Aug. 30, 2019


Second New Bank This Year Approved

The Georgia Department of Banking and Finance and the FDIC this week approved the charter and insurance application for Loyal Trust Bank, which will be based in Johns Creek. Congratulations to CEO Charlie Brown and senior vice president and chief financial officer Renee Hinkson. Organizers are Julin Gu, Rose Jarboe, Edward Oh, Hyong (James) Park, Bo Shen, Dong Wang and Yimin Yang. Loyal Trust’s business plan is to be a multi-cultural bank serving the Asian American and business community in and around the North Fulton area of metro-Atlanta. The bank is expected to open no later than year end. "We’re excited about another new bank being approved, only the second in over a decade. Charlie has worked hard putting together a diverse team to serve their local market and should do well." said Joe Brannen, GBA president and CEO.

Four GBA Members Recognized as Best to Work for by American Banker

Congratulations to four members who were on the list of best banks to work for out this week from the American Banker publication. As the article points out, the bank’s leaders must work purposefully every day to ensure that employees are engaged, having fun and enjoy what they are doing. Getting on the list also requires having to answer a lot of survey questions about their leadership philosophy, going above and beyond for employees, efforts to recruit a diverse workforce, their most effective ways to communicate and more. Recognized are Atlantic Capital Bank, Atlanta, Doug Williams, CEO; United Community Bank, Blairsville, Lynn Harton, CEO; Capital City Bank, Tallahassee, FL, Bill Smith, CEO; and TIB The Independent Bankers Bank, Farmers Branch, TX, Michael O’Rourke, CEO. Here’s a link to the article to read more and why they were selected.

Compliance Conference - Sept. 18-20, Hotel Deadline Aug. 30
Top National Experts Coming to Us for Big Three-Day Agenda

The GBA Compliance Conference is just a few short weeks away, so be sure that you or someone on your compliance team attends. Check out the all-star cast from nationally-recognized compliance organizations such as Temenos, Continuity, Abrigo (Banker’s Toolbox) and ABA scheduled to share with us. Click here to access the detailed agenda. The agenda also features home-grown experts providing key details about how national rule changes affect Georgia banks. Read more about the lineup here, and click here to register for the conference. Don't delay, the early registration price expires at close of business Sept. 4.

Bank Counsel and Accountant Members Give Important Feedback during Meetings this Week

Two key professional groups supporting member banks gathered this week for meetings to share input, get updates on important trends and plan their annual conferences. The Bank Counsel Section Board, chaired by Virginia Harman of McRae, Smith, Peek, Harman & Monroe met Tuesday. A key part of their agenda was a briefing from Sr. Deputy Commissioner Steve Pleger of the Georgia Department of Banking and Finance. Read more about the meeting and planned sessions for the GBA Bank Counsel Conference here. On Wednesday, the 12-member Bank Accountant Section Board, chaired by Ron Mitchell of Mauldin & Jenkins held their annual meeting and subsequent Board meeting. Special guests at the meeting were Darcy Pyle and Monique Williams from the Georgia Department of Revenue giving an update about how the department is working to correct some issues slowing down processing of tax returns that have tax credits associated with them. Read more about the meeting and planned sessions for the GBA Bank Accountant Conference here.
Bank Counsel Section Board meeting
Bank Accountant Section Board meeting

Please Welcome Five New GBA Bank Counsel Section Members

We’re excited this week to introduce our bulletin readers to the newest members of GBA’s Bank Counsel Section. You can see their email info below. Please take a moment to drop them a welcome note when you have time to get to know them better.

Jon David Huffman

Poole Huffman, LLC

Todd J. Poole

Poole Huffman, LLC

Dave Orlowski

Drew Eckl & Farnham


Adam Beedenbender

Drew Eckl &

Vivian Fisher

Drew Eckl & Farnham


As a reminder, the GBA Bank Counsel Section was established for two purposes:
  • To identify the banking-related educational needs of attorneys representing GBA members
  • To help GBA provide networking opportunities for the large group of attorneys representing GBA members.
See all current GBA Bank Counsel Section Members here. Please contact GBA Bo Brannen, 404.420.2014, with questions.

Waving A Warning Flag About Directors and Officers Insurance

The Federal Reserve is warning financial institutions to mind gaps and exclusions in their Director and Officer (D&O) insurance policies, say Robert Long and Mark Kanaly of GBA Associate Member firm Alston & Bird. The Federal Reserve issued a statement on July 23 this year related to director policies. While the Fed didn’t explain its motivation for the statement, Long and Kanaly say it’s an important time for bankers to pay close attention to their policies. Read their analysis here.

