May 25, 2018        

Advocacy Win
President Signs Bipartisan Reg. Reform Bill

President Trump signed into law major bipartisan financial services regulatory reform legislation Thursday. Earlier this week a bipartisan group of Georgia’s U.S. Representatives joined other House members in passing the landmark regulatory reform package that will help community and regional banks, consumers and businesses in Georgia. All of the state’s Republican Representatives voted for the bill (S. 2155), as did Democrats David Scott and Sanford Bishop. GBA member advocacy certainly played a role in helping our representatives understand the bill, as GBA member bankers met personally with Reps. Drew Ferguson, Austin Scott, Rick Allen, Rob Woodall, David Scott and Barry Loudermilk about the bill in April. More about the passage and signing of S.2155 here...
Georgia Bank Earnings up 36 Percent in First Quarter
Georgia’s 176 state-based FDIC insured banks earned $1.04 billion in the first quarter of 2018, an increase of 36 percent over the same quarter last year. Total deposits, loans and assets all increased compared to the same quarter in 2017. Eight of 10 banks reported increased earnings and net interest margin, return on assets and return on equity improved and were above national industry averages. For the 168 Georgia banks the FDIC classifies as Community Banks, earnings for the quarter were up by 15.6 percent, and their net interest margin and return on equity were above the national averages. Overall loan categories that showed the most growth included general purpose consumer and individual loans, credit cards, and nonfarm, nonresidential real estate loans, We summarized the results in a news released covered by a number of statewide media outlets, including the Marietta Daily Journal. Here’s a summary of some of the key performance metrics we monitor...
Primary Clears Way for Runoffs and Fall Elections
The May 22 primary elections cleared the field and we now know which candidates have more work to do to become their party’s nominee in the July 24 runoffs or were chosen as their party’s nominee for the general election Nov. 6. As you have questions about particular incumbents and their voting record on issues we monitor, please contact Elizabeth Chandler, 404.420.2037 or Joe Brannen, 404.420.2026, and we’ll be happy to discuss any particular candidate with you. Several incumbents in the state house and senate didn’t make it through the primary, so won’t be returning in January, including two friends from the House Banks and Banking Committee: Johnnie Caldwell (R-Thomaston) and Darrel Ealum (D-Albany). Here’s a look at how many Georgia House and Senate seats are up for grabs in November’s election...
Bankers Serving in Elected Office
Thank you for all the positive feedback many members gave us about a special feature we did last week on bankers who also serve as elected officials. We’ve added three more bankers to those we featured earlier and we hope you’ll enjoy reading about their service: Lorenda Smith, Vice Chairman, Pelham City Schools Board of Education; Scott Curry, Mayor Pro-tem, City of Shellman; and Chris Burnett, City Council Member, City of Sandy Springs. If you or a co-worker serve in an elected capacity please let us hear from you so we can include the recognition in follow up stories we'll do as we learn about more member bankers who serve. Email Joe Brannen, David Oliver and Bo Brannen.
Ag Lenders Gather for Annual Conference on St. Simons
Georgia’s agri-business bankers met on St. Simons this week for GBA’s Rural Development and Lending Conference. Attendees heard from conference favorite experts Ben Pitts and Brook Kosar, FDIC, Dr. John McKissick from the University of Georgia, and Sherman Willis, Albany attorney. State veterinarian Dr. Robert Cobb gave an eye-opening talk about Georgia’s animal industry, animal disease control and prevention, biosecurity and food safety, and Dr. Marshall Lamb, Agricultural Research Service, United States Dept. of Agriculture, delivered a peanuts market update. Conference regular and credit analyst Ashley Arrington, Queensborough National Bank & Trust, Louisville, shared a cotton market update and some strategic tips for discussing the market with clients. A huge thank-you to these Associate Members for participating as sponsors and exhibitors: Agri-Access; Centrant Community Capital (formerly CICCAR); Georgia Development Authority; J. Durham and Associates; and Point to Point Environmental.
Georgians Descend on LSU
Beginning this past Sunday, almost 600 bankers from the Southeast are calling Baton Rouge home for the next two weeks as they attend the Graduate School of Banking at Louisiana State University. Georgia school board director Brad Barber, First National Bank, Bainbridge, and GBA president and CEO Joe Brannen traveled to the school this week to host a reception for the Georgians taking time from their families and banks to join the thousands who preceded them in the rigorous course of study. Shown below are some pictures from the event. Click here to see more details...
Reminder: Comp. & Benefits Survey is Open
Don’t delay in participating in the 2018 GBA Compensation and Benefits Survey. Please help serve the industry by participating so we have a strong data set. Here are the key details:
The 2018 GBA Compensation Survey has three parts:
  • Non-Salary Survey (Salary Trends and Retirement Benefits) - submitted through an online survey portal. Response Due: June 15, 2018

