Georgia Bankers Association - The Resource that Empowers

August 1, 2014


Back-to-School and Office Savings for Member Employees

Many of us have a long list of school supplies to buy in the next few weeks.
And, even if you don't, your family probably has some basic home office and household supply needs. The good news here is that we can all save a bunch on these items with the Georgia Bankers Association's Office Depot purchasing program. Employees of any GBA member bank, Associate Member or Bank Counsel Section member can shop online or at any one of Office Depot's retail store locations and receive 80 percent off MSLP on a core list of 350+ items, plus 10 percent off most catalog and in-store items. Link to the list of core items and download your printable discount card here. It's fast, easy and free...


GBA-Endorsed Vendor Risk Management Product Eliminates Stress

VendorPoint by Fortrex Technologies, is the market's first automated, turnkey vendor risk management solution. This cost-effective online service enables banks of any size to identify, measure, monitor and manage third-party risk based on FFIEC guidelines and design criteria established by leading financial services institutions. The system eliminates the stress, expense and complexity financial institutions face when meeting regulatory requirements. It combines worry-free automation, ready accessibility, and ease-of-use to speed users through even the most rigorous regulatory environment. Learn more about VendorPoint from Fortrex here...

Protect Your Human Capital and Your Bank with Employment Law Resources

Monitoring revisions and changes to labor laws that affect the banking industry can be a challenge. Your bank can stay ahead of the curve with help from GBA Strategic Partner Employment Law Compliance, Inc. (ELC). ELC has a successful history of working with community banks of all sizes that may not have a large HR staff or in-house employment counsel. The professionals at ELC average 25 years of experience in their field. ELC's entire staff is committed to designing and maintaining the best solutions and services to help your bank. For more information, please contact ELC's Steve Greene at 770.206.3371.

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Pledging Pool

DBF Issues Proposed Rules for Comment

The Georgia Department of Banking and Finance is seeking comments on
a number of proposed rules and changes to existing rules. Of primary interest to bankers is the section about loans and lending limits related to lease financing. The language and details concerning leases is actually helpful to our banks because it clarifies what people have thought the proper interpretation should be and closely tracks OCC guidance. Take a thorough look at the changes. You can link to them here and let us know if there are issues about which GBA should comment...


Bank Counsel Board Reviews Legal Issues, Plans Conference

The recent FDIC vs. Loudermilk ruling about the business judgment rule by the Georgia Supreme court, Trust Preferred Securities dividend payments and a variety of other bank legal issues were prominent discussion topics as the GBA Bank Counsel Section Board met this week. The board, chaired by Mark Kanaly, Alston & Bird, also heard from Bo Fears, Deputy Commissioner for Legal & Consumer Affairs at the Georgia Department of Banking and Finance. Fears expressed the department's appreciation for GBA and member efforts to support the important fees-not-interest bill (H.B. 824) that gives parity to state chartered banks, and the patent troll bill (H.B. 809), which have both been signed by Governor Deal. He also gave a brief overview of the proposed rules the department issued this week related to lending limits for certain types of lending as well as other entities regulated by the department (noted above). More notes from the Bank Counsel board meeting including preliminary details about the Bank Counsel Conference here...


Agenda Now Available

Trust Preferred Securities and Bankruptcy Town Hall Session Scheduled Aug. 6

A number of bank holding companies are dealing with the issue of paying dividends on Trust Preferred Securities (TruPS) they'd deferred during the economic downturn. During the past five years or so the dividends have been accruing on the TruPS and the deferral period is coming to an end. Fitch estimates that there is $2.6 Billion of TruPS that will run out of their deferral period over the next several years. In two recent instances, one of which is in Georgia, creditors have filed involuntary bankruptcy cases against bank holding companies from which they are trying to collect dividends. The issue has become a hot topic in the industry, as we noted above from the Bank Counsel Board meeting this week. So, we're holding a Town Hall meeting about TruPS Wednesday, Aug. 6, at Idle Hour Country Club in Macon. While GBA's counsel has been asked to coordinate the program, we trust other members of GBA's Bank Counsel Section as well as others, like our bank accountants, will attend as the collective wisdom of all involved in this issue will benefit the industry. Click here to see the agenda and register online. Contact Susie McGehee with questions about the Town Hall meeting.


Regulatory Relief Bills Get Thumbs up

A GBA-supported bill (H.R. 4042) to delay the implementation of Basel III's rules on mortgage servicing assets until a thorough study documents the effects on banks' retention of servicing rights for mortgages they originate was among three bills approved by the U.S. House Financial Services Committee this week. The committee also voted to approve H.R. 5148, which would ease appraisal rules on mortgages of $250,000 or less to keep those loans more affordable. And, it approved H.R. 3240, which calls for the Government Accountability Office to study the effects on consumers of Regulation D's monthly limits on savings account withdrawals.


Banks Get High Marks for Protecting Customer Data

Local banks top the list of the types of companies customers feel do a good job of protecting their personal information and privacy. In a recent survey, 89 percent of respondents said their local banks are good stewards of their data. At the other end of the scale were social networks such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, for which 37 percent of respondents said do a good job of information protection. See more figures from the data security survey here...