Time for an Insurance Program Review?
ABA Insurance Services is the Most Reliable Source of Insurance for Banks

If your bank is looking to review its D&O policies and other insurance coverages, please keep in mind that GBA Strategic Partner ABA Insurance Services (ABAIS) is committed to serving and supporting banks by providing quality insurance and excellent customer service. We know you may have a local agent or broker you prefer to use, so the ABA Insurance program will work with your local agent to develop quotes for you. If you don’t have an in-state agent you may check in directly with Pat Williams at ABA Insurance Services for more details. This unique bank-owned, banker-directed program has been supporting the banking industry for over 30 years. Contact Williams at 410.960.6878 with questions.

Currently Issuing for 90 Community Banks Today
GBA Endorses ServisFirst Bank’s Agent Credit Card Program

GBA is pleased to announce its endorsement of the agent credit card program offered by ServisFirst Bank. ServisFirst issues cards for 90 community banks in the country, including many that have recently converted from other agent card programs. Through the program, GBA members will be able to issue credit cards to their customers, both commercial and retail, with their bank’s logo. The GBA Services Inc. board of directors, chaired by Chris Edwards, United Bank, Zebulon, approved the endorsement, citing ServisFirst’s innovative product offerings, customer service and transparency on pricing. ServisFirst provides a simple, straightforward program that includes credit card marketing and portfolio management services at no cost to the bank. Read about ServisFirst’s offerings and key benefits to banks here. Get more details about the ServisFirst Bank agent card program contacting ServisFirst’s Tim Finney, 478.952.6497, or Karen Grahn, 205.949.0330.

How GA’s Farm Banks Support Rural Georgia

The 40 Georgia banks with significant farm loan portfolios accounted for $1.5 billion in farm loans overall in 2018. Loans by those banks grew by 10.5% in 2018, even in a tough year for agribusiness. By category, those banks had $1.1 billion in farm real estate loans on their books and $400 million in farm production loans, up 18.7% over 2017. Read more here from the ABA about how Georgia’s 40 farm banks support rural communities throughout the state.

Georgia Banking School - May 3-8, 2020
Registration is Now Open

The Georgia Banking School Board met Monday in Atlanta to start work planning the 2020 session. The board is chaired by Darron Burnette, Synovus Bank, Statesboro. Fellow board members of the Banking School are Scott Swafford, United Bank, Barnesville; Joe Nemetz, First American Bank & Trust, Athens; Ron Best, University of West Georgia, Carrollton; Zac Frye, Durden Banking Company, Swainsboro; Keith Anthony, Planters and Citizens Bank, Forsyth; Helen Caldwell, Queensborough National Bank & Trust Company, Louisville, and Patrick Heatherington, Synovus Bank, Jacksonville, FL. Registration is now open for the 2020 school May 3-8 in Athens. Enroll online today!

2019 BankPAC Campaign - Online Contributing Now Available

Contributing and being involved with the BankPAC Campaign has never been easier. With new online capability of contributing to the GBA FedPAC, all eligible employees, officers and directors, can simply use this link to make a contribution by logging in with your MyGBA profile credentials. Also, here are the contribution forms for both the FedPAC and the StatePAC which include a useful guide of suggested amounts of giving. Check out how your GBA Group is progressing toward its goals so far. Many thanks to these individuals, banks and GBA Associate Members for contributing to the GBA BankPAC this week.

GBA State BankPAC Golf Classic - Four Reasons to Play

Well, you may not really need an incentive to get out the golf clubs on a beautiful fall day, but click here for four great reasons you should do just that on Wed., Oct. 23 at GBA’s 2019 Bank/PAC Golf Classic at The Club at River Forest in Forsyth. The Leadership GBA Executive Committee, which hosts the tournament each year, is proud that the money raised at last year’s tournament raised 10% of the state PAC’s 2018 total fundraising goal, and they challenge you to help them raise even more this year. Click here to register for the GBA Bank/PAC Golf Classic! Questions? Contact GBA’s Kathy Friestad, 404.420.2024.

Jobs Posted on BankTalentHQ Reach a National Pool of Applicants Daily

BankTalentHQ is designed as a talent management resource for the financial industry and is brought to you by the GBA through a partnership with more than 20 state banking associations across the country. We know locating and keeping top talent is high on the list of challenges banks face. The central feature of BankTalentHQ is its national job board. BTHQ allows you to broaden the scope of your talent search and cast wider nets in the southeast and across the country. Get started using BTHQ here. BTHQ also offers a ton of other helpful services. They also host a regular podcast to cover significant trends and topics HR officers will face in any market. Here’s a link to their latest episode.
Also: Know someone looking for a job? Share this link to show them why they should consider a career in banking today!

