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November 9, 2018

Election Overview From a Banking Perspective

With individual counties given until next week to verify their vote counts, at the moment, some races are just too close to call or are within the statutory vote margins where recounts are possible. Some provisional ballots and mailed ballots are yet to be counted. We should know soon if the Governor’s race will be subject to a recount, head to a runoff, or an outright winner is acknowledged. Brian Kemp has declared victory although Stacey Abrams has not conceded and says she is keeping all options open until all ballots are counted. A runoff is essentially assured for the Secretary of State and for one of the Public Service Commission positions. Our congratulations go to those statewide candidates who are clear victors:
  • Lt. Governor: Geoff Duncan
  • Attorney General: Chris Carr
  • Commissioner of Agriculture: Gary Black
  • Commissioner of Insurance: Jim Beck
  • State School Superintendent: Richard Woods
  • Commissioner of Labor: Mark Butler.

"Elections come and go and power shifts are inherent in the process. There is simply no reason banking issues should be partisan and we have a long history of working with members of both political parties. Our focus has always been to support policies that allow bankers to best serve the needs of the individuals, families and businesses in their communities, and that will remain our focus in the days and months ahead," said GBA president and CEO Joe Brannen. With questions, contact GBA’s Joe Brannen, 404.420.2026, or Elizabeth Chandler, 404.420.2027.

Related: Registration is now open for the 2019 Legislative Reception and Legislative/Economic Forum Jan. 16 at the Hyatt Regency Atlanta Downtown.

New Assistance for Hurricane Damaged Ag and Forest Property

Farmers, ranchers and forestland owners in 68 counties who suffered damage to working lands due to Hurricane Michael may be eligible for additional assistance announced by State Conservationist Terrance O. Rudolph this week. This new signup for the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) through the U.S. Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) can protect land from erosion, support disaster recovery and repair, and can help mitigate loss from exceptional storm events in the future. The deadline to apply for this signup is Dec. 14. Additionally, an emergency EQIP signup in Georgia that was previously announced by Secretary Perdue to address animal mortality is still ongoing through
Dec. 14 and continues to hold priority in the hardest hit areas. More details here.

Related: USDA Disaster Recovery Tool - Quick way to identify programs available

Related: GBA Hurricane Assistance Resources - One-stop shop for access to a variety of resources

Members Get Primers on All Things Risk Management

Georgia bank CFOs and finance pros gathered this week at our Financial Risk Management Conference and were treated to an agenda that covered the full spectrum of issues faced by bank finance teams. The conference is always a great way for bankers to get granular details on issues and to network, said Martha Brown, Planters and Citizens Bank, in this video clip. Read about the program here. Thanks to the generous sponsors and exhibitors at this year’s event, and to the GBA Asset/Liability Management Committee chaired by Haynes Standard, First State Bank, Wrens for putting on the conference. With questions, contact GBA’s Alison Moreau, 404.420.2034.

GBA Member Profile

Trusting Others to Do What’s Right with Haynes Standard

Seeing his colleagues benefit from the variety of sessions and topics of interest to bank CFOs and finance professionals at the Financial Risk Management Conference this week was a particularly proud moment for Asset/Liability Committee Chair Haynes Standard. "I was honored to get the chance to host a great conference for my fellow CFOs and related operations and financial staff," said Standard, senior vice president and CFO of First State Bank, Wrens. In his GBA Member Profile, Standard discusses the importance of trusting others to do what’s right and continuing to learn about your field, his experience opening a de novo bank, the need to train young people for careers in banking and more. Read the full member profile here.

'Oasis of Opportunity’

Georgia is No. 1 State for Business for Sixth Straight Year

It never gets old being ranked at the top, so we joined others this week in celebrating when we heard Site Selection magazine had ranked Georgia’s business climate best in the nation for the sixth consecutive year. The magazine’s story about the rankings characterizes Georgia as an "Oasis of Opportunity," and points to the state’s commitment to fiscal soundness, economic predictability, smart investment in education and transportation and championing the state's agriculture, film production and other key industries among the reasons for sustained success. Read more here.

Ag Banking Resource

‘Precision Agriculture’ Cyberthreat Protection Tips to Share with Farmers

As the most trusted institutions for protecting consumer data and information, banks have a good fourndation for also providing helpful security information to customers. An article that bankers with big ag portfolios may want to pass on caught our attention this week. The article outlines threats identified by the Department of Homeland Security and other intelligence agencies related to ag-production technologies, specifically technology related to the use of GPS, irrigation systems, livestock monitoring systems and other "precision agriculture" methods. Here’s a link to the article, and a link to the DHS report you can share with your farm customers.

