March 17, 2017       

GBA Priority Bills See Action in General Assembly

One of GBA’s top priority bills was passed by the Senate this week and is on the way to the Governor for signature. That’s the Banking Department’s annual housekeeping bill that is mostly comprised of issues surfaced through the work of the public-private GBA Code Review Task Force. Our other priority bill restoring a gross negligence standard in Georgia’s Business Judgment Rule for the process by which business decisions are made was cleared unanimously by the Senate Banking Committee and is awaiting a final vote in the Senate. We’ll cover these and more in this week’s Legislative Update. The General Assembly has completed 35 days of their 40-day session.

Bishop Takes Aim at Farm Credit System

U.S. Rep. Sanford Bishop (D-GA2) was among the bipartisan group of House members highly critical of the Farm Credit System (FCS) during a hearing of a subcommittee of the House Appropriations Committee Feb. 28. It was the first oversight hearing covering the FCS’ regulator, the Farm Credit Administration (FCA) in 19 years. “Our members appreciate Rep. Bishop for his attention to the Farm Credit System and how it far exceeds its mission at the expense of taxpayers and operates at an artificial competitive advantage to tax-paying banks,” says Fidelity Bank President Palmer Proctor, GBA chairman elect and chair of the GBA Public Affairs Committee. More about Rep. Bishop’s participation in the FCS hearing here…

GBA in the News

Regulatory Reform Debate Noted

President Trump and his administration have consistently talked about how regulatory relief for banks and all businesses is a priority. Executive orders to pare down regulation and statements about making changes to the Dodd-Frank Act have made headlines. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution this week covered the issue. The article quoted GBA’s Joe Brannen from an interview earlier in the year, in the context that there are common-sense fixes to Dodd-Frank but wholesale repeal is unrealistic and we will focus on those things most egregious to the banking industry. Click here to see quick highlights or link to the full AJC article…

Last Call!

Three Reasons not to Miss our South GA Symposium Next Week

There’s still time for South Georgia community bankers to register for the Georgia Bankers Association’s annual Community Bank Symposium presented in partnership with Valdosta State University March 23 on the university’s campus. The event will feature industry experts who will focus on the three big issues facing bankers today:
  1. Getting the most out of your brick and mortar investment as demographics and technology innovations change
  2. Growing loans to small businesses
  3. What the economy has in store as you’re planning for a rising rate environment and a generally more favorable business climate.
The session will include a conversation between Banking Commissioner Kevin Hagler and GBA president and CEO Joe Brannen on the future of banking. Registration is $159 per person, and you can register online by clicking here. With questions, please contact GBA’s Katina Prokos at 404.420.2021 or Susie McGehee at 404.420.2010.

OCC Seeking FinTech Charter Feedback

With the April 14 deadline for comments on the OCC’s proposed fintech charter coming up, the agency has published some helpful details to those interested in the charter or looking to give feedback. There are two documents worth a look. Comments about the charter proposal should be submitted to Click here to find links to both fintech charter documents…

Operations and Technology Conference Concludes

Operations and technology professionals from GBA member banks gathered this week for the annual Operations and Technology Conference in Atlanta. Many attendees participated in pre-conference sessions Tuesday and Wednesday, which offered an operations track and an IT track of content, along with general sessions of a broader focus. The conference featured an exceptional slate of industry professionals and bankers who shared their expertise with those in attendance. Seventeen of GBA’s associate members supported the conference through exhibiting, and enjoyed dedicated networking time with the attendees. We’ll include a more in-depth look at the conference in next week’s bulletin. Contact GBA’s Kathy Friestad with questions, 404.420.2024.

