June 16, 2017        

Georgia House Members Weigh in on CHOICE Act

We’ve been reporting about the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Financial CHOICE Act, mostly along partisan lines as all Republicans but one voting for the bill and all Democrats voting against. Several members of the Georgia delegation went to Twitter and the media sharing the importance of the legislation. Click here for a rundown of everything that was being said about the CHOICE Act...

GBA Briefs House Rural Development Council

Georgia House Speaker David Ralston (R-Blue Ridge) appointed a high-level group of legislators to serve on a Rural Development Council that had their second of 10 scheduled meetings Thursday in Toccoa. GBA was asked to field a panel of bankers to discuss the challenges and opportunities of lending to small businesses in rural Georgia. Our thanks to Jackson McConnell, Pinnacle Bank, Elberton; Ken Bibb, Geo. D. Warthen Bank, Sandersville; and Bill Thompson, Queensborough National Bank, Louisville, who gave an in-depth presentation that helped the Council members understand the importance of small business lending and how their banks have found ways to serve their communities’ needs. Twenty-four House members attended the meeting co-chaired by House Appropriations Chairman Terry England (R-Winder) and House Ways and Means Chairman Jay Powell (R-Camilla). Sam Watson (R-Moultrie) chairs the House Rural Caucus and was appointed vice chair of the Council. Click here for more highlights from the Rural Development Council meeting…

Diplomas Earned by 164 at Graduate School of Banking

Congratulations to the big crowd of bankers from around the southeast who completed the rigorous three-year, six-week residence curriculum at the GBA-cosponsored Graduate School of Banking at LSU. Seventeen of those graduates were Georgians. Here are some other intersting facts about this year’s session in Baton Rouge…

Excitement Building for Annual Meeting

Almost 350 Georgia bankers, associate members, families and friends of the industry have their bags packed and will be gathering Sunday for the opening event of GBA’s 2017 annual meeting at the Broadmoor in Colorado Springs, CO. Annual meetings draw bankers together to renew old friendships, make new acquaintances, learn about trends in the industry, develop best practices and have some fun along the way. Passing the GBA chairman’s gavel will be Rick Drews, Century Bank of Georgia, Cartersville, to Palmer Proctor, Fidelity Bank, Atlanta. We’ll recognize some new faces among our leadership after the meeting, but we wanted to take this opportunity to thank some bankers who will be completing their service on the GBA Board of Directors at this meeting: Past Chairman Jackson McConnell, Pinnacle Bank, Elberton; even-numbered Group-level Board members Ty Turner, The Commercial Bank, a Division of Synovus Bank, Thomasville; Doug Wren, Persons Banking Company, Forsyth; Brad Barber, First National Bank of Decatur County, Bainbridge; and Mike Sale, The Commercial Bank, Crawford; At Large Board members Kim Wilson, Bank of Early, Blakely; and Mike Odom, Citizens Bank & Trust, Eastman.

Treasury Releases Plan for Financial Modernization

We eagerly awaited the release this week by the U.S. Treasury Department of the Administration’s proposal for lessening the regulatory burden on financial institutions. President Trump ordered the study with instructions to ensure a safe and sound industry while finding ways to use a more tailored regulatory structure that fosters economic growth, not hinders it. And the report did not disappoint. Learn more here...

Speak up for Community Bank Survey

Don’t let bankers from other states speak for you! Let’s rally to make sure Georgia banks are well represented in the National Survey for 2017 on community banks, available at https://sri.cornell.edu/CB21/2017/. Taking the survey only takes about 20 minutes. The survey is being conducted on behalf of the state banking regulatory agencies and the Conference of State Bank Supervisors (CSBS). Results from the survey will be compiled and presented during the 5th annual Community Banking in the 21st Century research and policy conference, which is being held this fall in St. Louis, MO. Your input will help inform researchers and policy makers on a range of important topics. GBA and the Georgia Department of Banking and Finance strongly encourage our Georgia community bankers to participate in this survey and provide feedback on the many important issues currently facing Georgia banks.

