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March 22, 2019    

Agricultural Awareness Week Celebrates Our State’s Number One Industry

The Georgia Department of Agriculture declared March 18-22 Georgia Agricultural Awareness Week to recognize farmers and how much they contribute to the state. Nationally, Georgia farmers produce almost half of all peanuts grown, they are the top producer of broilers and they also rank toward the top in production of blueberries, pecans and sweet onions. Besides filling our bellies, Georgia farmers are near the top U.S. producers of cotton and Georgia is the number one state for timber production. Click here for a detailed snapshot on how Georgia’s banks are serving producers and farm-based businesses, and member's leading GBA's efforts as an advocate for agricultural issues. We appreciate Georgia’s farmers and salute our members for serving them and the many businesses and consumers dependent on the success of the sector!
Related: GBA’s Rural Development and Lending Conference will be May 16-17 on St. Simons Island. Details and registration here.

Five Days Remain in 2019 State Legislative Session

Legislators will complete 35 days of their 40-day session Friday, and it’s been a busy week for GBA’s priority bills as well as a number of others we’re monitoring, asking be amended and preparing testimony for committee hearings. One of our priority bills was given final passage in the Senate and is on the way to the Governor for signature. Our other two priority bills are eligible for final floor votes as they came out of House committees this week and are waiting scheduling by the House Rules Committee. Be looking for the Legislative Update we’ll publish after adjournment on Friday with all the details. Contact GBA’s Elizabeth Chandler, 404.420.2027, with questions.

Rate Cap Rules Need Adjusting and Proper Enforcement

This week GBA signed on to a letter by 51 other state bankers associations and the ABA urging FDIC Chair Jelena McWilliams to ensure deposit rate cap rules are not being misapplied to healthy banks and to consider significant changes to the methodology for determining the caps. “We ask your help in ensuring that the rate cap—not applied by regulation to healthy banks—is not being applied to healthy banks through the supervisory process. We hear recurring reports from well capitalized banks of examiners raising rate cap issues with healthy banks,” the letter says. GBA President and CEO Joe Brannen has been serving on a national task force addressing the issue. Here’s a link to the full letter. With questions, contact Brannen, 404.420.2026.

GBA Joins Industry in Urging Caution on FHFA’s Alternate Credit Score Proposal

This week GBA signed on to a letter with most other state bankers associations and the ABA urging the FHFA to proceed with extreme caution with its proposed rule to allow alternative credit scoring models in addition to FICO scores. The industry is concerned chiefly with the cost of having to integrate a new, more-complex, and ongoing government-directed credit scoring system, and the resulting impact of those increased costs on borrower’s ability to afford a mortgage, the letter says. It calls for an extensive cost-benefit analysis. Further, an 18-24-month phase in period would be necessary to implement any new model, and the letter pointed out more effective private sector alternatives in development that incorporate additional data about consumers’ finances such as phone bills, rent payments and other indicators of a person’s financial performance. Read the full comment letter here. With questions, contact Joe Brannen, 404.420.2026, or Elizabeth Chandler, 404.420.2027.

HR Professionals Institute Rolls On

A big crowd of Georgia bank HR pros gathered this week for the GBA HR Professionals Institute. Top of mind for everyone was the state of the labor market for bank talent, learning from each other as peers and getting the latest information on HR-related laws, rules and best practices. Read a summary of all the sessions so far here. The GBA HR Committee put on a tremendous program, and we thank our sponsors and exhibitors, Thread, BankTalentHQ, WellView Health, GBA Insurance Trust and GBA Retirement Services. With questions, contact Alison Moreau, 404.420.2024.
Steve Greene
Labor Commissioner
Mark Butler
Corporal Eric Rooks

Duplicate Disclosure Rule Rescinded

The FDIC has issued a rule, effective April 17, that removes an annual disclosure requirement for banks that duplicates data already publicly available on the FDIC’s website. The requirement was put in place in 1987 and was among those deemed duplicative in the most recent Economic Growth and Regulatory Paperwork Reduction Act review performed by banking agencies. Read the final rule here.

