February 3, 2017      

GBA Priority Bill Introduced; Busy Week for the Legislature

Our thanks to Rep. Beth Beskin (R-Atlanta) for introducing HB 192, legislation designed to give bank and other corporate directors gross negligence protection in lawsuits involving their decision-making process. The legislation addresses the results of recent court decisions and a jury trial involving the officers and directors of Buckhead Community Bank. Here’s a link to more information about the need for the legislation. Original cosponsors of the bill are..

Last Call for Women in Banking Conference - Feb. 9-10

There’s still time to register for GBA’s Women in Banking Conference, Feb. 9-10 at the Federal Reserve Bank, Atlanta. You'll learn about the state of the economy, hear a legislative update, find out how to plan for a crisis, hear from experts about leadership, sample effective communication styles to convey confidence and much more. Take a peek at the conference brochure here. Don’t miss the opportunity to experience this outstanding program. You've still got time to sign up by clicking here. With questions about the meeting, please contact GBA's Susie McGehee at 404.420.2010.

GBA Supports Perdue Nomination to Head Ag Department

This week GBA joined a huge group of national and state organizations officially supporting former Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue’s nomination to be the 31st U.S. Secretary of Agriculture. In a letter to the heads of the Senate committees that will hold confirmation hearings for Perdue, the groups noted that Perdue would be only the third Secretary of Agriculture since the post’s inception in 1889 who actually lived and worked in agriculture as an adult. Click here for more summary and a link to the letter...

GBA in the News

Op-Ed Explains Why Bankers are Optimistic in 2017

Improved economic conditions, the opportunity for meaningful regulatory relief and the bedrock foundation of Georgia’s bankers putting their hearts into serving their communities are among the reasons we feel great about 2017. GBA’s President and CEO Joe Brannen outlines those themes in an article for James magazine’s January/February issue that’s out now. The magazine is a must-read publication for state policymakers, and the article helps set the tone for our advocacy work in support of the industry during the Georgia General Assembly session. One of our legislative priorities mentioned is the modernization of the state’s business judgement rule to enhance liability protections for bank and other corporate board members in their decision-making process. Brannen also took the opportunity to write about the general banking and business environment and focused on the Georgians who happen to be bankers and the work they do every day. Access more and link to the full article here...

Trump Order on Regulatory Constraint May Have Limited Impact on Banks

President Trump this week issued an executive order aimed at holding back the amount and costs of regulations. The order would require new regulations issued by most executive departments and agencies to maintain a total incremental budgetary cost of zero or less for all finalized regulations, unless required by law or approved by the director of the Office of Management and Budget. It also requires those agencies to identify two regulations to cut for every one issued. However, banking regulators, which are independent agencies, are exempt according to a White House spokeswoman. Read the order. With questions or comments, contact Joe Brannen, 404.420.2026, or Elizabeth Chandler, 404.420.2027.

Plan Now to Attend GBA 2017 Annual Meeting - June 18-21, The Broadmoor, Colorado Springs, CO

Be sure to mark your calendar and make plans to attend GBA’s 2017 Annual Meeting, June 18-21 at The Broadmoor, Colorado Springs, CO. This year's meeting will be special, as we'll kick off GBA's 125th anniversary activities. And, you'll be treated to the insights of nationally known speakers on the economy and banking, as well as the all-important networking and family time with your fellow bankers. Exhibit information and sponsorship opportunities are also now available. A complete meeting package will be mailed in late March but you can register online now...

Last call! IRAs: The Basics Seminar – Feb. 8

You can still squeeze in a last-minute registration to get answers to your simple and complex IRA questions from one of the most respected IRA experts in the country at GBA’s IRA Basics seminar Feb. 8 at Idle Hour Country Club in Macon. Patrice Konarik of Sunwest Training Corp. will provide the new IRA banker or supervisor with a complete understanding of all areas of the account as well as newly enacted regulations, including IRA terminology in a simple format, an explanation of IRA forms, qualifications, deadlines, contribution limits and more. Each participant will receive a completely updated 275-page IRA Training and Reference Manual. The price for this event is $250 per person. Click here to register online. Please contact GBA's Katina Prokos at 404.420.2021 with questions.

