March 24, 2017         

Georgia Bankers in D.C. This Week

The state’s banking industry was well represented this week at the American Bankers Association Government Relations Summit in Washington, D.C. Several Past GBA Chairmen were part of the group; Dan Blanton, South State Bank, Stan Kryder, First Landmark Bank, Jim Edwards, United Bank, and Jimmy Burnsed, South State Bank. Also representing Georgia were Chris Bond, Lucas Cowart and Roger Miller from Morris Bank. Our group met with several members of the Georgia Congressional delegation, including Reps. Rick Allen (R-GA12), Drew Ferguson (R-GA3), Barry Loudermilk (R-GA11), and David Scott (D-GA13). Keynote speakers during the summit included Senate Banking Committee Ranking Member Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Sen. Mike Rounds (R-SD), top White House economist Mark Calabria, House Financial Services Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling (R-TX) and House Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-LA).

South Georgia Bankers Gather for Symposium

It was nice to see a big turnout at the annual South Georgia Community Bank Symposium in Valdosta Thursday. Thanks to Valdosta State University for its continuing partnership in presenting this annual event. Click here for a quick summary of the day's agenda and some scenes from the Symposium...

State House and Senate Salute GBA’s 125th Year

On Sept. 14 GBA will mark its 125th anniversary of serving Georgia’s banks and our state. As a good kickoff to our anniversary activities, the Georgia House of Representatives and Senate passed resolutions this week honoring GBA and recognizing the contributions of our state’s banks to the benefit of all Georgians. “Whereas, because of the inseparable link between the success of the banking industry in Georgia and the success of Georgia's communities, businesses, and families, it is fitting and proper to recognize the contributions of the Georgia Bankers Association and its member banks and bankers,” says one clause of the resolutions. Our gratitude goes out to Sen. William Ligon (R-Brunswick) and Rep. Greg Morris (R-Vidalia) for being the lead sponsors of the resolutions in their respective chambers. Read HR 648 here and SR 455 here...

Regional FDIC Briefs GBA, Others

GBA was among the industry groups this week attending a briefing about banking conditions presented by the FDIC’s Atlanta Region staff. The meeting included an overview of the region’s economic and banking performance and also covered consumer affairs, risk management, compliance and ombudsman issues of note. We appreciate FDIC Regional Director Mike Dean, Deputy Regional Director John Henrie, Deputy Regional Director Phyllis Patton, Regional Consumer Affairs Manager Tom Stokes, Division of Insurance and Research Regional Manager Ron Sims and Ombudsman Edye Fulcher for hosting and presenting. Click here for complete covereage of FDIC's briefing...

Durbin Amendment Repeal Gets Push from Georgia Banks, Others

A strongly-worded letter last week signed by 739 banks and 49 state bankers associations urged U.S. House members to repeal the Durbin Amendment to the Dodd-Frank Act that set artificial price caps on debit-card interchange rates. Eighteen Georgia banks and the Georgia Bankers Association were among the letter’s signatories. The letter outlines how the promise of consumer savings by retailers has gone unfulfilled. Click here for more details about what was included in the interchange comment letter ...

Loudermilk among Opponents of OCC’s Rush to FinTech Charter

The OCC last week announced it will proceed with its plan for a special purpose federal bank charter for financial technology (fintech) firms. The OCC’s process for the special fintech charter drew criticism on many fronts for not allowing adequate time or detailed feedback about the concept. In particular, a group of 34 House Financial Services Committee members including U.S. Rep. Barry Loudermilk (R-GA11) wrote to the OCC urging more deliberation. The OCC will accept comments on its supplement to the Licensing Manual document through close of business April 14. Comments should be submitted to Click here for an excerpt and link to the complete comment letter to OCC…

Last call! Basic Compliance Seminars – March 28-30

There’s still time to register 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. See below for more information:
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.

Deposit Insurance Fund Reserve Ratio Expected to Meet Mandate in 2018

The FDIC’s Deposit Insurance Fund reserve ratio is expected to meet the mandated 1.35 percent level faster than required by the Dodd-Frank Act. FDIC Chairman Martin Gruenberg said this week that the fund will reach 1.35 percent by 2018, well ahead of the law’s deadline of Sept. 20, 2020. “By meeting this target earlier than the mandate, we reduce the risk that the FDIC will have to raise deposit insurance assessment rates unexpectedly in the event of a future period of stress and help ensure stable and predictable assessments,” he said. Read more here...
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Robertson Stuart

Bank Security Conference, April 6-7, Jekyll Island

Bank Security Pros to Discuss ISO Role Best Practices

The GBA Bank Security Conference coming up April 6-7 at the Westin Jekyll Island will wrap up with a session led by veteran bank security professionals Ricky Robertson, corporate security officer, Atlantic Capital Bank, and Pete Stuart, director of employee security at State Bank & Trust Company. It’s the type of peer-sharing session that always is a hit, so don’t miss out. Click here to see the complete agenda, hotel information, and online registration. Contact GBA’s Kathy Friestad with questions, 404.420.2024.

