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February 22, 2019

Georgia Banks Continue Strong Performance in 4th Quarter, 2018

FDIC was out this week with the industry performance results for the quarter ending Dec. 31, 2018, and the news continues to be good for Georgia banks. Net income was up as were total loans and deposits. Ninety-six percent of all Georgia banks were profitable and 86 percent of our banks reported earnings increases. Net interest margin continues to be higher than peers nationally as does return on assets and return on equity. Capital levels remain strong as well. "It’s good to see the numbers confirm what we’re hearing from our members. Georgia is a great state in which to do business and as Georgia’s economy has done well, so have our banks," said GBA president and CEO Joe Brannen. Here are more details about FDIC’s report.

General Assembly Reaching Halfway Point

Friday will be the General Assembly’s 20th day of their 40-day session. As is typical of most legislative sessions, the focus so far is in committees where members work to perfect their bills before moving them forward for floor consideration. A second hearing was held this week by the Senate Banking and Financial Institutions Committee on a bill GBA supports requiring changes to agreements, such as loan guarantees, be in writing. The House Banks and Banking Committee met and reported the Banking Department’s annual housekeeping bill and a bill authorizing prize-linked savings accounts. GBA supports both. More bills were introduced this week of interest to banking including SB 157 that authorizes banks to offer unlimited FDIC insurance through shared deposit programs to public depositors, a GBA priority bill. The Senate also passed their version of the supplemental appropriations bill that contains an additional $10 million for the hurricane Michael SAFETY 21 loan program. And a bill we will be opposing was introduced expanding banks’ requirement to report elderly exploitation to include suspected cases of abuse and neglect. We will report on all the activity in this week’s Legislative Update that will published after the Legislature adjourns Friday. Next week, the Legislature will be in session Monday through Friday. With questions, contact Elizabeth Chandler, 404.420.2027.

Register soon, only two weeks away!

South Georgia Community Bank Symposium, March 6

We are less than two weeks away from GBA’s 2019 South Georgia Community Bank Symposium at Valdosta State University on March 6. We've planned a day of unique programming for bankers and directors. We'll hear from a panel of finance students about their career aspirations and what makes banking an attractive career choice. Cynthia Tori, a Valdosta State University professor of economics, will give her outlook with a local angle and directors will get insight about strategic areas of focus from Jonathan Hightower of Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner. To close out the day, a panel of our Ag Committee members will talk about the prospects for being a strong bank for ag customers in the future. CEOs, CFOs, bank directors, senior lenders and senior retail bank managers would all benefit from attending this event. Registration is only $159 per person. Click here to register. Please contact GBA’s Jenna Lynn Warner, 404.420.2035, with questions.

Scott Introduces Financial Inclusion Bill to Strengthen Underbanked Communities

Rep. David Scott (D-GA-13) introduced a bill aimed at promoting financial inclusion for underbanked American communities. The Improving Access to Traditional Banking Act of 2019 would require the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to establish an "Office for Underbanked, Unbanked, and Underserved Consumers" tasked with researching financial inclusion and making recommendations to Congress on ways to lessen consumer dependence on non-traditional banking products like payday loans. "Far too often, both in the 13th district of Georgia and across America, people are using financial services from outside the traditional banking system," said Scott, who serves on the House Financial Services Committee. "This means that those who already have lower incomes often pay more in fees and penalties, even for simple services like cashing a check. This simply is not workable, especially for the African-American families who are disproportionately affected." Read more here.

2019 Annual Meeting: Rooms Selling Out, More Info on WestJet

We’ve recently increased the GBA block of rooms at The Fairmont Banff Springs but they are selling out quickly, so don’t delay making your reservations to join the Georgia banking family for professional education and industry updates in a spectacular locale at GBA’s 2019 Annual Meeting June 23-26 in Banff Springs, Alberta, Canada. Get a detailed travel guide here. You can make hotel reservations by calling 1.833.762.6866, and be sure to say you are with the GBA to receive the reduced rate of $382-$462 Canadian Dollars a night. You may also book online at If you’re still researching flights to Banff, click here to see frequently asked questions and answers from our WestJet salesperson. And, don’t forget to register for the event! To help you plan your trip, the Welcome Reception and Dinner will be on Sunday, June 23, and the farewell dinner will be on Tuesday night, June 25. There are no events Wednesday, June 26. With questions about the annual meeting, contact GBA’s Kathy Friestad, 404.420.2024.

Hotel Deadlines Approaching for Two Major Conferences

Click the links below for more information.
With questions about either conference, please contact GBA’s Alison Moreau with questions, 404.420.2034.

