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April 5, 2019 


Update from Georgia's Rep on FDIC Community Bank Committee

Our state’s industry is fortunate to have a representative serving on the FDIC Advisory Committee on Community Banking. United Bank CEO Jim Edwards attended the committee’s meeting last week and shared with us some key takeaways. "This was a productive and helpful meeting, covering lots of ground," Edwards said. "Chairman McWilliams has established a good environment for direct feedback from the members, and the staff gave us detailed updates on a dozen specific topics." In particular, Edwards said the committee spent a considerable amount of time talking about the proposed community bank leverage ratio of 9 percent, with all members preferring an 8 percent standard if possible. Get more details of Edwards' report here, and you may access a webcast of the meeting here on FDIC’s website. Edwards is a former GBA Chairman and is currently ABA Vice Chairman. He welcomes questions and ongoing feedback that he can share as your representative to the committee. Email him at

General Assembly Adjourns Sine Die

At midnight April 2, Speaker David Ralston and Lt. Governor Geoff Duncan gaveled to a close the first year of the Georgia General Assembly’s biennial. The 2019 session will go down in our record books as a good one for banking as we were able to work with legislators to pass our three priority bills and amend, support or help defeat other bills affecting the industry. In total, we worked on 51 bills. "I’m so proud of our lobbying team who were at the Capitol every day fighting for our industry. Elizabeth Chandler, with support from Steve Bridges and Joe Brannen, took the lead for the industry negotiating often complex and sometimes controversial issues. Their years of experience paid off once again as they successfully navigated the fast-paced environment with professionalism and integrity," said GBA Chairman John Hall, president and CEO, American Pride Bank, Macon. Be looking for a Legislative Update shortly with details about the session. With questions, contact Elizabeth Chandler, 404.420.2027.
Jordan at the office of Rep. Hice

Georgia Bankers Participate in National Advocacy Summit

The state’s banks were well represented this week at the annual ABA Government Relations Summit and Emerging Leaders Forum. Former Leadership GBA Executive Committee President Walker JordanBank of Monticello; emerging leader representatives Jenny WoffordPinnacle Bank, and Kesha LoveSynovus; and former GBA Chairman Jim Williams, state ABA member rep., joined ABA Vice Chairman Jim EdwardsUnited Bank, as our state’s delegation. Member bankers visited the offices of Georgia’s Congressional delegation in addition to attending the summit’s programming. "I spoke with Rep. Jody Hice (R-GA10) briefly and thanked him for his support of the regulatory relief bill that Congress passed last year. I asked for him to lean on GBA for any information that he or his chief of staff, David Sours, may need on banking issues, and I told him we would be back in May for the annual GBA visit with a big crowd of Georgia bankers," Jordan said. "Our elected representatives really welcome these in-person visits to learn our hometown perspectives on national policies." Get more details of the summit here.

Disappointing Senate Vote on Disaster Relief Package

It was frustrating this week to watch the Senate fail to pass the disaster aid package cobbled together initially by Sens. Perdue and Isakson, with later additions from other senators in states affected by 2018 disasters and the more recent flooding in the Midwest. Our Senators made persistent efforts throughout the floor debate and passionately negotiated to get the package over the finish line. Unfortunately, the appropriations bill got derailed by partisan disagreements about aid proposed for Puerto Rico related to 2017 hurricane damage. In conversations with our delegation, they are continuing to look for a path forward. At this point, it’s simply too early to know what that will look like or when we can expect more efforts, especially because the two sides are so far apart. "Every day we continue debating disaster relief is a day that people across the country face crippling uncertainty. Time is of the essence, and Congress must act NOW," Sen. Perdue tweeted. Sen. Isakson took the well saying, "It’s a shame that politics has come into play with disaster aid funding for Georgia and other states. I appreciate the farmers of Georgia, and we’re going to get this done for them." Gov. Kemp unleashed a statement capturing the frustration, "While Georgia farmers - who suffered over $2 billion in damages from Hurricane Michael - wait for federal resources, politicians in Washington continue to play games. This is absolutely unacceptable." With questions, contact Joe Brannen, 404.420.2026, or Elizabeth Chandler, 404.420.2027.

Update on Fraudulent Cashier’s Checks Alert

Sheila Johnson of West Central Georgia Bank has provided some additional information about the fraudulent cashier’s checks they’ve been seeing since March 20. The checks originate through a mystery shopper email scam. Those who respond and provide their address get a fraudulent check and an instruction letter. Fake checks have been issued for amounts ranging from $998 to $2,500, and the check numbers have been in the 71300 - 72400 range, remitter names Kennedy Davidson or Brian Landrum. The bank asks that financial institutions not cash or negotiate these items. With questions or for more details about affected routing and account numbers, contact Johnson, 706.647.8951.

