May 19, 2017          

Georgia Supreme Court Upholds Key Tax Sale Case

On May 15 the Georgia Supreme Court ruled that a redeemer in a tax sale of a property does not have priority lien interest, or any interest, in excess funds generated by a tax sale. The ruling affirms an appeals court case from 2015 and establishes that the redeemer in such a sale has only a priority lien on the real property. Such excess funds from a tax sale are in effect the equity of the property and may no longer be claimed by tax sale redeemers. This will benefit banks, other lenders and delinquent tax payers. Read the full ruling here…

Call To Action on Durbin Amendment Repeal

The U.S. House of Representatives is expected to consider the Financial CHOICE Act in short order since its recent passage out of the House Financial Services Committee. There are many aspects of the Financial CHOICE Act that we are hopeful about, and a repeal of the so-called Durbin Amendment is one of those. GBA President and CEO Joe Brannen wrote to Georgia’s U.S. House delegation this week encouraging their support of maintaining this repeal. This is an uphill battle as retailers are working extremely hard to do away with this provision thereby maintaining debit card interchange price controls. Please use the link below to call your House member today and urge him to keep a provision in the bill that would roll back the Durbin Amendment and eliminate government-imposed price controls on debit card interchange. You may also dial 202.568.6811 to be automatically connected. This grassroots effort will help counter attempts by the retail industry to push lawmakers to condition their support for the Financial CHOICE Act on the removal of the Durbin repeal provision.

GBA School Sessions a Success

This year’s sessions of the Georgia Banking School and GBA Advanced Compliance School wrapped up last Friday in Athens, with 130+ students participating in the two schools. Janet Leach, State Bank & Trust, Atlanta, was named Graduate of Distinction of the Georgia Banking School’s Class of 2017, earning top grades on tests and home-study projects and demonstrating leadership through his three-year school experience. In addition, three Honor Grads were named, having also earned grades during their Georgia Banking School careers: Katie Ledford, Oconee Federal Saving & Loan, Toccoa; Ashley Moon, Peach State Bank & Trust, Gainesville; and Erin Wear, Southwest Georgia Bank, Moultrie. Click here for rosters of all the graduates from each school...

Download from D.C. Visit

We’ve had time to review our notes and think more about what we heard from the regulators and staff members of Georgia’s Congressional delegation during our annual member trip to Washington, D.C., last week. It was another packed agenda and our conversations and suggestions were well-received. Thanks to all the bankers who provided feedback in preparation for the visit and all the members who went with us. Here are some of the highlights…

Last Call! Marketing Peer Group Meets May 24

Any GBA member bank and Associate Member marketing officers, or any banker with marketing, IT or compliance responsibilities will benefit from the full day of detailed, hands-on sessions at GBA's next Marketing Peer Group meeting May 24 at The Georgian Club in Atlanta. Here is a snapshot of the day:
  • Georgia's Vibrant FinTech Landscape with Glen Sarvady, Managing Principle at 154 Advisors
  • ADA Website Accessibility Update with Janine Kasper, Strategic Business Partner Manager, Q2
  • Peer-Exchange Roundtables.
The registration price is just $125. Here’s a link to the full agenda and online registration form. We hope you will take advantage of this valuable offering from GBA University.

GBA Compensation and Benefits Survey

Only One Week Remains to Submit Benefits Data

The GBA Compensation and Benefits Survey is open for participation. We’ve taken feedback from the GBA HR Committee and survey partner, Matthews, Young - Management Consulting, to improve the survey and report for members. New this year:
  • 52 new jobs added to the survey; 137 total bank jobs surveyed
  • New features to make submitting data easier
Deadlines are May 26 for details about benefit plans, salary increase trends and director information, and June 30 for details about general salaries and salary ranges for all positions. Our survey partner is again Matthews, Young - Management Consulting. With questions, contact David Oliver, 404.420.2036, or Randy McGraw at Matthews, Young - Management Consulting, 919.644.6962.

