Sept. 13, 2019   


Hurricane Michael Disaster Aid Coming to Georgia Farmers

USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue this week announced eligible producers suffering losses as a result of Hurricane Michael and other disasters the past two years may apply for aid at their local Farm Service Agency offices. Most of the money will be distributed through a program called WHIP+ that modifies a similarly-named program following 2017 natural disasters related to hurricanes and wildfires that hit Georgia, Texas, California and many other parts of the country. Get details on the helpful changes to this year’s program and read comments from GBA Chairman Chuck Copeland, First National Bank of Griffin, here.

CFPB Opens Atlanta Office; Announces Positive Changes for Consumers

Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) director Kathy Kraninger was in Georgia this week announcing the opening of an Atlanta regional office, three helpful changes in CFPB policy and the rollout of a new federal-state partnership on innovation. Click here for details on the four significant announcements, including a new Compliance Assistance Sandbox policy for consumers, an opportunity for industry participants to test new financial disclosures, the clearing up of uncertainty about the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act and the implementation of the new American Consumer Financial Innovation Network.

Performance at Georgia Community Banks Outpaces Peers

Georgia’s banks with less than $10 billion in assets outpaced regional and national peers in two key performance metrics during the second quarter, according to analysis from S&P Global Market Intelligence. The median return on equity for Georgia community banks was 9.97% in the second quarter, compared to 9.30% for community banks in the Southeast. The national community bank median ROE was 9.59%. The story was similar for net interest margin, as Georgia community banks reported median net interest margin of 4.27% compared to 3.96% in the Southeast and 3.84% nationally.
Related: SNL Banker, a product from S&P Global Market Intelligence, is GBA’s preferred solution for advanced bank financial performance analysis and management. Get more information here.

Georgia Top State for Business for Sixth Straight Year

Gov. Brian Kemp this week announced that Georgia has been named the "Top State for Business" for the sixth year in a row by Area Development, a leading publication covering corporate site selection and relocation. The results are determined by the publication’s poll of site consultants. "This announcement serves as a powerful testament to what we all know to be true: Georgia is the best place to live, work, and raise a family. Our efforts to cut red tape and ensure our business environment leads the nation continue to lure world-class companies to the Peach State from every corner of the map," said Gov. Kemp. Read more here. Georgia bankers remain committed to helping the state continue its run of success, with encouragement of banker engagement in economic development being a priority issue for the association as outlined GBA Chairman Chuck Copeland, First National Bank of Griffin.

HR Pros Talk Trends, Share Insights and Plan Programming

GBA’s Human Resources Committee gathered this week to check in on the key issues affecting their roles at Georgia’s banks. Some key ongoing trends include the need for creative ways to encourage employee engagement, competition for talent at all levels, structuring compensation plans that make sense for individual markets and leadership development. The committee also began setting the program for the 2020 HR Professionals Institute, which will be March 18-20 at the Westin Jekyll Island. The committee chair is Luann Daniels, Heritage Bank, Jonesboro, and the vice chair is Valerie Pendergast, Metro City Bank, Atlanta. Look for details as soon as the agenda is finalized and speakers are confirmed. With questions, contact Alison Moreau, 404.420.2034.
Daniels (right)
The GBA HR Committee

Hurricane Dorian: How to Donate to Storm Relief in the Bahamas

As Hurricane Dorian relief, rescue and recovery efforts are in full swing in the Bahamas, many GBA member bankers have asked how they can best help those affected. Cash donations are always most appreciated as the most efficient form of assistance, according to disaster recovery experts. If you are considering making a monetary contribution to a relief organization, you can find detailed financial and programmatic information at GiveWell, Charity Navigator, Charity Watch and the Better Business Bureau. Here some examples of organizations responding to Hurricane Dorian. As a reminder, GBA has a Hurricane Resources webpage with links to official state and federal resources for bankers and consumers, and please let us know about any efforts you’re undertaking to help. With questions, contact David Oliver, 404.420.2036.
Georgia Southern University

Registration Open!
Reserve your Seat at the Southeast Georgia Community Bank Symposium

GBA along with the Georgia Southern University will host its annual Southeast Georgia Community Bank Symposium on Oct. 22. This event will feature experts who will focus on the important issues facing bankers in the Southeast Georgia banking industry. CEOs, CFOs, bank directors, senior lenders and retail bank managers from throughout the Southeast Georgia region should look to attend. Click here to see topics on the agenda. Registration is $159 per person. Click here to register online. With questions, please contact GBA's Jenna Lynn Warner at 404.420.2035. Thank you to our symposium sponsors South Auction and Realty and Steve H. Powell and Co.

Small Business Economy Thriving Despite Headlines

For small businesses around the country, the latest data show job creation accelerated, positive earnings trends improved and quarter-on-quarter sales gains remained strong, according to the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB). And while the overall performance metrics remain solid, there’s evidence the headline negativity is affecting business confidence. Find out why and read commentary from NFIB's Chief Economist here.

