Georgia Bankers Association - The Resource that Empowers

March 7, 2014


Attention Attorneys!

Status of Important Banking Cases for
March 2014


GBA-Endorsed ABA Insurance Program Distributes $20,000 to
19 Participating
GBA Member Banks

American Bankers Mutual Insurance, Ltd. has declared $1.1 million in distributions this year to be shared by more than 980 banks across the country. Nineteen Georgia banks will share more than $20,000. American Bankers Mutual Insurance, Ltd., the reinsurer of the ABA Insurance Services program, has declared distributions to eligible member banks for 24 consecutive years, totaling $79 million in distributions since the program's inception. Nearly $2.4 million of that has been shared with Georgia banks. Bank members of ABA that purchase their directors and officers, bond and related insurance from ABA Insurance Services are eligible to receive a distribution. For most banks, the distribution easily covers annual ABA dues for that bank. For more information about ABA Insurance, contact Patricia P. Williams, CPCU, 216.220.1280 or GBA's endorsed in-state agent, Hayward McEver, 404.949.3825.

Please Take a Moment to Read this Important Information from GBA Strategic Partner Deluxe

Banks that have taken a competitive look at their check program over the past few years have realized big savings off their current check program costs. If your check program contract ends this year or if it has been a while since you've had a thorough review of your program, we ask that you consider talking with Kevin Jefferson of Deluxe, our endorsed provider of check programs. Through our partnership with Deluxe, the GBA is able to offer an exceptional program for your bank. The relationship between Deluxe and the GBA means that we work closely with them to ensure they provide your bank with excellent service and the program delivers...


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GBA Priority Bill Passes Senate

The Georgia General Assembly is in session every day this week, and Friday will be day 34 of the 40-day session. Thursday the Senate passed GBA's priority bill, H.B. 824 by Rep. Richard Smith (R-Columbus), that clarifies fees charged by Georgia-chartered banks are in fact fees and should not be considered interest. The bill now goes back to the House, which is expected to agree with a slight amendment made in the Senate. Our thanks to Sen. Jesse Stone (R-Waynesboro) for ably handling the bill in the Senate. GBA's other priority bill, H.B. 809 by Rep. Bruce Williamson (R-Monroe) making Georgia a less-friendly state for patent trolls, is also expected to come up for a final vote in the House soon. It's been a busy week. Monday was Crossover Day, which is the day bills must pass their body of origin in order to be considered by the other body. Several bills GBA has been monitoring saw action this week, and we will report more in our Legislative Update after the General Assembly adjourns for the week. With questions, contact either Elizabeth Chandler, 404.420.2027, or Joe Brannen, 404.402.2026.


Georgia Supreme Court Issues Positive Ruling

The Georgia Supreme Court March 3 issued an important ruling related to the standard of care a trustee has in serving as a corporate officer. In the ruling, the court overturned an appeals court decision that would have resulted in a trustee's management of certain family entities to be scrutinized using a higher-than-appropriate level of fiduciary standards. Read more details about the Georgia Supreme Court's decision and access a link to the complete ruling...


Flood Insurance Bill Passed by U.S. House

The U.S. House this week passed a GBA-supported bill that would make big strides in protecting the affordability of flood insurance. The bill caps rate increases for policyholders at 18 percent per year, reinstates grandfathered status for properties built to code before updated flood maps were adopted and allows new buyers to assume existing flood policies when buying properties. The provisions address many of the significant concerns we had with the Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2012. Learn about more Flood Insurance Legislation and find out about some good GBA resources for education and compliance with new and current laws...


Great Breakout Sessions Set for 2014 Annual Meeting

The planning process is well underway for GBA's 2014 Annual Meeting June 15-18 at The Greenbrier in White Sulphur Springs, WV. Back by popular demand, we will have several breakout sessions that will cover topics including bank consolidation, the challenges of the modern bank director, managing rising interest rates, the new world of mortgage lending and much more. You can go ahead and register now! Click here for hotel rates and access to online registration...


