June 14, 2019

Credit Conditions Shared at Committee Meeting

Member bankers representing their peers from around the state reported generally good credit quality and lending conditions, along with a caveat of caution during the GBA Credit Committee meeting this week. Many in metro markets reported good loan growth with strong homebuilding and other commercial business pipelines. Those from more rural markets reported slower growth. In the southwest Georgia areas affected by Hurricane Michael, bankers reported that to date they’ve been able to help most farm customers manage financing needs with only isolated cases of significant difficulty. There’s some concern about loosening underwriting standards and aggressive rates and terms being offered in high-growth markets. Many reporting around the tables noted they’re taking prudent steps to carefully examine portfolios for potential weakness and addressing any issues as quickly as possible. Hard lessons learned during the last downturn are still fresh in bankers’ minds. Technology, non-bank competitors, talent development and effectively meshing credit cultures through mergers and acquisitions were among the other common themes discussed. Eddie Hoyle, Colony Bank, Fitzgerald, who will chair the committee for the 2019-20 term, led the meeting. Stacy Brantley, Morris Bank, Dublin, will be the committee vice chair. The committee also began planning for the 2019 GBA Credit Conference, which will be Dec. 5-6 in Atlanta. With questions, contact Alison Moreau, 404.420.2034.
Loudermilk and Scott

Scott, Loudermilk Sign on to CECL ‘Stop-and-Study’ Bill

We appreciate U.S. Reps. David Scott (D-GA13) and Barry Loudermilk (R-GA11) for their support of a bipartisan bill introduced this week (H.R. 3182) to halt implementation of CECL until a thorough impact study can be completed. Both are members of the House Financial Services Committee and co-sponsors of the bill, which passed the full committee on Wednesday of this week. A companion bill has been introduced in the Senate, and as we reported recently, U.S. Sen. David Perdue (R-GA) is an original co-sponsor of that measure. With questions, contact Joe Brannen, 404.420.2026, or Elizabeth Chandler, 404.420.2027.

GBA Supports Beneficial Ownership Database Bill

This week GBA joined 50 other state bankers associations in supporting a bipartisan bill by U.S. Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.) to have FinCEn set up a database of beneficial ownership information. The bill passed out of the House Financial Services Committee this week, with U.S. reps. David Scott (D-GA13) and Barry Loudermilk (R-GA11) both voting yes to the bill. Corporations and limited liability companies would be required to self-report their beneficial owners to FinCen at the time of formation. Banks could then use the database to meet BSA/AML requirements to verify beneficial ownership as opposed to being responsible for collecting the data from their customers. Read the letter of support here. A bipartisan draft bill released in the Senate this week carries a similar provision, as well as additional BSA/AML reforms we’re reviewing. With questions, contact Joe Brannen, 404.420.2026, or Elizabeth Chandler, 404.420.2027.

Hagler Takes National Leadership Role with CSBS

Congratulations to Georgia Banking Commissioner Kevin Hagler on his election as the Chair-Elect of the Conference of State Bank Supervisors (CSBS). He’ll serve in his current role for the coming fiscal year, then stand for election as Chair next year. "It’s a real testament to Kevin and recognition by his peers that he’s an effective and thoughtful leader," says Joe Brannen, GBA president and CEO. "We’re fortunate that we have such a well-respected commissioner at the national level." CSBS aids state regulators by facilitating policy development; promoting economic growth; ensuring safety, soundness, and consumer protection; along with fostering innovative, responsive supervision. See the full leadership slate here.
Related: Let’s show our state’s support of Kevin by having a high participation rate in the 2019 National Survey of Community Banks conducted by the Conference of State Bank Supervisors (CSBS), the Federal Reserve System, and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC). The survey takes only about 20 minutes, and it can be completed in different intervals. Please participate by June 30. Access the survey here.

Bank Director Quoted in News Story about post-Hurricane Michael Pecan Industry

GPB this week aired an update on the status of Georgia’s pecan industry in the wake of Hurricane Michael. Martin Adams, a pecan grower and director of Planters and Citizens Bank in Camilla, was interviewed for the story, and he gave a refreshingly positive outlook about replanting more disease-resistant trees where the old ones once stood that were lost in the storm. "There are always good things that come out of bad situations, and, yes, every tree we put in now is a newer variety which is more resistant to disease and has the potential of increasing your yield," he said. Access the article and audio clip here.

