May 27, 2016          


Loudermilk Critical of FDIC Cybersecurity

Georgia U.S. Rep. Barry Loudermilk and Texas U.S. Rep. Lamar Smith this week sent a letter to the FDIC asking Chairman Martin Gruenberg to testify about FDIC data security before the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology in July. The FDIC recently revealed a data theft by a former employee, and its inspector general recently released a report about hacks to more than 100 agency computers in 2010-2011. Loudermilk and Smith are among those who have been critical of the agency’s handling of those breaches, its data protection policies and transparency about the agency's cybersecurity issues. Click here for more from Loudermilk and access to a video of a May 12 hearing about the issue

Isakson Cheers SBA 504 Refi Program

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) has published a rule that will implement its 504 Refi program to allow small businesses to refinance existing qualified commercial real estate debt and help lower monthly mortgage payments. The rule is the result of legislation introduced last year by Georgia Sen. Johnny Isakson and New Hampshire Sen. Jeanne Shaheen. “Today is a great day for small businesses who will finally be able to access low, long-term interest rates to refinance their business property debt at no cost to the taxpayers,” Isakson said. “This is a win for small businesses, a win for local economies and a win for hardworking Americans who will benefit from this new rule being enacted.” Randy Griffin, president of GBA Associate Member CSRA Business Lending, was instrumental in advocacy efforts supporting the legislation, and GBA supported it, as well. Read more here…

GBA Helps Welcome Students to the Graduate School of Banking at LSU

GBA was pleased to be in Baton Rouge, LA, this week to help welcome Georgia students to the 67th session of the Graduate School of Banking at LSU (GBS). Brad Barber, GBS trustee and CEO, First National Bank of Decatur County, Bainbridge, travelled with fellow trustee and GBA President and CEO Joe Brannen and GBA Professional Development Manager Kathy Friestad to host a welcome reception for Georgia students Wednesday evening in the LSU Union. Thanks to the terrific crowd that came out for an enjoyable time. Look for more coverage of GBS including a complete list of Georgia graduates soon. With questions about the school, visit its website or contact Joe Brannen, 404.420.2026.

GBA Compensation and Benefits Survey - Deadline Extended

There is still time to participate in the GBA Compensation and Benefits Survey. The deadline to participate in the Salary Trends, Benefits and Directors Compensation (non-salary) Portion has been extended to Tuesday, June 14. This portion of the survey is shorter this year, so it shouldn't take as much time or information to complete. The salary component is still due Thursday, June 30. Banks that participate in both survey components get participant pricing of $150, which is a $250 discount off the full price for non-participating banks. Please visit our GBA Compensation and Benefits Survey website for details and instructions. If you have questions, please contact either GBA’s Kenyetta Parks, 404.420.2035.

Foodie Wren Recalls New York Shuttle Shuffle to Deposit Checks

Doug Wren knows firsthand how technology has changed banking. One of his first bank jobs was to fly to New York with large checks to deposit at various banks before they closed at 2 p.m. Now, that’s all handled electronically, he says. Wren is the GBA Group 6 representative on our Board of Directors and Executive Vice President/Chief Lender at Persons Banking Company in Forsyth. Read more about this tech-savvy, food loving banker in this week’s GBA member profile on our website…

Election Year and Georgia BankPAC Go Hand-in-Hand

The Georgia primary elections were held Tuesday of this week and Georgia BankPAC’s involvement and success rate is something that all of GBA’s membership can be proud of. GBA StatePAC had a 97 percent success rate during this cycle, and the GBA FedPAC had a 100 percent success rate. There are several runoffs that will occur July 24, and the general election will be in November. Our team will continue to closely monitor all state and federal races. If you have a particular candidate in mind, please give us a call.
On that note, it is time to kick-off the 2016 BankPAC Campaign and all CEOs will receive the campaign materials by the middle of June. Please be on the lookout and be ready to respond to this important effort that benefits all of Georgia banking, not just those contributing. Several contributions have already been received and they are much appreciated. Contributing to the GBA BankPAC are...

Resource: Hurricane Preparedness Tips Available

This week has been National Hurricane Preparedness Week and Thursday forecasters began talking about a possible storm developing in the Atlantic that could affect the Georgia coast in the coming week. It's a good opportunity to remind customers about storm planning and preparation, especially how to protect their finances, important documents and property. It's also a chance for your bank to communicate it's preparedness. We have a customizable news release available your bank can use to distribute to local media outlets. If you'd like a copy, please email David Oliver and Bo Brannen and we'll send you the file.

Reminder: 50-Year Bankers to be Recognized at Annual Meeting

Just a reminder that GBA will recognize Georgia bankers who have devoted 50 years or more of service to the banking industry during the 2016 Annual Meeting June 12-15 in Austin, TX. Please help us properly recognize the bankers who have reached this important milestone by sending a letter to GBA’s Susie McGehee with the following information:
  1. Banker’s name and current title
  2. Bank name
  3. His/her years of service and brief work history
  4. Photograph of banker nominated and the name of the nominating banker.
This information must be received by Friday, June 3. Please contact Susie McGehee at 404.420.2010 with questions.