How Durbin and Franken are Wrong on Data Security

GBA joined 52 other state bankers associations this week in opposing efforts by Sens. Richard Durbin (D-Ill.) and Al Franken (D-Minn.) to specifically increase scrutiny on banks' data security efforts in the wake of large retail security breaches. GBA signed on to a letter to Federal Reserve Chairman Janet Yellen outlining the industry's concerns with the senators' request for information from the Federal Reserve Board on the data security efforts of banks, along with an implicit urging for greater oversight of financial institutions. Read how strong banks' track record is compared to retailers and access a link to the full letter to Yellen here...


Operations and Technology Conference

Branch Trends, Fraud Identification, Mobile Banking take Center Stage

Great ideas about how to use technology to get closer to customers as well as protect them were two of the key themes this week at the annual GBA Operations and Technology Conference. A large crowd of member Operations and Technology professionals attended. Our thanks to the GBA's Operations and Technology Committee  for planning such a great program. Jim Stewart, United Community Bank, Blairsville is the committee Chairman, and Leesa Anderson, State Bank of Cochran, is the Vice Chair. Thanks also to our many sponsors and exhibitors who helped make the conference a success. They are listed here. Read more about some of the sessions...



Improved Georgia Bank Performance Highlighted

GBA's efforts to promote the improved environment for the state's banks paid off this week with an article in the Savannah Morning News. The article highlighted the continued climb in the number of banks reporting profitability and the continued improvement of customer credit quality. Member bank CEOs Brian Foster, First Chatham Bank, and Jim LaHaise, Coastal Bank, were also quoted in the story. With questions, call David Oliver, 404.420.2036.


Take Care in Payroll Reporting of Non-Qualified Deferred Compensation Vehicles

Non-qualified deferred compensation vehicles are becoming increasingly popular as a way to reward, retain and attract key employees, so it is important to take the necessary steps to ensure that such plans are administered to comply with payroll tax rules, says GBA Strategic Partner Executive Benefit Specialists, LLC (EBS). The consequences of poor tax planning can be costly for the executive participant and the bank. This linked AALU Washington Report from Feb. 6 highlights the importance of properly administering non-qualified deferred compensation plans. Discover the key take-away from the article according to EBS here...


Smart Balance Sheet Management to be Discussed at Bank Symposium - April 3

Join Rob Cochran, CFO of BrandBank, Lawrenceville, at the Southeastern Community Bank Symposium as he provides you with primer on the valid and sensible use of hedging and derivatives. What fits for community banks? He'll also provide tips for dealing with unrealized bond losses and provide smart strategies to prepare for rising rates. The Symposium is April 3 at Forest Heights Country Club in Statesboro. To register, click here. Be sure to take advantage of the special pricing structure by registering several people from your bank for this event. The registration price is $159 for the first attendee and $129 per person for each additional attendee. With questions, please contact GBA's Susie McGehee at 404.420.2010.


How to Evaluate Auctions to Clear OREO Inventory

We noted in last week's overview of the FDIC year-end information that Georgia bank OREO levels in 2013 declined by about $600 million from year-end 2012. That's' certainly good news. Banks looking to continue shedding OREO assets may be considering auctions as a possible way to do so. Here's a helpful article from GBA Associate Member John Dixon & Associates outlining the various auction types and tips for choosing an auction company. With questions, contact John Dixon & Associates' Buddy Lee, 850.765.2353, or Bob Green, 770.425.1141.


Bank Robber Gets 210 Months in Prison

Recco Roger Collins, of Albany has been sentenced to serve nearly 18 years' (210 months) in federal prison for armed bank robbery by the Honorable W. Louis Sands, United States District Court Judge, in Albany. Collins had pled guilty to driving a getaway vehicle during a February 2013 robbery of Peoples South Bank in Donalsonville, as well as to robbing the Trust Bank in Adel during the same month. U.S. Attorney Michael Moore said, "Mr. Collins provided the getaway ride for two violent criminals, and, while doing so, he put human lives and property in jeopardy. He has well earned his lengthy stay in federal prison." Read more details here.