Mullis Shares Advocacy Activity with Local Chamber

GBA Vice Chairman Spence Mullis, Morris Bank, Dublin, is featured on the latest installment of the Dublin-Laurens Chamber of Commerce video series "Chamber Talk." During the interview, Mullis talks about his and the bank’s involvement with local economic development efforts and the many ways in which the bank serves its customers. He also takes time to share details about GBA’s annual advocacy trip to Washington, D.C., back in May. The advocacy section starts at about the 11-minute mark on the video. Watch here.
Kelling and Jackson

Member-Funded Moler Scholarship Recipients among GSBLSU Grads

Among those we noted last week as recent graduates and honors students of the Graduate School of Banking at LSU are two staff members of the Georgia Department of Banking and Finance. Frankie Kelling and Jack Jackson attended with financial support provided by the GBA-member-funded Robert Moler Scholarship. Moler was a longtime deputy commissioner who had a passion for strengthening professional standards of examiners, and GBA members funded the scholarship in his honor in 1992. "Successful completion of the Graduate School of Banking is a notable accomplishment and the Department was well represented by Jack and Frankie, who are valuable members of our team. We really appreciate the partnership with the Georgia Bankers Association and use of the Robert Moler Scholarship to make this achievement possible," said Kevin Hagler, Georgia Banking Commissioner.

Reminder - Compensation and Benefits Survey Data Deadline is June 28
Save 70% on Final Report Price by Participating

To access the survey website and participate, click here. The password to access the site is GBA#2019. There's no cost to provide data. Those who participate in all sections can buy the report for only $150, a savings of 70% off of the full $500 price. With questions and for details about accessing the survey, contact David Oliver, 404.420.2036, or Randy McGraw at Matthews, Young - Management Consulting, 919.644.6962.

June 15 is World Elder Abuse Awareness Day
No-Cost Elder Fraud Reporting Training Resource

Starting in July, the Georgia Dept. of Human Services Forensic Special Initiatives Unit will be conducting monthly online training for banks and other mandated reporters of elder financial abuse. This training is free and open to the general public. The one-hour training will cover the red flags of abuse, neglect and exploitation as well as the different social service and regulatory agencies in Georgia responsible to investigate reported abuse. Attendees of the live event will receive a certificate of attendance. The date and times are being finalized and will be posted on the state website here. GBA also provides access to, and supports, other resources to help you protect older customers such as the ABA Foundation’s Safe Banking for Seniors program and the AARP BankSafe training for frontline bank employees, which GBA members helped develop.

Holiday Decals on Sale
Order Discounted Holiday Closing Decals for Delivery Before July 4

We have just a few sets of our popular Holiday Closing Decals left in stock, so we’re lowering the price to $18 per set, plus tax/shipping + handling until they are gone. Throughout the rest of the year, these decals will brighten up your bank's front door or teller window with a variety of holiday-themed scenes and keep your bank in compliance with FDIC posting rules. Contact Bo Brannen, 404.420.2014, to order your decals and have them in your branch before Independence Day.

Five Reasons to Come to Leadership Conference

Here’s the short list of why you should join us at the 2019 Leadership Conference in Ponte Vedra July 22-25.
  1. The Amazon-Prime effect: Learn how Amazon and other subscription services are changing customer expectations and how banks can apply lessons learned
  2. Common disaster: A panel of bankers will share disaster recovery and crisis preparedness best practices
  3. It’s the economy...: We’ll have a top ABA Economist give us the latest trends
  4. Chicken, cows and community: Rodney Bullard of Chik-fil-A VP of Community Affairs and the Chick-Fil-A foundation will share a leadership message with attendees
  5. Link up: There’s tons of networking time for you and your family with fellow bankers during receptions, dinners, breaks and beach time.
There’s more, of course. Here’s a link to the full program and registration access. Don’t miss it. With questions, contact Kathy Friestad, 404.420.2024.
Related: We’ve still got sponsorships available. Associate Members can get their company name and information in front of hundreds of member bankers and family members.

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 business 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. Check in 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 Pat at 410.960.6878, with questions.