  • Board of Directors Compensation - NEW - submitted through an Excel Spreadsheet. You can request help in completing the Directors Compensation section from someone who works directly with the Board by forwarding them the spreadsheet (i.e. CFO or Board secretary). Response Due: June 15, 2018

  • Salary Survey - submitted through an Excel Spreadsheet. Response Due: June 29, 2018.
Email David Oliver to get the password. With questions and details about accessing the survey, contact David Oliver, 404.420.2036, or Randy McGraw at Matthews, Young - Management Consulting, 919.644.6962.
Tax Credits, a Great Opportunity for Your Bank
By John Carson
CPA/Director of Public Policy & Business Development
Monarch Private Capital

Whether you’re a CFO looking to lower your effective tax rate, a community investment officer looking to improve your bank’s CRA rating, or a wealth manager looking to reduce your clients’ tax liabilities, there are significant benefits from understanding how tax credits create such opportunities. Through a series of upcoming articles in the GBA E-Bulletin, we’ll be providing educational insight about tax credits and the respective benefits for individuals and corporations. Click here to read the first article covering an overview of tax credits including a look at at credits vs. deductions and key tax credit benefits for banks...
Contact Carson at or 678.304.6499 to learn more.
Women in Banking Conference Speaker Slate to Include Heavy Hitters – Agenda Finalized
GBA’s 2018 Women in Banking Conference will be August 22-24 at The Legacy Lodge, Lake Lanier. Women in all arenas of banking are invited and encouraged to attend. This year’s program agenda will include an exceptional slate of influential and powerful women. Mary Mack, Senior Executive Vice President of Community Banking and Consumer Lending at Wells Fargo will be the keynote speaker. Mack was named by Fortune magazine as one of the “50 Most Powerful Women in Business” for both 2016 and 2017. American Banker magazine ranked Mack #1 in their 2017 “25 Women to Watch” listing and named her among the “25 Most Powerful Women in Finance” for 2014 and 2015. She also ranked among the top 20 “Women to Watch” in financial services by Investment News in 2015. This conference is truly a don’t-miss event for female Georgia bankers. For a detailed agenda, hotel information, and to reserve your spot at the conference, click here or see the brochure here. Contact GBA’s Kathy Friestad with questions, 404.420.2024.
Team GBA at Great Strides
A Special Thanks - Banking on a Cure!
A group of bankers and GBA staff spent their Saturday supporting Banking on a Cure at the Great Strides Walk for a Cure for Cystic Fibrosis in Suwanee, GA. Thanks to our community bankers and Associate Members, Great Strides, Atlanta, had a record-breaking year, raising $2.3 million for research. Significant strides are being made and GBA is proud to be a supporter! A special thanks to the following presenting sponsors...
Compliance Peer Group Meeting - June 6
New HMDA, Beneficial Ownership Rules and MLA on the Agenda

Bank compliance professionals are invited to share with their peers about the new HMDA and Beneficial Ownership rules as well as the Military Lending Act in regard to indirect lending at GBA’s next Compliance Peer Group Meeting June 6 at Idle Hour Country Club in Macon. Brad Washburn, Steve H. Powell & Company, Statesboro, will lead the group discussion and present a session on the newest TRID changes, the new Mortgage Servicing Rules and Prepaid Card Rules. The price for this event is $125, and CRCM credits will be applied for. Click here to register. With questions, please contact GBA's Katina Prokos at 404.420.2021.
Annual Meeting Breakout Session Spotlight
Forget Consolidation - It’s Time to Focus Again on Independence

