August 12, 2016       


White House Report Misses the Mark about Dodd-Frank Effects

There’s lots of buzz this week about a report from the President’s Council of Economic Advisers that downplays the effects of the Dodd-Frank Act on community bank performance and consolidation. The report argues that the general improved performance metrics for community banks is evidence that the Dodd-Frank Act hasn’t hindered community bank health. It’s our view that those better lending metrics really are in spite of the regulatory environment and more closely tied to improved economic conditions. “I’m a community banker and I just don’t get the logic of the report,” says GBA Chairman Rick Drews, Century Bank of Georgia, Cartersville. Read more reaction and analysis of the White House Report here...

Call Report Reform

Proposal to Cut 40 Percent of Call Report Data Entries

A new proposal from regulators would cut 24 pages and 950 data items from Call Reports for banks with less than $1 billion in assets and no foreign offices. The streamlined Call Report would also allow filing of some schedules on an annual or semiannual basis, and would include simplified reporting about some activities such as credit card lending, derivatives and trading. GBA has pressed the federal regulators to simplify the Call Report for some time since much of the data being requested has little or nothing to do with the safety and soundness of banks. More work needs to be done, but this proposed change is certainly a step in the right direction. More news about Call Report relief here...

Member Profile

Sammons’ Tractor Therapy and Wisdom from GBA Peers

Like all bankers these days, Brent Sammons’ plate at the bank is full of regulatory, security and technology challenges, among other things. So, when he’s not at the bank he likes to get outdoors to unwind. “We live in the country so I enjoy being outdoors whether hunting or just working around the house. Another life lesson I learned from Dad is that a tractor and a mower provide a tremendous amount of therapy for the mind,” he says. Sammons is the president and CEO of Altamaha Bank & Trust in Vidalia and the Group 1 representative to the GBA board. Read about how he calls on his GBA peers for wisdom, how he got into banking and his first job at the local hardware store in this week’s GBA Member profile on our website...

De Novo Bank Conference - Sept. 14

There are recent signs regulators are inviting qualified de novo bank applications, including the FDIC shortening the de novo period back to three years. With 47 Georgia counties and many pockets in metro areas without a locally-headquartered bank, there may also be opportunities in the marketplace. Is the time right for a new round of de novo banks? Find out by attending GBA’s De Novo Conference, presented in partnership with Troutman Sanders, LLP and Porter Keadle Moore, LLP, on Sept. 14 at the Cherokee Town Club in Atlanta. Click here to learn more and sign up...

Bank Counsel and Associate Members – It’s BankPAC Campaign Time

Over the past, we have invited GBA Associate Members and Bank Counsel Section members to join in our political efforts by contributing to the GBA StatePAC. There are two ways to do this: by participating in the 2016 BankPAC golf tournament on Oct. 17 or by contributing directly to the fund. Thanks to Bank Counsel Member Gary Pannell with Jones Walker, LLP and BankPAC Chair Tom Wiley, State Bank & Trust for contributing to the GBA StatePAC this week and thanks to the officers, directors and eligible employees of the following banks for contributing to the GBA FedPAC...

Reminder: Update Your MyGBA Member Profile

Please take advantage of the MyGBA feature on our website. MyGBA is a quick and easy way for you to see your membership profile with us and keep up with how you interact with your association in a variety of ways. In particular, please make sure your contact info is correct and check the boxes about your primary role and topical interests. Here’s a rundown of all the information you have at your fingertips:
  • Name, address, phone number and email address
  • Current and past involvement with GBA Committees and Boards
  • Upcoming GBA events for which you’ve registered
  • See and export a list of most of the GBA events, conferences, seminars and other professional development courses in which you’ve taken part
  • A history of your personal GBA FedPac contributions
  • Subscriptions to GBA publications
  • Professional development interests and key responsibilities at your bank to help us deliver relevant resources with you.
Contact David Oliver, 404.420.2036 or Bo Brannen, 404.420.2014 with questions.

Public Awareness

Leverage GBA Social Channels to Spotlight Your Community Efforts

Part of what we do here at GBA is to help you and all our members tell the story about how bankers are a strong force for good works in Georgia’s hometowns. We’re doing that by focusing our Facebook page and Twitter feed heavily on member community outreach and member personnel news. If you, your co-workers and your bank are involved in great community projects or have good news about your team members, please share it with us, your friends and our social community by posting to our sites. With questions, contact Bo Brannen, 404.420.2014.