We Will Miss Ray Fisher

We were sad to learn that our 1996-1997 GBA chairman Ray Fisher died March 14. Ray had been privately struggling with an aggressive, incurable form of nerve cancer the last two years. Some of our members didn’t have the pleasure of knowing Ray, so here’s a link to his obituary that tells more. However, no writing like that truly captures his intellect, his graciousness and kindness. "Ray and I first met as carpool dads taking turns dropping off our kids at elementary school and then in the stands comparing notes when our children were both baseball pitchers. Ray was with an S&L at the time before those institutions were members and we reconnected when his institution was acquired by one of our members. He left that institution to start an incredibly successful de novo, Metro Bank, and was elected our chairman while there. Please join me in keeping his wife, Beth, daughters Elizabeth and Vivian, and their families in your thoughts and prayers," said GBA’s Joe Brannen. Respecting Ray’s wishes, there will be no public services, but a gathering for family and friends has been planned. If you’d like more information about that, please contact Brannen, 404.420.2026.

Georgia Banking School by the Numbers

Click here to find out how you can count yourself among our successful graduates. Enroll today!

Advanced Compliance School - May 5-10

Faculty Spotlight: Pam Perdue’s 30 Years’ Expertise

Students at this year’s GBA Advanced Compliance School May 5-10 in Athens will get a full brain dump from some of the industry’s best minds. Among those is Continuity’s Pam Perdue, a 30-year RegTech veteran, having previously founded My Compliance Info and Compliance Compass, and serving on the executive team at Compliance Coach. She specializes in the remediation of troubled compliance programs after enforcement actions, and routinely speaks at banking and regtech conferences, innovation symposia and various compliance schools. An alumnus of The Ohio State University, Perdue is now pleased and proud to reside in the great state of Georgia, leading Continuity's Regulatory Operations Center in Atlanta. Join your peers and learn from Pam and the rest of the faculty. Get all the details about the school and registration access here. With questions, contact Alison Moreau, 404.420.2034.

Active Conference Slate Continues - Register Today!

GBA’s Spring discipline-specific conference season is in full swing with big events coming up through May. Register now for these popular, informative and essential programs.
Operations and Technology Conference, March 25-27, St. Simons - Yes, you can make a last minute registration to join a big group of our industry techies and service providers. The program touches all the key information security, operations, data and management topics for successful banks. Details and registration here.
Bank Security Conference, April 11-12, St. Simons - Physical security, information security, protecting elderly customers, case studies, natural disaster response and plenty of peer sharing is in the offing for this conference. Join your peer security officers to learn and build key professional contacts. Details and registration here.
Rural Development and Lending Conference, May 16-17, St. Simons - Georgia Ag Commissioner Gary Black and a host of experts on agribusiness in Georgia comprise a program essential to bankers specifically serving Georgia’s number-one industry as well as those located in non-metro markets. Details and registration here.
With questions or for more information about any of these conferences, contact Alison Moreau, 404.420.2034.

How to Write Blogs That Get Results

Bank marketers can look to use blog posts about specific expertise in lending their bankers have to get customers’ attention and build trust. "Bankers are busy people that need to invest their time in courting prospects and finding ways to generate additional revenue. But simply writing a short blog - 300-500 words every month - can demonstrate to these prospects that you have the expertise to be their banker," says Scott Scredon of GBA Associate Member Scott Scredon Public Relations. Here’s an article he shared with members that outlines a simple format for blog success.
Related: GBA’s Marketing Peer Group meets April 30 in Macon. Register here.

New Account Documentation & Compliance Seminar - April 17

At GBA’s New Account Documentation & Compliance seminar, Suzie Jones of Training Resources Consulting, LLC, will teach new account personnel about crucial pieces of information for every new account, the fundamental questions that should be asked of every potential accountholder and much more. Registration is only $250 per person until the week before the seminar. This seminar will be in Macon. Please contact GBA’s Jenna Lynn Warner, 404.420.2035, with questions.
Leadership GBA President Keith Anthony and family

It's Time to Register for Annual Leadership Conference!