With so much talk about industry consolidation, it’s easy to lose focus on the current opportunities for independent banks. Mark Kanaly, partner, Alston & Bird, and Heath Fountain, president & CEO, Planters First Bank, Cordele, will explore the current operating environment for independent community banks and encourage bankers to embrace the current “golden age” of community banking. 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. You can check out the brochure and register online.
Identifying Human Trafficking for Financial Institutions Webinar - June 27, 2:30 p.m.
Human trafficking is a topic that is at the forefront of today’s news globally, and financial institutions are in a unique position to detect and stop this activity. Find out how your bank can make a difference by attending the Identifying Human Trafficking for Financial Institutions webinar June 27 at 2:30 p.m. EST. Presenter Alia El-Sawi, Victim Assistance Specialist for Homeland Security Investigations, Atlanta, will provide a broad overview of human trafficking with a firm understanding of what it is, national and global trends and how financial institutions can learn to identify and report the issue. El-Sawi will cover…
Small-Dollar Lending Policy Shift Signaled by OCC
One of the things we heard about first-hand in April from Comptroller of the Currency Joseph Otting during our member visit to D.C. was that the agency would soon update its approach to small-dollar lending by banks. This week the agency issued a bulletin along those lines, encouraging banks to...
Note Changes Coming to Driver's Licenses July 1
Please make your customer-contact bankers aware of some upcoming changes they’ll likely be seeing to Georgia driver’s licenses presented for customer verification and ID purposes starting July 1. The Georgia Department of Driver Services (DDS) is beginning the transition to a new licensing production system and will begin returning expired/invalid licenses to drivers for use as a photo ID. These will be marked with a hole punch over one of the photos. Also, photo backgrounds will be white on new licenses. Read all the details in a memo from DDS here…
GBA Comments on Proposed Rule about FHLB Affordable Housing Program, Banker Input Sought
A proposed rule by the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) would result in in less flexibility, less transparency, and a more complex process for selecting projects for funding through the Federal Home Loan Banks' Affordable Housing Program. We made that point in an official comment letter to the FHFA this week. We’re concerned that the proposed rule would...
Senior Lenders Wrap up May Roundtables
All four GBA Senior Lending Officer Roundtables met this week in Macon and Atlanta. The groups jumped right in with discussions about enterprise risk management, peer-bank performance overviews, lending conditions and trends, competitive pressures from fintech companies and credit unions, and a variety of best practices. These roundtables help leaders expand their resource pool to consider creative solutions to tough problems while forging the peer connections that are essential for bankers whose career paths are developing toward becoming industry executives. The groups are facilitated by Karl Nelson, founder and CEO of KPN Consulting. We have openings in two of our roundtables, so if you are a senior lender and would like to join one, click here for more information or contact Katina Prokos, 404.420.2021.
Fewer Unbanked and Underbanked Americans
The number of unbanked Americans dropped to 5 percent in 2017 and the number of underbanked fell from 21 percent to 18 percent, according to the Federal Reserve’s 2017 Report on the Economic Well-Being of U.S. Households. Savings practices improved, also. Fifty-nine percent (up nine points from 2013) said they could cover a $400 emergency expense in cash. Seven in 10 respondents said they could cover three months of expenses from savings alone or from a combination of savings, assets and credit if they lost their main source of income. Sixteen percent said their spending in the previous year exceeded their income, about the same as in 2015. Read the survey report here...
Register Today for the
2018 Leadership Conference!

Details Here!
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...
Citizens Bank of Laurens County
SouthState Bank
Bank of Wrightsville director Stuart Stanley (R) was recently named the Laurens County Conservationist of the Year by the Central Georgia Soil and Water Conservation District
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.