November 17, 2017   


Breaking News...
House Passes Tax Reform Bill, Senate Confirms Otting as Comptroller

In breaking news Thursday afternoon, the House of Representatives passed its version of a tax reform package. The measure passed by a vote of 227-205. The major components of the bill would cut taxes by more than $1.4 trillion over 10 years, cut the corporate tax rate to 20 percent and collapse the number of tax brackets to four from seven. The Senate is yet to debate in full it's version of a bill, and anything final would have to come out of a conference committee to reconcile any differences between the House and Senate versions. Also Thursday afternoon, the U.S. Senate confirmed Joe Otting as the Comptroller of the Currency. News reports say he's expected to be sworn in next week. Otting is a former banker, having served as president and CEO of OneWest bank from 2010-2015.


Sen. Perdue, Bipartisan Group Unveil Reg Reform Draft
Georgia Sen. David Perdue is among a group of nine Republicans and nine Democrats on the Senate Banking Committee who this week put out a draft financial services regulatory relief bill. This draft is a good start. Many of the provisions included have long been part of the industry’s call for common-sense regulatory relief, and it’s encouraging to see a bipartisan approach. It’s not a perfect proposal, but there’s a lot to like in it. We appreciate Sen. Perdue’s leadership on behalf of the bankers and consumers in Georgia in working on the issue in this way. Most of the provisions apply to community banks under $10 billion, and they include...

Five Things for which We’re Thankful
Just a quick note that we will not publish a GBA E-Bulletin next week as we join everyone in celebrating Thanksgiving. Of course, we'll dash out a quick E-Bulletin if there is breaking news that warrants immediate attention. In the spirit of giving thanks, here are five things we're thankful for here at GBA...

Survey Shows Going Cold Turkey Equals Lowest Thanksgiving Dinner Cost in 5 Years
American Farm Bureau Federation’s 32nd-annual price survey of classic items found on the Thanksgiving Day dinner table indicates the average cost of a 10-person feast in 2017 is $49.12, a 75-cent decrease from last year’s average of $49.87. The big ticket item – a 16-pound turkey – came in at a total of $22.38 this year. That’s roughly $1.40 per pound, a decrease of 2 cents per pound, or a total of 36 cents per whole turkey, compared to 2016. Low retail turkey prices are attributed to large inventories in cold storage, which is up almost double digits from last year. Other foods showing decreases this year were a gallon of milk, $2.99; a dozen rolls, $2.26; two nine-inch pie shells, $2.45. Read more here…

Flood Insurance Reauthorization Passed by House
The U.S. House this week voted to reauthorize the National Flood Insurance Program for up to five years. Here’s a link to the bill. The Senate now must also approve reauthorization before the program expires Dec. 8. It’s likely the Senate will have to pass some sort of short-term extension before it can explore a more long-term package that would address concerns in the House bill and to make proactive improvements for policyholders to the NFIP. There are two possible Senate bills – the Cassidy-Gillibrand bill (Flood Insurance Affordability and Sustainability Act) and the Kennedy-Menendez bill (SAFE NFIP Act) – that are strong pieces of legislation that provide a more stable NFIP for the policyholder.

Fed Webinar Introduces Atlanta bank President
Newly appointed Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta President Raphael Bostic was the guest of Atlanta Federal Reserve Senior Vice President of Supervision and Regulation Mike Johnson during a webcast this week. Johnson reviewed charts showing loan growth slowed in the third quarter, which he speculated was related to weather events. He congratulated the industry on stellar loan performance and increasing the net interest margin. Bostic commented on the kind welcome he’d received from both the community and the staff. He reported he’d be working closely with newly named Fed Vice Chair for Supervision Randal Quarles on finding ways to reduce regulatory burdens on the industry. More from the Atlanta Fed webinar here...

CFPB’s Cordray Stepping Down by Month End
In an email to CFPB staff Wednesday, CFPB Director Richard Cordray said he will be leaving the bureau by the end of the month. Cordray is the agency’s first Director, a post he’s held since 2013. He helped stand-up the bureau after its mandated creation by the Dodd-Frank Act. Cordray’s departure gives the Trump administration an opportunity to put its stamp on the bureau with someone who will push its agenda for less regulation. The resignation of the Bureau’s director is an excellent opportunity to enact desperately needed reforms,” House Financial Services Committee Chairman Rep. Jeb Hensarling, R-TX., said in a statement. “The extreme overregulation it imposes on our economy leads to higher costs and less access to financial products and services, particularly for Americans with lower and middle incomes.” 

