November 3, 2017    


President Signs Act Invalidating Arbitration Ban
The CFPB’s final rule that had banned mandatory arbitration clauses for financial product contracts has been officially overturned. President Trump Wednesday signed the Congressional Review Act resolution that invalidated the rule. “It’s the right outcome for an issue GBA and others have been vocal about since the rule was proposed two years ago,” said GBA Chairman Palmer Proctor, president and CEO, Fidelity Bank. “Most importantly, consumers are the beneficiaries, as noted by the CFPB’s own study.” More about the overturn of CFPB's arbitration rule here...


Williams Speaks up for Banks to Senate Rural GA Study Committee
Philip Williams, president and CEO of The Claxton Bank last week represented the Georgia banking industry in testimony before the state Senate Rural Georgia Study Committee. Williams covered the general performance of the industry and banking facts and figures related to rural communities. With preparatory help from GBA and member bankers who testified to a similar House committee earlier this year, Williams explained in his words the importance of the community bank model to cities and towns throughout Georgia and how banks continue to do a good job of meeting credit and other financial needs statewide. He also touched on his views about the ongoing challenges to more economic growth in rural areas, including the need for expanded broadband internet access and a good rural healthcare system. With questions, contact Joe Brannen, 404.420.2026, or Elizabeth Chandler, 404.420.2027.

Streak as No. 1 State for Business Hits Five Years
Site Selection magazine has ranked Georgia the best state in which to do business No. 1 for the fifth consecutive year. “We are so proud to be ranked No. 1 for business, because behind this ranking is a new job opportunity for a parent, a new business for a community and more economic opportunity for all Georgians,” said Gov. Nathan Deal in a press release announcing the ranking. Access a link to that release and read more about our state's honor here...

Last Call!
Financial Risk Management Conference Coming Up Next Week

The GBA Financial Risk Management Conference is next Wednesday and Thursday (Nov. 8-9), and there is still time to register yourself or someone from your bank. Come learn, network and obtain professional education credits at this annual conference designed for bank CFOs, ALM managers, controllers, and others involved in financial risk management. Click here to register online or see a detailed agenda and hotel information.

Southeast Georgia Community Bank Symposium Wrap Up
More than 70 southeastern Georgia community bankers gathered in Statesboro Wednesday for the annual Southeast Georgia Community Bank Symposium at Georgia Southern University. Special thanks to Don Cox, professor of Banking and Finance, for partnering with GBA to host this event. Georgia Banking Commissioner Kevin Hagler and GBA President and CEO Joe Brannen kicked off the program with a discussion on the future of banking and regulatory issues, then attendees heard about trends in commercial real estate from Cal Evans, market intelligence manager for Synovus Bank. Terri Sands, director of payments system risk for State Bank & Trust Company, led a session on the next generation strategy for FinTech and financial institutions, and Roger Tutterow, professor of economics at Kennesaw State University, concluded the program with an economic outlook.

Major Reg Reform Hits Snag in Senate
We learned earlier in the week that talks between U.S. Senate Banking Committee Chairman Mike Crapo and Ranking Member Sherrod Brown on a significant regulatory reform package along the lines of the CHOICE Act that already passed the U.S. House have ended for the time being. While disappointing, this was not unexpected because it’s been common for any discussions in the Senate about Dodd-Frank reforms to hit political road blocks. Neither Senator has identified specific issues that stalled the talks. We’ll continue to work closely with Sens. Isakson and Perdue, as well as with our national and state association colleagues, to encourage a variety of reform opportunities going forward. With questions, contact Joe Brannen, 404.420.2026, or Elizabeth Chandler, 404.420.2027.

Severe Mortgage Delinquencies at Pre-Downturn Levels
Mortgages in Georgia that are 90 or more days past due continue to decline. As of March, seriously delinquent home loans were at 1.2 percent, which is below where they were in January 2008 and significantly lower than during the worst of the downturn, according to new data sets from the CFPB that should be helpful for banks and others evaluating the housing market. Mortgages that are 30-89 days past due also are well below January 2008 levels. Another trend that’s evident from the past 10 years is that loans 30-89 days delinquent have trended upward during the second half of each year. Data is available by state, MSA, county and an aggregate of non-metro areas in any state, and the full data is downloadable. Access the data sets here...