Apply by March 1 and Save on Tuition

Georgia Banking School & GBA Advanced Compliance School

Time is short to save on two of GBA’s best professional development experiences for up-and-coming bankers and compliance professionals. The 2019 Georgia Banking School and GBA Advanced Compliance School will run Sunday, May 5 through Friday, May 10, at the University of Georgia Center for Continuing Education and Hotel on the UGA campus in Athens. The early-bird deadline is approaching, so don't wait to enroll. Click here for pricing and more information.

Mark Your Calendar for Aug 14-16 Conference

Women in Banking Committee Meets

We’re starting to gear up for our annual two-day Women in Banking Conference, which this year will be Aug. 14-16 at Chateau Elan in Braselton. The GBA Women in Banking Committee met Thursday in Macon to start mapping out the program. We’ll feature economic and legislative updates as well as a variety of leadership, management and life-skills sessions. Look for full details and registration information soon. Ashlee Torpy, COO and chief strategist, Morris Bank, chairs this year's committee.

How Can GBA’s Community of Volunteers Help Your Company this Year?

Nominate a talented teammate or volunteer yourself to join a committee or board and see! At its core, GBA is a member-driven, community of bankers and banking-industry professionals. Each year, more than 300 individuals working in the banking industry volunteer for our boards, committees and other GBA service activities. Participation as a GBA volunteer is a terrific way to actively help us coordinate the efforts of GBA’s community of bankers and industry pros in Georgia. GBA volunteers also provide essential guidance to the GBA in our lobbying efforts, educational reviews and vendor product/service vetting and due diligence process. The period for nominations and volunteers runs through March 29. Contact GBA’s Shan Haugabrook with questions at 404.420.2020.

GBA Strategic Partner

At $32/Month, Digital Signage at Branches Has Never Been as Affordable

Banks of all sizes have been hearing more lately about the benefits of using digital signage to grow loan, deposits and profits. High-quality graphics and videos delivered on-screen, in your branches, will regularly grab your customers’ attention without the recurring costs of printing and mailing marketing material. The digital signage solution from GBA Strategic Partner (BMC) allows you to customize your digital content and run it in all, or some, of your branches, in no time. BMC offers digital signage, starting at just $32 per month, plus the cost of hardware. You can subscribe to their digital signage as a standalone solution, or along with their full marketing portal that includes hundreds of templates for ads, brochures, direct mail, posters and more. Click here to see more BMC Digital Signage benefits. For a tour of the BMC digital signage solution, please register here for a demo or contact Keith Pagel at 678.528.8041.
Related: GBA’s Marketing Peer Group will meet on April 30 at Middle Georgia State University, Macon. Register here, or contact GBA’s Jenna Lynn Warner, 404.420.2035, with questions.

Bank Security Conference - April 11-12, St. Simons

Conference Session Spotlight: Synthetic Identity Fraud

Join detective Fran Foster, a criminal investigator for the Duluth Police Department, as she explains the definition of synthetic identity fraud and the CNP (Credit Protection Number), why fraudsters are so successful at obtaining the information, losses to financial institutions and actual cases prosecuted in the past two years. Don’t miss this unique opportunity to learn how your bank can mitigate risk, along with all the other outstanding sessions during the event. Anyone at the bank responsible for security should come to the conference. The conference price is $395 for registrations received through March 29, and $445 for registrations after that date. Get all the details and register here. The cutoff date for the GBA room block at the King and Prince is March 13. With questions about either conference, please contact Alison Moreau, 404.420.2034.

Spring into Learning at GBA Seminars

Click the links above to learn more. Registration is only $250 per person until the week before the seminar. These seminars will be held in Macon. Please contact GBA’s Jenna Lynn Warner, 404.420.2035, with questions.

New Program! The BSA Experience - Aug. 20-23

BSA Compliance to Get More Regulatory Focus and Attention in 2019

In October 2018, Federal bank regulators issued joint guidance about how banks can better share Bank Secrecy Act Compliance resources, and later that month, former Governor Nathan Deal signed a proclamation designating Oct. 26 as BSA and AML Professionals Day in Georgia. Banks’ BSA programs and the critical role your BSA staff plays in your business is only going to keep getting more focus and attention in 2019. To help your BSA staff maintain a program commensurate with current updates and exam trends, GBA is partnering with, Terri Sands, founder of Secura Risk Management, to deliver the BSA Experience Aug. 20-23 in Macon. We'll be delivering this comprehensive program with a focus on networking, peer sharing and numerous hands-on learning opportunities. Register now to secure your spot. Please contact GBA’s Jenna Lynn Warner, 404.420.2035, with questions.

