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November 30, 2018

Advocacy in Action

GBA in D.C. Supporting Agriculture Community

Hurricane Michael estimated losses to Georgia’s number one economic driver, the agriculture sector, is more than $2.5 billion according to experts at the University of Georgia. This week, a GBA advocacy delegation joined leaders of several farm and commodity groups spending two days on Capitol Hill encouraging members of the Georgia Congressional delegation to take quick action on much-needed federal disaster resources to producers and the agriculture sector. GBA Ag Committee Vice Chair Danny Minick, Citizens Bank of Americus, was joined by GBA's Elizabeth Chandler and Joe Brannen on the trip. "We have producers that are still waiting for payments from last year’s Hurricane and for many, the payments are far short of expectations," said Minick. "We lenders need certainty about the resources our producers will have available when we start working with them to put their operating lines in place early next year. We were pleased with the response to our recommendations and hope some will be implemented." Read more about the meetings here.

Breaking News

FDIC Chairman Jelena McWilliams to Speak at GBA Legislative/Economic Forum

The program for GBA’s annual Legislative/Economic Forum just keeps getting stronger. FDIC Chairman Jelena McWilliams has accepted an invitation to speak at the event Jan. 16, which draws a big crowd of bankers and industry stakeholders from throughout Georgia. "When she took the reins of the FDIC earlier this year, McWilliams pledged to visit with bankers in every state, and we’re honored she’ll be in Georgia as we start the New Year," said GBA Chairman John Hall, president and CEO, American Pride Bank, Macon. McWilliams joins Raphael Bostic, president and CEO of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, as a headline speaker, and we’ll hear from Georgia Banking Commissioner Kevin Hagler and a number of Georgia’s top elected officials. Click here to register for the Forum and Legislative Reception that follows. With questions, contact Kathy Friestad, 404.420.2024.

More Advocacy in Action

GBA Comments on CRA Modernization Proposal

GBA submitted a comment letter recently based banker feedback to the OCC’s advanced notice of proposed rulemaking for modernizing the Community Reinvestment Act. We have long advocated that the 30-year old CRA is due for an update and based on what we’re hearing from other regulatory agencies, the feedback to the OCC will hopefully be used for a joint rulemaking in the future. Please see GBA’s letter that covers several important themes including ideas for adjusting the current CRA framework, how performance is measured, adjustments to assessment area definitions and more. Contact GBA’s Joe Brannen, 404.420.2026, or Elizabeth Chandler, 404.420.2027, with questions.

Exclusive Closer Look

Georgia Community Bank Net Income Up 26%, Loans and Deposits Grow

We’ve dug in a little deeper for members to last week’s FDIC data about performance through the first three quarters of the year and there are some good trends to note. The 162 Georgia-based institutions FDIC defines as Community Banks have earned 26 percent more year-to-date than at the same time in 2017 and saw loans and deposits tick up slightly. The largest segment of Georgia’s banking industry also saw a 10 percent decline in noncurrent loan amounts and outperformed the national average for the number of institutions with earnings gains, net interest margin, return on assets and return on equity. "Our state’s community bank sector performed well for the first three quarters of the year. The numbers are just validation that Georgia’s bankers and banks are working hard every day to meet the financial services needs of families and businesses in every corner of the state," said Joe Brannen, GBA president and CEO. Click here for a closer look at the numbers.

Ideas for Financing More Broadband in Rural Areas

With the ongoing Georgia General Assembly work to enhance economic development in rural Georgia, bankers throughout the state are interested in how they can help finance a variety of critical infrastructure needs. The OCC this week published a pretty thorough look at some best practices and considerations for banks looking to fund investment in expanding broadband internet access. The collection of articles in the November Community Development Investments publication highlights five case studies and a couple of overview pieces that are worth a look. Check out the articles here.

Training Young Bankers is Source of Greatest Concern, Hope for Monty Watson

In Piedmont Bank Chairman and CEO Monty Watson’s early banking career, there was a significantly different interest rate environment, Joe Brannen had just taken the helm at GBA and many banks had extended 12-18 month training programs for lenders. "I don’t see that happening anymore," Watson said of the longer-term types of programs that were more common at the time. However, the young people in his bank and other banks around the state make him hopeful for the future of the industry. "They are very sharp, and technology is second nature for them. They are used to a rapidly changing world, so I have confidence they will transform our industry to continue to meet the banking needs of our communities." Watson, the Group 9 representative on GBA's Board of Directors, shares some of his early experiences in banking, words of wisdom that shaped his life from a young age and more in his GBA member profile.

Joe Evans Recognized Nationally for Lifetime Achievement in Banking

During more than five decades as a banker, State Bank Financial Corp. Chairman Joe Evans built three significant banking franchises and has influenced scores of the state’s banking leaders. His long tenure, success as a leader and impact on Georgia’s banking landscape are among the many merits cited by American Banker in awarding Evans with its Lifetime Achievement Award this week. The publication’s story about Evans chronicles the influence a community banker, Robert O. Persons, Sr., had on his family, which shaped his entire perspective on his future career at an early age. "I couldn’t imagine a better way to make a living than being a community banker," Evans says in the article, recounting a variety of acts of kindness by "Mr. Robert." Read the full story here.