New Compliance Resources

National regulatory groups issued a couple of compliance resources of note this week.
  • Prepaid Card Compliance Guide: The CFPB issued a small entity compliance guide for its final rule on prepaid accounts. The rule brings prepaid accounts under Regulation E while also bringing certain credit-like features of some prepaid accounts under Regulation Z. The rule takes effect Oct. 1.
  • BSA/AML Self Assessment Tool: State regulators and the Conference of State Bank Supervisors released a new voluntary self-assessment tool to help banks better manage Bank Secrecy Act and anti-money laundering risk. We know from member feedback this is an area of focus for examiners. The tool is meant to help institutions better identify, monitor and communicate BSA/AML risk, reduce uncertainty surrounding BSA/AML compliance and foster greater transparency within the industry. Get access to the tool here...

Georgia Storms

FDIC Lays out Storm Relief Steps

The FDIC this week put forth steps that will give regulatory relief to Georgia banks working with customers for storm recovery. Banks are encouraged to work constructively with borrowers and customers in the federal disaster areas declared after the storms in January around the state (www.fema.gov). Steps encouraged include extending repayment terms, restructuring existing loans, or easing terms for new loans, if done in a manner consistent with sound banking practices, and can contribute to the welfare of the local community and serve the long-term interests of the lending institution. Banks also may receive favorable CRA consideration for community development loans, investments, and services in support of disaster recovery. And, FDIC will consider regulatory relief from certain filing and publishing requirements. Read the FIL here...

More Storm Relief Efforts by Georgia’s Banks

We’ve had a couple of members share with us additional details about their efforts to help customers and their hometowns following the damaging tornadoes and storms in January. Here’s a summary...

New HMDA Rules Workshop Feb. 15

HMDA receives microscopic scrutiny from bank examiners. It has a significant impact on banks’ CRA and fair lending performance, and HMDA data may also be used to identify violations of Regulation Z. To help banks prepare for new rules going into effect in 2018, GBA is hosting a HMDA Workshop Feb. 15 at Idle Hour Country Club in Macon. Steve Moore, Bank Compliance Services, will address these “form-and-substance” topics...

2017 Call Report Changes Seminar Feb. 16

Learn practical techniques to improve your bank’s overall reporting process during GBA’s Call Reporting seminar Feb. 16 at Idle Hour Country Club in Macon. Kris Trainor, Michael Gordon and Rachael Martin of Mauldin & Jenkins, LLC, will give participants a detailed line-by-line review with helpful tips for reporting individual items. Click here to learn more...

Compliance Peer Group

CRA-Telling the Bank’s Story - March 8

GBA's next Compliance Peer Group Meeting is set for March 8 at Idle Hour Country Club in Macon. The topic for this meeting is, "CRA-Telling the Bank’s Story." Amanda Hunt, Citizens Bank & Trust, Trenton, and Donna Russell, Queensborough National Bank & Trust, Louisville, will share their banks' stories. Lisa Anne Mifflin, OCC, Tampa, and David Sharp, FDIC, Atlanta, will be on hand to answer your questions about CRA. There will be time after lunch for peer exchange. The price is $125, and CRCM credits will be applied for. To register, contact GBA’s Alison Moreau at 404.420.2034.

South Georgia Community Bank Symposium - March 23

Attention South Georgia community banks! GBA along with Valdosta State University, will host its annual South Georgia Community Bank Symposium March 23 on the University’s campus. Some of the topics include an economic update, innovation in banking and SBA Lending. Register now by clicking here. The registration price is $159 per person. With questions, please contact GBA’s Katina Prokos at 404.420.2021 or Susie McGehee at 404.420.2010.