Streamline Vehicle Title & Lien Release Management with DDI Technology

The GBA has endorsed DDI Technology for more than 10 years because their Premier eTiltleLien® solution enables your bank’s loan operations team to improve reporting and manage exceptions within a simple, user-friendly application. Committed to excellence, DDI continues to focus on improving their products, education and consulting services in all areas of vehicle registration. DDI fosters partnerships with progressive and innovative businesses including federal, state and local governments by supplying them with the technologies to enable dealer and finance partners to provide the best service to their customers while saving time and money. Read about the four most significant benefits to working with DDI here. For more details or to join the more than 4,000 customers they have today, please contact Director of Sales Todd Phillips, 803.808.4937.

Chick-fil-A Foundation Executive to Keynote at GBA Leadership Conference

Plans are coming together for GBA’s 2019 Leadership Conference, July 22-25 at the Ponte Vedra Inn and Club in Ponte Vedra, FL, and we hope that one or more of your bank’s emerging leaders will be there. We’re excited to announce that the closing speaker will be Rodney Bullard, vice president of Corporate Social Responsibility for Chick-fil-A, Inc. and executive director of the Chick-fil-A Foundation. In his role, Rodney leads Chick-fil-A’s community engagement, philanthropic and sustainability strategy. He is an alumnus of the Air Force Academy, Duke Law School, the University of Georgia’s Terry College of Business and Harvard Business School’s Advanced Management Program. Read more about his session here, or click here to register online, see the conference agenda and hotel information. The GBA Leadership Roundtable package includes a Leadership Conference registration, but roundtable participants should still register so we’ll know to expect you. With questions, contact Kathy Friestad, 404.420.2024.

Insight on Ethics in Banking from GSBLSU Faculty Member

Graduate School of Banking at LSU faculty member Danny Payne, also the owner of Executive Banking Specialists, recently authored an article in the school’s Faculty Insight Series on the importance of ethics training for bankers, an area he believes is under-emphasized. "One reason for this may be due to the obvious notion that banking is understood to be an industry of trust, honesty, transparency, integrity, honor and above-board dealings without question," Payne wrote. "Although all banks have their Ethics Policy and Code of Conduct and expect their employees to fully comply, frequent follow up and continuing education efforts are lacking in many." Click here to read the full article. To better prepare tomorrow’s bank leaders for the ethical decision-making scenarios they will be facing, the Graduate School of Banking at LSU has recently added a bank ethics course using interactive case studies to its freshman year curriculum. With questions about the school, please contact GBA’s Alison Moreau, 404.420.2034.

Learn How to Implement Day 1 Certainty® at the American Mortgage Conference

At the 2019 American Mortgage Conference April 29-May 1 at the Pinehurst Resort in North Carolina, Brian Cusick of Fannie Mae will share how bankers have successfully implemented components of Day 1 Certainty®, give firsthand accounts of bankers experiences and teach attendees strategies for traversing similar operational and organizational roadblocks that they can bring back to their teams. Cusick will join 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.

Online Classes - February and March Offerings

Bank Lines of Business and Building Customer Relationships

Check out these ten courses that start in February and March. ABA-facilitated online courses feature an online learning community with fellow students, instructor guidance and feedback. For more information, contact Shan Haugabrook, 404.420.2020.

Understanding the Legal Structure in the Business of Banking

ABA’s Legal Foundations in Banking course presents the underlying legal structure for conducting the business of banking. This course covers key legal requirements affecting banks and bankers, as well as core language that must be understood to be effective. It provides the critical legal knowledge that every banker should know. Click here to learn more about the course learning objectives. This is a foundation course in the legal structure and basis for commercial banking, designed for new bankers, banking managers, or those transacting business directly with customers. For more information, contact Shan Haugabrook, 404.420.2020.

Meet New GBA Strategic Partner BankTalentHQ

FREE 30-day Job Postings for GBA Members through March 1

Recruiting and retaining the very best employees is at, or near the top of the list of priorities for almost every GBA member this year. We have been hearing it all over the state, from banks of all sizes. GBA has found a perfect solution with our newest GBA Strategic Partner BankTalentHQ. To help support the launch of BankTalentHQ in Georgia, we are offering FREE 30-day job postings for every GBA member through March 1. BankTalentHQ is also a great way to connect with GBA member banks if you know a qualified friend or family member looking for employment. Click below to learn more or contact GBA’s Bo Brannen, 404.420.2014, with questions.
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...
Providence Bank
FNB Bank Scottsboro
Liberty First Bank
S&P Global
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.