Debit Card Overdrafts Cited in CFPB Report

Debit Card transactions for relatively small amounts triggered the most overdraft fees in data studied by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau said a report out Thursday. The study examined the various types of transactions that trigger overdrafts, account types, age groups that experienced the most overdrafts and more. The CFPB also noted changes banks have made to overdraft programs in recent years that help consumers avoid overdrafts. A Bloomberg article about the report cites an anonymous CFPB source as saying this study, as well as a study last year, will be the basis for new regulations to be proposed at some point. The likely focus on those regulations will be how customers opt-in to debit card overdraft programs and posting order for transactions. "Many banks offer free, easy-to-use online, email and text-based account monitoring and balance alert features to help customers keep track of their balances and avoid overdrafts, even on small dollar transactions," said Joe Brannen, GBA president and CEO. "Whatever CFPB decides to do here should certainly take into account that customers using this service do so voluntarily and value its convenience." More details here...


Let Us Know Your Thoughts about CFPB's HMDA Proposal

The CFPB has proposed significant changes to reporting requirements for the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (Regulation C). Among the proposed changes, lenders for the first time would be required to report property value, loan term, total points and fees, the duration of teaser rates and the age and credit score of an applicant or borrower. Learn more and access a link to the proposal here...


Banker Advocacy on Operation Choke Point Shows Signs of Success

Georgia bankers and GBA have been among many in the industry critical of the Justice Department's Operation Choke point that has targeted businesses it deems high risk for money laundering and other criminal activities through enhanced bank supervision. The FDIC this week withdrew lists of businesses it considers "high-risk" from guidance about banking third-party payment processors. The lists had been associated with Operation Choke Point, about which ABA Vice Chairman and former GBA Chairman Dan Blanton, CEO, Georgia Bank & Trust, Augusta, testified to Congress recently. See a summary of the FDIC's statement and access a link to its full remarks here...


Five Reasons to Attend our Bank Director and Executive Management Conference

Bank Directors' responsibilities and liabilities have greatly expanded during the past few years as we suffered through our second banking crisis in modern times. Here are some good reasons to attend our conference coming up Aug. 27 at Idle  Hour Country Club designed to give directors the tools and information they need to be effective...


Compliance Conference Update

BSA: De-risk or up Your Game?

BSA/AML compliance demands an effective risk-based approach. Attendees at GBA's 2014 Compliance Conference will learn about the risks of and best practices for serving foreign customers, money services businesses (including those involved in digital currencies such as bitcoin), and third-party payment processors. Jay Postma will lead the "BSA: De-risk or up Your Game?" session on day 1 of the conference. Postma is president of MSB Compliance, Inc., an  Atlanta-based firm specializing in BSA, USA Patriot Act and anti-money-laundering consulting services and support activities for banks. Click here for more agenda details, hotel information and online registration. Contact Kathy Friestad, 404.420.2024, with questions.


GBA Window Decals Offer Clean, Consistent Appearance and High Quality

Now Accepting Pre-orders for GBA's Holiday Closing Decals, No-Firearm-Policy Decals Still Available

For years, the GBA has been the preferred source for banks to buy top-quality, thoughtfully designed window and door decals that provide a consistent, professional appearance at every branch. We're now accepting pre orders for our 2015 Holiday Closing Decals that communicate the 10 holiday closings recognized by the Federal Reserve Bank in accordance with FDIC rules. GBA's Holiday Closing Decals are made of the same high-quality material and are the same dimensions as our popular No-Firearm-Policy Decals, so if your bank bought those earlier this summer, please consider adding a pre-order of Holiday Closing Decals to give your branch signage a consistent look. GBA Holiday Closing Decals feature...


We also have a limited supply No-Firearm-Policy Decals available if you need them. These Decals are $9 each for up to 10 decals and $8 each for orders of more than 10 (plus tax and shipping). Contact Kenyetta Parks to place your order today.


Georgia BankPAC Campaign

Has your bank contributed to the GBA StatePAC yet? Or, have your eligible employees, officers and directors contributed to the GBA FedPAC yet? As a reminder, the GBA StatePAC accepts contributions from a state bank or the holding company of a national bank while the GBA FedPAC accepts personal contributions from bank officers, directors and eligible employees. GBA Associate Members and Bank Counsel Members are also encouraged to contribute to the StatePAC. Here are the contribution forms for each PAC with suggested giving amounts for your use. See how your group has done so far this year. With questions, please contact Elizabeth Chandler at 404.420.2027. Thanks to those that have already made their contributions including these individuals and companies that contributed to the GBA BankPAC...



13th-Annual Georgia BankPAC Golf Classic Scheduled - Oct. 1

Another great way to contribute to the GBA StatePAC campaign is by participating in Leadership GBA's thirteenth annual Georgia BankPAC Classic Wednesday, Oct. 1, at The Club at River Forest in Forsyth. This two-person scramble tournament is sure to be a fun and challenging event for everyone. Registration is $150 per person, $250 per team or $450 for a team plus hole sponsorship (a $100 savings). The proceeds will be donated to the GBA StatePAC. Click here to register. With questions, please call GBA's Susie McGehee at 404.420.2010.


