March 31, 2017        

Georgia Bank Named Top Performer Nationally, Others Rank Highly

Georgia’s banking industry is well represented in a couple of lists of high-performing community banks during 2016. Several state-based banks were among the S&P Global Insights ranking of the top 100 performing community institutions with assets of less than $1 billion. They were Quantum National Bank (21), Bryan Cohen, CEO; NOA Bank (22), Jay Kim, CEO; and First Port City Bank (44), Scott Ewing, president and CEO. Also, Doraville’s Metro City Bank nabbed the top spot for top performing community banks in 2016 with $1-$10 billion in assets. Congratulations to CEO Farid Tan and the entire staff. Other Georgia banks in the top 100 for banks with $1-$10 billion in assets were State Bank Financial Corp. (34), Joe Evans, chairman and CEO; Charter Financial Corp. (54), Bob Johnson, chairman and CEO; and Ameris Bancorp (76), Ed Hortman, president and CEO.

Legislature Adjourning 2017 Session

As today’s Bulletin went to press, the Georgia General Assembly was in the final few hours of the 2017 session and we’ll report more in the wrap-up edition of the Legislative Update we’ll publish shortly. Overall, the session has been a good one for the banking industry as we saw both our priority bills passed and they are awaiting being signed by Governor Nathan Deal. More here...

GBA Member Profile

‘Passion to Protect’ Drives Former Detective Ricky Robertson

Atlantic Capital Bank’s Ricky Robertson has been working in the bank security profession for about 10 years. But before that, he was a detective for a sheriff’s department. He got into banking by being recruited by a mentor, but a change in industry didn’t change his underlying personal priorities. “I have a passion to serve and a passion to protect. Bank Security has given me the opportunity to continue to serve and protect outside of law enforcement.” As a security officer for a community bank, Robertson knows first-hand that a strong peer network is crucial. Robertson is the chair of the GBA Security Committee this year, and through the years he’s developed what he calls a “security tribe” with fellow attendees of GBA Bank Security Conference he can call on for intel and best practices. Read more about Robertson in this week’s GBA Member Profile…

Last Call! Bank Security Conference Is Next Week

The GBA Bank Security Conference is coming up next Thursday and Friday, April 6-7, at the Westin on Jekyll Island. If someone from your bank’s security team isn’t signed up, there is still time to do so. Click here to see the complete agenda, hotel information, and online registration.

Annual Meeting Brochure Available

GBA’s 2017 Annual Meeting brochure is now available to view online here. “You’ll learn a lot and laugh a lot at this year’s GBA Annual Meeting,” says GBA Chairman Rick Drews, CEO of Century Bank of Georgia, Cartersville. “It kicks off our celebration of 125 years of service to Georgia’s banks, so you don’t want to miss this one.” Highlights of the agenda include Lee Wetherington talking tech, Chris Low covering the economy and Silver-Star recipient and former Marine Brian Stann sharing leadership strategies. Breakout sessions will focus on director issues, mobile banking ROI, community bank trends and more. The meeting ends with our annual Chairman’s Farewell Gala and a show by comedian Henry Cho. Click here to access a link to the complete brochure…

Summary of Trump Executive Orders Effects on Bank Regulations

Since taking office, President Trump has issued at least six executive orders and policy memos that may directly affect bank regulations. An article in the ABA Banking Journal summarizes these orders and details their direct and prospective effects. It’s important for bankers to understand what the orders and memos do and don’t do in terms of where new and proposed regulations stand, as well as the process they establish for possibly reducing regulations overseen by the executive branch. The items covered include the regulatory freeze memo, the hiring freeze memo, the two-for-one executive order, the fiduciary rule memo, the “Core Principles” of financial regulation order and the regulatory review executive order. Read the article here...


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

Georgia is Top 5 for Personal Income Growth

Total personal income growth in Georgia was up 4.8 percent in 2016, outpacing the national average and placing Georgia among the top 5 states for the category. Only Nevada, Utah, Florida and Washington had bigger increases, according to information out this week from the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Economic Analysis. In Georgia, total personal income in 2016 was estimated to be about $431.3 billion, up from $411 billion in 2015.

