November 7, 2014     

Elections Matter to Those That Bankers Serve

Tuesday's vote in Georgia and across the country will be analyzed by the pundits for all sorts of local and national implications. Here at GBA, we're laser-focused on what the elections mean for issues important to the families, businesses and communities our members serve, and we're optimistic. The presumed U.S. Senate republican leader Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) specifically mentioned community bank regulatory burden in his first news conference after the election. Sen. Richard Shelby (R-AL) is expected to become the U.S. Senate banking committee chairman, bringing back his steady and reasoned approach to banking issues. Two newly elected Georgia congressmen, Rick Allen (R-Augusta) and Buddy Carter (R-Pooler) either serve or have served on bank boards, so they already know the challenges first hand. Gov. Nathan Deal's re-election means attention will continue to be paid to important issues like bank director liability along with reasonable interpretations of state laws like we've seen recently coming from the Georgia Department of Banking and Finance. More midterm election analysis here...
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#GABankersVote Shows Banker Advocacy

Thanks to members who participated this week and throughout the election season with our Georgia Banker Democracy Days get-out-the-vote campaign. After they voted Tuesday and in early elections, a number of members posted their pictures demonstrating our industry's commitment to the democratic process to the #GABankersVote Twitter feed. Here are some of the snapshots from Twitter. Here are photos from the Century Bank of Georgia Facebook page, and here are photos from NorthSide Bank's Facebook page.

DBF Proposes New Rules

Members have until Dec. 4 to comment on new rules proposed by the Georgia Department of Banking and Finance this week. The changes relate to removing a requirement to file a report if you don't close any loans under the Georgia Residential Mortgage Act; eliminating registration for certain out of state bank holding companies; and ongoing changes to the Merchant Acquirer Limited Purpose Bank, mostly related to investments in these entities. Click here for a link to the proposal  and to let us know your thoughts about DBF's prposed rules...

Take GBA's Communications Survey

We're looking for member feedback about our communications efforts as a project for a group of Georgia State University MBA students and to help us continue to be a good resource for members. Members got an email this week asking them to participate in the survey about how we share information about all we do for them and how effective we are with our communications. The deadline for the survey is Wednesday, Nov. 12. If you haven't done so yet, you can take the GBA Communications Survey here...

CFOs Drink from Fire Hose at FRM Conference

The program at this week's GBA Financial Risk Management Conference left no stone unturned among the key issues for Georgia Bank CFOs.The GBA Asset Liability Committee plans the conference each year. John Dalton of Dixon Hughes, Atlanta is the committee chairman this year, and Scott Wilson, Pinnacle Bank, Elberton, is vice-chair. Also, thanks to our sponsors and exhibitors. Get a lot more coverage of the Financial Risk Management Conference and see photos of the event here...

Patent Troll Barred From Using Deceptive Tactics

The Federal Trade Commission Thursday announced a settlement with a company and its law firm the FTC said used deceptive sales claims and phony legal threats in demand letters accusing small businesses, including banks, around the country of patent infringement. The settlement would bar the company, MPHJ Technology Investments, LLC, and its law firm from making such demands. “Patents can promote innovation, but a patent is not a license to engage in deception,” said Jessica Rich, Director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection. “Small businesses and other consumers have the right to expect truthful communications from those who market patent rights.” Here’s a link to the settlement announcement.

Disparate Impact Rules Rejected

A major ruling by a federal judge this week says "disparate impact" claims of discrimination are not recognized under the Fair Housing Act (FHA) as outlined in a 2013 rulemaking from the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). Get more details  about the disparate impact ruling here...

FDIC Workshop Highlights Consumer Protection Issues

Fair lending, mortgage rules, UDAAP and other consumer-related issues led the discussion topics last week at the third installment of the FDIC’s Consumer Protection Workshop Series in Macon. Community bankers from around the state participated.
GBA co-hosted the event with CBA and partnered with the FDIC Atlanta Regional Office for the program. Click here for photos and a list of FDIC experts who presented.

Regulatory Representatives on the Dias to Discuss Hot Issues at Credit Conference - Dec. 3-4

Attendees at this year's Credit Conference will have the opportunity to learn from a conversation between representatives from three regulatory agencies: FDIC, DBF and the CFPB will be on hand to talk about the major regulatory issues for bank credit and lending officers. Get more details about the Credit Conference, including a link to register, here...

Let CFPB Know What You Think about RESPA / TILA Disclosure Implementation

The new Integrated RESPA / TILA Mortgage Disclosures from CFPB take effect Aug. 1, 2015. The bureau is working to communicate with bankers regularly about the disclosures and implementation issues to ensure a smooth process. This week, the CFPB's Dan Smith, Assistant Director, Office of Financial Institutions and Business Liaison, asked GBA and other state associations to share with members some information and ask for feedback. The specifics are listed in the document at this link. Please take a look and let the CFPB know about issues of concern.

Related: Integrated Mortgage Solutions - Nov. 18

Georgia Credit Unions Make Few Mortgages to Low-Income Borrowers

Congress granted credit unions a tax exemption so that they could meet the credit needs of people of modest means. But the evidence indicates that Georgia credit unions are no longer focused on their original mission to serve disadvantaged members of their community. A review of 2013 HMDA data by the ABA shows that in Georgia, only 130 mortgages originated by reporting credit unions went to low-income borrowers, compared to 9,244 mortgages originated to middle-and upper-income borrowers.

Fed Fee Schedules Announced

Overall fees for services provided to banks by the Federal Reserve System will be about 1 percent higher in 2015, the Fed said this week. Fees for Fedwire Funds and National Settlement Services will increase 5 percent and Fedwire Securities Service fees will rise by about 15 percent. FedLine access fees will also see a modest increase. The fee paid for check collection using the reserve banks' Check 21 services is expected to decline 3 percent, and fees on FedACH services will decline by 1 percent. Here's a link to the fee schedules...

Georgia BankPAC Campaign Update - 90% Raised

As the 2014 BankPAC Campaign begins to wind down, please consider your contribution if your bank has not participated yet. Here is a look at the progress the campaign is making compared to the goals set by the GBA BankPAC Board of Directors. With questions, please contact Elizabeth Chandler at 404.420.2027. Thanks to these companies and individuals that contributed to the GBA Bank PAC this week...

GBA Opposes New FHLB Membership Rule Proposal

The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) has proposed a revised membership rule for the Federal Home Loan Bank system that GBA and many others feel is unnecessary and potentially damaging to the mission of the Federal Home Loan Banks. We commented on the proposal this week. The proposal would...

Find a Job, Post a Job with GBA Job Bank

The Georgia Bankers Association offers free job posting resources for our member banks. These listings can be viewed online or through our print publication, the GBA Bulletin, mailed every other week. Resume postings are also available. For more information, please contact Kenyetta Parks.

GBA Strategic Partner Spotlight

Click the logos below to lern more about these important GBA Partners...

GBA Community Connections

Click here to read about the latest good works by various GBA members. We want to share what GBA members do to support their communities. Submit your community involvement and service information to Bo Brannen and David Oliver
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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.
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