GBA Member Profile

Swafford All-in on Teamwork as Key to Success

As a college athlete and banker for 25 years now, Scott Swafford knows that teamwork pays dividends. “I believe that for a leader to be successful he/she has to be willing to be part of the team, and practicing that throughout my career as an athlete has made it easy for me to adopt and follow as a banker. I try to approach each responsibility and challenge in a consistent and fair manner using this approach,” says Swafford, chief operating officer, United Bank, Barnesville. This week’s GBA member profile details Swafford’s path to his current post and why he is passionate about GBA's Georgia Banking School, of which he’s a graduate and director. Read the profile here…
Related: Register yourself or a banker for the Georgia Banking School or Advanced Compliance School today. School sessions are May 7-12 in Athens.
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Atlanta Fed Has a New Leader

Raphael W. Bostic has been named as the 15th president and CEO of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta. Most recently he’s held the Judith and John Bedrosian Chair in Governance and the Public Enterprise at the Sol Price School of Public Policy at the University of Southern California. Learn more about Bostic here....

TCTS Day April 28

Careers in Banking Get Focus

Many GBA member banks will be participating in student programs through the Teach Children to Save Day activities April 28 and throughout the year. This year there are new modules available to help encourage students to consider banking as a career. “We’ve been talking a lot at the GBA board level about ways to get more young people interested in banking, and these tools are a great resource we can use. I encourage every member bank to sign up for Teach Children to Save and make a presentation before the end of the school year,” says GBA chairman Rick Drews, CEO, Century Bank of Georgia, Cartersville. The resources are free to all bankers. The ABA Foundation, which coordinates the national program, will host a free informational webinar about the new modules April 7 at 2 p.m. Register for the webinar. Learn more about Teach Children to Save...

How to Help Protect Older Americans

There are two news items this week about resources for helping prevent elder financial exploitation. The FDIC has released updates to its Money Smart for Older Adults curriculum that provide new information and resources to help older adults and their caregivers avoid financial exploitation through fraud and scams. The ABA Foundation invites all banks to participate in the 2017 Older Americans Benchmarking Survey. The survey will collect valuable benchmarking data on the products, services and consumer education banks are providing to their customers. Participants can use the survey results to directly compare their efforts to serve older customers with those of their peers. The survey deadline has been extended until Wednesday, March 22. Find out more about both helpful resources here…

Loan Documentation Seminar - April 13

The 10 Most Common Loan Documentation Problems and More

GBA University is hosting its Loan Documentation seminar April 13 at Idle Hour Country Club in Macon to help you prevent loan losses through the implementation of proper loan structuring and documentation techniques. A faculty member of the Georgia Banking School with more than 35 years of industry experience, Mike Allen of State Bank and Trust will address a comprehensive range of loan documentation topics. Commercial loan officers, commercial loan personnel, loan assistants and closing specialists will all benefit from this seminar. Allen will cover the following…

New Account Documentation & Compliance Seminar - April 20

On April 20 at Idle Hour Country Club in Macon, GBA’s New Account Documentation & Compliance seminar with Suzie Jones and Susan Fonteno of Sunwest Training Corp. will teach new account personnel about proper account opening procedures and compliance requirements; crucial pieces of information for every new account; the fundamental questions that should be asked of every potential accountholder; and much more. Participants will receive the seminar manual customized to Georgia state law and are strongly encouraged to bring a copy of their institutions’ signature cards and account agreement. Register by April 12 for the early-bird price of $225 per person. Learn more and register here…

Basic Compliance Seminars March 28-30

Early registration ends next week for back-to-back seminars on compliance basics with Steve Moore, Bank Compliance Services, March 28-30 at Middle Georgia State University in Macon. Whether you’re new to compliance or just need a refresher on essential regulations, one or both of these seminars will benefit you. Learn more by clicking either link below:
  • March 28 - Basic Deposit and Operations Compliance - Basic deposit and ops compliance rules including BSA, CIP and OFAC; Regulations E, CC and DD; Overdrafts; UDAAPs and more.

  • March 29-30 - Basic Lending Compliance – Basic consumer lending rules, common problem areas and more with extensive Q&A opportunities and several real-world lending compliance reviews.

