July 7, 2017          

Rep. Beth Beskin and
Sen. John Kennedy

D&O Liability Bill Goes into Effect; Congratulations to our Legislative Sponsors

Last Saturday, July 1, 2017, was the effective date of most laws passed during the last session of the General Assembly, including our priority bill, HB 192 by Rep. Beth Beskin (R-Atlanta). The bill provides additional protections for bank directors and officers in their decision making. Sen. John Kennedy (R-Macon) handled the bill in the Senate. Both Rep. Beskin and Sen. Kennedy were recently recognized as “Legislators of the Year” by Georgians for Law Suit Reform, an affiliate of the Georgia Chamber of Commerce. Rep. Beskin and Sen. Kennedy are shown here at the Capitol the afternoon the bill passed. Thanks again to both for their hard work!

Department of Banking & Finance Issues Final Rules

The Department of Banking and Finance adopted new final rules on June 29. The rules were filed with the Secretary of State that same day and, pursuant to O.C.G.A. § 50-13-6, will be effective on July 19, 2017. See the final rules here. With questions, please contact Joe Brannen, 404.420.2026 or Elizabeth Chandler, 404.420.2027.

GBA Retirement Services is in it for YOU!

What is the ultimate goal of a retirement plan? At GBA Retirement Services (GBARS), we believe it is helping participants reach retirement with enough money to last them the rest of their lives. How many of you or your bank co-workers have retirement plans from which you’ll be able to replace 70 percent of your final salary in retirement? That’s the standard and goal we believe everyone should strive for to have a financially stable retirement. GBA Retirement Services has the tools to help you and those at your bank get to that goal. Learn more about GBARS here...

GBA Member Profile: Jessica Keller

When Jessica Keller started as an intern at the Peoples Bank of Georgia in Talbotton, she had no plans to become a career banker but soon found she was apt to do just that. Driven by a work ethic she inherited from her father, Jessica has quickly become a leader at her bank and in her community. Keller is a 2014 graduate of the Georgia Banking School and recently completed her third year at the Graduate School of Banking at LSU, an impressive commitment! At LSU, Jessica was a member of one of the winning teams in the school’s Bank Management Simulation course, a computer-based program that is specifically designed to provide students with a look into management and the decision-making process in specific banking areas, such as investments, funds management, risk management, loans and asset/liability management. Get to know a little more about Jessica in this week’s GBA member profile here…

Attendance Soaring as Leadership Conference Approaches

We are getting seriously pumped up over the enormous crowd of bankers, associate members and their families, who will be joining us for the 2017 Leadership Conference in less than two weeks at Ponte Vedra. Leadership GBA president Wade Johnson of Durden Banking Company in Swainsboro was excited too as he shared a few thoughts prior to the event. “We are going to see attendance that we haven’t seen in nearly 10 years for this conference. In fact, we've sold out the entire hotel! I think the rise in the number attendees reflects the quality of the speakers and sessions, and the value of being able to connect with other bank leaders from all over Georgia in such a great location. The Leadership Executive Committee has worked overtime this year putting together an unbeatable program, and we are excited to share that with everyone. We are confident that we’ll be planning for even more people next year!” With questions about Leadership GBA, please contact Susie McGehee, 404.420.2010.

GBA 125 Facts and Figures

Here are some notes of interest about GBA’s founding 125 years ago this year and the very first GBA meeting:
  • The meeting establishing GBA was Sept. 14, 1892; Lanier Hotel, Macon
  • Representatives from 59 banks attended first meeting
  • Within a year, there were 92 charter members of the GBA
  • Today there are 190 member banks.

Attention Compliance Professionals! Check Out our Complete Conference Agenda Now!

If you are the compliance officer or involved in compliance at your financial institution, be sure to take a look at the program agenda for the GBA 2017 Compliance Conference. This year’s conference, to be held Sept. 20-22 at Middle Georgia State University in Macon, draws about 100 bank compliance professionals from GBA member banks all across Georgia. Click here to access the detailed agenda. Watch upcoming GBA E-Bulletins for features on conference speakers and sessions. Online registration is quick and easy-click here to reserve your spot. Registrants have the option to come to the entire (“full”) conference; to come just to Day 1, which features Compliance Risk/Deposit Management content; or to come to Days 2 & 3, which focus on Loan Compliance. If you have questions, contact GBA’s Kathy Friestad, 404.420.2024.

