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January 18, 2019

FDIC Chair Jelena McWilliams

It was a Special Day at Legislative Events

A sellout crowd was on hand this week at GBA’s Legislative/Economic Forum and Legislative Reception to kick of GBA’s calendar-year advocacy programs. It was a special treat to hear directly from FDIC Chairman Jelena McWilliams about her priorities and approach for leading the agency. McWilliams is the first sitting FDIC chair to speak at the GBA legislative events. In very candid remarks, she stressed efforts to simplify processes, ensure guidance isn’t used for enforcement, provide clarity and transparency about supervision and ensure banks in rural areas and minority-focused banks are appropriately represented on the FDIC’s Advisory Committee on Community Banking. Click here to read more about the program, which included Atlanta Fed President and CEO Raphael Bostic, Lt. Gov. Geoff Duncan and Rep. Jay Powell before concluding with our annual Legislative Reception that attracted a huge contingent of legislators and members of the executive and judicial branches of state government. "This event is always the kick-off of our calendar-year advocacy, but we all know the planning, issue analysis and key relationship building is a continuous process. At GBA, it happens every day," said GBA Chairman John Hall, American Pride Bank, Macon, during the meeting. "And that type of everyday diligence by bankers and staff is how GBA has earned its reputation as a credible, trusted resource for the policymakers getting down to business here this week and at the national level." Thanks to all who attended and again made the day’s events a valuable part of GBA’s annual calendar.
Copeland and Bostic
Lt. Gov. Duncan
Photos from the Forum and Reception

GBA Weighs in on Shutdown’s Effect on Agribusiness

As the partial government shutdown continues, media outlets are starting to focus more on impacts throughout the economy. American Banker contacted GBA to find out what our members are experiencing with their farm customers around Georgia. With input from members of the Agriculture Committee, we shared how it’s a critical time for working with customers, and delays in programs through the Farm Service Agency and Small Business Administration are not helpful. "This is the time of year they’re working with their banks to set up operating lines of credit for the year and everyone needs the certainty of knowing what’s going to be available," GBA President and CEO Joe Brannen said. "The longer the shutdown goes, the more dramatic the effects will be." Read the full story here.

Related: Please let us know if your bank is doing anything special in working with customers to help them out during this time. For example, we heard from State Bank and Trust Company, a division of Cadence Bank, this week that it is offering zero-percent consumer loans for furloughed government employees, and we know many banks have announced a variety of service charge and overdraft fee waivers for those affected. Send us a note if you’ve got a particular effort underway, if you have an anecdote about how your bank has helped a customer or if you have information about how the shutdown is affecting families and businesses you serve. Email David Oliver and Katina Prokos.

New Healthcare Benefit

Telemedicine Now Available for GBAIT Members

We believe you’ve spent too much time sitting in waiting rooms, so we are excited to announce that Wellview Telemedicine kicked off on January 1. This has been a long-anticipated and highly requested benefit for members of the GBA Insurance Trust, and we are pleased to partner with Wellview Health to bring this new benefit to our members. Wellview Telemedicine is provided to members at no cost to you or your bank - just another benefit of your Trust. Telemedicine physicians can prescribe and/or refill prescriptions, and will call them in to your pharmacy. Regular pharmacy copays do still apply. Everything you need to know can be found below:

Please contact Danielle Driggers at 404.420.2002 with GBA Insurance Trust if you have any questions.

Deriso to Lead State Chamber

Congratulations for GBA’s Y2K Chairman Sonny Deriso for being tapped to chair the Georgia Chamber of the Commerce. Deriso is chairman of the board of Atlantic Capital Bank. He follows outgoing Chamber Chair Kessel Stelling, CEO of Synovus. The Georgia Chamber is the state’s largest organization representing businesses throughout the state. Deriso has been chair of the Georgia Regional Transportation Authority since 2001 and hails from Albany, so he’s been in a position to see the critical role transportation plays in the growth of our state while understanding the needs of less urban areas. "Sonny is perfect for this role. He has a unique blend of inclusive leadership, experience in bringing people together to coalesce around big ideas and is genuinely one of the nicest people you could ever know. We have a long relationship with the Chamber and look forward to working with Sonny, Chamber CEO Chris Clark and the talented team of chamber professionals and volunteers active with the organization," said GBA president and CEO Joe Brannen, a chamber board member. Also serving on the chamber board is GBA Senior Vice President Elizabeth Chandler who chaired the chamber’s Government Affairs Council. Deriso is the third banker in a row to chair the chamber. Preceding Stelling was Regions Bank’s Bill Linginfelter.