Leadership GBA will host its 2019 Leadership Conference July 22-25 at the Ponte Vedra Inn & Club in Ponte Vedra, FL. This year’s agenda includes an economic update from Brittany Kleinpaste, ABA’s Vice President of Economic Policy & Research; a legal update from Jonathan Hightower, Bryan Cave Leighton & Paisner; a session on finding and keeping good people with Darron Burnette, Synovus; a discussion by a panel of bankers on recovering from crisis, from natural disasters to virtual attacks; a talk on the "Amazon Prime Effect" with Dave DeFazio of StrategyCorps; and a closing session led by Rodney Bullard, VP of Community Affairs, Chick-fil-A, Inc. and Executive Director of the Chick-fil-a Foundation. The excellent educational sessions are reason enough to attend or send your emerging leader(s) to the conference, but first-time and repeat attendees tell us over and over that it’s the camaraderie, relaxed atmosphere, family-friendly events and gorgeous location that make this event a highlight of their year. Click here for more information.

Earn Higher Revenue and Enhance the Account-Holder Experience with Deluxe’s Consumer Check Program

The consumer check program offered by GBA Strategic Partner Deluxe is one of the very best ways to anchor, engage and protect customers’ transactions while earning more revenue. It includes fraud protection measures, backed by Deluxe, and allows each customer to choose from a large selection of popular classic and contemporary check designs. A wide range of additional product enhancements are also available. Some of the other things we hear folks like about Deluxe’s program include:
  • OrderPoint Tool - Lets customers order checks on any computer, smartphone or tablet with ease.
  • Deluxe Linking Wizard - Makes it easy to add a link to order checks on any page of your website.
  • Deluxe’s simplified user experience offers three fast ways for your customers to order checks over the phone and online.
Click here for a quick video from Deluxe highlighting the continuing value of checks in banking relationships today. For more information about Deluxe’s check program, please contact GBA's Bo Brannen, 404.420.2014.

Help Customers Save SUM® Money!

ATMs offer extraordinary convenience, providing anytime access to cash and account information in the smallest towns and the biggest cities. However, The SUM Surcharge-free ATM Network allows your bank's customers to save time and money by offering surcharge-free access to thousands of ATMs around the country. The consumer benefits of the SUM Program are immediate and easy to access. Your customers don't have to register, and all they need to withdraw cash without a surcharge is your bank-issued ATM card. Customer advantages include:
  • Access to thousands of surcharge-free ATMs, regardless of how many ATMs your financial institution operates
  • No surcharges for withdrawing cash when using SUM ATMs
  • Find SUM ATMs easily with the bright red logo
  • Look up SUM ATMs wherever you are with the SUM Mobile ATM Locator
  • No sign-up required by cardholders. Your bank simply needs to participate in the SUM program.
For more information, please contact Bo Brannen at 404.420.2014.

American Mortgage Conference - April 29-May 1

How to be a Successful Lender to First-Time Borrowers

At the 2019 American Mortgage Conference April 29-May 1 at the Pinehurst Resort in North Carolina, HGTV’s Egypt Sherrod will speak on the special shopping habits and needs of first-time home buyers. Learn how to position your bank as the perfect fit for first-time homebuyers from this award-winning realtor who also hosts the hit HGTV show "Flipping Virgins." Sherrod 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 bankers associations, including GBA. Click here to register. Contact Blair Jernigan at for more information.

Online Classes - March and April Offerings

Tools to Hone your Banking Skills

Check out these eight courses that start in March and April. These ABA-facilitated online courses feature an online learning community with fellow students, instructor guidance and feedback. Click here for a list of all ABA offerings. For more information, contact Shan Haugabrook, 404.420.2020.

Building a Solid Banking Foundation with the Essentials

ABA’s Essential Banking Courses are cost-effective, flexible and provide relevant content of what bankers need to stay competitive. GBA members get a discounted rate, and you don't have to be an ABA member to register. The courses include:
Introduction to Banking: This course guides you through the role banks play in the community. Discover various banking career tracks and become inspired to grow in your banking career.
Understanding Bank Products: This course identifies the categories of small business needs and describes cash management, retirement and international banking services. Explore how to identify unrecognized client needs and describe the differences between product features and benefits of common consumer deposit products.
Ethical Issues for Bankers: This cornerstone course is an in-depth exploration of the ethical standards of financial service professionals. Master best practices for observing a bank’s code of conduct and adhering to federal laws.
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...
Providence Bank
First Port City Bank
First Landmark Bank, a div. of National Bank of Commerce
United National Bank
Susan and Alex Whatley
First American Bank and Trust Company
Signature Bank of Georgia
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.