GBA Signs on to HUD Reform Recommendations

This week GBA signed on with other state bankers associations to a comment letter from ABA to the Department of Housing and Urban Development in response to the department’s request for ideas about HUD rules and regulations that should be repealed, replaced or modified. One of the key issues in the letter is a call for HUD to change its rule implementing the Fair Housing Act discriminatory effects standard, calling the rule “outdated and legally wrong.” At issue is how HUD uses “disparate impact” analysis to demonstrate discrimination claims. We and those signing the letter see HUD’s method as being in conflict with a key Supreme Court decision, and that it creates confusion for banks as they seek to comply with the rules. Read the full letter here...

Happy 50th Birthday, Six Flags!

On June 16, 1967, one of Georgia’s iconic attractions, Six Flags Over Georgia, opened for business. Dan Oliver and his colleagues at Vinings Bank in Smyrna, hosted a community event honoring the venerable Cobb County entertainment complex. Current park CEO Dale Kaetzel told those attending of the $300 million impact the park has on the state’s economy and discussed plans to expand. To properly recognize the 50-year milestone, the bank called on longtime friend Bob Shaw to lead a “Six Flags Choir” in singing happy birthday to the park. Shown in the picture below with Shaw are two original Six Flags employees (and reluctant choir members): GBA president and CEO Joe Brannen (R) and former park president Melinda Ashcraft (on Shaw’s right). In an article in the Marietta Daily Journal about the bank’s party, Brannen was quoted while talking about lessons learned from working at Six Flags that summer saying, “You can be successful if you’re willing to turn your company over 500 19-year-olds who think they’re at summer camp…it’s the most fun I ever had making $1.40 an hour!” More from the fun celebration here...

Consumer Real Estate Lending for Small Banks Seminar – Aug. 24

Since the CFPB began issuing new TILA and RESPA rules in 2013, so much confusion in the operations area and doubts over financial profitability have been created that some small banks have decided to stop offering consumer real estate loans to their customers. GBA’s Consumer Real Estate Lending for Small Banks seminar with Steve Moore, Bank Compliance Services, will address the following challenges faced by small banks that offer these loans...

Did you know……..

Ethical Issues for Bankers – Bankers Code of Conduct

Ethical Issues for Bankers teaches how to observe an institution's code of conduct and adhere to federal laws. The course examines the guidelines that determine banking ethics, and introduces the ethical framework to perform upright decision-making and explores ethical dilemmas that occur in financial institutions, and how to apply a thoughtful four-step approach to such dilemmas. This course is applicable for bank personnel at all levels. Learning objectives include...

Summer Online Classes

Online Summer School – Training on Your Schedule

ABA online classes feature an online learning community with fellow students, instructor guidance and feedback. These courses have weekly assignments as well as midterm and final exams. Any employee of a GBA member bank can participate. 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

New Positions in Risk Management, Loan Operations 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.

Ideas for Funding Benefit Programs that Retain Employees

Learn the Advantages of Bank Owned Life Insurance (BOLI) Programs from EBS

Executive Benefit Specialists, LLC (EBS) specializes in the placement and service of Bank Owned Life Insurance (BOLI) programs. These programs use BOLI to finance existing employee benefits, as well as to informally fund new or existing nonqualified executive benefit plans. EBS offers implementation and plan design services as well as administrative services. If you have BOLI now and need or want to consider a new service provider, EBS can assist you with compliance and reports essential for your bank, board and regulators. Click here to learn more about EBS…

Discounts Available for DOR-Approved E-Titling Provided by DDI

Decision Dynamics, Inc. (DDI) is GBA's preferred provider of the Premier eTitleLien™ product, a leading web-based computer program that enables lienholders to exchange lien and title information with the Georgia Department of Revenue Motor Vehicle Division thus eliminating the need to obtain paper titles for vehicle and mobile home collateral management. When liens are released, a paper title is mailed to the owner (or designated name/address) by the appropriate titling agency. Premier eTitleLien™ provides a number of additional services, including: electronic request for a paper title, electronic generation of title application forms, Lien Alert Processing, VIN verification, and VIN valuation. DDI is now also offering volume discounts on pricing. For volumes over 10 titles per month, the per-unit price drops significantly. And now, there is no software to install, nothing to purchase and no support charges or training fees. For more information, please contact DDI's Todd Phillips at 803.808.0117.

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. Read all about the Community Connections our banks and members have below. 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, or if your company would like to sponsor this content, let us know. 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.