May 26, 2017         

Georgia Banks’ Earnings up 6.2 Percent in First Quarter

Georgia’s 181 FDIC-insured financial institutions earned $764 million during the first quarter of this year, up 6.2 percent over the same period in 2016. It’s also notable that for the first time in quite a while that a higher percentage of the state’s banks, 97 percent, were profitable compared to the national average, 96 percent. The average net interest margin for Georgia’s banks and several credit-quality metrics also are better than national averages. Loan growth was modest at 2.4 percent, and deposits were up 4.2 percent. Capital levels remained good, as well. “These are all indicators that Georgia’s family and business finances continue to be stable, and the economy continues to support a healthy banking sector,” said Joe Brannen, GBA president and CEO. Here are detailed highlights…

Banking Department Proposes New Rules

The Georgia Department of Banking and Finance has proposed rules out this week coming as a result of the Governor signing the Department’s housekeeping that largely contained the work of the GBA Code Review Task Force. There are a number of issues of specific interest to bankers, and the most significant deal with a new definition for statutory capital base upon which a bank’s legal lending limit is based. Other issues relate to examination authority of third party vendors; minimum requirements for books and records; participation loans; appraisals for certain acquired assets; suspicious activity reports; and audits. GBA concluded after a quick review of the proposed regulations that they synced with the legislation, and we encourage our members to review the rules carefully as some of the changes are significant. There are a number of provisions proposed that amend regulations applying to credit unions, money service licensees, non-depository trust companies and mortgage servicers. Individual bankers and other interested parties are invited to file comment letters with the Department by close of business Monday, June 20, 2017. Click here for a copy of the proposed regulations. Please share any comments or concerns with Joe Brannen, 404.420.2026 or Elizabeth Chandler, 404.420.2027.

Loudermilk Supports Financial CHOICE Act

Thanks to U.S. Rep. Barry Loudermilk for penning an Op-Ed supporting the Financial CHOICE act in the Atlanta Business Chronicle “Not only are these regulations holding back the resurgence of locally owned banks, the centralized controls regulating loan practices are prohibiting banks from working with customers to give them access to capital to grow their businesses, buy a home, or purchase a new car. Dodd-Frank has imposed such stringent requirements on approving financing that businesses are once again experiencing the crisis that led to the demise of my dad’s business - to get a loan you have to prove you don’t need it,” he said.

Durbin Repeal to be Removed from CHOICE Act

It was disappointing to learn Wednesday that language to repeal the Durbin amendment to the Dodd-Frank Act and its debit-card interchange price controls will not be in the Financial CHOICE Act when it goes before the full House of Representatives in early June. We understand that a fair share of representatives expressed concern about the repeal language during a count of possible votes leading up to the bill’s discussion by the full House, so House Republican leadership is expected to remove the provision. There’s still plenty to support in the Financial CHOICE Act, and we’ll keep you posted about its status. We appreciate the support of Georgia bankers who contacted their representatives to support the repeal, and the debate about how such price controls ultimately have not helped consumers will continue. With questions, contact Joe Brannen, 404.420.2026, or Elizabeth Chandler, 404.420.2027.

More Georgia Banking School and GBA Advanced Compliance School Honors

The excitement from the 2017 sessions of Georgia Banking School and Advanced Compliance School is still rolling at GBA, and we want to recognize some more exceptional work from the 2017 session. Students in the Advanced Compliance School worked in teams throughout the school week on a case study that culminated in a required team presentation at the end of the week…
Compliance School Board Member and faculty member Jim Bedsole, Lauren Nilan, Elizabeth Nobles, Debbie Coker, Tami Walden, Christopher Marks, Angela Woodard, and Thomas Williams, Compliance School Board member and faculty member.
Georgia Banking School Bank Exec Sim Winning Team: Julia Gainey, Jennifer Posey, Brad Rayford and Janet Leach

Georgia out in Force at LSU

Almost 60 Georgia bankers are registered for this year's Graduate School of Banking at Louisiana State University. The school's Georgia director, Brad Barber, First National Bank of Decatur County, Bainbridge, and two GBA staffers traveled to Baton Rouge Wednesday to host a reception in honor of the Georgians. "The school is a great opportunity for bankers to get the best graduate school education in the country, and we at GBA have cosponsored the school for more than 50 years with other Southern state bankers associations," Barber said. The two-week, three-year resident session school continues through next week. Congratulations to Sam Giddens of Irwin County State Bank, a division of Wilcox County State Bank in Ocilla, who was elected Freshman Class President Wednesday. Giddens is a 2016 graduate of GBA's Georgia Banking School. We're also proud of third-year student Nick Shuster of GBA Associate Member CashTrans, Austell, for serving on the school's student advisory council. See more photos from Wednesday's reception here...