Girl Banker Blogger, Bartholomew, Headlines Women in Banking Conference

Natalie Bartholomew launched The Girl Banker blog in November of 2017 in hopes of creating a voice for women in banking and working moms. It’s become a national sensation, and we’re excited that Bartholomew will be among the headliners at our 2019 Women in Banking Conference Nov. 17-19 at the Legacy Lodge, Lake Lanier. In addition to advocacy for women in banking, Bartholomew has a passion for educating young women about the banking industry and highlighting those who started their career at a young age. The Girl Banker has been featured in American Banker, the Northwest Arkansas Business Journal, the ABA Bank Marketing Newsletter and a variety of financial industry newsletters since its launch. More details on the full conference program are coming soon. Don’t delay in registering!

Meet the WHEN Wellness Program Champion of the Month

WHEN is an evidence-based clinical and behavioral health program for GBA Insurance Trust member banks designed to help you meet your health goals and live a healthy and happy life. WHEN includes health screenings, private assessments and ongoing, confidential coaching through a program we call WHEN. At participating banks, we work directly with WHEN Champions who help coordinate and organize the onsite screening events These bankers put a lot of time and effort into helping their team lead healthier happier lives and we would like to recognize those people!
Congratulations to Wellview’s April Champion of the Month, Audrey Harley from Ameris Bank! Here's what she had to say about the program:
Q: What is your favorite part about being a Champion?
A: My favorite part was knowing that the Wellview event was an effort to assist my team members with their health awareness.
Q: How has Wellview made a difference for you or your colleagues?
A: Wellview Health has made it possible for me and my colleagues to use the confidential information received at the event to improve or maintain what we are currently doing health-wise.
Interested in GBAIT’s Wellness Program? Contact Danielle Driggers at 404.420.2002

Small-Bank Consumer Real Estate Compliance and HMDA Reform

On Thursday, Aug. 8, at Middle Georgia State University in Macon, Steve Moore of Bank Compliance Services will address the challenges faced by small banks in today’s regulatory environment. The context for the discussion will be TILA, RESPA, Flood Insurance, and HMDA rules. The discussion will also address the various financial and operational considerations of CRE lending by small banks. The presentation will be primarily from the banker’s perspective, and we will discuss "pros and cons" of these regulatory rules and the various business challenges faced when offering CRE loans. Click here to see topics to be covered. To register, click here. Registration is $250 per person ($275 per person within one week of the seminar date). With questions, please contact GBA's Jenna Lynn Warner, 404.420.2035.

Why Should Your Bank Partner With ServiceLink National Flood?

With so many changes occurring to the FEMA flood maps, your bank is assured to receive both accurate and reliable flood zone determinations by going with ServiceLink. GBA endorses ServiceLink because they connect to 50 Loan Origination Software platforms, and provide a superior experience using the most advanced technology. ServiceLink can also take over the life of loan tracking of your bank’s current servicing portfolio at no additional cost. ServiceLink is currently performing life of loan tracking on over 35 million properties. Your can trust that you’ll receive on-time notification of FEMA flood status changes. Any time your team needs assistance, ServiceLink will be there. For more information, please email Virgil Draper at virgil.draper@svclnk.com.

The BSA Experience Session Highlight
BSA Program Model Validation

While model validation of compliance programs has been around for years, BSA model validation is somewhat of a new concept for small to mid-size financial institutions. In this session at the upcoming BSA Experience, Jesse Morton, Stout Consulting, CPA/CFF, CFE, CACTS, J.D., LL.M., Director of Dispute Consulting will focus on regulatory requirements and expectations for model validation regardless of your financial institution size. The instructor will take attendees through each step of the model validation process to include conceptual soundness, data validation, data quality and integrity, model performance, and validation and sustainability. Morton will also provide attendees with a sample outline of BSA model validation. The BSA Experience will take place Aug. 20-23 at Middle Georgia State University, Macon. 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.

ABA Online Training - July and August Offerings

Check out these 16 facilitated ABA online courses coming up in July and August. Facilitated online courses feature an online learning community with fellow students, instructor guidance and feedback. These courses have weekly assignments as well as midterm and final exams. Any employee of a GBA member bank can participate at the member rate. Your bank does not have to be an ABA member. All you need is a computer, printer and Internet access. For more information, contact Shan Haugabrook, 404.420.2020. Click here for a list of all ABA offerings.

Train your Team and Build a Strong Foundation with the Basics

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, 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...
First American Bank & Trust Co.
The Citizens Bank of Laurens County
NOA Bank
Quantum National Bank
Liberty First 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.