May 3, 2019


First New Georgia Bank in a Decade Approved

Gov. Brian Kemp has announced the application for Tandem Bank was approved Thursday by the Georgia Department of Banking and Finance. Charles DeWitt is the organizing president and the bank is headquartered in Tucker. "Congratulations to Charles and the great board and team members he put together. He has a strong track record of serving the needs of small businesses and families in the northeast part of metro Atlanta and we look forward to having him back in the industry," said GBA president and CEO Joe Brannen. DeWitt is a past member of GBA Community Bankers Committee and a longtime participant in a President and CEO Roundtable. The bank’s application must now be approved for deposit insurance by the FDIC, which is anticipated, allowing the bank to open this fall.
Gov. Kemp

Gov. Kemp Signs Shared Deposit Service Bill

One of our priority bills from this year’s Georgia General Assembly session became law Thursday, as Gov. Brian Kemp signed SB 157 allowing banks to use shared deposit services to provide millions in FDIC-insurance coverage for public deposits. GBA President and CEO Joe Brannen attended the bill signing ceremony at the CBA headquarters along with others instrumental in the bill’s passage. We’ll be participating in meetings this month with a working group from the Office of the State Treasurer, Banking Department and industry representatives to make recommendations on the policies the State Depository Board will set for approving third-party providers of shared deposit services. With questions, contact Joe Brannen, 404.420.2026, Elizabeth Chandler, 404.420.2027, or David Oliver, 404.420.2036.
(From left) Williams, ABA's Rob Nichols and Drews

National Community Bankers Council Meets in Savannah

Past GBA Chairman Rick Drews, Century Bank of Georgia, and Philip Williams, The Claxton Bank, represented their Georgia peers this week at the ABA Community Bankers Council meeting in Savannah. CEOs from every state serve on the council to help identify key trends and challenges, and to develop policy priorities and other solutions to help community banks thrive. A significant portion of the meeting this week focused on technology, including a real-time-payments update, a presentation about APIs and a session about how to build an innovation strategy "And something that I think will be of real importance to all community bankers, our Core Platform sub-committee gave an overview and had a town-hall meeting on its critically important work, including transparency in contracts, including de-conversion fees, coterminous contracts, limitation of liability, SLAs, early termination fees and exclusivity provisions, as well as bringing fast-paced innovation and the ability to access it quicker. The committee will be meeting with the major cores later this summer," Drews said. There were also regulatory and legislative issues briefings, peer sharing sessions and discussions about increasing diversity and inclusion. The council meets twice each year. With questions and to find out how to share your input, contact Drews or Williams.

May Edition of Georgia Banking Update Available

In preparation for our annual advocacy visit to Washington, D.C., next week, we’ve put together a fresh version of our Georgia Banking Update. The May edition has the most current publicly available performance information for the state’s banks, a banking-at-a-glance infographic, a farm banks overview, highlights of why our state is attractive for banks and summaries of the key issues we’ll be discussing next week with our Congressional delegation and regulatory agencies. Access the update here, and it’s always available on our website home page. We’ll update it again after first-quarter performance summaries are released by FDIC later this month. With questions, contact David Oliver, 404.420.2036.

Fraudulent Cashier’s Check Alert - South Coast Bank & Trust

Members are asked to be aware of fraudulent cashier’s checks being circulated that look to be drawn on South Coast Bank & Trust. One example carried the remitter name of Jason Stuart and Payee Nivica Hardy in the amount of $2,997.33. Contact Holt Redding at the bank, 912.264.8887, for more details or if your bank is presented one of these for processing.

Community Bankers, It’s Time to Speak Up

We encourage community bank members to take a little time to participate 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). New this year is a special index based on 10 short questions added to gauge the sentiments of community bankers about regulations, competition, economic conditions and market prospects, which will be updated quarterly. In 2018, 521 banks from 37 states participated in the National Survey, but less than 20 percent of Georgia state-chartered banks participated in last year’s survey, according to the Georgia Department of Banking and Finance’s latest Financial Institutions Today bulletin. "Let’s all get engaged with this survey so our state is among the leading participants. The survey is a great feedback tool for regulators and that is helping shape their approaches to a variety of policy decisions. They value our input," said GBA Chairman John Hall, American Pride Bank, Macon. The survey takes only about 20 minutes, and it can be completed in different intervals. Please participate by June 30. Access the survey here.
Marketing Committee Vice Chair Lawanna Saxon, Signature Bank of Georgia

Excellent Interaction Highlighted Marketing Peer Group Meeting

Georgia bank marketers gathered this week in Macon for their first peer group meeting of the year. The session format provided a good mix of idea sharing among the marketing pros and an overview of big-picture trends in delivering personalized customer experiences, presented by EverFi’s Matt McDonald and Suzette Patterson. Led by Marketing Committee Chair Deesha Hagwood, Oconee State Bank, the peer sharing discussions focused on topics such as social media management platforms, email marketing best practices, promotional items, and a variety of different vendor recommendations. The day concluded with a show-and-share session during which members talked about some of their best recent projects to help their colleagues visualize ideas that could work at their banks. You can get involved with the GBA Marketing Peer Group by contacting us or one of our Marketing Committee members, participating in our banker-only Marketing Peer Group Facebook group and by attending the next meeting, which will be Oct. 17 in Macon. Details and registration access will be forthcoming, but go ahead and mark your calendar. With questions, contact Jenna Lynn Warner, 404.420.2035.