Brian Stann to Speak at Annual Meeting

Brian Stann does it all. He is the president & CEO of Hire Heroes, a foundation that assists military veterans and their spouses in finding jobs, a broadcaster for FOX Sports, and a former mixed martial arts fighter. Probably most important on this list, Brian served in the U.S. Marine Corps and was awarded the Silver Star, the nation’s third-highest award for valor, for his actions during an operation in Iraq in 2005. We're excited that Brian will be at our Annual Meeting to share his stories and the lessons learned in becoming a leader. GBA’s 2017 Annual Meeting is June 18-21 at The Broadmoor, Colorado Springs, CO. Get more details here...

Leadership Conference - July 17-20, Ponte Vedra, FL

GBA will host its annual Leadership Conference July 17-20 at the Ponte Vedra Inn & Club in Ponte Vedra, FL. Look for all the details soon about the agenda being put together by The Leadership GBA Executive Committee. Don't delay in making your reservations, though. GBA has reserved a block of rooms at the Ponte Vedra Inn at a reduced rate of $219 to $239 per night. Make reservations by calling the hotel directly at 888.839.9145. Be sure to say you are with the GBA to receive this special rate. The cut-off date for reservations is Friday, June 9. After this date, all reservations will be subject to prevailing rate and space availability. Brochures will be mailed in the coming weeks, but you can register online here. With questions about the conference or Leadership GBA in general, please contact GBA’s Susie McGehee at 404.420.2010.

Looking for an Opportunity to Volunteer at GBA? Deadline is March 31

More than 225 bankers volunteer each year to serve on a GBA committee or board. These volunteers are the experts and leaders who help GBA and its members adapt to the changing political, regulatory and educational needs of today’s banking environment. Not sure where you might fit? Click here to read more about GBA’s committees and boards and their roles. Or, if you know of someone who may want to get more involved, you can nominate someone - click here. The nominations and volunteer deadline is Friday, March 31. Contact GBA’s Kathy Friestad with questions at 404.420.2024.

Bank Security Conference, April 6-7, Jekyll Island

Technology Update Scheduled for Bank Security Conference

GBA security professionals who attend GBA’s Bank Security Conference will get a technology update from Chris Lower, general manager of Consolidated Business Services, Inc. (CBSi). Chris will give an overview of current CCTV (closed circuit) standards, including the transition from analog style cameras to IP cameras. Chris will explain the differences and pricing trends of both and discuss the best fit applications for new versus old. Be sure someone from your security team is registered to attend. This is a great opportunity to learn from the experts. Click here to see the complete agenda, hotel information and online registration. The early bird registration fee of $350 is available through March 23. Contact GBA’s Kathy Friestad with questions, 404.420.2024.

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.

GBA Job Bank

New Postitions in Information Security, Loan Operations, Human Resources 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.

Trust-Building and Customer Retention go Hand in Hand

By: Richard Miller, Executive Vice President
John M. Floyd & Associates, GBA Strategic Partner

Given the dynamics of the banking industry-including competition on every corner, un-banking trends and non-traditional competition-the need for transparency, value and integrity continues to escalate. If your bank charges excessive or poorly disclosed fees, that negative reaction can grow, fester, and ultimately cause a customer to defect. You can avoid most of these reactions by employing transparency. By telling customers exact account costs well in advance - at account opening and periodically thereafter - customers who may need to use fee services like overdraft protection will understand and appreciate its value more if they know about it in advance. They will gain a sense of trust, knowing that your institution can reliably meet their needs. More from Miller's article here. Please contact Waid Thompson with John M. Floyd & Associates to learn more.

American Bankers Mutual Insurance Ltd. Distributes $1.5 Million to ABA Member Banks

The American Bankers Association has announced that American Bankers Mutual Insurance Ltd., the reinsurer for the ABA-endorsed insurance program, will distribute $1.5 million to be shared by qualified ABA member banks insured through ABA Insurance Services Inc. This is the 27th consecutive year that the industry’s leading professional liability and bond insurance provider has declared distributions to eligible ABA member banks, bringing the total to $82.7 million in distributions since the program’s inception in 1987. Banks that purchase their directors and officers, bond, cyber and related insurance from this program and are current ABA members are eligible to receive a distribution. Read more here…
The new Lake Sinclair branch of Exchange 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.