Annual Meeting Breakout Session Spotlight

Wellbeing: A Winning Strategy for Recruitment, Retention and Profitability

Recruiting the next generation of bankers and retaining top talent takes more than the promise of a regular paycheck. The best banks also teach their employees the importance of good health, work/life balance and retirement readiness. Doing so shows each employee that you care about them enough to invest in the team. It can make your bank a destination workplace in the community. At the upcoming GBA Annual Meeting, a panel of experts will discuss establishing a solid foundation for good physical, mental and financial health at your bank. Click here to learn more…

A Note from Jenny Wofford about Leadership GBA

Leadership GBA’s annual Leadership Conference is July 18-21 at the Ponte Vedra Inn & Club. Ponte Vedra, FL. Need incentive to come and get involved? Jenny Wofford, vice president at Pinnacle Bank, Elberton and Leadership GBA Executive Committee member, recently shared her thoughts about the benefits Leadership GBA:
“Leadership GBA has allowed me to build a large network with other bankers. Throughout the year, we reach out to one another on various topics or issues that we may be experiencing. There is always an outpouring of responses on how their bank has handled the topic or issue. It's such an open network and no one is afraid of sharing. My husband and I look forward to the Leadership GBA conference each year! I enjoy hearing the outstanding presenters, the various panels and general ideas from other bankers. I promise the location where the conference is held has nothing to do with why we are so excited to attend. I will forever be grateful to the management of Pinnacle Bank for allowing me to serve as the Leadership GBA representative. I have built lifetime friends and knowledge that allows me to be better within my role at the bank.”

Getting the Scoop on Rural Banking in Georgia

We had a big crowd of bankers and Associate Members on hand for the 2107 edition of our Rural Development & Lending Conference this week. The program covered the full spectrum of key issues for bankers outside of Georgia’s major metro areas. Sessions included an analysis of economic conditions for rural areas, an underwriting panel focusing on best practices, an update on water and irrigation issues, legal focal points for rural bankers, a crop insurance update and marketing best practices. Congratulations to Committee Chair Luke Lanier, Metter Bank, a division of Durden Banking Company, and the entire GBA Agriculture Committee for putting on such a great conference. Chris McCard, South Georgia Banking Company co-chairs the committee. Thanks also to the seven GBA Associate Member companies that sponsored the conference and five that exhibited for attendees. See the list here...

Why Georgia Tops Business-Friendly State Lists

Before 2013, Georgia had never been recognized as the top state in which to do business. Since then, however, the state has earned the top spot each year. How’d that come about? Check out the video from the Albany CEO online publication featuring Gov. Nathan Deal outlining the specific factors that helped push Georgia to the top. Watch video here...

Cybersecurity Executive Order Welcomed

We’ve been a vocal advocate for consistent cybersecurity practices across industry types and government agencies, and an executive order issued May 12 is helpful in that regard. President Trump signed an executive order last Friday directing all federal agencies to follow the National Institute of Standards and Technology’s framework for cybersecurity, and each agency will be responsible for submitting a risk management report to the Department of Homeland Security within 90 days. Read the executive order...

Learn Secrets of High Performing Banks

An upcoming, no-cost webinar about how to stand out from your competitors caught our attention this week and may be well worth checking out. On May 23 at 2 p.m., L.T. Tom Hall, CEO of Resurgent Performance and strategic performance expert, will be outlining the proven methodology that takes community banks to higher levels of performance, even in a banking atmosphere that is so different from the past. Resurgent Performance is a GBA Associate Member, and the webinar is presented by Deluxe, a GBA Strategic Partner. Register here for the webinar. Please email Natalie Brooke of Resurgent Performance with any questions,

Online Class Summer Lineup

Facilitated online courses 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 company can participate at the member rate. 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 for more details.

GBA Job Bank

New Postitions in Recruiting & Training, Customer Service 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.
Georgia Primary Bank

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.