Proctor, Fidelity Bank Grab Spotlight in Florida Banking Magazine

We get our fair share of industry publications here and it’s always nice to see a friendly face gracing a cover from time to time. It’s even nicer when the story is about a Georgia bank’s growth and success. That’s the case with the October Florida Banker magazine. Fidelity Bank’s presence and growth in Florida are the subjects of the magazine’s cover story, with its President and CEO Palmer Proctor featured on the cover. In the story, Proctor focuses on the bank’s strategy to operate as a community bank in a regional setting, and he also shares the company’s approach to growing and cultivating a strong culture of teamwork. The article notes his leadership within the industry, recognizing his term as GBA Chairman during 2017-2018. "The experience of serving as chairman of the GBA during its 125th anniversary was rewarding for me, both professionally and personally. It was a great opportunity to strengthen relationships with other bankers and to advocate on behalf of our industry," Proctor said. "It is so important for bankers to stand up, step up and speak out. We’ve got to share our message."

Learn about LIBOR Alternatives

The FFIEC Dec. 6 will have a webinar about efforts to develop alternative reference rates to LIBOR because of the uncertainty as to continued availability of LIBOR after 2021. Participants will get background information on LIBOR and recent developments in the market about the potential transition from LIBOR, including the effect on institutions and financial products. LIBOR and Alternative Reference Rates will be at 1 p.m. Dec. 6. There’s no cost, and participants may register using this link. The agencies will also answer questions, which you are also welcome to submit in advance to

Counting Down...

Momentum Building for Credit Conference

We’ve been getting a steady stream of registrations for the GBA Credit Conference coming up Dec. 13-14 in Atlanta. Don’t miss the opportunity to join your colleagues for a deep dive into the environment for lending, credit underwriting and management in Georgia. With sessions about the economy, the housing market, credit metrics, bringing new business to Georgia, legal issues and plenty of peer networking, the conference is the perfect primer for a successful 2019. Get details and access registration here. With questions, contact Alison Moreau, 404.420.2034.

Upcoming GBA-U Seminars in Macon

Click the links above to learn more. Registration is $250 per person ($275 per person within one week of the seminar date). With questions, please contact GBA's Jenna Lynn Warner, 404.420.2035.

Please Welcome New GBA Bank Counsel Section Member Mr. Larry Evans

We’re excited this week to introduce our bulletin readers to the newest member of GBA’s Bank Counsel Section, Mr. Larry Evans of Oliver Maner, LLP in Savannah. Our thanks to Philip Williams, president and CEO, The Claxton Bank, for sponsoring Evans’ membership. Click here for Evans’ contact information. Please take a moment to drop him a welcome note if you have time and get to know him better.

Limited Quantities of 2019 GBA Holiday Decals Remain

Order Now to Get Signs Up for New Year's Day

We want to let everyone know that 2019 GBA Holiday Decals have been shipped to the banks on our standing order list, and we now have limited numbers available for anyone who may have overlooked making plans to use them next year. New Year’s Day will be here soon, so don’t wait to call us. Our top-quality window or door decals provide a consistent appearance across all your branches and communicate the 10 holiday closings recognized by the Federal Reserve Bank in accordance with FDIC rules. The decals are easy to spot and read from a distance and feature a variety of holiday-themed scenes. Prices are $35 per set: 1-5 sets; $32 per set: 6-10 sets, $30 per set: over 10 sets. To order, please contact GBA’s Bo Brannen, 404.420.2014.

Reminder: 2018 GBA Compensation and Benefits Reports are Still Available

When looking ahead into 2019, don’t forget that reports from the 2018 GBA Compensation and Benefits Survey are still available for purchase. The reports include salary ranges, data about director compensation, salary increase and other benefit information, peer bank pay information, asset-size breakouts and more. GBA Associate Members with HR related businesses may find it useful, as well. The price of the survey report is $400. To order your copy, please contact GBA's David Oliver, 404.420.2036.

Have You Talked with GBA’s Endorsed In-State Insurance Agents at McEver & Tribble?

With an independent insurance agent, you have choices. Independent agents aren’t tied to any one insurance company. McEver & Tribble is a full-service, property and casualty insurance brokerage firm that has been serving the Southeast for over 40 years and represents over 25 different insurance carriers. McEver & Tribble is proud to be GBA’s in-state representative for the Bond and D&O Liability Coverage offered through GBA Strategic Partner ABA Insurance Services. The insurance pros at McEver & Tribble are focused on long-term relationships and providing first class customer service. Find out more about McEver & Tribble today by contacting W. Hayward McEver, 404.949.3825.

Online Classes - December & January

Eight Great Courses Coming Up

ABA facilitated online courses feature an online learning community with fellow students, instructor guidance and feedback. Click here to see the eight upcoming courses scheduled to begin in December and January. For more information, contact Shan Haugabrook, 404.420.2020.

New to the Banking Industry?

Get up to Speed Fast with Suite of Basics

The Banking Basics is a suite of 12 courses that provide a comprehensive introduction to the banking industry. Ideal for those new to banking, completing this suite provides a deeper understanding of the changing world of financial services and the vital role that banks play in the economy. Concise, impactful lessons can be applied on the job immediately. Click here to see the course titles. For more information, contact Shan Haugabrook, 404.420.2020.
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. If you have any questions, please contact GBA's Katina Prokos at 404.420.2021.
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...
Citizens Bank of Laurens County
The Peoples Bank
CenterState Bank
Wells Fargo
First Port City Bank
Citizens Bank of the South
South State Bank
Braddy and Brown
Read All About It: Send Us Your News
We want to share your news with your colleagues around the state. Please forward your announcements about promotions, new employees and special recognition your bank has received along with any available photos to GBA's David Oliver and Katina Prokos.