July 19, 2019

Fed’s Bowman and Bostic Host Community Bank Roundtable

Several months ago, the Federal Reserve reached out to us at GBA about gathering a group of Georgia community bankers to have a candid conversation with Fed Governor Michelle Bowman and Atlanta Fed President Raphael Bostic. Gov. Bowman is the newest member of the Fed Board and the first person to have a seat designated for someone with community banking experience. "The 30 bankers on our annual Washington trip met with Gov. Bowman at the Fed and we heard her passion for community banking. Having the chance to pull together another group of bankers here in Georgia to be in dialogue with her and President Bostic was an opportunity we couldn’t pass up," said GBA president and CEO Joe Brannen. This week, a diverse group of a dozen community bankers spent almost three hours with Gov. Bowman and President Bostic discussing a range of issues. "What an incredible opportunity for our voices as community bankers to be heard. So many times, our small community banks get lumped in with much larger institutions and we may feel that our voices are lost - that did not happen today," said Susan Moss, president and CEO, Planters and Citizens Bank, Camilla. Read a detailed summary of the gathering and banker impressions here.

FASB Proposes CECL Implementation Delay for Some

We were pleased to see the announcement Wednesday of a proposal by FASB to delay implementation of CECL for small companies (as defined by the SEC), non-SEC public companies and private companies. For those banks, the implementation wouldn't be until January 2023. Full details from FASB are forthcoming after a 30-day comment period. We know our members welcome the news, as well. In a survey comparing views of participants coming to our GBA Leadership Conference next week and GBA Board and Community Bankers Committee members, 59% and 68% of each group, respectively, said their banks are still working to be ready for the original implementation timeframes. We believe FASB’s recent proposal underscores the need for a delay for all companies, and we’ll continue to urge a significant qualitative impact study to fully understand how the standard will affect banks and the economy. With questions, contact Joe Brannen, 404.420.2026, or Elizabeth Chandler, 404.420.2027.

Leadership Conference Ready for Launch

More than 325 bankers, Associate Members and their family members will be attending this year’s Leadership GBA Conference that begins Monday in Ponte Vedra, FL. Attendees will be treated to a thorough download of the latest major banking issues including the economy, leadership techniques, talent development, consumer trends, legal updates and an overview of the Georgia banking landscape. There’s also a good group of exhibitors and sponsors supporting the event and sharing information about how their companies can help banks. This is our premier event for emerging bank leaders as it checks all the boxes that make an event valuable - relevant and useful content, skill-building and professional/family networking opportunities. The Leadership GBA Executive Committee is led this year by Keith Anthony, Planters and Citizens Bank, Forsyth. Look for summaries and scenes from the conference next week. Make a last-minute registration here. With questions, contact Kathy Friestad, 404.420.2024.

Planning Underway for 2020 Graduate School of Banking at LSU

We were happy to receive a visit this week from John Jordan, executive director of the Graduate School of Banking at Louisiana State University. Also visiting were incoming school president Mike Allen, Cadence Bank, Atlanta, and Ryan Earnest, Heritage First Bank, Rome, who serves as the school trustee for Georgia. This year’s session concluded in June and reviews were extremely positive from students and faculty alike. The school’s executive committee is meeting next week to consider feedback, and we expect them to recommend a couple of significant changes we’ll tell you more about later. Around 200 bankers start their three-year journey through the school each year. The number of Georgians attending usually ranks our state among the top three or four in terms of share of students among the 15 sponsoring states. Years ago GBA members pitched in to create a scholarship honoring former Banking Department deputy commissioner Bob Moler, and the department selects an examiner to attend the school with that scholarship. "The Graduate School of Banking at LSU continues to be the number-one choice for career Georgia bankers seeking to further their knowledge through the rigorous curriculum at the school. While there are plenty of other choices throughout the country, no school compares to the quality of instruction, accommodations, peer interaction and value-priced option one gets from GSB," said GBA president and CEO Joe Brannen, who is a former chairman and continues to serve on the school’s board.