Compliance Resource
GBA Guide to Bank Record Retention Now Available Featuring Bank Record Retention Quick Notes©, 5th Edition, by Carl Pry

GBA is pleased to offer its members the newest edition of its Guide to Bank Record Retention, featuring Bank Record Retention Quick Notes©, 5th Edition, by Carl Pry. This guide is intended to support the development of a complete and understandable record retention program at your bank. Record retention policies are required by regulators and important for your customers if their bank records are ever subpoenaed. Additionally, we have included an excerpt from the Georgia Department of Banking & Finance's Final Rulemaking, adopted June 27, 2018, which contains changes to Chapter 80-10-1, Georgia’s state-specific retention requirements. Bank Record Retention Quick Notes© author Carl Pry is well known to GBA members. Pry is an instructor at GBA’s Basic and Advanced Compliance Schools and is a frequent contributor to and currently serves on the Editorial Advisory Board for the ABA Bank Compliance magazine. He is a featured speaker for numerous banking, compliance, and state bar associations and leads training sessions across the country. a Certified Regulatory Compliance Manager and Certified Risk Professional.
We hope that you will find this to be a valuable resource to help your bank. The new guides are priced at $99 + tax, s/h. To place an order, please contact GBA’s Bo Brannen,

Limited Space Available - Register Soon!
The BSA Experience Program Guide Just Released

GBA has partnered with Terri Sands, founder of Secura Risk Management, to create The BSA Experience: A Deep Dive into the Bank Secrecy Act and Knowing How to Comply a one-of-a-kind, four-day program for BSA professionals. This experience is designed to take BSA officers, compliance officers, risk management officers, internal auditors and their teams through all topics that support an effective BSA program. The BSA Experience takes 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. Click here to see the program guide.

Meet GBA’s Newest Associate Members

GBA Associate Membership is for individuals and organizations that serve banks and bankers. Today, more than 200 Associate Members are taking advantage of exclusive business development and networking opportunities and affordable access to the latest news and events in Georgia's banking industry, all for an investment of about $2 a day. These members also provide invaluable support to GBA’s events and programs throughout the year through attendance, sponsorships, exhibits and shared expertise. Be sure to get to know them and thank them for their support of GBA. You can get information about any of GBA’s Associate Members by using the Associate Member search function on our website. Click any of the links below to learn more, and please consider these banking industry supporters if you have a product or service need, they provide. For additional information, contact Bo Brannen, 404.420.2014.

Don't Miss These Popular Annual Events and Conferences

Rural Development and Lending Conference - May 16-17, St. Simons Island
Agribusiness lenders from around Georgia will converge at this annual conference to get the latest from agriculture experts and share information with each other. Special thanks to GBA's Agriculture Committee for planning the conference. Register here.
2019 Annual Meeting - June 23-26, Banff, Canada
Join the extended Georgia banking family in the Canadian Rockies this year for the signature GBA event. For 126 years, the key players in Georgia’s banking industry have gathered together at GBA’s Annual Meeting for camaraderie, the latest industry information and unforgettable experiences. Register here.
Leadership Conference - July 22-25, Ponte Vedra, FL
This annual conference for emerging bank executives is planned by the Leadership GBA Executive Committee and touches on economic trends, skill sessions in bank strategy development, leadership best practices, government and regulatory relations and more. It's also designed to help members develop strong bonds with their peers and families for the benefit of Georgia's community of bankers. Register here.

Be Proactive, Not Reactive, in Fighting Check Fraud
Four Ways the Thumbprint Signature Program Can Help Your Bank Fight Check Fraud

One effective fraud fighter you can use at your bank is GBA's Thumbprint Signature Program. It's proved to deter counterfeit and stolen check fraud by getting a thumbprint on any check presented by customers who cash checks. Click here to read about some of the benefits, For more information about how you can become a participating program member, contact Bo Brannen, 404.420.2014.

ABA Online Training Courses - May and June Offerings

Advance your banking knowledge with these eleven courses that are offered in May and June. ABA’s 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.

Universal Banker Certificate is Complete Skill Building Package

ABA’s Universal Banker Certificate develops key skills for catering to a new customer mindset. This certificate course allows the banker to explore multiple ways to fulfill customers sales, service and referral needs as their single point-of-contact. Master cash handling and basic transactional skills, perfect product and service sales skills and discover ways to build relationships and create referrals to other lines of business. GBA members get a discounted rate, and you don't have to be an ABA member to register. Click here to see the courses included. 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...
Regions Bank
PrimeSouth Bank
United National Bank
Greater Community Bank
South State Bank
Colony Bank
CenterState Bank
Ameris Bank
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.
Attention Attorneys!
Status of Important Cases
May 2019