Comments on Streamlined Call Reporting Requested

Regulators this week put out a request for comments on a proposal to extend the number of regulated institutions eligible for streamlined reporting. The proposal would permit insured depository institutions with total assets of less than $5 billion to file the most streamlined version of the call report. The agencies also are proposing to reduce by approximately 37 percent the number of existing data items reportable in the streamlined call report for the first and third calendar quarters. Comments will be accepted for 60 days after the proposal’s publication in the Federal Register. Read the proposal here.

Base Rate for SBA 7(a) Loans Changed from LIBOR to Prime

The Small Business Administration this week announced it will begin using the prime rate as its base rate for fixed-rate loans in its 7(a) program. The move away from LIBOR addresses a significant difference in prime and LIBOR rates and reduces uncertainty related to whether LIBOR will be viable at all beyond 2021. SBA announced that it will set the maximum allowable spread on 7(a) fixed-rate loans at prime plus 6 percent for loans of $250,000 or less (plus an additional spread permitted for loans of less than $50,000) and at prime plus 5 percent for loans over $250,000. The rule took effect Nov. 6.

2018 BankPAC Update

The 2018 BankPAC Campaign has been quite a success thanks to all who have taken the responsibility to make it so. This is an industrywide effort that affects all of Georgia’s banks. If you have yet to participate, here are our easy-to-use forms for use in making contributions to the GBA StatePAC and GBA FedPAC. Also, see how your GBA Group is doing meeting its goals. Thanks to Citizens Bank of Swainsboro, Milton Gray, president & CEO for contributing to the GBA StatePAC this week and to officers, directors and eligible employees of the these banks for contributing to the GBA FedPAC this week…With questions, please call GBA’s Elizabeth Chandler at 404.420.2027.
The Renaissance Waverly
Atlanta Hotel

Coming up Dec. 13-14, Atlanta

Hotel Deadline Approaching for Credit Conference

Don't delay in making travel plans for GBA's 2018 Credit Conference Dec. 13-14 at the Renaissance Waverly Atlanta Hotel and Convention Center. We have a packed agenda this year including sessions on the state of the Georgia housing market, leadership, a Georgia credit environment dissection, CECL, recruiting and retaining talent, new industry in Georgia, a GBA advocacy update, a legal update, peer group discussions and an economic update. GBA’s special room rate at the hotel of $179 is in effect through Nov. 21, but rooms may sell out before that date. Get all the details and access registration here. With questions, contact GBA’s Alison Moreau, 404.420.2034.
(L-R) Wren, Persons, Richards
and Joe Brannen

GBA Retirement Services Welcomes New Board Member

The GBA Retirement Services Board of Directors held its quarterly meeting this week. It was a productive meeting, including the approval of budgets and fee schedules for the upcoming year and review of investments and ongoing fiduciary duties related to retirement plans. The Board and GBA staff are pleased to welcome its newest member to the Board, Ogden Persons III, President & CEO, Persons Banking Company, Macon. Doug Wren, Executive Vice President, Persons Banking Company, Forsyth, was recognized and thanked for eight years of service to GBA Retirement Services and many more in the banking industry: Doug will retire Dec. 31 after working 51 years in banking. We will miss Doug and his wife, Barbara, and congratulate him on his retirement. Read more about the GBA Retirement Services, Inc. Board of Directors here. Please contact Mandy Richards at 404.420.2025 or Danielle Driggers at 404.420.2002 for information about how GBA Retirement Services can help design or improve your retirement plan.

Every Day GBA - Year-Round Resources

As 2018 winds down and 2019 planning is in full swing, here’s just a reminder of all the great GBA resources available throughout the year. There’s not a day that goes by where we don’t have something of value for members. See the links below or contact any of our staff members if you have question or need some personalized planning.

Four GBA Partners That Can Help Your Bottom Line in 2019

We know that most banks are right in the thick of budgeting for 2019, so it’s a good time to remind you of some GBA Strategic Partners we think can help banks in the coming year. Check out these offerings from four partners…These four areas are just the tip of the iceberg of how GBA can help member banks succeed. See more of our Strategic Partners here and our full list of specialized products and services here. With questions, contact Bo Brannen, 404.420.2014.
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...
First National Bank of Griffin
First Landmark Bank
Ameris Bank
Ellen Koebler
Helen Kim
Teena Beebout
Donna Wade
Jon Seagraves and Brad Brookshire
Larry Austin
Wally Less
Matt Brown
Nat Higdon
Mary Darby
Synovus 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 Katina Prokos.