Beige Book

Expansion Continues, but Weather Puts Brakes on Economy

Economic activity expanded slowly in early January and February across the Federal Reserve's Sixth District, which includes Georgia. The outlook remains positive overall, even though winter weather affected some sectors, according the Fed's Beige Book economic summaries out this week. See what bankers were saying about loan and refi demand, the effects of mortgage rules and more...


Last Chance

Loan Documentation Seminar - March 13

Don't miss the opportunity to learn from Mike Allen, Executive Vice President, State Bank and Trust Company, Atlanta at GBA's Loan Documentation Seminar as he shares techniques for proper loan documentation. Prevention of loan losses through implementation of proper loan structuring and documentation techniques is critical in the banking industry today. Mike will cover these issues along with other topics including: background and review, identifying the borrower, identifying the collateral, evidencing the debt, attaching and perfecting the collateral, real estate specifics and much more. Designed for commercial loan officers, commercial loan personnel, loan assistants and closing specialists, the seminar is March 13 at Idle Hour Country Club in Macon. With questions, please contact GBA's Danielle Driggers at 404.420.2002.


Information Security Officer (ISO) Seminar - March 20

Join the growing crowd of Information Security Officers, Compliance Officers and network administrators already signed up for this seminar that will highlight all the information you need to be a successful professional in this role. You will get a better understanding of the regulatory requirements and expectations, and we will define the internal roles and responsibilities including coordination with NetAdmin, reporting to the board of directors, leading the IT steering committee and the ISO's role in audits and examinations. Helpful checklists and white papers will be included. Registration is $225 for members. The seminar will be at the Idle Hour Country Club in Macon. For more information or to register, click here. For personal assistance contact GBA's Danielle Driggers at 404.420.2015.


Compliance Peer Group Meeting - March 25

Compliance Management, UDAAP and New Flood Rules

The next GBA Compliance Peer Group Meeting is March 25 at Idle Hour Country Club in Macon from 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. We have two speakers for this event. Brad Washburn with Steve H. Powell and Company will discuss new flood rules, and Harriett Price, also with Steve H. Powell and Company, will cover UDAAP and tips for complying with updated guidelines. Click here to learn more and to register or contact Alison Moreau, 404.420.2034.


Key GBA Event Reminders

Loan Documentation

March 13

Click here to register

Southeastern Community Bank Symposium

April 3

Click here to register

Bank Security Conference

April 10-11

Click here to register

Georgia Banking School

May 4 - 9

Click here to register

Southern Operations & Technology School

May 4 - 9

Click here to register


2014 Annual Meeting

June 15 - 18

Click here to register


GBA Community Connections

GBA Members Support Research for Healthy Children, Work to Remember Veterans, Sponsor Community Arts and More

Click here to read about the latest good works by various GBA members. We want to share all that GBA members do to support their communities. Submit your community information to Bo Brannen and David Oliver.

Community Connections is brought to you by Diebold Inc.

For more than 150 years, Diebold, Incorporated, has brought together a combination of innovation, expertise and quality service to become a global leader in providing integrated self-service solutions, security systems and services. Find out more about Diebold here.



Read about all the Georgia Bankers making news this week...










The National Bank of Georgia Team with Melinda Coker
and Lora Lee of SBAP


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.



Loan Documentation Seminar
March 13

IRA Basics
March 19

Compliance Peer Group
March 25

Bank Security Conference
April 10 - 11

Deposit and Operations Compliance Seminar
April 15

Basic Lending Compliance, Two-day Seminar
April 16 - 17


New Account Documentation and Compliance Seminar
April 24

Analyzing Financial Statements Seminar
April 30

Georgia Banking School
May 4 - 9

Southern Operations & Technology School
May 4 - 9

2014 Annual Meeting
June 15 -18
White Sulphur Springs, WV


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