2019 BankPAC Campaign Update

Group 3 Surpasses Goal; Others Making Good Progress
Congratulations to GBA Group 3 contributors for surpassing the StatePAC and FedPAC goals set for this year’s BankPAC campaign! Both funds are growing each week and the GBA BankPAC Board of Directors hopes to reach both overall goals in the coming weeks. Now is the time to help in this important effort if you and your bank have yet to contribute. With new online capability of contributing to the GBA FedPAC, all eligible employees, officers and directors, can simply use this link to make a contribution by logging in with your MyGBA profile credentials. Also, here are the contribution forms for both the FedPAC and the StatePAC which include a useful guide of suggested amounts of giving. Check out how your GBA Group is progressing toward its goals so far. Thanks to these banks, members and individuals who contributed to the GBA StatePAC and FedPAC this week. With questions, please call Elizabeth Chandler at 404.420.2027.

Time to Tee it up for GBA State BankPAC

Whether you’re a scratch golfer or just enjoy an occasional weekend round, we hope you’ll come out to support GBA’s state BankPAC on Wednesday, Oct. 23. Click here to register for the GBA Bank/PAC Golf Classic! And if you don’t play golf, you can show your support sponsoring a hole for just $250. Click here to reserve your sponsorship. Questions? Contact GBA’s Kathy Friestad, 404.420.2024.

Financial Risk Management Conference
Bank Finance Teams: Don't Miss This Year's Conference

At this year's Financial Risk Management Conference Nov. 7-8 in Atlanta, we will have two complimentary pre-conference sessions about tax credits and contract negotiations to start the conference. Click here for a run-down of this year’s conference, which will include talks on the economy, investments, CECL, compliance, ALM/ALCO and technology trends and more. Registration for members is $395 per person through Oct. 24. Click here to register. Sponsorships are available, and Associate Member companies may also exhibit. With questions, contact GBA’s Alison Moreau, 404.420.2034.

Learn about BankSafe Training to Combat Elder Financial Abuse

The BankSafe Initiative is a free employee training program you can deploy to help teach your bankers how to identify and report elder financial abuse. Georgia banks helped fine tune the program for AARP during a pilot in 2018 and many continue to use the program for training its employees. Learn more about the program during a no-cost webinar Oct. 3. Register here.

Hurry! Prices increase soon!
Loan Documentation Seminar - Sept. 26

A faculty member of the Georgia Banking School with more than 35 years of industry experience, Mike Allen of Cadence Bank will address a range of documentation topics including real estate specifics and residential construction lending. Commercial loan officers, commercial loan personnel, loan assistants and closing specialists alike will benefit from this seminar. Register here to secure your spot. Please contact GBA’s Jenna Lynn Warner, 404.420.2035, with questions.

Call for Topics for GBA’s Fall Marketing Peer Group

This fall, the GBA Marketing Peer Group meeting will be Oct. 3 at Middle Georgia State University in Macon. We’re asking bank marketers to send in topics for discussion. Please send your topics for the vendor and peer exchange to During this time, you’ll have the opportunity to share your favorite vendors as well as ask questions of your bank marketing peers. Click here to register online. Thank you to our peer group sponsor ServisFirst Bank, provider of the GBA-endorsed agent bank credit card programs.

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 they endeavor to create are unique, crafted with care, personal devotion and obvious passion. Get more information on how FMS can help your institution here.

SUM Surcharge-Free Program Expansion Announced

NYCE® is pleased to announce the addition of over 5,000 surcharge-free ATM terminals to its SUM® Surcharge-Free Program effective Sept. 9. This exciting program expansion is made possible by FIS’ acquisition of the CULIANCE Network. The expansion enables SUM cardholders’ access to CUHere surcharge-free ATMs in the United States and Puerto Rico with no additional cost; SUM program pricing remains the same. Find out what it means for cardholders and how to join the SUM surcharge-free program here.

Women in Banking Conference Offers Ideal Combo of Education and Networking

"Attending GBA's Women in Banking Conference is a highlight of my year and reenergizes me to give back to an industry that has provided tremendous value to my bank, my team, my family and me personally, It is such an honor to serve on the Women in Banking Committee this year," says Cristi Donahue, EVP, director of Retail Banking and Security Officer for Oconee State Bank in Watkinsville. She says you won’t regret carving a couple of days out of your busy calendar to attend this conference, so don’t miss it. The conference is Nov. 17-19 at the Legacy Lodge at Lake Lanier Islands in Buford. Get all the details about the conference and register here. Questions? Contact GBA’s Kathy Friestad, 404.420.2024.

ABA Online Training - Mortgage, Trust, CTFA and More

ABA-facilitated online courses feature an online learning community with fellow students, instructor guidance and feedback. Check out these six courses scheduled from September through October. 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 Alison Moreau, 404.420.2034. Click here for a list of all ABA offerings.

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.

Video Series Highlights Diverse Careers in Banking

The variety of careers offered by banks goes well beyond number crunchers, lenders and the teller line. Banks need professionals with skills including information technology, digital banking, security, communications and much more. There’s a good video series available from the ABA highlighting the career diversity available in the industry. Check it out here.
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.
PromiseOne Bank
Bulloch First Bank
Queensborough National Bank & Trust
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.