September 1, 2017   

125th Anniversary Member Meetings Continued in Four Cities
Atlanta, Perry, Albany and Newnan were the host cities this week for our series of GBA member meetings celebrating the Georgians who are bankers as part of GBA’s 125th anniversary activities. We had big crowds and heard lots of Georgia bankers tell their stories of how they got into banking and have benefitted from participating in the community of bankers that is the GBA. See some highlights from the week of meetings here...





How to Help Victims of Hurricane Harvey
We’re already hearing stories of how members are rallying to provide a variety of help for people in Texas and Louisiana affected by Hurricane Harvey. It’s just second nature for bankers to rally to help those in need. If you and your bank are looking for a bank-specific relief effort to support, you may make a personal or corporate tax-exempt donation to a special Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund that the Texas Bankers Association (TBA) and the Independent Bankers Association of Texas (IBAT) established in partnership with ABA, ICBA and Texas’ Departments of Banking and Department of Savings & Mortgage Lending. This initiative will support relief efforts for the thousands of people displaced and harmed by Harvey, including bank employees affected by the storm. Find more details here...

Regulatory Relief from Revised EEO-1 Form Filings Announced
The Office of Management and Budget has initiated a review of the revised EEO-1 Report and has issued an “immediate stay of the effectiveness of the pay data collection aspects of the EEO-1 form.” For community banks, this is a huge relief, says Steve Greene, with GBA Strategic Partner Employment Law Compliance (ELC). The revised EEO-1 form was remarkably burdensome for banks with 100 or more employees. There are some other important details, which ELC shared in an E-Lert message this week. Here’s a link to the details. With questions, contact
Steve Greene at 866.801.6302.


Making the Case for Bank Directors
With the avalanche of regulations since the financial crisis and increased regulatory scrutiny on the activities of bank directors, there’s been concern from banks and others about attracting and retaining strong directors to provide good leadership and oversight. This week noted bank attorney Thomas Vartanian published an article in the Wall Street Journal praising the Federal Reserve’s recent move to limit its oversight of directors to issues directly related to strategy, risk management and corporate governance as opposed to day-to-day bank management, but the article carries a negative headline that may give possible directors pause if they’re considering joining a bank board. In a counterpoint response, GBA General Counsel Jonathan Hightower of the Bryan Cave law firm makes a strong case for "Why sane people serve as bank directors." Read his response here...

Judge Doles out Harsh Penalty to CFPB
U.S. District Judge Richard W. Story of Atlanta last week dismissed a massive CFPB lawsuit against several Atlanta-based payment processors. In dismissing the case, Judge Story sanctioned the CFPB with the harshest penalty available and admonished the agency for acting “in bad faith.” The opinion said the bureau failed to put up a knowledgeable witness during depositions and that it showed a “willful disregard” for and “an unwillingness to comply” with the courts instructions. Read more from American Banker here (subscription may be required).


Williams to Lead Georgia Forestry Commission
Past GBA Chairman and State Representative Chuck Williams, First American Bank & Trust Company, