March 9, 2018        

Debate Rolls out for Senate Regulatory Reform Package
Georgia Sen. David Perdue was among the co-sponsors of S. 2155 who spoke to the full U.S. Senate in support of the bill Wednesday when debate on the regulatory reform package kicked off in the Senate chamber. He spoke passionately about the direct effect regulatory burden has had in limiting borrower access to credit and increasing bank compliance costs in Georgia. He noted how the CFPB’s mortgage lending rules have caused some banks to exit the mortgage lending business or avoid even offering mortgages to begin with. And, he noted how the bill would help banks of all types throughout Georgia, including minority-owned institutions. He framed his support for the bill and how it would help borrowers by using a personal story about relationship lending he experienced as a child sitting with his dad, a schoolteacher, who was applying at his hometown bank for a loan to buy a truck. See a clip of his speech here. Debate on the bill is expected to go into next week. Sen. Johnny Isakson has said he supports the bill, as well. Please take the opportunity to voice your encouragement for our Senators to continue their support of the bill as debate continues. Here’s how to reach them quickly and easily. With questions, contact Joe Brannen, 404.420.2026, or Elizabeth Chandler, 404.420.2027.
Loudermilk Bill, other Reg. Relief Measures Pass House
Our congratulations to U.S. Rep. Barry Loudermilk (R-GA11) on the passage of his bill, H.R. 4607, by the full House of Representatives to bring the CFPB and NCUA into the purview of the Economic Growth and Regulatory Paperwork Reduction Act of 1996 (EGRPRA). The reviews for all agencies would be required to be held every seven years as opposed to every 10 years. It was one of three regulatory reform measures the House passed this week. Also getting the green light was H.R. 2226, the Portfolio Lending and Mortgage Access Act, to allow certain mortgage loans that are originated and retained in portfolio by an insured depository institution or an insured credit union with less than $10 billion in total consolidated assets be considered as qualified mortgages. And H.R. 4725, the Community Bank Reporting Relief Act, passed that would direct federal banking agencies to issue regulations that allow a reduced Call reporting requirement for depository institutions with $5 billion in assets or less. We’ll keep you posted about whether these get incorporated into any Senate regulatory reform package. With questions, contact Joe Brannen, 404.420.2026, or Elizabeth Chandler, 404.420.2027.
Congressional Republicans Buck Back on Tariffs
President Trump formally announced his plan for new tariffs on steel and aluminum products Thursday. Notable in the lead up to the announcement was a letter to the President signed by more than 100 Republican members of the House urging him not to go forward with the plan to impose unilateral tariffs. All nine Republican members of the Georgia House delegation signed the letter. Instead of the tariffs, they urged him to focus on curbing China’s “unfair practices.” They warned that his tariff plan would undermine the “remarkable progress” of the tax overhaul passed just before the beginning of the year. Read the letter here...
Rural and Underserved Counties Lists Published
The CFPB has updated its lists of counties that are considered Rural and Underserved for determining exemptions from certain TILA requirements. In Georgia, there are 72 counties that are either Rural or Underserved, and there are 67 counties categorized as Rural only. There’s also a tool lenders should use to assess whether any particular property is in a rural or underserved area when determining safe-harbor status. The full national lists and tool are available here. We’ve broken out the Georgia lists for you: Rural or Underserved Counties and Rural Counties only.
Speak your Piece about CFBP Complaints
You’re invited to share comments and information about the CFPB’s consumer complaint reporting system. The bureau late last week issued a request for informationon the usefulness of complaint reporting and analysis to external stakeholders -- including financial institutions and consumers -- as well as suggestions or best practices for complaint reporting and publication, given the bureau’s statutory objectives and authorities. This is the sixth information request the bureau has issued about its practices and activities.
Blanton’s ‘Overall Philosophy’ Tried and Tested During 40+ Year Banking Career
The day before Margie Blanton’s first day at work at a bank in 1976, her father sat her down to give her what he described as his “overall philosophy.” Over a career that has spanned more than 40 years now, Blanton continues to apply the lessons her father taught her to help her bank, her coworkers and her community. As Human Resource officer for WB&T Bankshares Inc., she is in a unique position to use her philosophy to make the best hires for the banks she serves and mentor for each employee to be the best they can be. Blanton has worked dilligently this year as chair at GBA‘s Human Resources committee, which has planned a fantastic HR professionals institute March 21-23 on Jekyll Island. Find out details of her dad’s intriguing “Overall Philosophy,” why Margie is excited about the HR Institute and more in her GBA member profile here…
Last call! Advanced Compliance Seminars – March 13-15
There’s still time to sign up for one or both of GBA’s new back-to-back seminars on complex compliance requirements with Steve Moore, Bank Compliance Services, March 13-15 at Middle Georgia State University in Macon. Moore will present the following seminars:
  • On March 13, the Advanced Deposit and Operations Compliance seminar will cover more advanced deposit compliance rules that impact bank operation services, including BSA, EFTA/Regulation E and UDAAPs (Unfair, Deceptive or Abusive Acts or Practices) in easy-to-understand language. Registration is $250 per person. Click here to register…

  • On March 14-15, the Advanced Lending Compliance (including QMs/ATR and TRIDs) seminar will focus on consumer lending compliance. It will cover more complex compliance requirements and common problem areas, and it will offer extensive question-and-answer opportunities to address compliance concerns. Attendees will also complete several "real-world" lending compliance reviews and "underwrite" consumer real estate loans in accordance with ATR rules. Registration is $400 per person. Click here to register…
Please contact GBA's Katina Prokos at 404.420.2021 with questions.
Modest Economic Expansion Continues
Increases in home prices, higher demand for commercial real estate and solid manufacturing activity highlighted economic activity in the Federal Reserve’s Sixth District through mid-February. The Fed’s latest Beige Book reported modest improvement overall in economic conditions, with a positive near term outlook from contacts. Banking contacts noted healthy loan pipelines and community banks, in particular, reported good loan demand. Some banks indicated more deposit pressure as short-term interest rates increased. In relation to agribusiness, drought conditions persisted but eased a bit in February across the region. On a year-over-year basis, prices paid to farmers in December were up for cotton, rice, beef, broilers, and eggs and down for corn and soybeans.
Star Bankers Can Shine at Georgia Banking School
Today’s most successful bankers stay ahead of the education curve by continuous learning. Through the Georgia Banking School, GBA offers an intensive educational cirriculum that provides today’s forward-thinking banker a with the latest skills and techniques for career success. The Georgia Banking School is a three-year program that meets for six days in May, three years in a row, with this year’s session coming up May 6-11 at the UGA Conference Center and Hotel in Athens. To see what the curricula looks like for each of the three years, click here to see the brochure. You’ll also find tuition cost, inclusions, and other details about the school. More questions? Contact Kathy Friestad, 404.420.2024 or Alison Moreau, 404.217.1804.
GBA Basic Compliance School Prepares Your Team for The Future
If you are involved in compliance at your bank or have at least three years of banking experience, GBA offers a critical educational opportunity you should explore: the GBA Basic Compliance School. This school provides a solid foundation on which students can build a successful compliance management skill set that can easily evolve as things change in the bank regulatory environment. Our faculty is top-notch, featuring nationally recognized experts: Patti Blenden, David Dickinson, and Carl Pry. Don’t miss the opportunity to learn from these three pros.. GBA Basic Compliance School is a one-year program, and spots are available in the 2018 session, coming up May 6-11 at the UGA Conference Center and Hotel in Athens, GA. To see the curriculum, tuition and other information, click here. Contact Kathy Friestad, 404.420.2024 or Alison Moreau, 404.217.1804.
OpsTech Conference Draws Big Crowd
Georgia’s bank operations and technology leaders gathered Tuesday through Thursday week in Atlanta for their annual conference. This year’s program featured several pre-conference sessions and a full slate of the latest trends. For anyone interested in the free Discover debit webinar mentioned during Wednesday's pre-conference, please click below. Look for full coverage and more photos in next week’s edition.
Is Your Debit Card Brand Program Working For Your Bank?
On Monday at 2 p.m., please join Richard Green of Discover Debit to learn more about the review and analysis process of selecting the debit card program that's right for your bank. Letting an existing signature debit network contract simply roll over can seem like the right thing to do, but a closer look might prove otherwise. If it has been a few years since you last signed a contract with your signature network, now is the time to reassess. You are more than likely leaving non-interest income on the table, paying unnecessary fees or dealing with burdensome terms that restrict you from adapting to shifting market trends, including PINless and mobile transactions, the EMV liability shift and changes in the debit card landscape. In this presentation, you will learn:
  • How a thoughtful review and analysis of their debit card program could drive greater non-interest income for their institutions
  • Practical, current strategies to reenergize your debit card program
  • How issuers like you are seeing a significant increase in its debit card income after a brand switch.
Register here...
Secrets of Top Performing Banks to be Revealed at Annual Meeting
Get a good look at the secret sauce the best performing banks are using these days during a session coming up at our Annual Meeting June 17-20. Dixon Hughes Goodman, Atlanta, recently conducted a study of top-performing community. Spanning asset sizes, business strategies and geographies, successful community bank CEOs shared strategies, trends, tactics and perspectives for the near-future of community banking and key ingredients of success. Join James Beckwith, president & CEO, Five Star Bank, Rocklin, CA; Jim Edwards, CEO, United Bank, Griffin; Sarah Saunders, senior manager and Jon Tomberlin, managing partner, Dixon, Hughes, Goodman, LLP, Atlanta, as they share their insights and observations that your bank can adapt and use. GBA’s 2018 Annual Meeting is June 17-20 at The Ritz-Carlton, Half Moon Bay, CA. A complete meeting package will be mailed in the coming weeks, but you can register online here. GBA has reserved a block of rooms at Ritz for $340 a night for single or double occupancy. Make reservations with the hotel directly by calling 650.712.7000. Be sure to say you are with the GBA to receive this special rate. The cut-off date for reservations is Monday, May 21, but rooms in the GBA block may sell out before that date. After this date, all reservations will be subject to prevailing rate and space availability. So make your reservations now. With questions about the GBA Annual Meeting, please contact GBA’s Susie McGehee at 404.420.2010.
