March 16, 2018       

Senate Passes Reg. Relief Bill
Significant regulatory relief for banks picked up more momentum Wednesday as the U.S. Senate passed S. 2155, the major regulatory relief bill we’ve been supporting. The vote was 67-31, with the bill receiving broad bipartisan support. Georgia’s Senators played a key role in ushering the bill through committee hearings and open Senate debate. “These improvements to Dodd-Frank provide our banks with much more flexibility to put credit and banking services to work in our hometowns around the state,” said GBA Chairman Palmer Proctor, Fidelity Bank, Atlanta. Some highlights of the bill include provisions that...
House Tailor Act Passes
The U.S. House also advanced helpful regulatory relief legislation Wednesday. The Tailor Act H.R. 1116 passed with bipartisan support on a 247-169 vote. Georgia’s delegation voted along party lines, however. The bill would require regulators to account for a variety of characteristics of different banks when making rules. The bill's tailoring requirement applies not only to future regulatory actions but also to regulations adopted within the last seven years. We’ve been a strong advocate for such tailored regulatory approaches. With questions, contact Joe Brannen, 404.420.2026, or Elizabeth Chandler, 404.420.2027.
Scott-Sponsored CFPB Reform Bill Introduced in House
Georgia Rep. David Scott (D-GA13) is among the co-sponsors of a bill introduced earlier in the week that would restructure the CFPB, replacing the director position with a panel and renaming the agency the Financial Product Safety Commission. No more than three people on the five-person panel would be able to be from the same party. The panel would be appointed by the president, who could remove a member for “inefficiency, neglect of duty, or malfeasance.” We appreciate Rep. Scott for his support of this bill.
Stretch Run for General Assembly
After Thursday’s activities at the Capitol, only five legislative days remain in the Georgia General Assembly session this year. Our priority bill, the Department of Banking and Finance’s Housekeeping Bill, HB 780 by Rep. Bruce Williamson (R-Monroe), was reported out of the Senate Banking and Financial Institutions Committee for consideration by the full Senate, and our Government Relations team continued to monitor dozens of bills that have banking related provisions. Look for full details in our next GBA Legislative Update we’ll distribute soon.
Last Call! GBA HR Professionals Institute Starts Next Wednesday
We’ve got a great crowd gathering for GBA’s 2018 HR Professionals Institute next Wednesday-Friday (March 21-23) at the Westin on Jekyll Island. The conference agenda is chock full of excellent content, and attendees give as much as they receive during informal networking opportunities and information exchange sessions. If you are on your bank’s human resources team and your bank isn’t yet represented next week, give some serious thought to sending someone to this conference. Click here to see details and to register online. To reserve a hotel room, contact Kathy Friestad for assistance, or with questions, 404.420.2024.
Advocacy in Action
Banking Update Presentations Made in Athens and to National Convention
We always enjoy visiting civic clubs and member groups to share the story of banking beyond the headlines. This week Joe Brannen, GBA president and CEO, was the guest of Dean Mannheimer, Synovus Bank, as the keynote speaker for the Athens Rotary Club. Brannen highlighted bank performance, regulatory reform momentum and how banks are meeting the challenges of evolving customer preferences. Late last week, David Oliver, SVP-Communications and Marketing, spoke in Marietta to a national convention of employees from Associate Member OSC Insurance Services about the national banking landscape as well as legislative and service-delivery trends. Oliver was the guest of OSC’s Mike Chapman.
Dean Mannheimer and
Joe Brannen
David Oliver and
Mike Chapman
Annual Meeting Brochures on the Way
Brochures detailing GBA’s 2018 Annual Meeting June 17-20 at The Ritz-Carlton, Half Moon Bay, CA, are now available. Highlights of the agenda include an economic update, strategies, trends, tactics of top performing community banks and behind-the-scenes stories from a former Air Force One pilot. Breakout sessions will focus on succession planning, cybersecurity, online account opening, social media and more. A detailed online registration form is available here. More abouyt the Annual Meeting here...
GBA’s Annual Operations Technology Conference a Huge Success
Georgia’s bank operations and technology leaders packed their annual conference last week in Atlanta. GBA Operations and Technology Committee chair Christa McDonald, Waycross Bank & Trust, and vice chair Lamar Doolittle, The Geo. D. Warthen Bank, hosted the conference. Marisa Reynolds, vice president of IT/Operations and Ebanking Group Head for Oconee State Bank in Watkinsville, issued an enthusiastic post-conference shout-out to her peers who attended. “What a great conference - just wanted to say THANK YOU to all who attended the GBA Op Tech Conference in Atlanta. It was good to put a face to a name and extend our networking from email threads to face-to-face conversations. Lots of good feedback and ideas in the roundtable discussions. Those of you that were on the committee did an excellent job,” she said. Click here for more highlights...
Customers using the bank's first ATM at
The Peoples Bank, Eatonton...don't forget to hide your PIN!
GBA 125
Crowbars and Curses: When ATMs First Came to Town
Technology innovation gets a lot of attention these days, and Georgia’s banks are continually rolling out new technologies that make banking easier and more convenient. While mobile banking apps, person-to-person text payments, video teller machines and more are taking center stage these days, a look back at Georgia banking history shows ATMs were introduced to Georgians in 1971. Citizens & Southern Bank put eight “Instant Banker” machines in Atlanta that year. Not everyone was an early adopter, according to our history book on banking from our 100th anniversary. “Enraged customers shot at them, hit them with crowbars and cursed them endlessly. Ultimately, though, we gave them names and learned to use them four times more often than we used tellers inside the bank,” the book notes.