Article Spotlights Joiner’s Patriotic Poem

As we’ve celebrated our country’s birthday this week, we were glad to see an article in Macon Telegraph’s online blog about retired banker Neil Joiner’s patriotism and commitment to his local community. The article details a poem Joiner wrote 33 years ago when he was president of Bank of Dooly for a patriotic art and poetry contest by the Vienna Junior Women’s Club. His poem won the contest, and people still approach Joiner in the community to tell him how much they enjoyed what he wrote. After he retired in 2015, Joiner published the poem with illustrations and donated proceeds from the sales of it to the local humane society. Check out the article here...

Ransomware Alert Issued

The FBI Monday released a flash alert about a computer ransomware attack affecting organizations in the U.S., France, India, Russia, Spain, Ukraine and Great Britain. The alert about the Petya ransomware also includes recommended steps for prevention and remediation. A similar alert was issued July 1 by the U.S. Computer Emergency Readiness Team at the Department of Homeland Security. Petya ransomware encrypts the victim’s files and uses a modified version of the Mimikatz tool to steal the victim’s credentials in order to access other computer systems on the network. In the alert, the National Cybersecurity and Communications Integration Center advised victims against paying the ransom and urged users to patch their systems. Banks also receive alerts about such threats through the Financial Services Information Sharing and Analysis Center, which is free for all banks to join.
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Noncash Payments since 2000 Show Huge Jump

The fact that noncash payments have flourished since the year 2000 may fall into the Captain Obvious category, but the actual numbers are eye popping. In 2015, the average household made 78.6 noncash payments per month, up 94.7 percent from the 2000 total of 40.3, according to the Federal Reserve’s recent study of noncash payments. Consumer use of debit cards as a form of payment grew by 40 percent from 2000 to 2015. Alternate payment methods also grew in popularity in recent years. Transactions via mobile wallets were up 71.9 percent between 2012 and 2015, while online bill pay transactions increased modestly from 3.1 billion to 3.2 billion. Person-to-person payment transactions doubled in number, but remained low relative to the total number of transactions. P2P payments accounted for just 400 million out of the 144.1 billion noncash transactions conducted in 2015. Here’s the Fed’s full survey...

IRA Advanced Update and Review Workshop - Sept. 21

Seminar to Cover Recent Changes in Individual Retirement Account Procedures

One of the most respected IRA experts in the country, Patrice Konarik of Sunwest Training Corp., will separate fact from fiction for the more technical areas of IRAs at GBA’s IRA Advanced Update and Review Workshop Sept. 21 at Idle Hour Country Club in Macon. The full-day seminar focuses on recent changes at the intermediate to advanced level. Each participant will receive the complete 275-page Sunwest Training IRA Training and Reference Manual, also known as the "Red Book," which is constantly updated to reflect new regulations. Click here to see this year’s highlights...

General Accounting - Facilitated Online Course

General Accounting focuses on topics in analyzing source documents, recording business transactions in a journal and posting entries in a ledger. This course also describes how to prepare a trial balance, gather adjustment data and complete a worksheet. General Accounting is for bank personnel at any level with little or no accounting background. Learning Objectives are as follows…

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

New Positions in Credit Analysis, Collections, Audit 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.

What’s on Your ‘Overdraft Program’ Checklist?

by Cheryl Lawson, EVP-Compliance Review
John M. Floyd & Associates

Lists are all the rage. Grocery lists, to-do lists, bucket lists and more. On a larger scale, we use lists to define the “must-haves” for just about anything. Love ‘em or hate ‘em, they work for many people. Proponents state that lists make them more organized, intentional and successful―and list-making provides purpose and structure to help achieve a sought-after result. As problem-solvers in the financial services industry, we agree that having a checklist is always beneficial. Your bank is bound by order, processes, regulations and much more. Accordingly, a roadmap of actions can help you serve the needs of your customers. They’ll appreciate a logical approach that can help them understand the value of your products and services. And more importantly, it will strengthen your account holder relationships. The same can be said for a successful and fully-disclosed overdraft program. By answering “Yes” to three items―and getting to “Yes” for any that remain―your bank’s program can contribute more to your initiatives’ success. See the compliance checklist here

Save Big on Office Supplies with Office Depot Program

Join a growing number of GBA member banks, Associate Members, Bank Counsel Section members and employees of those companies that are saving big on their office supplies by participating in the GBA Office Depot Group Purchasing Program. Get discounts up to 80 percent off MSLP on a core list of 800+ frequently ordered, deeply discounted products featuring many high use commodity items. Plus, choose 75 additional items customized to your company that will get steep discounts. There’s no cost to sign up, and as an Office Depot customer you will have access to Office Depot's exclusive Business Services Division website, strategic brand name partnerships, multi-billion dollar buying power and ease in economizing your operations. Enjoy customer service from Office Depot that is unmatched in the industry. For more information, please contact Office Depot's Matthew Bourke, 770.715.3327.

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.