Watching out for Regulatory Creep on Elder Financial Abuse Reporting

CFPB issued an updated advisory about elder fraud/exploitation prevention this week that urges banks to be sure and report all suspected elder financial abuse to appropriate local, state, or federal responders, regardless of whether reporting is mandatory or voluntary under state or federal law. In particular, the guidance emphasizes reporting to authorities and documentation of such reporting when filing suspicious activity reports (SARs) that include possible elder fraud cases. Georgia banks and bankers are already mandatory reporters for suspected cases of elder financial abuse. We know our members put a ton of time, training and emphasis on doing all they can to protect these customers from fraud and exploitation. We understand reporting this year is up more than 200 percent, for example. So, the guidance is a good point of emphasis, but there’s no need here for additional rules and regulations. We’ve also been on guard for regulatory creep at the local level, as we opposed a bill in the last General Assembly session that would have would have greatly expanded the current statute requiring bankers to report suspected cases of elderly financial exploitation by also requiring the reporting of instances of suspected elder abuse and neglect. See our resources to help banks protect older customers.

Kemp Appoints First Business Court Judge

Walter W. Davis has been appointed by Governor Brian Kemp to serve as the first state-wide business court judge. The court was approved by Georgia voters in the November 2018 election and codified with bipartisan support in the 2019 legislative session. "With over 17 years of private-sector experience, Walt Davis will bring invaluable business law expertise to this new state-wide court," said Gov. Kemp. "I am truly honored to nominate him to this position, and I have the utmost confidence that he will govern his courtroom with integrity and impartiality. By allowing companies to resolve their differences quickly and judiciously through the business court, businesses can get back to doing what they do best: creating jobs and opportunity for hardworking Georgians." His appointment requires confirmation of the House and Senate Judiciary Committees, which is expected early next session and the court should be operational next fall. GBA was part of a coalition of interested parties that worked for several years to establish the court. Bill Custer of Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner represented GBA in those discussions and said of Davis, "He is a very capable and thoughtful lawyer with exactly the skill set we need for this job." Davis, currently the administrative partner of the Jones Day law firm, is a veteran litigator with experience advising dozens of corporate mergers, handling ownership disputes and working on other complex legal matters. With questions, contact Elizabeth Chandler, 404.420.2027, or Joe Brannen, 404.420.2026.

Economic Outlook - Beige Book
Tariff Concerns Don’t Dampen Overall Outlook

The Fed’s monthly economic outlook for the Sixth District says economic activity continued to expand modestly through mid-June, with some contacts citing uncertainty about tariffs. However, the overall outlook remains positive for modest growth through year-end. Bankers cited some softening in loan activity, some margin decreases, and NPA’s remained near historic lows. Read more here.
Davis and Brown

GBA & Banking History
1904 Albany Civic Promo Piece Praises Bankers

Thanks to GBA Vice Chairman Luke Flatt, AB&T, Albany, for sharing a neat piece of GBA, banking and Georgia history with us. Former banker and Albany native Fred Sumter stopped by the bank recently and gave Flatt a pamphlet the city commissioned in 1904 to advertise the city to prospective businesses and residents. There’s a section on local banks that includes mentions of two of the early presidents of the GBA, Capt. J. A. Davis (1897-1898), and S. B. Brown (1903-1904), who hailed from Albany. The text also notes the importance of the town’s banks. "The growth of Albany and its rapidly developing business is sufficient attestation of the great service of its banks to the community, and it stands as a luminous refutation of the obsolete opinion that banks are parasites not producers," it says. Here’s a link to the brochure.

Crime and Punishment
Florida Man Sentenced for Robbing Albany Bank

Convicted bank robber Charles "Charlie" Peeler of Quincy, FL, won’t be getting out of jail anytime soon. Peeler has been sentenced to 78 months in prison for the 2016 robbery of PeoplesSouth Bank in Albany. He’s already serving time for another robbery. Read details about his robberies and confessions made during questioning when he was arrested.

Compliance Professionals - Register Now for Fall Conference!

If you are the compliance officer or involved in compliance at your financial institution, you won’t want to miss this year’s conference Sept. 18-20 at Crowne Plaza Atlanta SW in Peachtree City. The agenda covers:
  • Loan and deposit compliance updates including the latest on regulatory relief provisions
  • Flood insurance
  • HMDA
  • Mortgage loan compliance
  • Consumer complaint and vendor management
  • BSA and Reg E
  • A cannabis-banking primer
  • And more...
Click here to access the detailed agenda. Online registration is quick and easy - click here to reserve your spot. Registrants have the option to attend the entire ("full") conference, to attend only Days 1 and 2 with Loan Compliance content, or to attend Days 2 and 3 with a Deposit Compliance focus. Hotel information is also available through this link. If you have questions, contact GBA’s Alison Moreau, 404.420.2034.