Annual Meeting Breakout Session Spotlight

Cyber Risk: the New Business Risk

Cyber risk is now the newest business risk. Can your bank survive a cyber attack? Can you survive a cybersecurity exam? Join Tom Hinkel, Safe Systems, Alpharetta, as he discusses the new cybersecurity regulatory expectations for your bank and your bank's board. He’ll also share the most common types of cyber-attacks and steps your bank can take to beef up your information security and reduce risk from cyber threats. This is one of several great breakout sessions at GBA’s 2016 Annual Meeting June 12-15 at the JW Marriott, Austin, TX. Click here for complete details and registration. With questions, please contact Susie McGehee at 404.420.2010.

Bank CEO Panel Back by Popular Demand at Leadership Conference

Join us at Leadership GBA's annual Leadership Conference in Ponte Vedra July 18-21 to learn from a panel of bank executives whose banks have achieved strong results during challenging times. They will discuss their methods and philosophies for profitable growth and more. Leadership GBA President Susan Keigans, Planters and Citizens Bank, Camilla will moderate. Panelists will include...

Compliance Peer Group Meeting

Third-Party Provider Management - June 21

Compliance and vendor management specialists should mark their calendars for GBA's next Compliance Peer Group meeting June 21 in Macon. Tom Hinkel of Safe Systems, and Ken Proctor from RISC Solutions/FIS Global, will discuss Third-Party Provider Management. They'll explain the steps to adequately mitigate the rick as well as what a bank should examine to determine the risk. Anthony Womack, FDIC, will join the speakers for a Q&A panel in the afternoon. Here's a detailed agenda. The meeting will convene at Idle Hour Country Club in Macon. Registration is $125 per person. Click here to register online. Contact Alison Moreau, 404.420.2034 with questions.

Financial Literacy Resource

Good Summer Reading List for Kids Available

We want to share a good resource that promotes summer reading and financial literacy for kids at all reading levels. The ABA Foundation has published a financial education-themed reading list you can post on your website or hand out to customers. There are 40 titles, and the books are for kids from kindergarten to 12th grade. There’s also a way to donate books to a local school. Banks registered for Teach Children to Save and the Book Award Program are eligible for a Fiserv-sponsored book award. For more information, contact

Families Doing Better Financially, Challenges Remain

More American families said they’re “living comfortably” or doing “okay” these days, and more people feel they have the skills to get the types of jobs they want. However, many still say they face big financial challenges. Those are some of the findings in the Federal Reserve Board's latest Report on the Economic Well-Being of U.S. Households. The Fed surveyed families in 2015 for this report. Some highlights include…

Mobile Banking Offers Pathways for Underserved Consumers

Underbanked households are four percentage points more likely to have a smartphone than fully banked households, says an FDIC paper out this week. The paper, Opportunities for Mobile Financial Services to Engage Underserved Consumers, reports on the findings from qualitative research with consumers and industry stakeholders and identifies a set of strategies for banks to consider to better position them to meet underserved consumers' needs. Mobile banking services can help meet underbanked consumer needs for control of their finances, access to their money, convenience, affordability, security, customer service and long-term financial management capabilities. Read more and find out how to provide input to the FDIC here…

GBA-U Webinars

Loan Documentation, Employment and Appraisal Compliance Tips and More

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.

Accounting and Lending Courses Coming Up

Instructor-led ABA online courses have weekly assignments as well as midterm and final exams. 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 ABA instructor-led courses for July…

The GBA Job Bank Gets Results

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 Kenyetta Parks at 404.420.2035.

Vendor Management Resource

VendSure is GBA's Endorsed Compliance Information Exchange

VendSure by Fortrex Technologies, is the industry's first, proven compliance information exchange. It is a secure, online central repository accessible to both banks and their vendors, VendSure facilitates efficient due-diligence documentation exchange and alleviates the stress of disseminating and collecting due-diligence data. Designed for banks of any size, the portal includes automatic document tracking, mapping and notifications capabilities. Other program benefits include...

The Rules on Overdraft Programs Have Changed, but Consumers Still Need a Financial Safety Net

While the overall economic forecast is improving, many consumers remain concerned about unemployment and personal financial issues, ranging from meeting everyday expenses to paying income tax responsibilities. Whether as a result of unplanned expenses or an error in reconciling a checkbook, financial shortfalls can happen to anyone. And without a financial safety net, many consumers often experience difficulty paying their bills, facing costly merchant check return fees when their account has insufficient funds. By providing a user-friendly overdraft program, your institution can help account holders avoid these difficult situations. To provide your account holders with the most up-to-date overdraft solution, GBA Strategic Partner JMFA says your overdraft program should include the following...

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. 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. 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.