State and Federal Issues Briefs Highlight Georgia Banking Update

The January edition of the Georgia Banking Update is now available. This issue includes the most current publicly available stats on the banking industry in Georgia as well as summaries of the key state and federal legislative and regulatory issues we’re expecting or tracking during the Georgia General Assembly Session and the new U.S. Congress. Access the new version here, and it’s always available on our website.

Leadership GBA Executive Committee Convenes

Our top-flight team of emerging bank leaders gathered this week to talk about GBA’s programs for leadership development and begin planning the 2019 Leadership Conference. Leadership GBA Executive Committee President Keith Anthony, Planters and Citizens Bank, Forsyth, led the meeting, which included members reviewing information they learned during the GBA legislative day events Wednesday, sharing key issues and marketplace conditions in their parts of the state, an update on Leadership Roundtables and efforts to promote participation in several key programs and events including:

Look for details about the Leadership Conference agenda soon. This year’s conference is July 22-24 at the Ponte Vedra Inn and Club. Registration will open soon. With questions, contact Kathy Friestad, 404.420.2024.

Welcome Six New Associate Members

The GBA Board of Directors this week approved the applications of six new Associate Member companies. Please familiarize yourself with these new organizations and thank them for their support of GBA. You can get information on all of GBA’s Associate Members by using the Associate Member search function on our website. Click any of the logos below to learn more, and please give these members an opportunity to earn your business if you have a product or service need that they provide.

Fed Beige Book

Retail and Hospitality Shine; Real Estate and Manufacturing Activity Slower

Businesses in the Southeast reported to the Fed moderate growth at the end of 2018, and they expect steady growth into 2019. However, they did report increased uncertainty related to politics and trade policies. In the latest Beige Book, the Fed said Sixth District contacts reported wage growth, tighter labor markets, increased retail sales, strong bookings in the hospitality sector and slowing real estate and manufacturing activity. Banks said activity was steady with higher interest rates helping earnings and margins. Here’s a link to the full report.

New Tool to Pair Financial Literacy Programs with Local Groups

We encourage members to make use of the great financial literacy resources and programs available from the ABA Foundation. New this year is a tool called FinEdLink that will help pair school and community groups with your bank for local presentations. Simply register for the program and check the opt-in box for FinEdLink to get set up. Register for a free webinar about it Jan. 29 for more details. The ABA Foundation programs we endorse are:

Registered banks receive access to free downloadable planning materials, step-by-step lesson plans, activity sheets, customizable media tools and will be featured in the list of participating banks.

One CFPB Constitutionality Challenge Ends

The Supreme Court has declined to hear a case challenging the constitutionality of the CFPB's structure as an independent agency. The District of Columbia Circuit court had rejected a challenge to the bureau in a case brought by a Texas bank and other groups, and they’d appealed it to the Supreme Court. There are other cases pending raising similar questions about the legality of the bureau’s structure. More details here.

Testimonial: GBA’s Banking Schools

An Unforgettable Way to Become a Better Bank Executive

If you’re building a long-term career in banking, we strongly encourage you to consider enrolling in the best professional development opportunities GBA has to offer. The 2019 Georgia Banking School and GBA Advanced Compliance School will run concurrently May 5-10 the UGA Center for Continuing Education & Hotel in Athens. Georgia Banking School is a three-year program and the GBA Advanced Compliance School is a one-year program, both designed to strengthen and solidify your banking knowledge and take your career to the next level. Daniel Diaddigo, National Retail Group Director with CBC National Bank Mortgage, a division of First Federal Bank, and Class of 2018 Graduate of Distinction, had this to say about his experience…Apply by Feb. 15 to save $130 on tuition. Click here to apply for the Georgia Banking School, and click here to apply for the GBA Advanced Compliance School. If you have questions about either, please contact GBA’s Alison Moreau, 404.420.2034 or Jenna Lynn Warner, 404.420.2035.

2018’s Most Popular Seminar

IRAs are a different world from the other accounts at your bank. They may look similar, but the rules, regulations and IRS reporting complicate things. And, just when you finally find your footing, they change the rules again. Come build a firm IRA foundation and register now for the IRA Basics Seminar with Patrice Konarik, Sunwest Training Corp., on Feb. 12 at Middle Georgia State University, Macon. Attendees will leave with clear understanding of IRAs and a completely updated 275-page IRA Training and Reference Manual. Click here to register. Registration is $250 per person through Feb 5. With questions, please contact GBA's Jenna Lynn Warner, 404.420.2035.

