May 31, 2019

Georgia Banks Outpace National Loan, Deposit Growth in First Quarter

Georgia’s 169 state-based FDIC insured banks earned $1.08 billion in the first quarter of 2019, an increase of 4.5% over the same quarter last year. Total loans grew by 15.1%, deposits were up by 9.3% and total assets were up 14.2% compared to the first quarter in 2018. The loan and deposit increases were better than the national aggregate, which were 4.1% and 2.9%, respectively, according to the FDIC’s quarterly banking profile information out Wednesday. "Our banking industry’s performance got off to a good start this year, and it’s encouraging to see loan and deposit growth that is above the national average," said Joe Brannen, GBA president and CEO in a news release distributed to statewide media about the performance results. "These are signs that the state’s economy continues to do well, our state’s banks are providing steady funding for growth and depositors remain confident in the safety and security of their money." The overall net interest margin for Georgia banks was also better than the national aggregate, 3.7% compared to 3.4%. Credit quality remains strong, with noncurrent loans dropping slightly, and capital levels are solid. Click here to see detailed Georgia-specific data. With questions, contact Joe Brannen, 404.420.2026, or David Oliver, 404.420.2036.

Media Advocacy Highlights Ag Banking

The Georgia CEO online business and community news publications crew gives GBA the opportunity to share an update about the state’s banking industry from time to time. In our most recent interview, we took the opportunity to shine a spotlight on how our state’s banks support agribusiness, the state’s number-one industry. GBA Senior Vice President for Member Solutions David Oliver shared details about the 40 banks in Georgia with loan concentrations heavily weighted toward the ag sector and explained how those banks increased lending in a variety of categories in 2018. He also noted the leadership the state’s bankers took in advocating for storm relief to farm customers affected by Hurricane Michael. Watch the video here. With questions, contact Oliver at 404.420.2036.

DBF Rules Proposed - Comment Period Open

Comments are due July 1 for new rules proposed by the Georgia Department of Banking and Finance this week. Many of the rules relate to legislation passed by the Georgia General Assembly this past session including provisions from the annual DBF Housekeeping Bill, HB 185, which GBA supported. Also included are rules dealing with offering prize-linked savings accounts, which are now authorized by HB 193. There’s a synopsis of each rule change as well as the full text of changes in the notice, accessible here. With questions or suggestions about an industry-wide comment, please contact Joe Brannen, 404.420.2026, or Elizabeth Chandler, 404.420.2027.

Home State Loan-to-Deposit Ratios Updated

The annual update of host state loan-to-deposit ratios is available from bank regulators. The annual calculation helps guide compliance with laws prohibiting banks for opening or acquiring branches outside of their home state mainly for deposit production. Georgia’s home state loan-to-deposit ratio is 87%, which is unchanged from last year. If a bank’s statewide loan-to-deposit ratio in a state is less than one-half of the published host state loan-to-deposit ratio for that state, or if data are not available at the bank to calculate the ratio, the appropriate banking agency must determine whether the bank is reasonably helping to meet the credit needs of the communities served by the bank. Neighboring state ratios are: Alabama - 83% (up 2 points), Florida - 92% (unchanged), South Carolina - 82% (up 3 points) and Tennessee - 88% (up 3 points). The national high is Rhode Island at 104%. Get more information here.

Progress Noted on Use of Banking System, Financial Wellbeing

In 2018, the number of unbanked Americans fell to 6% from 8% in 2015, and there was an even larger drop in the number of households considered "underbanked," according to the Federal Reserve’s annual Report on the Economic Well-Being of U.S. Households. Savings practices have improved, too. Sixty-one percent said they had enough savings to pay for a $400 emergency expenditure, which is up 11 points from 2013. Access the survey here.

Don’t Put off Data Submission for Compensation & Benefits Survey

The deadline for all data submissions for the GBA Compensation and Benefits Survey is June 28. The time between now and then will go by quickly, so we encourage banks to start working on data entries. The more banks that participate, the stronger the end reports are for everyone. To access the survey website and participate, click here. The password to access the site is GBA#2019. With questions and details about accessing the survey, contact David Oliver, 404.420.2036, or Randy McGraw at Matthews, Young - Management Consulting, 919.644.6962.

Action Needed - Membership Housekeeping
Two Things to Help Keep You Connected to Benefits

We want to make sure all of you continue to get all the latest news and information about your valuable GBA membership benefits. There are a couple of things you can do to help:
  • Update your MyGBA profile today. Employees of member banks, Associate Member companies and Bank Counsel Section members have profiles. This is essential to make it easy for you to register for events and so we can send you information about GBA programs and benefits that add value to your membership experience. You can access MyGBA in the Member Center drop down navigation menu that runs across the top portion of If you are unsure of your login credentials, your username is the current email we have on file for you. You can use that to access the "Forgot my password" feature and re-set your credentials.
  • Email maintenance - please check with your IT team to see that the email domain is allowed through spam filters as a safe sender. If you’re getting this, you’re probably OK, but it might be worth checking to make sure it’s allowed companywide.
Please let Shan Haugabrook and Katina Prokos know if you have any questions or need any help with the sign-in or updating process.