Quarterly Update from GBA Retirement Services

GBA Retirement Services provides its members a quarterly update of items trending in the industry. Click Here for GBARS Second Quarter newsletter. Among the articles in this month’s newsletter:
  • Lifestyles™ commentary written by one of Reliance Trust’s senior investment managers.
  • Commentary from Reliance Trust Company on second quarter market trends.
  • Great savings tips and ideas on how to prepare yourself for retirement.

Crime and Punishment

Big-Time Cybercriminal Extradited, to Face Charges in Atlanta

Chalk one up for the good guys. Evgeny Tarasovich Levitskyy, a/k/a Vinchenco, a/k/a Vinch, a/k/a M.U.R.D.E.R.E.R., 31, of Nikolaev, Ukraine, was arraigned Monday before Catherine M. Salinas, United States Magistrate Judge, on federal charges of conspiracy to commit bank fraud, bank fraud, conspiracy to commit wire fraud and wire fraud. Levitskyy is charged with being part of a ring of criminals that in 2008 hacked into the Atlanta-based U.S. payment processing division of the Royal Bank of Scotland Group PLC. A team of hackers and cashers, stationed in 280 cities around the world, used the data to steal over $9 million dollars in 12 hours from 2100 ATMs worldwide. Get all the details here...

It’s Time to Sign up for the Third Round of WHEN!

More than 60 banks have signed up for WHEN, and now it’s your bank's turn! WHEN is the no-cost, well-being program making everyone at the bank Feel Better.This will be the last opportunity to sign-up, so don’t miss out! We hope you join us as we make our Georgia Banking community healthier! Sign up today by clicking here so that your bank can start Feeling Better. To learn more, simply go to

Regulatory Hot Buttons Workshop – Aug. 24

Is Shareholder Succession the Way Out of Consolidation?

Presented in partnership with KPN Consulting, this program features a variety of experts covering current industry trends and providing insight about the appropriate way to navigate the independence decision, regulatory capital expectations and regulatory relations in a compliance-oriented environment. Other sessions include...

Proactive Capital Planning Session Scheduled at President/CEO Conference

At this year’s GBA President/CEO Conference, Elaine Demarest will brainstorm with you about how to find capital resources, seek self-sustaining profits in a “lower for longer” interest rate environment, assess current risks to capital, methods to help manage shareholder liquidity, adminster sensible dividend policies, and effective use of your parent companies. GBA’s President /CEO Conference is Oct. 2-4 at The Ritz-Carlton Lodge, Reynolds Plantation, Greensboro. Conference brochures will be mailed soon but you can register here now. GBA has reserved a block of rooms at The Ritz at a reduced rate of $182 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. 2. After this date, all reservations will be subject to prevailing rate and space availability.

New Courses! Banking Fundamentals

Banking Fundamentals includes three 4-week courses that combine the principles of the banking industry with real-world application—in a flexible and targeted format. Ideal for emerging bankers or bankers seeking to gain a broader understanding of today's changing world of financial services, Banking Fundamentals is a fully online, interactive series of courses offered in an entirely new learning style. See a brief video overview of the program here. To find out more about this ABA course contact Alison Moreau, 404.420.2034.


BSA for Lenders, Military Lending Act and More

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 for more details.

Universal Banker and Online Courses

Instructor-led ABA online 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 ABA instructor-led courses for August and Sept...

Changes Are Coming to Bank Assetpoint!

Please visit the redesigned to see the new section spotlighting performing loans and loan referral programs, to supplement the personalized service you receive from their regional sales professionals. The new Bank Assetpoint® website will continue to include listings for loan assets and other content, but you will need to reset your password to access secure content. To do so, simply use your existing Bank Assetpoint Participant user name and, at the prompt, submit a new password. If you need assistance with the login process or have any questions about the new site, email us at or call 866.899.5799.

The GBA Job Bank Gets Results

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.

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. 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. Here's our latest installment...
United Community Bank in Blairsville recently honored eight individuals and eight branch teams for their outstanding performance during the second quarter of 2016.

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.