Youth Advocacy Spotlight

Youth Savings Emphasis for FDIC; GBA Connections

Hot on the heels of the passage of GBA-supported HB 143 that allows GA-chartered banks to open accounts for minors at least 16 years old, is a report from the FDIC about its Youth Savings Pilot program conducted during the 2015-16 school year. The report describes promising practices banks can use to develop or expand their own youth savings programs. GBA Member ServisFirst Bank was one of 21 banks nationally that participated in the pilot. Click here to learn more...

Learn How to Encourage Careers in Banking

Materials for this year’s Teach Children to Save Day, which is April 28, include presentations and information about careers in banking. The goal of the new Bankers and You materials are to get young people excited about the many different professional disciplines banks need. We encourage GBA members to participate and make use of the materials. Learn more about the new Bankers and You resources with a free webinar by the ABA Foundation April 7 at 2 p.m. Register for the webinar here. Join the banks in more than 20 Georgia communities already signed up for this year’s Teach Children to Save activities here. There’s no cost to participate. See all of GBA’s financial literacy resources on our website section found in the Member Center drop-down menu...

Marketing Peer Group – May 24

FinTech, ADA Website Accessibility Top Agenda

The upcoming GBA Marketing Peer Group meeting has a decidedly tech focus. Kicking off the meeting will be a session about Georgia’s booming fintech sector and how our state’s banks can work with them. Presenting will be Glen Sarvady, managing Principal at 154 Advisors and sits on the Technology Association of Georgia’sFinTech Society board. This session will provide an overview of Georgia's vibrant fintech landscape, highlight key emerging players, and offer approaches for banks to leverage these breakthroughs without ceding their valuable customer relationships. More about the Marketing Peer Group here...

Rural Development & Lending Conference, May 17-18, St. Simons

Experienced Farm Lenders to Discuss Farm Credit Underwriting

At the 2017 Rural Development & Lending Conference, May 17-18 at the King and Prince on St. Simons, one highly anticipated session will be an interactive discussion about the ins and outs of farm credit underwriting. GBA Agriculture Committee chair Luke Lanier, AVP and Ag Lending specialist at Metter Bank, a Division of Durden Banking Company, will lead the conversation of experienced farm lenders, including Frank Cox, SVP and Ag Banking group manager at Ameris Bank; Danny Minick, executive vice president at The Citizens Bank of Americus; and Mike Gibbs, Farm Loan manager at the Farm Service Agency. The discussion will include best practices, small group scenarios and a question-and-answer session. Be sure your bank’s ag lender or director is registered to attend. Click here to see the complete schedule, register online, or to access hotel information.

GBA-U Seminars

Lending Skills and New Accounts Front-and-Center during April Sessions

Attention lenders and new account personnel! Register today for one of our in-person sessions coming up in Macon. See below for the lineup of GBA-U seminars next month:
  • On April 13, Mike Allen, State Bank & Trust Company, will help attendees prevent loan losses through the implementation of proper loan structuring and documentation techniques during GBA’s Loan Documentation seminar. Click here to register…
  • On April 20, Suzie Jones and Susan Fonteno, Sunwest Training Corp., will teach new account personnel proper account opening procedures and compliance requirements at the New Account Documentation and Compliance seminar. Click here to register….
  • On April 27, Peter Faser, SunTrust Robinson Humphrey, will give an introduction and practical approach to Cash Flow Analysis during this program designed to improve the quality of credit decisions and increase the understanding of how a potential borrower will repay your loan. Click here to register…

Online Mortgage Lending Training

From lending practices and appraisal procedures, to all other aspects of residential lending, The suite of mortgage lending courses availabale to GBA members will prepare new or seasoned mortgage lenders to develop and maintain sound client relationships and lending practices. Find out more here...

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 Compliance, Loan Workouts, Credit Score Modeling 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…

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.