December 16, 2016     


Yahoo Breach Good time to Remind Employees, Customers about Data Security

Scammers may spring into high gear in the wake of this week’s news about 1 billion Yahoo accounts being compromised. It’s common for criminals to use headline events such as this to target consumers with fake but realistic looking attempts to trick them out of sharing account information, passwords and other sensitive data. As a resource, we’ve updated our Communications Guide that has tips for consumers to protect accounts. You’re welcome to share this directly or incorporate any of it into your employee or customer outreach. Click here for the guide. With questions, contact David Oliver, 404.420.2036.
Related: Our Women in Banking Conference Feb. 9-10 features a great session about cybersecurity and data breach crisis management planning. See more details below.

Fed Bumps up Rates, Signals More Increases in 2017

As expected, the Federal Reserve Open Market Committee Wednesday raised the target range for the federal funds rate to 0.5 percent to 0.75 percent. Polling of members about rate forecasts into 2017 also suggested the Fed may raise rates three times next year, as well as three increases in 2018 and 2019. “The Committee expects that, with gradual adjustments in the stance of monetary policy, economic activity will expand at a moderate pace and labor market conditions will strengthen somewhat further. Inflation is expected to rise to 2 percent over the medium term as the transitory effects of past declines in energy and import prices dissipate and the labor market strengthens further. Near-term risks to the economic outlook appear roughly balanced,” it said in its statement following its meeting. Here’s a link to the more detailed projections and analysis, including the “dot plot” graph of interest rate projections.
Related: Wells Fargo economist Tim Quinlan will share his economic forecast at the GBA Legislative/Economic Forum Jan. 11. Get more details and register here...

GBA Member Profile

Caswell says No to Micromanagement

One of the lessons David Caswell learned early on is to, “Surround yourself with good people and trust them to do their job. The best and most talented workers do not want to be micromanaged,” he said. Caswell is the president and COO, Century Bank of Georgia, Cartersville, and chair of the GBA Credit Committee. Read more about Caswell and his 25-year banking career in this week’s GBA member profile. You’ll learn about how he got into banking, his views on the challenges for the industry and how his five-person household keeps him busy in his spare time.

Chime in on National Ag Lending Survey

We encourage members with significant agricultural lending portfolios to make sure Georgia is well represented in a nationwide, biannual survey about economic and lending conditions being conducted by Farmer Mac and the American Bankers Association (ABA). Through the questionnaire, lenders can share their opinions on local farm income, land sales, delinquency expectations and other important industry issues. Any bank may participate, and the survey will remain active until Jan. 6. To participate in the survey, contact ABA’s Brittany Kleinpaste.

GBA Registrations Require Login

We’ve been updating our online registration system during the past several months and now registration for almost all GBA events and programs requires a username and password. This is part of the MyGBA feature we’ve been telling you about to help members have a full picture of their GBA involvement. Earlier this year, we set up usernames and temporary passwords for members who have been involved with GBA for some time and sent that information to them by email. If you haven’t logged in to MyGBA to update your user profile and adjusted your username and password, we encourage you to do so as soon as possible.

Improving Website Accessibility – Jan. 5

During the Improving Website Accessibility webinar at 2:30 p.m. Jan. 5, attorneys Jennifer Dempsey and Merrit Jones of GBA Associate Member Bryan Cave, LLP, will explain the current industry standards for website accessibility, steps your bank can take to improve accessibility and reduce risk and what to do if you receive a demand letter or lawsuit. The registration fee is $150 per person to participate in the live webinar or to access only the on-demand recording of the webinar ($200 for the live webinar and recording). Click here to register. Contact GBA’s Katina Prokos, 404.420.2021, with questions.

HR Resource

Georgia Bank Compensation & Benefits Trends Available

Here’s a reminder that you can order the results of the 2016 GBA Compensation and Benefits Survey. It is a great resource about salary and benefit trends in Georgia if you’re wrapping up budget planning. Salary data is reported for 58 executive and officer jobs and 16 technical and clerical jobs. Results include data about new or updated titles and/or job descriptions for these eight positions...

OCC Issues Reg Relief Rule

The OCC Thursday issued a final rule to remove a number of out-of-date or unnecessary regulations for banks. A number of the changes involve reporting requirements or disclosures. The final rule is part of the agency’s decennial review of its rules required by the Economic Growth and Regulatory Paperwork Reduction Act (EGRPRA) of 1996 and follows four Federal Register notices and six outreach meetings conducted across the country since late 2014, which solicited comment from bankers, consumer and community groups, and other interested parties. Get all the details here...