Related: There's a modern tie to Georgia's early bank ATMs that people worldwide experience every day. The voice of Apple's digital assistant, Siri, is none other than Atlanta's Susan Bennett, who in 1974 was the voice of First National Bank of Atlanta's Tillie the All Time Teller.
401(k) enrollment meetings at State Bank & Trust
GBA Retirement Services Continues to Grow
GBA Retirement Services, Inc. welcomes its newest member, State Bank & Trust Company, Tom Wiley, CEO, to the 401(k) Master Trust. We look forward to providing outstanding service to the bank and its employees in the years to come. For those banks not yet in the plan, we would be happy to do a plan review and show you why all of our participating members are pleased with the service and performance provided by GBA Retirement Services. GBA Retirement Services provides a product that is flexible and is sure to meet the needs of GBA member banks, Associate Members, and bank clients. Some of the advantages of being part of the GBA Master Trust include...
Don’t Forget to Put Your Hat in the Ring - Volunteer for a GBA Committee
Just a reminder that GBA is accepting volunteers and nominations for our standing committees and Boards. Getting involved in this way is a great way to meet people, learn and share, and to give back to banking. Click here to read more about GBA’s committees and boards and their roles. To nominate a fellow banker or to volunteer yourself, click here. The nominations and volunteer deadline is Friday, March 30. Contact GBA’s Kathy Friestad with questions at 404.420.2024.
GBA-U Seminars
Accounting Changes, Lending, New Accounts Front-and-Center in April
Career bankers at any level will benefit from our lineup of timely and informative seminars coming up in April. Click here for the schedule of upcoming GBA-U seminars...
Bank Security Conference April 12-13
How to Mobilize Your Front Line to Protect Older Americans
At GBA’s 2018 Bank Security Conference April 12-13 at the King and Prince on St. Simons, attendees learn about BankSafe, a new initiative formed in partnership with the Georgia Department of Human Services Department of Aging Services and AARP, also endorsed by GBA. David Blake, with the Georgia Department of Human Services and Jilenne Gunther, AARP Public Policy Institute for BankSafe, will be on hand to explain the program. Don’t miss this opportunity to learn how BankSafe can empower your bank to protect consumers and keep retirement savings safe. Learn more now and sign up to participate in BankSafe here. Georgia is one of 12 states piloting the national program. There's no cost to participate. For the conference, the per person registration price is $350 for registrations received through March 29; $400 for registrations received beginning March 30. Click here to see the detailed agenda and to register online.
Lifestyle-based Tips for Appealing to Millennials
Lots of ink - real and virtual - has been used in the past several years about how banks can best adjust to the preferences of younger customers. We got one of the best articles we’ve seen in a while about it this week from GBA Associate Member Resurgent Performance. The article gives specific examples of how two banks are succeeding with unique marketing and accounts that are generating strong non-interest income. Both banks are leveraging marketing and product design based on lifestyle preferences valued by Millennials such as craft consumer goods and Millennials’ comfort with paying for subscription services they value. Read the article here...
Related: GBA’s Marketing Peer Group meeting is May 9 in Athens. Register today!
Wire Transfer Fraud Webinar
Moving from Reactionary to Preventative - April 27, 11 a.m.
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. Terri Sands, CAMS - Audit, CFE, AAP, ACT Specialist, Director of Financial Investigative Unit for State Bank & Trust and the founder of Secura Risk Management, will cover the following...
The Information Security Officer (ISO) Seminar - May 1
Current and prospective ISOs, network administrators and compliance officers are invited to learn about the regulatory requirements and internal responsibilities of an ISO at GBA’s Information Security Officer seminar May 1 at Idle Hour Country Club in Macon. Tom Hinkel of Safe Systems will address regulatory expectations as well as reporting to the board of directors, coordinating with network administrators, leading the IT Steering Committee, interfacing with auditors and examiners and more. Participants will receive helpful checklists and whitepapers as well as Certificates of Completion. Register by April 23 for the early-bird price of $225 per person. Click here to register online. Please contact GBA's Katina Prokos, 404.420.2021 with questions.
South Georgia Community Bank Symposium - May 16
The Georgia Bankers Association, along with the Langdale College of Business at Valdosta State University, will host the annual South Georgia Community Bank Symposium May 16 on the university’s campus. This event will feature industry experts who will focus on the many issues facing the banking industry. Some of the topics include an economic update, regulatory hot topics and real estate market trends. 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.
Economic Update to Highlight Leadership Conference
As July turns to August, the current economic expansion will be entering its 10th year. The longest expansion on record lasted exactly 10 years. Wells Fargo senior economist Tim Quinlan will offer his take on what could make this expansion break the record and how the outlook is affected by fiscal and monetary policy. As always, Tim will also unpack the drivers of economic growth across Georgia and look at the latest regional trends in employment and real estate during this year’s GBA Leadership Conference. The conference is July 16-19 at the Ponte Vedra Inn & Club, Ponte Vedra, FL. Brochures will be mailed in late March, but you can register online here...
How Does Your Bank Rank When It Comes to Disclosure?
by Cheryl Lawson, EVP-Compliance Review, John M. Floyd & Associates

We hear a lot about rankings these days. Whether it’s the latest movie releases, professional and college sports teams, places to live, restaurants or online visibility, placing on the top rung of a ranking list can raise one’s reputational capital.In the uber-competitive financial services space, achieving high consumer rankings greatly depends on a financial institution’s practice of consistently delivering excellent service experiences. This is especially relevant when it comes to products that address account holders’ financial stability needs. In a recently released study, “Consumer Voices on Overdraft Programs,” the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) interviewed consumers about their experiences with overdraft programs and their understanding of how these programs work. Click here for the rest of Lawson's report...
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.
FNB Griffin
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...
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