March 23, 2018      

Perdue Amplifies Bank Support of Senate Reg Relief Bill
In the wake of the Senate's passage of its major financial regulatory relief bill, Georgia Sen. David Perdue has been active in explaining why the bill is so important. He's also worked hard to make sure the voices of his constituents are highlighted. His office this week distributed a press release summary of banker and industry support for the bill, which included a quote from GBA Chairman Palmer Proctor, Fidelity Bank; GBA's Joe Brannen and CBA's Rob Braswell. We appreciate the Senator's strong support.
Loudermilk Speaks up on Exam Cycle Bill
The U.S. House Financial Services Committee this week passed H.R. 5076, introduced by Rep. Claudia Tenney (R-N.Y.), which would increase the asset threshold from $1 billion to $3 billion for insured depository institutions eligible for 18-month on-site examination cycles. As it moves to the full House for consideration, (R-GA11) Georgia Rep. Barry Loudermilk was scheduled Thursday to speak on the House floor in support of the bill. Loudermilk has been a vocal proponent of many of the key regulatory reform issues GBA and its members support. Last week, he spoke on the House floor about the importance of the TAILOR Act, the major Dodd-Frank reform package that he co-sponsored and that has already passed the House. 
Appraisal Threshold Bump Approved by FDIC
A move to increase the thresholds for requiring appraisals on certain loans is moving forward. The FDIC board has approved a final rule that would raise appraisal thresholds to $500,000 for commercial real estate transactions. This is more than the original proposal of $400,000. "The threshold for commercial appraisals has not been updated since 1994, so it's only logical that some review and increase of the minimums occurs. As always, our professional opinion is that prudent lenders should continue to decrease their risk position by utilizing appraisals as a tool for loan decision making purposes," says Vicky Thompson, Dart Appraisal. The threshold for one-to-four family residential properties will remain at $250,000. Residential loans secured by multiple one-to-four-family residential properties would be considered CRE transactions. The Federal Reserve and OCC must also approve the rule before it can take effect.
Note: Dart Appraisal recently acquired GBA Strategic Partner Valuation Management Group. Dart Appraisal is an independently-owned, nationwide Appraisal Management Company, based in Troy, MI, and founded in 1993. The company will continue to be a GBA Strategic Partner. More details about Dart Appraisal and VMG here...
Advocacy with the Press
Lending Outlook, Branch Strategy focus of Articles

GBA was a resource for reporters covering two stories last week by the Atlanta Business Chronicle highlight banking trends around the state. For one story, GBA was asked for comment about the commercial lending outlook in 2018. Members of the GBA Credit Committee responded to a quick poll with helpful insights from around the state that GBA President and CEO Joe Brannen was able to work into his comments. Another story examined how banks are evolving in their branch strategies. The total number of branches across the country and in Georgia is down, but with the help of GBA Senior Vice President David Oliver’s help, the reporter was able to help readers understand that the trend does not mean a decline in service or availability, and we helped put the reporter in touch with members for additional context. More about both of those stories here…
Annual Meeting Breakout Session Spotlight
You Have a Security Breach…Now What??