Employment Record Set, Unemployment Falls

Georgia’s environment for jobs continues to show strength according to the latest report from the Georgia Department of Labor. “Our unemployment rate fell as Georgia set new record highs for the number of people employed and for the size of our labor force, which crossed the five-million mark for the first time,” said State Labor Commissioner Mark Butler. “Our employers continued to create jobs at a strong pace and we saw a significant drop in the number of new layoffs.” Unemployment fell to 5.3 percent in February, and the 2.6 percent year-over-year growth rate in jobs continues to outpace the national growth rate of 1.6 percent. Get more details here...

Loan Documentation Seminar – April 13

Techniques to Prevent Loan Losses

GBA’s Loan Documentation seminar April 13 at Idle Hour Country Club in Macon is designed to help your bank avoid unnecessary losses through the implementation of proper loan structuring and documentation techniques. Commercial loan officers, commercial loan personnel, loan assistants and closing specialists will all benefit from this seminar. Register by April 5 for the early-bird price of $225 per person. Click here to register online. Please contact GBA's Katina Prokos at 404.420.2021 with questions.

New Account Documentation & Compliance Seminar – April 20

The Ins-and-Outs of Managing Risk When Opening New Accounts

All customer contact personnel, supervisors and officers whose responsibilities include opening or managing new accounts and certificates of deposit will benefit from attending GBA’s New Account Documentation & Compliance seminar April 20 at Idle Hour Country Club in Macon. Attendees 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. Click here to register online...

Cash Flow Analysis Seminar – April 27

Improve the Quality of Your Credit Decisions

Join Peter Faser of SunTrust Robinson Humphrey for an introduction and practical approach to Cash Flow Analysis April 27 at Idle Hour Country Club in Macon. Faser will assist participants in understanding how to craft a statement of cash flows and increase the understanding of how a potential borrower will repay a loan. Basic knowledge of accounting is suggested but not required. Participants will learn to…

Georgia Banking School and Advanced Compliance School, May 7-12, Athens

Enrollment for GBA Schools Still Open But April 14 Deadline Nearing

We are getting excited about welcoming our new students to this year’s Georgia Banking School and Advanced Compliance School sessions in Athens this May. The Class of 2019 continues to grow for both schools, with about 30 in each class so far. There is still time to enroll a student from your bank, but don’t delay. The enrollment deadline for both schools is Friday, April 14. Click here for all the information you’ll need to register. If you have questions about Banking School or Advanced Compliance School, contact Kathy Friestad, 404.420.2024.

Lee Wetherington to Hack the Hyperbole at Annual Meeting

The headlines are screaming. Fintechs are disrupting banks! Branches are going away! Millinnials and Gen Y hate banks more than dentists! Wrong. Wrong. Wrong. The hype cycles distorting developments in technology and shifts in demographics can lead a bank astray strategically, says the latest addition to our Annual Meeting program lineup, Lee Wetherington of Jack Henry & Associates, Valdosta. Falling victim to hyperbole that hardens into “conventional wisdom” can do real damage to banks navigating the future of financial services. He’ll hack the hyperbole and help us think about the truths about fintechs, consumer demographics and branch transformation. A complete Annual Meeting package will be mailed in the coming weeks but you can go ahead and register online now...

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 350+ 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.

Three Tips To Optimize Your Consumer And Business Check Programs

Which techniques are working for your bank to optimize the profitability of its consumer and business check programs? Many banks are finding success by building online capabilities into account offerings, allowing customers to pay bills, deposit and transfer funds, and monitor balances all without ever having to touch a single piece of paper. Remember, it pays to pursue every route when optimizing check program profitability Here are some tips from Deluxe, a GBA Strategic Partner, to implement at your financial institution…

Deadline is March 31!

Looking for an Opportunity to Volunteer at GBA?

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.

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.

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…
Bobby Voyles, at right, with his wife Caroline and BankSouth chairman and CEO Harold Reynolds
Phillip Jackson and Brandon Haney accepted the Business ofthe Quarter award for
Oconee State 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.