Studio Field Trip Impresses Credit Committee Members
In only 18 months a huge film production facility has sprung up in Atlanta inside the perimeter in unincorporated DeKalb County. A group of GBA Credit Committee members and staff toured Blackhall Studios this week to learn more about Georgia’s film industry and the opportunities for Georgia’s banks to finance Blackhall and other film-related businesses. Ryan Milsap, executive chairman of the board of the studios, led the tour and shared how his vision for a world-class film production facility in the heart of Atlanta came to be. The studio has nine sound stages ranging in size from 20,000 to 40,000 square feet. The nearly 150-acre complex also has more than 575,000 square feet of mill space, special effects and storage space, with another 80,000 square feet of office space. Attending from the GBA Credit Committee were...

Related: Y’allywood Session Featured at GBA Credit Conference
You can hear more about Georgia’s burgeoning film and entertainment industry during the GBA Credit Conference coming up Dec. 7-8 in Atlanta. One of the sessions will be a panel discussion about economic development opportunities in the entertainment industry. Panelists will include Ryan Millsap, chairman, Blackhall Studios; Jeff Stepakoff, executive director, Georgia Film Academy; Christopher Nunn, commissioner, Georgia Department of Community Affairs and Lee Thomas, deputy commissioner, Film, Music & Digital Entertainment, Georgia Department of Economic Development. Click here for details and to register for the GBA Credit Conference...

GBA 125 Looking Back
Celebrating 100 Years of Professional Association Leadership

GBA is fortunate to have attracted the best and brightest bankers to serve in leadership positions over the years. From the statewide chairs, to board members and committee volunteers, over 300 bankers serve each year. You’ve heard the expression, “Don’t ask someone to do something you wouldn’t do yourself.” That goes for the GBA staff, too, and they serve as volunteers with their professional association. This week marked the 100th anniversary of the Georgia Society of Association Executives (GSAE). Two GBA staffers have served as the elected president of the society, former Senior Vice President for Professional Development, June Somers, and current president and CEO Joe Brannen. They both earned their Certified Association Executive credentials following a rigorous series of courses, years of on-the-job experience and an extensive exam. GSAE hosted a dinner this week to celebrate the milestone anniversary. "It was great being with so many friends and colleagues in the association community, especially many fellow past presidents who attended. I learned a long time ago the importance of having people in your life that simply make you better. One of those individuals has been my career-long mentor Abit Massey, former CEO of the Georgia Poultry Federation. Abit and Kayanne attended the event and there was a long line of people like me wanting to thank him for what he meant to us, and we chuckled about a photo in the souvenir program taken of us almost 25 years ago. I hope our members find those same kinds of relationships when they take the time and make the effort to participate with GBA. Those relationships matter," said Brannen.  The society has over 700 members from trade associations, professional organizations and non-profits throughout Georgia.

Talk to Your Representative One-on-One at Legislative Reception
Don't miss the opportunity to talk to your representative one-on-one at GBA's annual Legislative/Economic Forum & Legislative Reception on Wednesday, Jan. 10, at the Atlanta Marriott Marquis. The events start at 3 p.m. with our Legislative/Economic Update forum. The Legislative Reception will follow from 6-7:30 p.m. We’ve reserved a block of hotel rooms at the Marriott for the night of Jan. 10. The negotiated rate is $279 per night for a single or double room. Reserve your room by calling the hotel directly at 404.521.0000. Be sure to tell them you are with the Georgia Bankers Association. These rooms will be held until Monday, Dec. 18, 2017. To register, click here. With questions, please call GBA’s Susie McGehee at 404.420.2010.

Make Plans now for 2018 Annual Meeting at Half Moon Bay, CA
We’re headed to Pacific Coast for the 2018 Annual Meeting, so mark your calendar to join us June 16-19 at The Ritz-Carlton, Half Moon Bay, CA. This premier event promises to be educational and memorable. A complete Annual Meeting brochure, including registration information, will be mailed mid-March, 2018. But why wait? You can register online today and we will be happy to invoice your bank before year end. GBA has reserved a block of rooms at the hotel for $340 a night for single or double occupancy. Make reservations with the hotel directly by calling 650.712.7000. Be sure to say you are with the Georgia Bankers Association to receive this special rate. The cut-off date for reservations is May 21, but rooms in the GBA block may sell out before that date. So, make your reservations soon. After this date, all reservations will be subject to prevailing rate and space availability. With questions, call GBA’s Susie McGehee at 404.420.2010. 