First New OCC Charter Since Downturn Announced
The OCC Oct. 27 announced it has presented the first full-service national bank charter since the financial crisis to Winter Park National Bank of Florida. "While Winter Park National Bank is the first de novo national bank and first de novo approved for federal deposit insurance in Florida since the financial crisis, I am encouraged that we are seeing increasing interest in becoming new banks and that de novo activity appears to be thawing slowly as the economy warms," said acting Comptroller of the Currency Keith Norieka, in a statement about the charter...

Business Email Publication Features GBA Advocacy
A key component of GBA’s advocacy efforts for members is to publicly explain how banking serves the state, its families and businesses. This week the Georgia CEO franchise of daily community business news emails featured GBA President and CEO Joe Brannen delivering that message. In a video, Brannen highlights the good performance of the industry, how banks recycle deposits into loans supporting growth and the importance of a diverse industry to serve a variety of banking needs throughout the state. Watch the video here. With questions about GBA’s public and media advocacy efforts, contact Joe Brannen, 404.420.2026, or David Oliver, 404.420.2036.

2017 BankPAC Campaign Update
Contributing to the GBA FedPAC this week are eligible employees and directors from Century Bank of Georgia, Cartersville, Rick Drews, CEO and South State Bank, Augusta, Jay Forrester, President. The 2017 BankPAC Campaign continues to do well and now is the time to participate if you haven’t done so. 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. Additionally, fair-share invoices were mailed this week to those CEOs of banks not yet contributing. Take a look at the overall campaign progress here. With questions, please call Elizabeth Chandler at 404.420.2027.

HR Resource
How to Get the Best Intel on Georgia Bank Salary, Benefit Programs
Every Georgia bank should order a copy of this year’s GBA Compensation and Benefits Survey. It’s the most comprehensive overview of the market in the state, and we continue to get a couple of order requests each week. Don’t miss the opportunity to get a copy for your bank’s budgeting and review sessions. There are three sections to the results this year, and there’s information about 135 different bank jobs as well as data about director compensation, salary increase and other benefit information, peer bank pay information and asset-size breakouts. You can even get custom reports with multi-state information. To order a copy of the results, please contact GBA's David Oliver, 404.420.2036. The price for the survey results is $150 for those who provided data for sections 1 and 3, and $400 for members who did not participate but want the survey results.

Hurricane Relief
Appraisal Requirement Exceptions Applied to parts of Georgia

The FDIC announced last week it is providing flexibility relative to appraisal requirements for real estate-related transactions in parts of Georgia and other states that were declared major disaster areas after this fall’s hurricanes. The exception expires three years after the date each state or territory was declared a major disaster. In Georgia, the flexibility timeframe is for transactions from Sept. 15, 2017, through Sept. 14, 2020. See all the details here...

Farm Loan Approval Rate at 84 Percent
The latest edition of the twice-annual ABA/Famer Mac Ag Lending Survey shows that ag loan approval rates are at 84 percent in the past 12 months. However, 82 percent of the ag lenders responding reported a decline in farm profitability in the last 12 months. That shows lenders remain committed to meet the credit needs of farmers, even in a difficult farm economy. Click here for more from the Ag Survey…

GBA Security Committee Meets to Plan 2018 Conference
GBA’s Security Committee met in Macon on Thursday to information share and begin planning the 2018 Bank Security Conference. The committee is chaired by Brian Frederick, Altamaha Bank & Trust Company, Vidalia, and Angela Slay, United Community Bank in Blairsville, serves as vice chair. Next year’s conference is scheduled for April 12-13, 2018 and will move back to the King and Prince Beach and Golf Resort on St. Simons. We’ll send out a registration announcement in the coming weeks and you can always check the GBA website and calendar for details. If you’re budgeting now, the registration price will be $350 per person, and the nightly hotel rates range from $210 (Resort View) to $249 (Ocean View).