Resources Available
Gov. Kemp Proclaims April Financial Literacy Month

There’s an ongoing need for people to know how to save money, manage credit and be good stewards of their finances. Georgia banks promote good financial habits year round, but to give the issue some extra attention, Gov. Kemp has proclaimed April as Financial Literacy Month in Georgia. Bankers have credibility and unique skills to help their customers be better at managing their money, and we’ve got resources available to help you reach out in your hometowns this month and throughout the year. The annual Teach Children to Save Day is April 12, and we encourage banks to visit classrooms that day in particular. There’s no cost to register for the program and get access to the planning resources available here. Also, we have links to tons of additional resources on our Financial Literacy Resources page in the GBA Member Center online.

CECL FAQs Get Nine New Items, Four Updates

Federal banking agencies this week published an updated set of questions and answers about CECL. There are nine new items added that address stress testing, collateral-dependent loans, internal controls for data and more. Four responses have been updated, including details about implementation dates, impact on G.A.A.P. equity and regulatory capital and call report items. Find summary details and access to the FAQ’s here.

Comp. & Benefits Survey Data Collection Open

Invitations went out this week by email to CEOs, CFOs and HR contacts for the 2019 GBA Compensation and Benefits Survey. Data collection for the non-salary benefits and director compensation sections is now underway. It’s early, but our HR Committee recommended an April 1 head-start on these sections to encourage more participation. The salary data collection will begin May 1 as usual, and the deadline for all data submissions is June 28. Contributing your bank’s details creates the most thorough, comprehensive report in the Georgia marketplace. Click here to see some of the highlights and benefits of participating. To access the survey website and participate click here. The password to access the site is GBA#2019. 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.

Tifton - April 12
Rural Strong Georgia Loan Program Overview 

Representatives from the U.S. Small Business Administration and U.S. Department of Agriculture will provide updates on their respective business loan programs and resources for commercial lenders during a meeting in Tifton April 12. The meeting will be at the Georgia Museum of Agriculture from 10-11:30 a.m. Learn about programs available to help your rural borrowers with loans from $1,000 to $25,000 and those that have no borrower fees. Details and registration access here.

Rural Broadband Forum Set for Tifton April 30

The OCC, FDIC, FRB Atlanta and USDA are co-sponsoring a Rural Broadband Forum April at the University of Georgia Tifton Campus Conference Center. The meeting will cover the national and state overview of broadband, USDA programs and other resources, and the important role banks and federal savings associations can play in helping rural communities gain reliable, high-speed internet access through broadband networks to improve job, educational, and other opportunities. There will also be discussions on opportunities for bank financing of Broadband initiatives, as well as the CRA and regulatory considerations. The meeting is from 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. There’s no cost to attend, and lunch will be provided. Required registration here.

Last Call for Security Conference 

Maybe your schedule got freed up unexpectedly. Maybe you wrapped up a project early. Maybe you just let it slip up on you and realized you haven’t signed up. Whatever the reason, you or a representative from your bank can still register to come to GBA’s Security Conference next week on St. Simons. We’ve got a full slate of sessions covering a variety of topics related to physical security, protecting customers, peer sharing and skill building. The conference is April 11-12. Details and registration here. With questions or for more information, contact Alison Moreau, 404.420.2034.

Last chance to register!
New Account Documentation & Compliance Seminar - April 17

At GBA’s New Account Documentation & Compliance seminarSuzie Jones of Training Resources Consulting, LLC, will teach new account personnel about crucial pieces of information for every new account, the fundamental questions that should be asked of every potential accountholder and much more. Registration is only $250 per person until the week before the seminar. This seminar will be in Macon. Please contact GBA’s Jenna Lynn Warner, 404.420.2035, with questions.

Ag Economy Barometer
McKissick Set for Ag Market Overview for Rural Bankers at Conference

The state’s preeminent expert on the agriculture economy, UGA Professor Emeritus Dr. John McKissick, will again be among the speakers at the annual GBA Rural Development and Lending Conference May 16-17 on St. Simons. It’s a good time to get an update, as one national barometer about the overall ag economy shows increased concern among farmers and producers about future economic conditions. McKissick is an annual favorite. We’re also honored that Georgia Agriculture Commissioner Gary Black will give a talk. Register today to learn, network and share intel with your peers. Details and registration here. With questions or for more information, contact Alison Moreau, 404.420.2034.

