December 9, 2016     

Georgia Represented in Setting National Advocacy Priorities

Three GBA member CEOs participated this week in discussions to set national industry advocacy priorities during the American Bankers Association's fall Government Relations Council meetings. Past GBA Chairman Stan Kryder, First Landmark Bank, Marietta, phoned in an update noting that the working group covered all the major legislative priorities and that there’s a general sense of optimism that there are some regulatory reform issues that will have traction in the next Congress. He expects ABA to publish its 2017 advocacy priorities sometime in the next couple of weeks. Also attending as members of the council were past ABA and GBA Chairman Dan Blanton, Georgia Bank & Trust, Augusta, and past GBA Chairman and ABA board member Jim Edwards, United Bank, Griffin. With questions, contact Joe Brannen, 404.420.2026, or Elizabeth Chandler, 404.420.2027.

Credit Union Regulator Sued for Field of Membership Rule

The American Bankers Association has sued the National Credit Union Administration over its final rule expanding the broad fields of membership allowed for federal credit unions (FCUs). The federal lawsuit seeks to overturn the rule. The rule allows FCUs to apply to serve so-called “rural districts” of up to 1 million people - entire states in some cases - as well as areas contiguous to their existing service areas. “Credit unions already form a trillion-dollar industry that will get tax exemptions worth more than $27 billion in the next 10 years. If this rule stands, it will further tilt the competitive playing field for community financial services in their favor, so we applaud ABA’s lawsuit and support it,” said GBA Chairman Rick Drews, CEO, Century Bank of Georgia, Cartersville. Click here to access to links to the final rule and lawsuit…

Gas Pump Chip-Card Delay Prompts Warning

Visa and MasterCard last week said they will delay until 2020 the shift of fraud-loss liability to merchants that have not converted their gas pump card terminals to EMV-card technology. The delay prompted a joint warning about how cyber criminals are targeting retailers who have not upgraded their systems. “Criminals are targeting the remaining merchants that have not upgraded, including gas pumps,” said the Financial Services Information Sharing and Analysis Center, the Retail Cyber Intelligence Sharing Center and the U.S. Secret Service in a joint release. Banks are encouraged to share the advisory with commercial customers. It includes details about how merchants can lower their risk. Here’s the advisory...

Website Accessibility Compliance Demand Letters Update

We continue to hear from members about receiving complaint and demand letters claiming their websites do not meet accessibility standards for people with disabilities. It’s our recommendation that if your bank gets such a letter that you immediately talk to your bank’s counsel about it to discuss strategies for evaluating your website and whether to respond. This will help protect your evaluations and actions in the event there’s a lawsuit. GBA Associate Member Bryan Cave, LLP has put together a resource that lists generally accepted recommendations for website accessibility and federal ADA standards for ATM accessibility to help you review how your bank stands. Access a link to the suggestions from Bryan Cave and learn about an ADA webinar they will host for us on Jan. 5…

Past GBA Chairman Gillis Celebrates 100th Birthday

GBA would like to extend special congratulations to past president of The Bank of Soperton and past GBA Chairman (1962-1963) James “Jim” Lester Gillis Jr., who recently celebrated his 100th birthday. Gillis was born in Soperton on Oct. 2, 1916. His grandfather Neil Gillis was the founder of Treutlen County and a member of the Georgia House of Representatives, and his father Jim L. Gillis Sr., was a former member of the Georgia State Senate, as was his brother Hugh Gillis. In addition to his own service in the Georgia State Senate in 1938 and from 1945-46, Gillis also served on the Georgia Forestry Commission Board and is a former president of the American Turpentine Farmers Association, Georgia Forestry Commission and State Association of County Commissioners. He is the founder of the Ohoopee River Soil and Water Conservation District and a member of the National Association of Conservation Districts (NACD) Hall of Fame.
From left: son Jim L. Gillis, III , daughter Kate G. Felton, Jim Gillis Jr. and daughter Lois G. Clardy

GBA Member Visit

United Bank Mentoring Program Gets Banking Update

We were honored Thursday to speak to a group of up-and-coming leaders at United Bank that participate in the bank’s Leadership United mentoring program. GBA President and CEO Joe Brannen presented an industry performance update and overview of the state and national advocacy outlook for 2017 to the group, which met in Barnesville. Brannen also took part in a panel Q&A session about the industry. Also on the panel were Past GBA Chairmen Joe Edwards, the bank’s vice chairman, and Jim Edwards, CEO. More about Brannen's visit to Barnesville here...