GBA Basic Compliance School Provides Students with Building Blocks of Success
GBA Compliance School is more than just learning about regulations. This school makes practical application of the laws governing our industry and teaches compliance pros how to build an effective compliance management system within their organization. Give your compliance professionals an advantage by sending them to Compliance School next May 6-11 at the UGA Center for Continuing Education & Hotel in Athens, GA. For more information, click here. Enroll your student now to have it covered in this year’s budget, or enroll now and pay tuition in 2018. Save $130 on tuition through Feb. 9. Contact GBA’s Kathy Friestad with questions, 404.420.2024.

Georgia Banking School Experience Reaps Benefits for Banker and The Bank
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 reaps tremendous short- and long-term benefits for both the banker and the bank. Read on to see what Janet Leach, the school’s 2017 Graduate of Distinction, had to say about her Georgia Banking School experience: “Georgia Banking School is a dynamic program that sets you on the course to success in banking at the highest possible level. It gives you a view of the entire bank - being a lender, funding the bank, managing interest rate risk, managing the investment portfolio, measuring and evaluating bank performance, managing credit policy, servicing customers - and even gives you a glimpse into top management positions of the bank. All of these jobs come together as you learn details about each area of responsibility. The highlight of making decisions and running a bank during Third Year Bank Simulation is the best experience!” Find out more about Georgia Banking School here...

GBA Credit Conference Dec 7-8
Elder Financial Exploitation: Know Your Role in Prevention Efforts

Elder financial abuse can dramatically impact your financial institution and the customers you serve. With elder abuse cases continuing to rise in Georgia, it’s important for bankers in all arenas to be informed and proactive when this crime affects your community. At the upcoming GBA Credit Conference, an expert in this field, Pete Stuart, ACT specialist, senior vice president and director of Security at State Bank & Trust Company, will discuss protocol for identifying and reporting elder financial exploitation and filing suspicious activity. Find out more about the session here…

Basics of Asset-Based Lending (ABL) Seminar - Nov. 15
Bank ABL Clients? Don’t Miss This New Program

Through a group case study environment, lenders, credit support and other bankers who aren’t experts in this type of lending can learn the Basics of Asset-Based Lending at this new workshop Nov. 15 at The Brickyard Golf Club in Macon. An industry veteran who recently received the T. Eugene Spragens outstanding faculty award from the Graduate School of Banking at LSU, Mike Allen of State Bank & Trust Company will provide participants with a basic understanding of asset-based lending concepts, procedures and documentation. Participants will learn about...

New Beneficial Ownership Rules
BSA: Are You Ready for Your Next Exam (and New CDD Rules) Seminar – Dec. 6

GBA’s BSA: Are You Ready for Your Next Exam (and New CDD Rules) seminar Dec. 6 at The Brickyard Golf Club in Macon will cover new beneficial ownership rules of which BSA officers, BSA auditors and risk managers should be aware. BSA officers have a wide range of duties and responsibilities to comply with BSA requirements and satisfy examiners, and during this full-day seminar, Steve Moore, Bank Compliance Services, will cover the following...

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...

Find Out What’s Next for Checks in a Free, On-Demand Webinar from Deluxe
Earlier this year, the Federal Reserve put out The Federal Reserve Payments Study 2016. GBA Strategic Partner Deluxe always looks to this study, which is available every three years, to help guide their customers on trends in the payments space. Recently, Deluxe asked past GBA Marketing Peer Group presenter Glen Sarvady, Managing Principal from 154 Advisors to share insights on how consumers and businesses are making payments today. Join Sarvady and Deluxe for an upcoming free webinar to learn more about the recent and long-term trends around payments in the United States. Sarvady shares his thoughts on why we are seeing a flattening of the check decline, an increase in consumer transactions, changes to check writing habits, and what we should expect to see in the future. View the webinar here...

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.

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...

Heritage Bank

SunTrust Bank

Oconee State Bank




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

Click here to expand
all articles...

Attention Attorneys!
Status of Important
Banking Cases
November 2017