You’re the Leader of Your Bank: Attend the Annual Event Built for Bank Presidents and CEOs

We know how important it is to you as the leader of your bank to exchange ideas with colleagues and to stay current on issues that affect your financial institution every day. If you are your bank’s president or CEO, we encourage you to attend GBA’s upcoming President/CEO Conference, Oct. 6-8 at The Ritz-Carlton Reynolds at Lake Oconee. Don’t miss GBA’s premier in-state event for education and peer networking. Click here to see the detailed agenda and to register. Speakers will cover the economy, real estate trends, leadership inspiration, rural economic development and much more. Spouses/guests are welcome. Rooms are still available in GBA’s room block at the Ritz-Carlton Reynolds, but don’t delay, the cut-off date is Sept. 16 and rooms may sell out before then. Contact GBA’s Kathy Friestad with questions, 404.420.2024.

Financial Risk Management Conference, Nov. 7-8
Economy, Investments, CECL, Tech Trends and More on the Program

At this year's Financial Risk Management Conference coming up Nov. 7-8 in Atlanta, we will have two pre-conference sessions to start the conference off. John Carson with Monarch Private Capital will give an update on tax credits followed by Brad Rustin, Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough LLP, leading a session on contract negotiations. Click here for additional conference highlights. The 2019 GBA Financial Risk Management Conference is planned by the GBA Asset/Liability Management Committee. Holt Redding, South Coast Bank and Trust, Brunswick, is the committee chair, and Daniel Stanford, SunMark Community Bank, Perry, is vice chair. Registration for members is $395 per person through Oct. 24. Click here to register. Sponsorships are available, and Associate Member companies may also exhibit. With questions, contact GBA’s Alison Moreau, 404.420.2034.

Credit Conference - Dec. 5-6
Commercial Real Estate Year in Review and 2020 Forecast

Commercial real estate is evolving faster than ever, making it more difficult for banks to track and project the performance of various markets and sectors. Join Cal Evans, Synovus Bank, Columbus, as he reviews the highlights of 2019 and offers a forecast of CRE in 2020 and beyond. Registration is now open for GBA’s 2019 Credit Conference, Dec. 5-6 at the Renaissance Atlanta Waverly Hotel & Conference Center. Planned by GBA's Credit Committee, the annual GBA Credit Conference has a history of providing outstanding speakers and timely topics related to the credit arena. Registration for members is $395 through Nov. 21 and $445 afterward. Click here for more information and to register. Sponsorships are available, and Associate Member companies may also exhibit. With questions contact GBA’s Alison Moreau, 404.420.2034.

Order Now!
Most Detailed Georgia Comp. & Benefits Survey Available

The 2019 GBA Compensation and Benefits Survey results are complete and the results package is available for purchase. This is the most in-depth survey of Georgia banks about the full breadth of bank compensation and benefits programs. You won’t find a better value in the marketplace. Click here for details about the value of the survey results package. The price for the survey reports is $500 plus tax. Order your survey today by sending an email to Erin Howard at and she will send you the reports by PDF.

Loan Documentation Seminar - Sept. 26

To help your bank prevent loan losses through the implementation of proper loan structuring and documentation techniques, GBA is hosting a Loan Documentation seminar on Sept. 26 at Middle Georgia State University in Macon. A faculty member of the Georgia Banking School with more than 35 years of industry experience, Mike Allen of Cadence Bank will address a range of documentation topics including real estate specifics and residential construction lending. Commercial loan officers, commercial loan personnel, loan assistants and closing specialists alike will benefit from this seminar. Allen will cover these topics. Register here to secure your spot. Please contact GBA’s Jenna Lynn Warner, 404.420.2035, with questions.
Georgia Southern University

Southeast Georgia Community Bank Symposium: Oct. 22
GBA Coming to Statesboro for Region-specific Event

GBA along with the Georgia Southern University will host its annual Southeast Georgia Community Bank Symposium on Oct. 22. This event will feature speakers who will focus on the important issues facing bankers in the Southeast Georgia area. CEOs, CFOs, bank directors, senior lenders, retail bank managers and emerging leaders from throughout the Southeast Georgia region should look to attend. Click here to see topics and speakers on this year's agenda. Registration is $159 per person. Click here to register online. With questions, please contact GBA's Jenna Lynn Warner at 404.420.2035.

ABA Online Training
Banking Fundamentals and Advanced Skills Courses Available

Check out these 10 courses scheduled from September through October. ABA-facilitated online courses feature an online learning community with fellow students, instructor guidance and feedback. Any employee of a GBA member bank can participate at the member rate. Your bank does not have to be an ABA member. For more information, contact Shan Haugabrook, 404.420.2020. Click here for a list of all ABA offerings.

The Perfect Training for Bank Newbies

ABA's Banking Fundamentals includes three, four-week courses that combine the principles of the banking industry with real-world application. Ideal for emerging bankers or bankers seeking to gain an understanding of the changing world of financial services. The series of courses combines peer collaboration with instructor guidance. ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​GBA members get a discounted rate, and you don't have to be an ABA member to register. Courses include:
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 Prokos,, 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...
Renasant Bank
Morris Bank
The Bank of Soperton
Queensborough National Bank & Trust
Hester and Youngblood
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.