Squeeze in Comp & Benefits Data for Survey

You’ve still got a little time to participate in sections one and two of the 2017 GBA Compensation and Benefits Survey. These sections cover questions about bonus and incentive pay trends as well as all health and welfare benefits, and director compensation and benefit trends. The deadline is close of business May 26. And, the deadline for submitting details about salaries and salary ranges is due June 30. Here are the highlights of this year’s survey…

Size of Credit Union Tax Exemption Jumps 32 Percent

Included in this week’s budget document from the U.S. Treasury is an estimate that the tax exemption for credit unions is worth $35.3 billion over the next decade. American Banker reports that’s 32 percent higher than last year’s estimate. That’s significant revenue that could be used to support other tax reform priorities to spur economic growth. In 2016, Georgia banks paid more than $1.3 billion in federal, state, local and foreign income taxes, as opposed to zero paid by credit unions in Georgia. With questions, contact Joe Brannen, 404.420.2026, or Elizabeth Chandler, 404.420.2027.

USAA Considering Licensing Fee for Remote Deposit Capture Tech

News reports this week say United Services Automobile Association (USAA) may soon begin charging financial institutions a fee for using remote deposit capture technology it invented. A USAA official told American Banker such licensing fees would let the company fund research and development, and that the company would only be seeking fair value for the service’s widespread use. Neff Hudson, USAA vice president of corporate development, also said that the company has sent letters to a “couple hundred banks” related to licensing the technology. We know of two such letters to Georgia banks. If you’ve gotten a similar letter, please let us know about it as we continue to monitor the issue. With questions, contact Joe Brannen, 404.420.2026.

Annual Meeting Musts

We’re in countdown mode to GBA’s 2017 Annual Meeting June 18-21 at The Broadmoor. Here’s a reminder of just a few of the program highlights:
  • Insight into the future of Fintech in community banking from expert Lee Wetherington
  • An economic outlook from FTN’s Chris Low
  • Using your ROR to increase your ROI at your bank with Tommy Spaulding
  • Breakout sessions about trends in community banks, a mortgage industry update, ROI on mobile banking, tax credit opportunities and a bank director session.
We've been able to secure a limited number of additional rooms to accomodate the larger than anticipated crowd. You've still got time to register and experience the outstanding program. With questions about the meeting, please contact GBA's Susie McGehee at 404.420.2010.

FinTech and Website Accessibility Headline Marketing Peer Group

The GBA Marketing Peer Group gathered Wednesday to get the latest on Georgia’s booming fintech sector, ADA website compliance, customer reward programs, online loan application platforms, measurement tools, customer segmentation trends and more. Thanks to the GBA Marketing Committee, chaired by BrandBanks Margaret Whieldon, for sponsoring and planning the meeting. The peer group will meet again in the fall. Click here for a few highlights…

A Note from Candice Nanney about Leadership GBA

Leadership GBA’s annual Leadership Conference is scheduled for July 18-21 at the Ponte Vedra Inn & Club. Ponte Vedra, FL. Candice Nanney, Vice President BrandBank, Lawrenceville, recently shared her thoughts on the benefits Leadership GBA:
“Leadership GBA and the Leadership Conference have been invaluable tools to my career development as a young banking professional. At each event, I glean a great deal of information from the speakers to take home and apply in my community bank. In addition, it has afforded me the opportunity to network with other banking professionals across the state, in similar position, and in a similar season of life. And the lifetime friendships I’ve built are priceless.”
Brochures have been mailed but you can access it and register online here. With questions about the conference or Leadership GBA in general, please contact GBA’s Susie McGehee at 404.420.2010.

Online Summer Classes Set

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.

Discounts Available for DOR-Approved E-Titling Provided by DDI

Decision Dynamics, Inc. (DDI) is GBA's preferred provider of the Premier eTitleLien™ product, a leading web-based computer program that enables lienholders to exchange lien and title information with the Georgia Department of Revenue Motor Vehicle Division thus eliminating the need to obtain paper titles for vehicle and mobile home collateral management. When liens are released, a paper title is mailed to the owner (or designated name/address) by the appropriate titling agency. Premier eTitleLien™ provides a number of additional services, including: electronic request for a paper title,electronic generation of title application forms, Lien Alert Processing, VIN verification, and VIN valuation. DDI is now also offering volume discounts on pricing. For volumes over 10 titles per month, the per-unit price drops significantly. And now, there is no software to install, nothing to purchase and no support charges or training fees. For more information, please contact DDI's Todd Phillips at 803.808.0117.

Is Your Check Provider a Partner, or Just a Printer?

The Deluxe check-printing program includes significant discounts for GBA members that can help your bank's bottom line. The relationship between Deluxe and the GBA means that we work closely with them to ensure they provide your bank with excellent service. The banks that have moved to the Deluxe check-printing program tell us the transition has been a smooth and easy switch. The time and effort required by your bank will be minimal, and Deluxe does all the heavy lifting. Deluxe also offers a conversion incentive to assist your bank in making a switch in addition to the ongoing discounted check printing pricing. Here are some reasons why checks can still be a profit opportunity for banks. If your bank is interested in learning more about the Deluxe check printing program or any of their other customer acquisition and retention programs, please contact Deluxe's Kevin Jefferson at 336.404.4177.
Renasant 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.