Jan. 17, 2020   

Packed house at Forum

Legislative Events Kick off 2020 Advocacy Efforts

A capacity crowd of members gathered Wednesday for the annual kickoff for GBA’s advocacy activities. Gov. Brian Kemp keynoted the Legislative and Economic Forum. In his talk, he voiced his support for members and highlighted work by the state to cut unnecessary costs, improve education funding, strengthen public safety and combat human trafficking (more about that in a separate action-item article below). On the economic development front, he emphasized a full-state focus, noting that 74% of the projects announced during his first year in office were located outside the I-285 perimeter of Atlanta. Lt. Gov. Geoff Duncan also spoke. He saluted bankers’ position as a foundation of the state’s economic strength. Read some of his comments and about the rest of the speakers and sessions here.
Gov. Kemp
Attendees mingling
Lt. Gov. Duncan

Action Item
Gov. Kemp Urges Bankers to Implement Human Trafficking Prevention Training

During his address Wednesday to GBA members, Gov. Brian Kemp specifically asked bankers to take part in a signature initiative of his Administration and championed by First Lady Marty Kemp to combat human trafficking. Ms. Kemp created the GRACE Commission to fight the billion-dollar illegal sex industry. He urged all bankers to watch a public version of a red-flags training video that all state employees are now required to watch, in addition to other training and awareness efforts. We fully support Gov. Kemp’s request.
Watch the Video Here
Human trafficking is one of the world's largest criminal enterprises, involving the use of force, fraud or coercion to obtain some type of labor or commercial sex act, according to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. And it is everywhere – including urban, suburban and rural communities throughout Georgia. Learn more about the state’s initiative to combat this crime here. We’d like to track and share member participation with the Governor, so we’ll be sending member CEOs information about how to let us know about your bank’s efforts. GBA and its members have been in tune with this issue for some time. Our 2018 Compliance Conference featured an awareness session.
Related Education Opportunity: We confirmed this week that Jeff Shaw, Executive Director with Atlanta Dream Center, will lead a session about human trafficking red-flags, awareness and prevention at the upcoming GBA Security Conference April 2-3 in St. Simons. Get details and register here.
GBA's Advocacy Team

General Assembly Convenes

The Georgia General Assembly convened this week for the second year of their biennial with plates full of issues to consider. Top of mind for many are finding ways to pass a balanced budget juggling competing priorities and looking at various revenue sources. As for banking legislation, there are few issues held over from the 2019 session that we expect to be considered. Read about the bills we’ll be supporting this session and more resources to keep up with happenings here. GBA will once again be represented at the Capitol by our experienced lobbying team led by Senior Vice President Elizabeth Chandler with support from our Legislative Consultant Steve Bridges and GBA President and CEO Joe Brannen.
Also, while it’s not part of the official legislative session, the annual Wild Hog Supper, held Sunday, has been the unofficial event signaling legislators have returned to the capital city and are prepared to go to work. GBA has been a sponsor of the event for many years and in recent years the Georgia Food Bank Association has been the presenting sponsor along with the Georgia Department of Agriculture. Team GBA was front and center welcoming legislators and other state dignitaries to the event.

Get the Facts in the New Georgia Banking Update

Our latest edition of the Georgia Banking Update is available. We shared it with guests at the Legislative/Economic Forum and will keep it posted on our website. Updates include an overview of banking stats, a look at performance trends, details about service to rural counties, new bank formation and M&A trends and briefs on key national and state advocacy issues. Read the latest update here.

GBA Retirement Services Welcomes New Board Member

The GBA Retirement Services Board of Directors and Staff are pleased to welcome its newest member to the Board, Steven Walker Jordan Jr., president and CEO, Bank of Monticello. “Walker is well known within the association as he’s a past president of Leadership GBA, a former member of the GBA Board and currently serves on the Community Bankers Committee. The employees at his bank have been covered by the GBA 401(k) master plan for many years and we’re looking forward to having his insight and perspectives on the Board,” said Board chairman Chuck Copeland, First National Bank of Griffin. Read more about the GBA Retirement Services, Inc. Board of Directors and how GBARS can help design or improve your retirement plan here.

Welcome GBA’s Newest Associate Members

GBA Associate Membership is for individuals and organizations that serve banks and bankers. Today, over 200 Associate Members are taking advantage of business development opportunities and affordable access to the latest news and events in Georgia's banking industry, all for about $2 a day. These members also provide invaluable support to GBA’s activities 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 about each member, 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.

GBA-Sponsored Event
FHLB Heirs Property Forum open to Members

FHLBank Atlanta, in partnership with the Georgia Heirs Property Law Center, Inc. and Georgia Bankers Association, invites GBA members to attend an Heirs Property Forum on March 5, 2020, from 10 a.m.-1:30 p.m. in Atlanta. This event will focus on developing a common understanding of the challenges presented by real property classified as "heirs property" and the tools available to address it and prevent it. Heirs property consists of homes and land passed down informally without a legally designated owner, limiting the ability of the homeowners to utilize their property for financial purposes or participate in public revitalization programs. Attendees will learn what is needed to help heirs property owners free up equity and combat the negative impact heirs property has on families across Georgia and on the broader economy. Details and registration here. Registration closes Feb. 28, 2020.

