal Inserra, Crowe LLP
  • Jon Tomberlin, Dixon Hughes Goodman, LLP
  • Rob Stevens, Elliott Davis, LLC
  • Adam Hutchins, Hutchins Clenney Rumsey Huckaby PC
  • Marjorie Carter, McNair, McLemore, Middlebrooks & Co., LLC
  • Ian Waller, Nichols, Cauley & Associates, LLC
  • Rhonda Norris, TJS Deemer Dana LLP

Our thanks to these professionals and their firms for their ongoing support of the industry. With questions, contact Joe Brannen, 404.420.2026.
Election Focus Turns to November
With the primaries behind us, we now know which candidates will be on the General Election ballot in November. Among the statewide offices, each seat from the Governor to the Public Service Commissioners is contested. At the state legislature, 60 of the 180 House seats and 23 of the 56 Senate seats are contested. At the Federal level, only two of our 14 U.S. House representatives aren’t facing challengers: Rep. John Lewis and Rep. Austin Scott. Add in all the local contested races and we’re in for a summer and fall full of campaigning. Because we know our members are looked to for community leadership, we hope you’ll join our call to encourage every eligible Georgian to vote as part of our Georgia Bankers Democracy Days initiative. There are some important dates to remember and share with your community:
  • Oct. 9 – General Election voter registration deadline
  • Oct. 15 – Early voting begins
  • Nov. 2 – Last day of early voting
  • Nov. 6 – General Election day

Here’s a link to a helpful page on the Secretary of State’s website for those not registered to vote on how to go about getting registered. Those already registered may complete the short form on this page to see their own individual information including their November election ballot that will be complete once the Secretary of State certifies the recent runoff vote.
Room Block Deadline is July 30
Powerhouse Presenters Headline Women in Banking Conference Slate

If you are a female banker in Georgia, be sure your calendar is cleared so you can come to the GBA Women in Banking Conference, Aug. 22-24, at the Legacy Lodge at Lake Lanier Islands in Buford. The lineup includes Mary Mack, head of Community Banking and Consumer Lending at Wells Fargo; Lindsey Piegza, a nationally recognized economist; Terri Sands of State Bank & Trust Company on cybersecurity; media and communications leader Trudy Kremer of Jackson Spalding; and more. You’ll emerge from the event with all the tools to be more confident, empowered and successful in every phase of your career and life. Don’t wait to register. The hotel cut-off date for reservations in GBA’s block is Monday, July 30, and the early registration price of $395 is in effect through Aug. 8. For a detailed agenda, hotel information, and to register online, click here. Contact GBA’s Kathy Friestad with questions, 404.420.2024.
Flood Insurance Extension Clears House
With Hurricane Season looming, an extension of the National Flood Insurance Program is important to borrowers and lenders. The U.S. House Wednesday passed its version of an extension of the program through Nov. 30. The NFIP is set to expire July, 31, so the Senate must also pass the measure to make sure it’s authorized in time. The short-term extension would give Congress time to work through a more extensive reform of the program. In the event the program does expire, there are helpful resources available to banks for dealing with lapses in the program from the FDIC, OCC and Federal Reserve and FEMA.
Home State Loan-to-Deposit Ratios Updated
The annual update of host state loan-to-deposit ratios is available from bank regulators. The annual calculation helps guide compliance with laws prohibiting banks for opening or acquiring branches outside of their home state mainly for deposit production. Georgia’s home state loan-to-deposit ratio is 87 percent. If a bank’s statewide loan-to-deposit ratio in a state is less than one-half of the published host state loan-to-deposit ratio for that state, or if data are not available at the bank to calculate the ratio, the appropriate banking agency must determine whether the bank is reasonably helping to meet the credit needs of the communities served by the bank. Neighboring state ratios are: Alabama - 81 percent, Florida 92 percent, South Carolina - 79 percent, Tennessee, 85 percent. Get more information here.

Bank Analyst Nancy Bush to Speak at President/CEO Conference This Fall

We’ve scored a big name in bank investment and analysis circles for a one-of-a kind session at our President and CEO Conference Sept. 30-Oct. 2 at The Ritz-Carlton Reynolds, Lake Oconee. Bank analyst and columnist Nancy Bush will take some customized Georgia bank performance and trend metrics and share her interpretation on what it all means for the state of the industry and outlook for community banking in Georgia. Bush writes the popular Bush on Banks blog published regularly by S&P Global Market Intelligence, and she’s a Georgia native now living in Madison. S&P Global Market Intelligence is providing the customized data for our session. The final agenda is shaping up, and we’ll announce that soon. We’ll have an economist, an economic development panel and other bank-specific management sessions. The registration price is $685 and GBA’s group rate at the Ritz is $189/night. Registration is open; click here to reserve your spot. Contact GBA’s Kathy Friestad with questions, 404.420.2024.
Reg. Relief Bill Provisions Now up to Agencies
The bank regulatory agencies now have a full plate of things to get done to put in place the regulatory reforms required by S. 2155. There are 10 joint rulemakings required and likely a score of additional rules that are specific to one agency or another. An article in American Banker this week outlined some of the key provisions and issues we’ll be monitoring in the coming months. Read the article here (may require subscription). The to-do list includes:

  • Specifying the leverage ratio for community banks to be exempt from other capital requirements - it's required to be between 8-10%
  • Implement QM status for banks under $10 billion holding portfolio mortgage loans
  • Reduce frequency of certain call report data for smaller banks
  • Revise definition of HVCRE exposures
  • Tailor supervisory requirements for banks of $100-$250 billion in assets, and
  • Exempt banks below $250 billion from company run stress tests.
GBA Summer Advocacy Checklist
Here’s a quick list of ways you can be a strong advocate for the industry as the summer starts winding down and Congress is in its August recess.