You receive calls from a few customers that their accounts are showing charges that are incorrect. Then there are more calls….and more. It's the tipoff you have a security breach….now what? Leaders of banks must anticipate all kinds of risk, including reputational risk. Managing reputational risk means anticipating crises and being ready to execute a crisis response plan that will protect your institution's reputation if a breach occurs. Sharon Cook, chief marketing Officer, Federal Home Loan Bank of Atlanta, will team up with Rick Whaley, president & CEO, Citizens Bank of Americus, to offer insights on what to do before, during, and after a cybersecurity attack. This is one of the several great breakout sessions at GBA's 2018 Annual Meeting set for June 17-20 at The Ritz-Carlton, Half Moon Bay, CA. A complete meeting package was mailed this week, but you can view the brochure and register online today!
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Small Business Survey
The Modern Financial Perk that Keeps and Attracts Talent
An annual survey of businesses by SunTrust shows strong overall confidence in the economy and their company's outlook for the rest of the year. The most pressing concerns they have are more related to HR-type issues as opposed to economic or market forces, the survey revealed. The survey found one in four companies currently not offering a financial well-being program plan to do so this year. More than half said the top reasons to offer a financial wellness benefit were to retain employees and increase loyalty. GBA Retirement Services helps its members with a variety of financial well-being products and services. Our 401(k) plan takes a unique approach to encouraging employee saving, and we have strong profit sharing and pension plan options. All come with customized employee education components. Contact Mandy Richards, Director of Retirement Services, 404.420.2025, or Danielle Driggers, marketing and communications coordinator, 404.420.2012 for information. More about the survey from SunTrust here…
Where to get Financial Literacy Resources
We happily responded this week to a member request for access to information about Teach Children to Save resources and a variety of financial literacy materials. We encourage member banks and bankers to sign up for the Annual Teach Children to Save day coming up April 20, and to take advantage of a number other programs we like. Check out our Financial Literacy Resources for members on our website. Navigate to it from under the Member Center drop down menu. Also available are links to FDIC's Money Smart program, the Get Smart about Credit program and a host of other easy to use resources to support your bank's outreach efforts. And, don't forget to send us pictures and news about your programs either by email or our Financial Literacy Program Report Card form. With questions, contact David Oliver, 404.420.2036.
Current Expected Credit Loss (CECL) Workshop - April 4
Implications of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act on Financial Institutions
Member bankers can evaluate where they are in the implementation process of new rules and much more at GBA's Current Expected Credit Loss (CECL) Workshop April 4 at Idle Hour Country Club in Macon. Representatives from Mauldin & Jenkins and Bryan Cave, LLP will go over a thorough summary of the final CECL standard implementation. Register by March 27 for the early-bird price of $225 per person. Click here to register online. Please contact GBA's Katina Prokos via email or at 404.420.2021 with questions.
HR Professionals Gathered This Week on Jekyll Island
HR professionals from GBA member banks all around the state gathered this week on Jekyll Island for this year's HR Professionals Institute. From the get-go, conference attendees commented on the high energy level, camaraderie and positive vibe among the attendees. In addition to an excellent slate of speakers, participants enjoyed informal networking and information sharing. A special shout-out to GBA HR Committee Chair Margie Blanton, WB&T Bankshares, Inc., Valdosta, and Vice Chair Leigh Pharr, First Landmark Bank, Marietta, for their super leadership of the committee and to the entire HR Committee for their huge role in planning and hosting the conference. Check out next week's bulletin for a full report.
"SafeCatch" Creator to Speak at Bank Security Conference
Back in 2006, bank robberies in the Seattle area spiked, leading FBI agent Larry Carr to come up with an innovative way to help bank employees safely suppress robbers. Carr will share his story and the SafeCatch system with us during GBA's Bank Security Conference April 12-13 at The King and Prince Hotel on St. Simons. Special Agent Carr has trained staff at 250+ bank branches across the U.S. Don't miss this special opportunity to learn how your bank team can mitigate robbery risk. Anyone at the bank responsible for security should come to the conference. The early registration fee of $350 is good through March 29. Click here to see a detailed agenda and to register online.
Share Your Knowledge and Experience - 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 nominations for GBA's committees and boards and their roles. The nominations and volunteer deadline is Friday, March 30. Contact GBA's Kathy Friestad with questions at 404.420.2024.
Cash Flow Analysis Seminar - April 17
If you're a lender new to banking operating companies or just needing a refresher on cash flow analysis, join Peter Faser of SunTrust Robinson Humphrey to learn how to identify positive and negative trends from the balance sheet, compare annual performance of the income statement through "common sizing" and determine if a potential borrower has sufficient historical cash flow to repay your proposed loan. Register by April 9 for the early-bird price of $225 per person. Click here to register online. Please contact GBA's Katina Prokos at 404.420.2021 with questions.
New Account Documentation and Compliance - April 18
Secure Your First Line of Defense against Fraudsters
Well-trained new account personnel and universal bankers who recognize and stop attempted dishonest activity are the first line of defense in protecting a financial institution from fraudsters. Additionally, with constant new regulations, the need for ongoing training is paramount to maintain diligence as well as update processes and procedures. GBA's New Account Documentation & Compliance seminar April 18 at Idle Hour Country Club in Macon teaches important new account opening procedures and compliance requirements focusing on vital information for every type of new account. Click here to register online. Please contact GBA's Katina Prokos at 404.420.2021 with questions.
April 30-May 2
American Mortgage Conference Added to GBA Schedule
Georgia bankers interested in the latest mortgage industry intel should attend this year's American Mortgage Conference (AMC) April 30-May 2 at the Pinehurst Resort in North Carolina. This year's conference is a joint effort of the North Carolina Bankers Association, Georgia Bankers Association, Texas Bankers Association and Michigan Bankers Association. The conference will cover…
The Information Security Officer (ISO) Seminar - May 1
Leading the Business Continuity and Incident Response Teams
Current and prospective ISOs, network administrators and compliance officers will all benefit from attending GBA's Information Security Officer seminar May 1 at Idle Hour Country Club in Macon. This year, Tom Hinkel of Safe Systems will cover…
GBA Marketing Peer Group - May 9
Customer Behavior Session and Roundtable Discussions
GBA member bank and Associate Member marketing officers and any banker with marketing responsibilities will not want to miss the next Marketing Peer Group Meeting May 9 on campus at the University of Georgia in Athens. Registration is $175 per person. Click here to register online...
Related training
Hotel Deadline for ABA Bank Marketing School is March 28
The hotel registration deadline for the ABA Bank Marketing School -- to be held April 24-May 2 at the Emory Conference Center and Hotel in Atlanta -- is March 28. Attendees must register by that date to take advantage of the discounted hotel rate. Register now for the school...
Why GBA's Leadership Conference is a Can't Miss Event
Leadership GBA's 2018 Leadership Conference is simply a can't-miss event. You'll get timely information on the economy, a legislative and industry update, hear about the opportunities for the next generation of bankers, learn what every CFO wants a lender to know and receive stellar leadership training from The Ritz-Carlton Leadership Training Center. Plus, there's several great opportunities to network with your colleagues around the state. The conference is July 16-19 at the Ponte Vedra Inn & Club. Brochures will be mailed in the coming weeks, but you can register online here
ABA Customer Service Representative Certificate
Member bank customer service representatives can earn a key professional designation by taking this ABA set of courses. The courses strengthen the key skills essential to successful customer service and relationship-building. Participants gain a broad understanding of bank products to be able to better cross-sell products and services, learn how to cultivate relationships with customers and discover tactics for responding to customer needs, problems and objections. Courses include…
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.
GBA’s Office Depot Program can Supplement Your Local Supplier
Through GBA’s Strategic Partnership with Office Depot you can access a national group buying program. In addition to providing your bank with big savings, Office Depot shares a small percentage of every purchase made with the GBA. Every bank in Georgia needs office and banking supplies. Make sure you are getting the very best deal by signing up for the GBA’s Office Depot program. If you are purchasing supplies from a local vendor or bank customer you can still support the GBA by accessing Office Depot products and solutions that your local vendor may not offer. This could include anything from your print and copy needs, promotional products and branded collateral, cleaning and breakroom provisions, technology, furniture, and much more. To learn more about supplementing your local relationship with Office Depot solutions, email With questions, contact GBA’s David Oliver, 404.420.2036.
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...
Queensborough National Bank & Trust
South State Bank
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