Bankers Invited to HARP Outreach Program

The Federal Housing Finance Agency is making a push to help the 54,350 Georgia residents still eligible to participate in the Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP). These eligible borrowers could save as much as $2,000 each per year by refinancing their mortgage. Bankers are invited to attend a meeting of housing experts and community leaders in a town hall-style meeting about the program at Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta on Aug. 14 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. FHFA Director Mel Watt will participate in the program, which will feature representatives from Fannie Mae; Freddie Mac; the U.S. Department of the Treasury; Regions Mortgage; and a representative from D&E, A Financial Education and Training Institute, Inc. See how to sign up to attend and review the HARP eligibility criteria...


Bank Secrecy Act Seminar: Basic Compliance for Bank Employees Aug. 21

BSA compliance is a focus for bank examiners, who expect that all bank employees, particularly frontline personnel, are well-trained at least annually on the various reporting and recordkeeping requirements for BSA, CIP and OFAC. GBA is aware of the need for this training and has set up a helpful resource for you and your bank. Take advantage of this seminar Aug. 21 at the Idle Hour Country Club in Macon. This seminar will address the fundamental BSA reporting and recording requirements, including the following topics...


Marketing Peer Group Sept. 9

Website Analytics & Search Engine Optimization

How do you know if your bank's website is effective? Plan to attend GBA's Marketing Peer Group on Sept. 9 and learn the keys to confidently knowing that it is. You'll get detailed instructions about setting up website analytics, the specific metrics to track, how to use what you learn and how to drive more people to your site. You'll also learn how to convert clicks into customers, how to track specific product campaigns and tips for reporting your results to management. Denise Maling, of AIS Media, Atlanta, will lead this session using real bank examples and providing take-home tips. Get registration details about the upcoming Marketing Peer group here...


President/CEO, Bank Counsel and Bank Accountant Conferences - Oct. 12-14

Presidents/CEOs, Bank Attorneys and Associate Member Accounting Firms, mark your calendars for GBA's annual President/CEO Conference, Bank Counsel Conference and Bank Accountant Conference.  These three events will be held simultaneously Oct. 12-14 at The Ritz-Carlton Lodge, Reynolds Plantation, Greensboro. Details about the conferences will follow soon. GBA has reserved a block of rooms at The Ritz at a reduced rate of $169 per night for single or double occupancy. Make reservations by calling the hotel directly at 706.467.0600. Be sure to say you are with the GBA to receive this special rate. The cut-off date for reservations is Sept. 17. After this date, all reservations will be subject to prevailing rate and space availability. With questions or to register, please contact GBA's Susie McGehee at 404.420.2010. 


GBA Retirement Services Can Help Your Bank and Your Client Companies

Many members already enjoy the outstanding 401(k) and other retirement plans offered by GBA Retirement Services. Recent changes to SEC rules have expanded the types of companies that can participate in the GBA Master Retirement Trust, which is good news for members. The Board of Directors of GBA Retirement Services recently approved allowing customers of GBA Trust members into the Trust through referrals by those member banks. You can earn referrals for new participants that sign up, as well. Please call Mandy Richards at 404.420.2025 or Danielle Driggers at 404.420.2002 for assistance in doing a plan review for your bank or for information about how to make GBA Retirement Services plans available to your clients. Check out the new GBA Retirement Services Video, too.


Key GBA Event Reminders

Compliance Conference

Sept. 24 - 26

Click here to register

President/CEO Conference

Oct. 12 - 14

Click here to register

Bank Counsel Conference

Oct. 12 - 14

Click here to register

Bank Accountant Conference

Oct. 12 - 14

Click here to register


GBA Community Connections

Community Shredding and Habitat Donation Get Spotlight this Week


Click here to read about the latest good works by various GBA members.


We want to share all that GBA members do to support their communities. Submit your community information to Bo Brannen and David Oliver.



Read about all the Georgia Bankers making news this week...








Pictured here are the six Community Bank of the South employees that have been with the bank since day one.
Front row: Margie Hopkins; Second row: Sylvia Hamby, Lee A. Scroggins, Jr.; Third row: Tammy Freeman,
Janet Taylor; Top row: Mary Tinsley


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.




TruPS Town Hall
Aug. 6


Bank Director and Executive Management Conference
Aug. 27

Marketing Peer Group

Sept. 9


Compliance Conference
Sept. 24 - 26

President/CEO Conference
Oct. 12 - 14

Bank Counsel Conference
Oct. 12 - 14

Bank Accountant Conference
Oct. 12 - 14


AIB Courses

Compliance Calendar

Lending Calendar

Ops/Tech Calendar

HR Calendar

Asset/Liability Calendar

Management Calendar

Security Calendar

Full GBA-U Calendar


Career Paths for Bankers
The 44 most-common bank job descriptions, the skills and competencies you need to have those jobs and links to training and development by job title

50 Hurt Plaza, Suite 1050 | Atlanta, Georgia 30303 | Telephone: 404.522.1501