Credit Conference Next Week - Dec. 15-16

Credit Committee Thanks 2016 Conference Sponsors

We hope that someone from your bank is planning to come to the GBA 2016 Credit Conference next week, Dec. 15-16, at the Atlanta Renaissance Waverly. There's still time to register so you don’t miss the opportunity for exceptional education, updates, networking, and information sharing with your colleagues. The GBA Credit Committee would like to acknowledge a vital group of GBA Associate Members who are showing their support of this conference through sponsorship or exhibiting…

2016 BankPAC Campaign Update

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. With questions, please contact Elizabeth Chandler at 404.420.2027. Thanks to these generous members for making contributions to the GBA StatePAC this week...

How to Help Rural Hospitals

During the 2016 session, the Georgia General Assembly passed legislation establishing a $180 million tax credit program to help Georgia’s rural hospitals. The need is significant. Five rural hospitals have shut their doors in the past three years and nearly 50 are in financial crisis. Without nearby hospitals, some pregnant women are forced to travel up to 30 miles along country roads to deliver their babies. Farmers injured in the fields lose precious time when seeking distant medical attention. The problem is real, it is severe, and it affects all of us. But you can help. The three-year tax credit program begins Jan. 1, and individuals and corporations can participate in the program. State Rep. Geoff Duncan (R-Cumming) introduced the legislation and is CEO of Wellview Health, a GBA Associate Member and GBA Insurance Trust’s partner for its WHEN wellness program. Learn more about the opportunity to help struggling rural hospitals and learn more about what you and your bank can do here...

Get Tips for Creating and Sustaining a Strong Team at Women in Banking Conference

The idea of leading yourself before you can lead others is imperative to building a strong culture while letting go of the limiting beliefs that are holding each of us back from truly maximizing our own performance as well as those we lead. Tracy Smith, vice president, The Pacific Institute, Ft. Lauderdale, FL, will spend time uncovering those limiting beliefs and creating new, liberating beliefs that propel us toward reaching our goals. GBA’s Women in Banking Conference is Feb. 9-10, at the Federal Reserve Bank, Atlanta. Find out more and sign up to join us today...

Update on Overtime Exemption Regulation Status

The federal injunction preventing implementation of the Department of Labor’s rule that would have increased the maximum salary someone can earn and be eligible for mandatory overtime pay remains in place, and it will likely be at least late January before there is final clarity on the issue. The Department of Labor filed an appeal Dec. 1, and the briefing schedule from the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans that will consider the appeal indicates it won’t be able to consider it before Jan. 20. Steve Greene of GBA Strategic Partner Employment Law Compliance, in an update this week, discussed the schedule and advised clients to continue to refer to their analysis we shared Nov. 23. With questions, contact Greene at 866.801.6302.

Turtledove Prices Spike, Cost of 12 Days’ Gifts up Marginally

We always enjoy seeing the fun PNC Christmas Price Index measuring the cost of the gifts included in the holiday classic “The 12 Days of Christmas.” This year the total cost rose slightly by 0.7 percent, bringing the total price tag for all the gifts to $34,363.49. The cost of getting a couple of turtledoves is $375, an increase of 29 percent, and getting a partridge in a pear tree is a bargain at $210, 2.3 percent less than last year. See the full index here...

GBA Compliance Committee Meets, Sets Date for 2017 Conference

The GBA Compliance Committee met Tuesday to get a head start on planning the 2017 Compliance Conference. Committee Chair Jim Bedsole hosted the group at the BankSouth building at Lake Oconee. The committee’s vice chair is Janna Elrod, First Landmark Bank, Marietta. The committee is excited to announce that next year’s conference will be Sept. 20-22 at Middle Georgia State University in Macon, so mark your calendar now. More highlights from the Compliance Committee meeting here…

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.

How to Build a Strong Card Portfolio with Help from Corserv Solutions

One of the most consistent themes we've heard from GBA member banks in the past several years has been the search for new sources of loan growth and revenue. One possible avenue is the Corserv Account Issuer credit card program. Learn more about Corserv here...

Flood Zone Certifications from Industry Leader

ServiceLink National Flood, LLC is one of the largest and most experienced flood certification vendors, with over 25 years of experience. By utilizing ServiceLink National Flood for all flood compliance needs, customers are assured of innovation, commitment to quality and dedication to the success of our clients and partners. Learn more about ServiceLink here...

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...
First American Bank & Trust
Heritage Bank

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.
Marriott Marquis