Map out the Banking Landscape of Tomorrow at Leadership Conference
Each year, the banking landscape becomes more bifurcated as emerging regional banks grow larger and smaller community banks face headwinds. GBA General Counsel Jonathan Hightower, Bryan Cave, LLP, Atlanta, will discuss the opportunities for the next generation of bankers and how banks can position themselves now to take advantage of the banking landscape of tomorrow at this year’s Leadership 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. GBA has reserved a block of rooms at the Ponte Vedra Inn at a reduced rate of $219 to $239 per night. Make reservations by calling the hotel directly at 888.839.9145. Be sure to say you are with the GBA to receive this special rate. The cut-off date for reservations is Friday, June 8. After this date, all reservations will be subject to prevailing rate and space availability. With questions about the conference or Leadership GBA in general, please contact GBA’s Susie McGehee at 404.420.2010.
Work / Life Balance: Realizing a Life Well Lived
When you were packing for college, your mom probably told you something like, “If you don’t design your life, someone else will design it for you.” As corny as that may have sounded, mom always knows best, of course. As we have all learned, the opportunity to create a balanced life starts with each of us. . Attendees at this year’s GBA 2018 HR Professionals Institute, will learn strategies for creating balance by identifying what’s most important and how to make those things a priority in their daily schedule. Tanya Runci, a Health Advisor with Wellview, GBA’s wellness partner, will share practical tips on evaluating and creating work/life balance and how to build that into the work culture for the bank’s employees. She will also explain resources available to bank employees through the EAP (Employee Assistance Program). Runci spent the first half of her professional life in the corporate, nonprofit and public education sectors. She now dedicates her life to helping others achieve long-lasting health and well-being goals. She is a National Board Certified Health and Wellness Coach as well as an Associate Diabetes Educator (ADE). Runci’s passion is using the latest research in neuropsychology and health psychology to help participants engage in wellness and become their best and healthiest selves. The conference is March 21-23 at the Westin on Jekyll Island. Click here to see details and to register online. Contact GBA’s Kathy Friestad with questions, 404.420.2024.
Current Expected Credit Loss (CECL) Workshop – April 4
Is Your Bank on Track to Implement New CECL Rules?

Attend GBA’s Current Expected Credit Loss (CECL) Workshop April 4 at Idle Hour Country Club in Macon to evaluate where your bank is in the new final CECL standard implementation process. Representatives from Mauldin & Jenkins and Bryan Cave, LLP will go over a summary of the final CECL standard, where you should be at this point in the process, methodologies to meet the new requirements, data challenges of the new CECL model, how you can use what you have currently have but with required modifications to address CECL, strategic implications of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act on financial institutions and emerging legal and compliance issues. 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.
Cash Flow Analysis Seminar – April 17
Get Back-to-Basics for Improved Credit Decisions

Learn how to craft a statement of cash flows, improve the quality of credit decisions and increase the understanding of how a potential borrower will repay your loan by attending GBA’s Cash Flow Analysis seminar April 17 at Idle Hour Country Club in Macon. With more than 20 years’ experience in the banking industry, Peter Faser of SunTrust Robinson Humphrey will provide an introduction and practical approach to cash flow analysis for lenders who are new to banking operating companies or who need a refresher on this topic. Participants will learn to...
New Account Documentation and Compliance – April 18
All customer contact personnel, supervisors and officers whose responsibilities include opening or managing new accounts and certificates of deposit will benefit from attending GBA’s New Account Documentation & Compliance seminar April 18 at Idle Hour Country Club in Macon. Suzie Jones of Training Resources Consulting, LLC, will cover the following...
Marketing Peer Group Goes on Campus May 9
Come join us May 9 for a day-long Marketing Peer Group session in Athens. We will start the day with roundtable discussions, where we will discuss peer issues and share valued resources. After lunch, we will join first-year Banking School students for a session about Consumer Behavior taught by Marcus Cunha, professor of Marketing at the University of Georgia. All Georgia bank marketing professionals would benefit from attending this unique opportunity. Registration is $175 per person. Click here to register online. With questions, please contact GBA's Alison Moreau at 404.420.2034.
Online Classes - March and April Offerings
Facilitated online courses feature an online learning community with fellow students, instructor guidance and feedback. These courses have weekly assignments as well as midterm and final exams. Any employee of a GBA member company can participate at the member rate. Your bank does not have to be an ABA member. All you need is a computer, printer and Internet access.
These ABA online classes are coming up in March and April...
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 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...
Farmers & Merchants 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