April 21, 2017         


Banker Co-Led Project Earns Statesboro $1 Million Prize

Breaking news out of Denver late Wednesday carried the headline that Statesboro’s Blue Mile revitalization project for South Main Street was one of three winners in the Americas Best Communities Competition. Synovus Division CEO Darron Burnette, Sea Island Bank, co-chairs The Blue Mile Committee that’s been dedicated to redeveloping a corridor connecting downtown Statesboro with the Georgia Southern University campus. The Blue Mile concept is to encourage the private redevelopment of the outmoded, highway-oriented commercial areas into pedestrian friendly, mixed-use centers featuring public art, green space, affordable housing and other amenities. The $1 million prize will support ongoing development. Here’s a good overview story from the Statesboro Herald...

Financial Choice Act Carries Significant Reg. Reform

The latest version of House Financial Services Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling’s (R-Texas) Financial Choice Act is out, and it includes a number of provisions to provide regulatory relief to banks of all sizes. Look for more information and analysis in the coming weeks. A hearing is scheduled on the bill next week. Georgia Reps. Barry Loudermilk (R-GA 11) and David Scott (D-GA13) are on the U.S. House Financial Services Committee. We’ll be discussing the bill and many of these issues with regulators and our congressional delegation when we visit them May 9-11 in Washington, D.C. Among the items included in the new bill are…
Colorado Springs

Annual Meeting Hotel Almost Sold Out!

Rooms at The Broadmoor are almost sold out for our Annual Meeting in June. But, there’s still room for Annual Meeting attendees in Colorado Springs. GBA has secured a block of rooms as the nearby DoubleTree Hotel at a reduced rate of $235 per night. Shuttles will run from the Doubletree to The Broadmoor daily. You can make reservations at the DoubleTree by calling the hotel directly at 719.576.8900 Be sure to let them know you are with the Georgia Bankers Association to receive these rates. The 2017 Annual Meeting is June 18-21. Click here to view the brochure and here to register. With questions about the hotel or meeting in general, please contact GBA’s Susie McGehee at 404.420.2010.

Annual Meeting Breakout Session Spotlight

Trending Now in Community Banks…

Community banks are confronted with many strategic decisions when exploring expansionary opportunities. Join Mark Kanaly, partner, Alston & Bird, LLP, Atlanta, as he focuses on some of those important decisions. Topics will include recent developments in non-interest income opportunities, such as mortgage and SBA, as well as recent trends in charter conversions, restructurings to eliminate holding companies, and corporate restructurings.

Data for 52 New Positions Available!

Enhanced Comp. & Benefits Survey Starts Soon

GBA’s annual Compensation and Benefits Survey will open for participation in the next couple of weeks. This year’s survey will collect data for 52 additional jobs bankers have identified as important in the areas of compliance, finance, operations, technology, security, lending and more. There are also new features to make it easier for participants to submit key details about director compensation and benefits. HR managers and CEOs should be on the lookout for an email invitation to participate next week. The general timeframes and deadlines are May 26 for details about benefit plans, salary increase trends and director information, and June 30 for details about general salaries and salary ranges for all positions. Click here for more details...

Early Bird Price Avaialble through May 3

Marketing on the List of Hot Topics at This Year’s Ag Conference

At the 2017 Rural Development & Lending Conference, May 17-18 at the King and Prince on St. Simons, agribusiness lenders from around Georgia will gather to discuss pressing issues and challenges they face every day in their banks. In his session, “Everything You Wanted to Know about Marketing but Were Afraid to Ask,” Keith Brown, President of Keith L. Brown and Company in Moultrie, will discuss simple marketing strategies and teach you how to minimize risk and maximize profitability with limited pain. Click here to see the complete schedule, register online, or to access hotel information. The early registration fee ($350) is available through May 3. Contact GBA’s Kathy Friestad with questions about the conference, 404.420.2024.

How Fair Lending Enforcement Has Changed

An interesting whitepaper out this week from the American Bankers Association details how the concept of disparate impact in fair lending investigations, examinations and enforcement has expanded beyond the law and Supreme Court precedent. The paper makes a compelling argument about how fair lending enforcement not rooted in the law actually reduces incentives for lenders to expand access to credit. We’ve heard member feedback that such disparate impact and fair lending concerns have been the focus of recent exams in Georgia. “The paper gets pretty deep in the weeds, but it’s an interesting read to see how the previous administration expanded the scope of existing laws without clear authority to do so,” says Joe Brannen, GBA President and CEO. “If the Trump administration is serious about reigning in this type of federal regulatory overreach on businesses like banks, this ABA whitepaper is a good roadmap.” Click here to access a link to the paper…

Full House at New Account Seminar

Getting documents and details right when new customers open accounts sets the whole tone for a good long-term relationship with clients and protects the bank from fraud and compliance problems. A large crowd of front-line bankers attended our New Account Documentation &Compliance Seminar this week in Macon to learn the latest rules of the road and best practices for establishing a solid account opening experience. Read what attendees had to say about the seminar below:
"I wanted to get more familiar with new account changes and make sure we're up-to-date on policies and procedures. I've worked in banking for more than 20 years in pretty much all areas, but this area has that constant change in regulations. I want to make sure we're keeping that fine line of not giving our customers outright recommendations so we don't put ourselves at risk." - DeeDee Beckham, Call Center Customer Service Rep., Thomasville National Bank

"I feel comfortable working with forms but I wanted to understand the reasons behind the forms and policies and see what my counterparts at other banks are doing. I'm enjoying seeing the perspectives of other banks since I've only worked for First American. I want to apply what I learn here to my bank and bounce information and ideas off the other bankers to find better ways of doing things." -Ale De Leon Martines, Customer Service Rep., First American Bank & Trust, Athens

Other Technical Seminars of Note Coming up are:

  • Cash Flow Analysis - April 27, Macon. Peter Faser of SunTrust Robinson Humphrey will teach participants how to craft a statement of cash flows and increase their understanding of how a potential borrower will repay a loan. Basic knowledge of accounting is suggested but not required. Registration is $250 per person. Click here to register online...
  • The Information Security Officer - May 16, Macon. Tom Hinkel of Safe Systems will address regulatory expectations as well as reporting to the board of directors, coordinating with network administrators, leading the IT Steering Committee and more. Participants will receive helpful checklists and whitepapers as well as Certificates of Completion. Register by May 8 for the early-bird price of $225 per person. Click here to register online...