Video Message from Annual Meeting Closing Speaker

Bestselling author Warren Macdonald will round out the GBA 2019 Annual Meeting with his closing session on "The Power of Perception," challenging you to change the way you see. Macdonald's survival story began in April 1997 when, climbing to the tallest peak on Australia's Hinchinbrook Island, he became trapped beneath a one-ton boulder in a freak rock fall. Two days later he was rescued, only to undergo the amputation of both legs at mid-thigh. In 2003, he became the first double above-knee amputee to reach the summit of Africa’s tallest peak, Mt Kilimanjaro. Check out his inspiring video message for everyone attending the Annual Meeting:
Special thanks to Presenting Sponsor Discover Debit:
And special thanks to Glacier Sponsor Elliott Davis:

The BSA Experience - Aug 20-23, Macon

Based on increased demand from BSA professionals, GBA is teaming up with Secura Risk Management to bring you the BSA Experience, which will be taught by legal and compliance professionals, BSA officers and experts on all compliance pillar requirements. This program is designed to take BSA officers, risk management officers, executive risk management, internal auditors and their teams through all topics that support an effective BSA program. The BSA Experience has been developed by using different learning techniques to better equip each participant through instructor-led training, interactive education including case studies, small group discussions, and demonstrations of internal controls, systems, reporting, and other types of leading business practices. Participants will leave not only with instructor-led presentations but leading business practices and a variety of tools to support their BSA/AML compliance goals. Based on the extent of learning and the depth of the program, the BSA Experience is limited to 50 attendees. This will allow instructors to provide a more controlled learning environment based on the extensive curriculum. Register now to secure your spot. Click here to see the program guide.

Leadership Conference Spotlight - July 22-25
Favorite Legal Expert Hightower to Talk Issues and Strategy

The constant change in the banking environment brings about a myriad of new opportunities and challenges. At GBA’s annual Leadership Conference coming up July 22-25 at the Ponte Vedra Inn & Club, GBA General Counsel Jonathan Hightower of the Fenimore, Kay, Harrison & Ford law firm will discuss the latest changes in the legal, regulatory and strategic environment for 2019 and beyond. Hightower’s legal updates are always a highly anticipated session at the conference because of his engaging presentation style. Be sure that you or one of your bank’s up-and-coming leaders attends this year’s conference. Click here to register online and to see all the details. Contact GBA’s Kathy Friestad with questions, 404.420.2024.

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. Click here to see just some of the customer advantages. For more information, please contact Bo Brannen at 404.420.2014.

GBA Strategic Partner FMS Helps Banks with Marketing, Branding, Social Media and More

Digital marketing channels such as email, social media, blogs, online display ads, search engine optimization, and search engine and mobile marketing are important for winning new business from today's bank customers. GBA Strategic Partner Financial Marketing Solutions, or simply FMS, is a group of strategists and creative thinkers who serve banks, and only banks. The bank brands and other projects that endeavor to create are unique, crafted with care, personal devotion and obvious passion. Creativity is critically important to them, but their work also has to be strategic or it’s just marketing fluff. FMS knows that a solid brand campaign will accomplish goals, impact the bottom line, affect positive change and be memorable recognizable no matter where your customers are. The GBA has been proud to endorse FMS as a GBA Strategic Partner since 2007. For more information, please contact Sean Hockenbery of FMS at 615.591.2073.

Protecting Your Institution from Check Fraud: When to Obtain a GBA Thumbprint Signature

Despite continuous developments in the technology relied upon to safeguard our money, we unfortunately continue to hear about regular cases of check fraud among our membership. It’s still happening at banks big and small. Your bank can lower the odds of being affected by participating in GBA’s Thumbprint Signature Program. The program was designed to deter check fraud by collecting a thumbprint "signature" from non-customers when cashing checks. A thumbprint signature should be obtained when:
  • A non-customer presents an on-us or not-on-us check for cashing. (This includes employees of commercial account customers who present payroll checks drawn on the bank.)
  • A non-customer presents an on-us check for exchange to a cashier’s check.
  • A non-customer presents a government check for cashing.
To learn more about participating in the Thumbprint Signature Program, please contact GBA’s Bo Brannen, 404.420.2014.

Online Training on Your Schedule
Accounting, Lending, Investing and more!

ABA facilitated online courses feature an online learning community with fellow students, instructor guidance and feedback. Any employee of a GBA member bank can participate at the member rate. Your bank does not have to be an ABA member. There are 14 upcoming courses in June and July. For more information, contact Shan Haugabrook, 404.420.2020. Click here for a list of all ABA offerings.

Strengthen your Legal Knowledge in Banking

ABA's Legal Foundations in Banking 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. ​​​​​GBA members get a discounted rate, and you don't have to be an ABA member to register. Learning objectives are:
  • Understand the basic foundation for transaction processing and deposits
  • Identify the key areas that encompass the legal risks banks face
  • Provide a foundation for determining safety and soundness requirements to provide protection to the bank
  • Establish a framework for sound practices and understanding of financial transactions and their requirements.
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.

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...
Flint Community Bank
Providence Bank
Citizens Bank and Trust Co.
Legacy State Bank
Queensborough National Bank & Trust Co.
Morris 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.