Public Awareness and Financial Literacy

Sign up of Safe Banking for Seniors Participation

One of the ongoing programs GBA supports as a way for Georgia banks to help their customers and communities is Safe Banking for Seniors from the ABA Foundation. Banks can now sign up to participate and get updated resources for 2017. There’s a new toolbox to help you get started that includes three good resources...

Operations and Technology Conference

You’ve Had a Disaster, Now What?

At the Operations and Technology Conference, coming up March 15-16 in Atlanta, attendees will get an insider’s perspective on the latest trends in disaster recovery from the Georgia Emergency Management Agency (GEMA). You’ll learn how this agency can help your bank in case of a disaster, what resources are available and how your bank can reach out to GEMA for assistance. You’ll also hear from two Georgia bankers whose operations were significantly affected by natural disasters. Josh Dasher, vice president, information technology/security officer at Glennville Bank and Jaye Eubanks, vice president of Information Systems at United Bank, will discuss the parts of their plans that worked, the challenges they faced and what they learned through their disaster recovery process. Click here to see details about other sessions, the conference in general, hotel information and to register online.

Bank Security Conference, April 6-7

Violence in the Workplace - Preparing for the Worst

At this year’s Bank Security Conference, April 6-7 on Jekyll Island, Pete Stuart, director of Employee security at State Bank & Trust Company, will explain the importance of developing an emergency response training plan, as well as teach attendees how to develop the mindset critical to surviving an active shooter incident. Stuart's extensive background in bank security and training, elder abuse, law enforcement (he served as a special agent with the Georgia Bureau of Investigations for 30 years), and criminal investigations make him a favorite presenter at GBA's Security Conferences and one you don’t want to miss. Click here to register online, the full conference brochure and for hotel information.

Early-Bird School Tuition Deadline Extended - Enroll Through Feb. 15 & Save!

We want all GBA member banks to send a rising star banker to the Georgia Banking School or Advanced Compliance School this May. That’s why we're offering a little extra incentive by extending the early registration deadline from Feb. 3 to Feb. 15. So, if you or someone from your bank wants to enroll as a First Year Georgia Banking School or an Advanced Compliance School student, you can save $150 on tuition by registering before the deadline.

Sound New Year’s Principles are Beneficial All Year Long

Fairness, Convenience and Compliance are the Benchmarks of Overdraft Protection

By Cheryl Lawson, Executive Vice President
John M. Floyd & Associates
If your bank’s 2017 goals include increasing revenues and customer satisfaction, a fully-disclosed overdraft protection plan may be the solution. A proven plan could fill not only both needs, but also provides fairness, convenience and compliance to the account holder and the financial institution.
Overdraft protection exists primarily to solve a common problem: a cash shortfall when a consumer faces a have or have-not purchase decision. By utilizing the service, consumers can answer a pressing situation in exchange for a manageable expense – one that’s often remedied within days - and your bank can increase income from a non-interest category. Find out more here...

Get Back to Business in 2017 with help from GBA Strategic Partner Office Depot

The new year brings new challenges to the office, and now is the time to meet them head on. Upgrade your workplace for 2017 while ensuring everyone has an easy transition into the new year with smart office solutions from Office Depot. Whatever you need, count on them for hand-picked products in the following areas and more...

Reminder: Update Your MyGBA Login Information

If you haven’t logged in to MyGBA to update your user profile and adjust your username and password, we encourage you to do so as soon as possible. If you’re unsure of your login information, you can do a search for your user account and some basic credentials to get you started on our User Account Search page. If you’re new to GBA, we’ll need to set up a member record for you. We can do that, as well as answer any other questions, with a request to webmaster@gabankers.com...

Online Course Schedule

Mortgage Lending, Investment Management, Fundamentals and More

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

Tons of Fresh Job Posts this Week in the GBA Job Bank

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.