Social Media Resource to Keep Up with Georgia Banks

We hope you already follow GBA on Twitter for up-to-the-moment industry news, member bank updates and association announcements. If you want to cut through the social media clutter and get even more connected with the Georgia banking community, we have a new resource available. Check out the lists page on our Twitter account here to access carefully curated feeds of GBA MembersPartners and FriendsGeorgia Legislative contacts and more. Bankers who want to stay connected with their industry as well as Associate Members and Bank Counsel members who want to keep up with their clients will all benefit from subscribing. With questions, contact GBA’s Katina Prokos, 404.420.2021.

American Mortgage Conference
Digital Mortgage Lending - Is Your Bank Prepared?

At the 2019 American Mortgage Conference April 29-May 1 at the Pinehurst Resort in North Carolina, a panel including Shane HartzlerFannie MaeKen JanikPromontory Fulfillment Services; and Dave ParkerLoan Logistics, will answer the questions "What is the state of digital mortgage components?" and "What progress has the industry made in digital mortgages?" with a focus on key components of the digital transformation. The conference will include other leading experts in the financial services industry, mortgage practitioners of every kind, policy makers and investors to discuss important issues in the mortgage field and to analyze what progress is being made in Washington. This year’s conference is a joint effort of more than 10 state bank associations, including GBA. Click here to register. Contact Blair Jernigan at for more information.

Looking for the Best Vendors, Products or Service Providers?

For the benefit of our members, GBA Services Inc., (GBASI), has already done the due diligence for you! With the guidance of the GBASI Board of Directors, GBASI endorses a wide variety of quality products and services through Strategic Partnerships with leading vendors. GBASI also offers a variety of helpful products and services through direct sales. By combining the collective buying power of the entire banking industry in Georgia, GBA members can take advantage of exclusive savings. Click here to see and learn more about all our GBA Strategic Partners and available products and services. Have questions or feedback about any of these solutions? Please contact Bo Brannen, 404.420.2014. 

Online Classes - April Offerings Train your Team and Build a Strong Foundation in Commercial Lending

Check out these four courses that are offered in April. These ABA-facilitated online courses feature an online learning community with fellow students, instructor guidance and feedback. Click here for a list of all ABA offerings. For more information, contact Shan Haugabrook, 404.420.2020.

Enhance your Commercial Lending Expertise with an ABA Certificate

ABA’s Certificate in Business and Commercial Lending provides an in-depth look at the commercial lending process and the related financial analysis of a borrower. The curriculum addresses a mix of qualitative underwriting and analysis skills. Lenders will become familiarized with both audited and unaudited statements and fill any gaps in understanding credit analysis and underwriting. GBA members get a discounted rate, and you don't have to be an ABA member to register. The curriculum has pre and post-tests that allow seasoned lenders to test out of content areas with which they are familiar and provide a more efficient learning experience. Completion of this certificate program lets the industry know you are credit trained and ready to bring in new qualified business. For more information, contact Shan Haugabrook, 404.420.2020.

Recruit, Retain and Develop the Best Bankers with GBA Career Solutions 

GBA Job Bank - GBA will post open positions, free of charge, for GBA members. See the open positions in Georgia here. We will also post professional summaries for bank-job seekers on our Bankers Available page. To make the process easy and answer any questions, we've developed this
Q & A. Please contact Katina, 404.420.2021.
GBA Strategic Partner BankTalentHQ - The central feature of BankTalentHQ is its national bank-job board. Other key benefits include: resume search access, regional and national reach for your open positions, frequent special offers and custom sales/coaching programs. Visit BankTalentHQ to learn more. See the open positions in Georgia here, or search regionally or nationally here.
GBA’s Career Paths for Bankers™ - GBA’s Career Paths for Bankers™ is the most unique, organized and easy-to-use career development resource available for bankers and banks. GBA’s pioneering career development resource is unlike any other in the banking industry. Click here to start mapping your banking career today. 
Why do people choose careers in banking? Whatever their talents, interests and educational background, there is a career in banking for them. Here are few good reasons to share with folks you know.
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 Trust Bank
Colony Bank
Queensborough National Bank & Trust Co.
Commercial Banking Company
Altamaha Bank and Trust
Clark (center)
Massengill (second from left)
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.

Attention Attorneys!
Status of Important Cases
April 2019