HR Professionals Institute

State of the State Labor Environment

Georgia's top labor market experts will present at this year's HR Professionals Institute, so don't miss out. Georgia Department of Labor Commissioner Mark Butler will look at Georgia from a human resources perspective, including new jobs that are opening up, an overall employment picture and how Georgia’s financial institutions may be affected by the current and projected environment. After Mark will be Tony McKenzie, One Stop Coordinator with the Georgia Department of Labor. McKenzie conducts outreach to employers and engages in advocacy efforts with hiring executives to increase employment opportunities for veterans and encourage the hiring of veterans. These are just two of the many valuable sessions on the program. Click here to register online or to reserve your hotel room. Contact GBA’s Alison Moreau with questions, 404.420.2034.

Operations & Technology Conference

The Dark Web Store - Keeping Your Data Off the Shelf

As we heard from Atlanta Fed President Raphael Bostic this week, cybersecurity needs continued diligence, so there's every reason to come to GBA's Operations and Technology Conference in March. One interesting session will be from Mike Kirby, vice president, cybersecurity and risk services, FIS. Kirby will provide a unique insight to the dark web, what it is and why it is so useful to hackers and fraudsters. We will review the marketplace of consumer identities and payments card data to run the big business of fraud that is generating billions of dollars every year. Join us for a demonstration of the dark web to see what cardholder and consumer information can be found and how this data can be used as actionable intelligence. Click here for a detailed description of his session. If you are your bank’s technology officer, IT manager, ISO, or are involved in deposit operations, business development or even compliance, don’t miss this conference March 25-27 at The King and Prince Hotel, St. Simons Island. Register for the pre-conference sessions ($315), the conference sessions only ($375), or both ($635) before Feb. 21 for early registration pricing. Click here to register and to see hotel information. Contact GBA’s Alison Moreau with questions, 404.420.2034.

Learn About the Advantages of Bank Owned Life Insurance (BOLI) Programs from EBS

GBA Strategic Partner EBS specializes in the placement and service of Bank Owned Life Insurance (BOLI). Their programs use BOLI to finance existing employee benefits and informally fund new or existing nonqualified executive benefit plans. EBS offers implementation and plan design services as well as administrative services. If you have BOLI now and need or want to consider a new servicer, EBS can assist you with compliance and reports essential for your bank, board and regulators. Given the fiduciary responsibilities of bank management and board members, it is crucial that banks partner with experienced and qualified professionals to service their BOLI programs and Nonqualified Plans. Click here to find out more about EBS’ comprehensive service.

Bank Assetpoint® can Connect your Bank to Local and Regional Bank Asset Buyers

Bank Assetpoint® is the only marketplace for loans and other assets that brings more than 1,400 bank participants together with other buyers and sellers. Bank Assetpoint lists details about new loan opportunities and provides members with various ways to search for and post assets for sale, either directly or through your real estate broker or loan sale advisor. You can access a long list of eligible buyers, facilitating faster disposition and better odds to capture the greatest value for your assets. Check out Bank Assetpoint at It's quick and easy to get started. With questions, contact Promontory's Danny Capitel, 770.630.6796.

Webinar Subscription Packages - Save Time and Money

Are you looking to save money and time, while training your employees as efficiently as possible? A webinar subscription package is a great option to get maximum value for a fraction of the price of most online training. The subscription packages are shareable for your entire institution, simplify your budgeting process and offer webinars at a lower rate than purchasing them individually. You may register for live webinars as well as OnDemand or CD recordings. Credits do not expire and there are more than 300 webinars to choose from each year. For more information, please contact GBA’s Shan Haugabrook at 404.420.2020. Click here for a full list of webinar subscription packages.

Online Classes - January & February

Build a Strong Foundation in Banking

ABA facilitated online courses feature an online learning community with fellow students, instructor guidance and feedback. There are eight upcoming courses scheduled to begin in January and February. For more information, contact Shan Haugabrook, 404.420.2020. Click here for a list of all ABA offerings.

Essential Preparation for a New Era of Banking

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, Banking Fundamentals is a fully online, interactive series of courses with expert instructor guidance and peer support collaboration. Get more information here. With questions, please 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...
United National Bank
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.