The Ritz Carlton at Half Moon Bay


GBA Compliance School Helped Steer Banker’s Career Direction
Heather Carlson got more than she bargained for when she attended GBA Compliance School in 2015. In addition to all the technical skills she learned, she got career validation. “After stumbling into many different banking positions, GBA Compliance School was the first solid step I needed to realize this [compliance] was the career for me. After the school, I knew I had made the right decision and no longer had any hesitations in pursuing regulatory compliance,” says Carlson, a consumer protection officer at Security Federal Bank in Aiken, SC. Carlson’s is one of many success stories shared by graduates of GBA’s Basic and Advanced Compliance School, which is open to bankers from Georgia and South Carolina. The next session of GBA’s Compliance School is May 6-18 in Athens, and it will focus on all the basics. Click here for details and to register now...

Time to Book a Spot in Georgia Banking School
If you are working on budget and searching for the best professional development opportunities for your bankers in 2018, look no further than Georgia Banking School. This three-year intensive learning experience provides tremendous short- and long-term benefits for the banker who attends and your bank. You can’t make a more important educational investment in your team than by sending a representative Georgia Banking School! The 2018 session will be May 6-11 at the UGA Center for Continuing Education & Hotel in Athens. For more information, click here. Enroll your student now to pay for it in this year’s budget, or enroll now and defer paying tuition in 2018. Save $130 on tuition through Feb. 9. Contact GBA’s Kathy Friestad, 404.420.2024 with questions. 

Financial Crimes Risk Management Symposium – Jan. 31
With the increase in financial crime including money laundering, terrorist financing, cybercrime and other fraudulent activity, there is greater regulatory pressure to become more focused on current and emerging threats. It is incumbent on financial institutions to have controls in place and train all staff to effectively identify different types of criminal activity. The Financial Crimes Risk Management Symposium Jan. 31 at Middle Georgia State University in Macon provides a forum for attendees to actively participate with speakers and peers in discussions on cybercrime, emerging threats and methods for fighting such crime. Agenda highlights include...

Are You Ready for Your Next BSA Exam (and New CDD Rules)?
BSA officers, BSA auditors and risk managers won’t want to miss GBA’s BSA: Are You Ready for Your Next Exam (and New CDD Rules) seminar Dec. 6 at The Brickyard Golf Club in Macon. To help BSA officers comply with BSA requirements and satisfy examiners, Steve Moore, Bank Compliance Services, will cover new beneficial ownership rules and much more during this full-day seminar. Moore will go over the following...

Analyzing Financial Statements Seminar – Jan. 30
Entry-level commercial lending officers, credit trainees and analysts are invited to GBA’s Analyzing Financial Statements seminar Jan. 30 at Idle Hour Country Club in Macon. A faculty member of the Georgia Banking School with more than 35 years of industry experience, Mike Allen, State Bank and Trust Company, will teach attendees how to analyze both personal tax returns and commercial financial statements during this hands-on program. (Please bring a calculator!) Register by Jan. 22 for the early-bird price of $225 per person. Click here to register online...

2017 BankPAC Campaign Update
Final Push is on to meet StatePAC Goal, Keep it Coming for FedPac!

What a week! The GBA FedPAC met its goal and the GBA StatePAC gained a lot of ground. Now is the time to join your peers from around Georgia and make your contributions. Here are your fundraising guides and contribution forms for easy use when your bank makes a contribution to the StatePAC and eligible employees and directors make personal contributions to the FedPAC. Eligibility and suggested contributions are included on the contribution forms. Take a look at the overall campaign progress here. Contributing this week to the GBA BankPAC this week...

Online Classes
Train your Team and Build a Strong Foundation in the Basics

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-U 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 website "seat," one telephone site license and all handout materials. If you can't attend the webinar, you may buy the CD of the recording, handout materials and/or 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...

Fill a Job, Find a Job with the GBA Job Bank
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.


Gloria Deen with Pineland Bank vice chairman Lawrence Bennett


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