  • Meet – Schedule a meeting with your U.S. Senator or Representative during the August recess. We’ll be glad to help you do so. Contact Elizabeth Chandler at 404.420.2027.
  • Visit – With all the local and statewide elections this year, visit especially with your state house and senate members or the candidates for those offices. Here’s a link to find your representatives.
  • Speak up – Take advantage of resources available to all bankers, such as ABA’s Bankers Speak Up tools.
  • Contribute – Make a contribution from your bank or you to our GBA StatePAC or FedPAC (more below).
  • Connect to the community – Schedule a financial literacy or banking-related talk to a community group or group of students as they’re getting back to school. See our financial literacy resources here.

With questions about GBA’s advocacy efforts or specific issues, contact Joe Brannen, 404.420.2026, or Elizabeth Chandler, 404.420.2027.
2018 BankPAC Update
Have you contributed to the 2018 BankPAC Campaign yet? Now is the time to do so as we head into the general election season so that we are ready to support those who support banking! 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. Many thanks to those contributing to the GBA StatePAC this week:

  • The Geo. D. Warthen Bank, Sandersville, Ken Bibb, President
  • Southern Bank & Trust, Clarkesville, Tony Collins, President and CEO

And thanks to those officers, directors and eligible employees of the following banks for contributing to the GBA FedPAC:

  • Foothills Community Bank, Dawsonville, John Lewis, President and CEO
  • The Citizens Bank of Americus, Rick Whaley, President and CEO

With questions, please call GBA’s Elizabeth Chandler at 404.420.2027.
2018 Compliance Conference
Human Trafficking and Elder Exploitation Sessions

We have three sessions during the upcoming 2018 GBA Compliance Conference that will address how banks identify and handle human trafficking and elder exploitation. A special agent with Homeland Security will discuss human trafficking, common terminology, red flag indicators and how to identify victims. Jeanne Canavan with the Dekalb County District Attorney’s Office will talk about common schemes involved in separating vulnerable adults from their resources and the role that banks and their employees can play in protecting the assets of elderly customers. David Blake, Financial Forensic Specialist, Division of Aging Services of DHS will cover the training your bank’s employees need to address this problem. The conference is Sept. 12-14, at the Crowne Plaza Atlanta SW in Peachtree City. The conference is planned and hosted by the GBA Compliance Committee, led by Sterling Williams, BrandBank, Lawrenceville. Online registration is quick and easy. Click here to reserve your spot. If you have any questions, contact GBA’s Alison Moreau, 404.420.2034. See the full agenda and get more details here...
Tips for Avoiding Ransomware
Cybersecurity keeps coming up as a key issue during meetings with member bankers, so we thought we’d pass on a good resource we saw this week with specific tactics to help your bank avoid becoming a victim of ransomware attacks like the one that crippled the city of Atlanta’s IT infrastructure earlier this year. The article has six practical checklist items for management and IT teams to work through to protect the bank. Read the article here.
Mike Allen to Present Loan Documentation Seminar
On Wednesday, Sept. 26, GBA's Loan Documentation seminar will cover the prevention of loan losses through implementation of proper loan structuring and documentation techniques. Mike Allen, EVP, Senior Credit Officer at State Bank & Trust Company in Atlanta will be covering topics like identifying the borrower and the collateral, evidencing the debt, attaching and perfecting the collateral real estate specifics as well as many other important topics. To register, click here. Registration is $250 per person ($275 per person after Sept. 18). With questions, please contact GBA's Jenna Lynn Warner, 404.420.2035.
Strategic Partner Spotlight
Secure Screening Solutions for First Advantage

GBA is pleased to endorse the Employment Background Screening and Fingerprint Services available through First Advantage, a Symphony Technology Group company and leading global provider of screening analytics and identity solutions. First Advantage screening solutions help provide confidence that your bank is making sound staffing decisions. First Advantage's background checks empower you to make the right decisions quickly about the people you hire—-whether they are contractors or employees. Best practices allow you to manage workflow efficiencies more effectively and maximize the value of your investment. Benefits include:

  • More effectively compete for and successfully hire talent meeting your organization's risk model
  • Ensure consistency by automating screening orders based on position
  • Speed up results by customizing adjudication/scoring criteria.
Click here for an entire list of program features. Please contact GBA's Bo Brannen, 404.420.2014 for more information about the program.
Protect Your Human Capital and Bank with Employment Law Resources
Monitoring revisions and changes to labor laws that affect 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 has a successful history of working with community 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.
Online Classes - August & September
Back to School with Online Training
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 courses scheduled to begin in September...

CRCM – Designation
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
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...
Signature Bank of Georgia
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.