Modest Economic Expansion Noted by Fed Report

Steady retail sales, better-than-expected auto sales and a boost in residential construction were among the indicators of modest economic expansion in the Federal Reserve’s Sixth District in February and March. The Beige Book economic report also cited a positive three-to-six-month outlook from contacts. Commercial real estate demand was up, and manufacturers reported increased production and new orders. Credit remained readily available overall, but some small and medium-sized businesses say they are having difficulty getting credit. More from the Beige Book here…

Marketing Peer Group - May 24

FinTech Update, Peer Best Practices Sharing at Marketing Peer Group Meeting

Join us May 24 at The Georgian Club in Atlanta for the next GBA Marketing Peer Group meeting. Kicking off the meeting will be a session about Georgia’s booming fintech sector and how our state’s banks can work with them. The peer group is sponsored by the GBA Marketing Committee and is an interactive channel for bank marketers and others with marketing-related duties to share best practices, hone their skills and learn critical information about the topics of the day. If you would like to join this group or learn more contact GBA's Alison Moreau, 404.420.2034 with questions.

What’s Next for Future Leaders in Banking? Find Out at Leadership Conference

Over the past several years, the banking industry has experienced a great deal of change. Emerging technologies, consolidation trends, industry scandals and changes in regulation and enforcement leave us all to wonder about the shape of the banking industry that its future leaders stand to inherit. Jonathan Hightower, partner, Bryan Cave, LLP, Atlanta, will explore those trends and what they mean for banking’s next generation of leaders during his session at Leadership GBA's annual Leadership Conference July 17-20 at the Ponte Vedra Inn & Club in Ponte Vedra, FL. Register online here. With questions about the conference, please contact GBA’s Susie McGehee at 404.420.2010.

Online Class Spring Lineup

Mortgage Lending, Fundamentals and CTFA Courses Coming up

Below are the facilitated ABA online classes coming up in April, May and June. Facilitated online courses feature an online learning community with fellow students, instructor guidance and feedback. These courses have weekly assignments as well as midterm and final exams. Any employee of a GBA member company can participate at the member rate. Your bank does not have to be an ABA member. All you need is a computer, printer and Internet access. Please register two weeks in advance to secure a "seat." For more information, contact Alison Moreau, 404.420.2034. Click here for a list of all ABA offerings...

Upcoming GBA-U Webinars

A GBA Webinar is a great way to quickly get the training you need without travel or time out of the bank. Webinars are live and allow time for questions and answers. The $265 registration price gives you access to one web site "seat," one telephone site license and all handout materials. If you can't attend the webinar, you may buy the audio CD, handout materials and a password to see the session online. With questions, please contact GBA's Katina Prokos at 404.420.2021. Here is a sample of upcoming offerings. Check the GBA-U Calendar of Events at www.gabankers.com for more details.

GBA Job Bank

New Postitions in Compliance, Loan Workouts, Credit Score Modeling and More

The GBA Job Bank is among the most popular and valuable benefits we provide to member banks and bankers. The Positions Available and Bankers Available sections on our website consistently are among the most visited pages. Best of all, the service costs nothing for member banks and bankers. To make the process of posting a job or resume easier and to answer any questions you may have, we've developed this Q & A document as a resource. It outlines how to submit open positions and resumes, our deadlines and timelines for posting, and other helpful details. If you have any questions, please contact GBA’s Bo Brannen at 404.420.2014.

How to Tune up Your Overdraft Program

GBA Strategic Partner John M. Floyd and Associates has built a new overdraft program - complete with new analytics, new strategies, new reporting and tracking, as well as new communication materials for account holders. This updated program will help your bank provide a customer-focused overdraft program that can also help you recover revenue lost as a result of regulatory changes. Here are a few questions you can ask yourself to determine if your overdraft program is obsolete…

Secure Screening Solutions from First Advantage

GBA is pleased to endorse the Employment Background Screening and Fingerprint Services available through First Advantage, a Symphony Technology Group company and leading global provider of screening analytics and identity solutions. First Advantage screening solutions help provide confidence that your bank is making sound staffing decisions. First Advantage's background checks empower you to make the right decisions quickly about the people you hire—-whether they are contractors or employees. Best practices allow you to manage workflow efficiencies more effectively and maximize the value of your investment. Benefits include…

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 Bo Brannen and David Oliver, or if your company would like to sponsor this content, let us know. Here's our latest installment…
W. Jordan
GBA employees recently celebrating service anniversaries are, from left to right: Joe Brannen (37), Alison Moreau (12), David Oliver (9), Kathy Friestad (4) and Lee Belaus (30)
GBA employees recently celebrating service anniversaries are, from left to right: Edie Lindsay (5) and Frankie Harris (17)

Read All About It: Send Us Your News

Please remember to include the Georgia Bankers Association on the list of recipients for announcements about promotions, new employees and special recognition your bank has received. We want to share your news with your colleagues across the state. Please forward your announcements and photos to GBA's David Oliver and Bogan Brannen.