Expansion of 18-Month Exam Cycle Rule Finalized

National bank regulators this week issued final interagency rules that boost the number of small banks and savings associations eligible for an 18-month exam cycle as opposed to a 12-month cycle. The final rule, which has been in effect since Feb. 29, 2016, in interim status, qualifies well-managed, well capitalized institutions with less than $1 billion in total assets for the longer period between exams. The agencies said about 4,800 institutions nationally qualify for the 18-month exam cycle. Read more here...

Cybersecurity Breach Crisis Planning and Management at Women in Banking Conference – Feb. 9-10

Join Sharon Cook, chief marketing officer, Federal Home Loan Bank of Atlanta, as she shares tips for protecting one of your institution’s most valuable assets – its reputation – before, during and after a cybersecurity breach. She will also explore what an institution should do following a cyber-attack to maintain customer confidence. GBA’s Women in Banking Conference is Feb. 9-10, at the Federal Reserve Bank, Atlanta. A conference brochure will be available in the coming weeks but you can register now by clicking here. With questions about the conference, contact GBA’s Susie McGehee at 404.420.2010.

2016 BankPAC Campaign Update

Among the many things we are thankful for this holiday season is the extraordinary support the BankPAC has received this year from bankers throughout Georgia. Contributions continue to roll in as the 2016 BankPAC Campaign winds down this month. The GBA StatePAC and GBA FedPAC contribution forms provide easy guidelines for making contributions if you have not participated yet. We also invite GBA Associate Members and Bank Counsel Section members to join in our political efforts by contributing to the GBA StatePAC. Thanks to The Citizens Bank of Forsyth County in Cumming, Tim Perry, President & CEO for contributing to the GBA StatePAC this week. With questions, please contact Elizabeth Chandler at 404.420.2027.

Making Plans for the New Year? Don’t Forget to Include GBA Legislative Reception and Forum

Be sure to include GBA's Legislative/Economic Forum and Legislative Reception on your January calendar. GBA’s premier event Jan. 11 at the Atlanta Marriott Marquis will kick off at 3 p.m. with the Legislative/Economic Forum. On the agenda are economist Tim Quinlan, Wells Fargo, Charlotte, NC, and Commissioner Kevin Hagler, Georgia Department of Banking and Finance, as well as key Georgia legislators, to bring you up to date on the latest issues the banking industry will face in the 2017 General Assembly session. The Legislative Reception will follow from 6-7:30 p.m. To register, click here...

Fair Lending Seminar – Jan. 26

Will Your Bank Fare Well in a Fair Lending Examination?

Compliance examiners have a renewed interest in fair lending. During GBA’s Fair Lending seminar Jan. 26 at Idle Hour Country Club in Macon, Steve Moore of Bank Compliance Services will provide an in-depth look at fair lending, including a detailed description of “side-by-side loan file analysis,” common loan practices with fair lending effects and other components of an effective program. This seminar is geared toward compliance officers, compliance auditors and loan officers, and registration is $225 per person through Jan. 18. Click here to register online. Please contact GBA's Katina Prokos at 404.420.2021 with questions.

The Reference Guide to Financial Crimes

This first-of-its-kind publication takes a holistic approach to financial crimes, explaining how various types of fraud and money laundering methods are used by criminals to victimize banks and their customers. It provides specific details on current fraud tactics, money laundering and terrorist financing schemes, and offers useful examples and case studies highlighting real life situations. The guide is also a recommended study resource for those pursuing the Certified AML and Fraud Professional (CAFP) designation. Knowledge areas include...

Employee Benefit Selections are Easy and Affordable with Holmes-Shaw

Holmes-Shaw has built a full portfolio of complementary products and services around the GBA Insurance Trust's core benefit programs, allowing participants and their employees to expand their benefit selections affordably. Some of these products and services include...

Be Proactive, Not Reactive, in Fighting Check Fraud

Four Ways the Thumbprint Signature Program Can Help Your Bank Fight Check Fraud

One effective fraud fighter you can use at your bank is GBA's Thumbprint Signature Program. It's proved to deter counterfeit and stolen check fraud by getting a thumbprint on any check presented by customers who cash checks. Here are some of the benefits...

GBA-U Seminars

Compliance and Lending Topics, IRAs and Call Reporting Set for Early 2017

Start the new year off right by attending one or more of our in-person sessions coming up in Macon. Registration is now open for the following GBA-U seminars in January and February...

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 for more details.

New Positions in Credit Analysis, Loan Processing 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.

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...

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.