Second CD Auction Held by State Treasurer

The Office of the State Treasurer (OST) held the second and expected final auction during the pilot phase of a program to determine the feasibility and interest among banks to purchase certificates of deposits in certain state-controlled funds. OST made $100 million available for this auction and $27 million was successfully awarded. While the minimum amount of each bid was $100,000 among tranches of 6, 12, 18 and 24 months, in discussing the auction among participating banks, the minimum bid rate of a comparable Treasury yield seemed to be a deterrent. Read comments from GBA President and CEO Joe Brannen and get more info here.

Bostic Says Community Banks Vital

In an opinion piece written for American Banker, Atlanta Fed President Raphael Bostic strongly makes the case for why community banking is an important component of our country’s financial system. "Community banks bring truly unique benefits to the communities where they operate, particularly in rural areas and underserved urban neighborhoods. Small, locally based institutions have always been vital to small business, agricultural and consumer lending," he said. Read more here.

Leadership GBA Board Huddles, Encourages Engagement

Our member-led group of emerging bank leaders gathered this week to talk about GBA’s programs for leadership development and begin planning the 2020 Leadership Conference. Leadership GBA Committee Chair Andrew Ainslie, Bank of Madison, led the meeting, which included members reviewing information they learned during the GBA legislative day events Wednesday, the updated election process for board officers and board representatives, and efforts to promote participation in several key programs and events coming up. Look for details about the Leadership Conference agenda soon. This year’s conference is July 13-15 at the Ponte Vedra Inn and Club. Registration will open soon. With questions, contact Kathy Friestad, 404.420.2024.

Further 2019 BankPAC Campaign Wrap-Up

We wanted to give one last update for the 2019 BankPAC Campaign and thank more contributors to the StatePAC:
  • Douglas National Bank, Stuart Smith, President and CEO
  • Farmers and Merchants Bank, Sylvania, Hoke Reeves, President and CEO
  • Bank of Camilla, Ray Muggridge, Chairman, President and CEO
  • Bank of Alapaha, Ken Hughes, President and CEO.
Take a look at how your GBA Group fared in this record-breaking year. With questions, call Elizabeth Chandler at 404.420.2027.

GBA Endorses Mortgage Solutions from Promontory MortgagePath

The GBA is pleased to announce that it has teamed up with Promontory MortgagePath LLC, to provide an efficient way for member banks to build or expand their residential lending business. The GBA Services board of directors recently voted to endorse Promontory Mortgagepath’s comprehensive mortgage fulfillment services and proprietary point-of-sale (POS) technology, Borrower Wallet®, citing their ability to helps banks satisfy customer demand for a modern mortgage experience without the expense of creating and supporting an entire mortgage department. Read more here. For more information, please contact Promontory’s Paul Katz, pkatz@mortgagepath.com, 212.652.3511.

Operations & Technology Conference
Limited Exhibitor Spots Remain for Ops/Tech Conference

Associate Members that have significant products and services in the operations and technology area will want to exhibit at the 2020 GBA Operations and Technology Conference Feb. 26-28 at the King and Prince on St. Simons Island. This is our biggest event for exhibitors, so don’t miss out. Here’s a link to the details and registration form. Contact Alison Moreau, 404.420.2034, with questions.

Session Spotlight
Automation in the Cloud

With various IT services delivery moving to cloud, what does process automation look like for the banking industry? At the GBA’s 2020 Operations and Technology Conference, Feb. 26-28, at The King and Prince Hotel, St. Simons Island, Jason Bell with GBA Associate Member Abel Solutions will lead a session on the range of opportunities that are available to help with bridging the gaps with operations such as account closings or CTR exemption reviews. Get more info about the sessions and conference registration here.

Bank Security Conference, April 2-3
Registration is Open!

Registration is open for the GBA 2020 Bank Security Conference, April 2-3, at the King and Prince Beach and Golf Resort, St. Simons. Click here to see the session line-up. The per-person registration price is $395 through March 18 and $445 beginning March 19. The cut-off for hotel reservations is March 4. Click here to register and see hotel information. Associate Members are invited to participate by exhibiting or sponsorship. With questions, contact GBA’s Alison Moreau, 404.420.2034.

2020 Seminars

Join your peers at these GBA seminars coming up in the new year at Middle Georgia State University in Macon.
With questions, contact Jenna Lynn Warner, 404.420.2035.

Compliance Peer Group Meeting March 5

Attention, bank compliance professionals! You've asked for more opportunities to collaborate with your industry peers, and we've heard you. GBA will host its 2020 Compliance Peer Group Meeting on March 5, 2020, at Middle Georgia State University in Macon. Planned by GBA's Compliance Committee, this event will be a peer-led discussion of your most pressing needs, questions and regulatory updates. Anyone responsible for managing part or all of a financial institution's compliance risk management program should attend. Register by Feb. 26, 2020, for the early-bird price of $159 per person. After Feb. 26, registration will be $209 per person. Registration includes lunch. Register here.

Learn Compliance, Deposit Accounts, Risk Management and More with Upcoming Webinars

Here’s an informative lineup of webinars coming up in the next couple of weeks. Here are some of the topics.

Doctors Just a Call Away with GBAIT/Wellview Telemedicine

There’s lots of cold and flu going around, so here’s a reminder that bankers covered by GBA Insurance Trust medical plans have access to doctors 24-7 with Wellview Health’s telemedicine service. Telemedicine can help you and your family avoid doctor's offices, long waits and added costs and copays.* In most cases, you will be speaking with a doctor within 10 minutes, and the doctor can send prescriptions to your pharmacy of choice. More details here.
Reminder: Don’t forget to get your flu shot. There’s no copay or out-of-pocket cost!

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
Greater Community Bank
Altamaha 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.