The BSA Experience Session Highlight
Beneficial Ownership Requirements, Triggered Events and Ongoing Monitoring

Beneficial ownership is an important pillar of compliance for identifying the individuals behind the business relationship. On May 11, 2018, financial institutions changed their account opening procedures from identification of the business to the identification of the individual for required transparency of the owner with the most benefit and or control over the relationship. An important FinCEN requirement for law enforcement to have better visibility into individuals who hide behind business entities. Learn all you need to know about this at The BSA Experience Aug. 20-23 at Middle Georgia State University, Macon. Steven Bunn, CAMS, At-Risk Adult Crime Tactics, Specialist Assistant BSA Officer, Cadence Bank, will take attendees through effective identification of these beneficial owners and controllers, the triggered events using a risk-based approach and how to effectively and practically manage the ongoing risks of the newest BSA pillar requirement. In order to provide this unique hands-on experience, registration is limited to 50 participants. Register now to secure your spot. Contact GBA’s Jenna Lynn Warner, 404.420.2035, with questions.

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

If your bank is undergoing or considering a review of its comprehensive insurance programs, 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. Just ask your agent or broker to check in with Pat Williams at ABA Insurance Services for details. This unique bank-owned, banker-directed program has been supporting the banking industry for over 30 years. Contact Pat, 410.960.6878, with questions.

IRA Advanced Update and Review Workshop, Sept. 12

The IRA Advanced Update and Review Workshop will take place on Sept. 12 at Middle Georgia State University in Macon and Patrice Konarik, president of Sunwest Training Corp., will speak on recent changes as she covers content at the intermediate-to-advanced level. Each participant will receive the complete 275-page Sunwest Training IRA Training and Reference Manual, which is updated to reflect new regulations. Click here to see 2019 highlights. Registration is $250 per person ($275 per person after Sept. 5). To register, click here. With questions, please contact GBA's Jenna Lynn Warner, 404.420.2035.

Bank Assetpoint Helps Banks Market Assets

Bank Assetpoint® allows members to search for and post assets for sale, either directly or through your real estate broker or loan sale advisor, and to connect with specialty service providers. You can access to a large number of eligible buyers, facilitating faster disposition, as well as the potential to capture the value of your assets, as well as easily post and monitor a wide range of assets - including performing and nonperforming loans, loan participations, loan pools, and commercial OREO - in a single, secure place. Check out Bank Assetpoint at www.bankassetpoint.com. It's quick and easy to get started. With questions, contact Promontory's Danny Capitel, 770.630.6796.

GBA Strategic Partner Dart Appraisal Offers the Best Custom Appraisal Management Solutions

What we’ve learned in a short time about Dart Appraisal is that their singular focus on appraisal management solutions during the past 25 years has resulted in an expert, national appraiser panel that consistently delivers helpful results to wherever they are called. Dart also understand that appraisal management is not one-size-fits-all. And, Dart is committed to meeting every one of their client’s specific needs. Dart can customize solutions and it’s dedicated teams are continually looking for ways to improve their customer service every step of the way. Those are just a couple of the reasons why we believe they’re a great choice to be your bank’s answer for appraisal management. Download a helpful brochure about Dart here or click the button below to connect with one of Dart’s appraisal management experts.
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Summer is Heating Up with ABA Online Training!
Courses Coming Up in July-September

Facilitated online courses feature an online learning community with fellow students, instructor guidance and feedback. These 16 courses are scheduled to begin from July through September. 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.

Show the Industry You are Credit Trained to Bring in New, Qualified Business

The ABA Certificate in Business and Commercial Lending focuses on financial statement analysis and commercial lending, will familiarize lenders with both audited and unaudited statements and fill any gaps in your understanding of credit analysis and underwriting. Students have access to the curriculum for one year from date of purchase. The estimated time to complete all courses is approximately 33 hours. GBA members get a discounted rate, and you don't have to be an ABA member to register. Click here to see the course inclusions. 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, kprokos@gabankers.com, 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...
Pinnacle Bank
United Bank
Planters First Bank
Federal Home Loan 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.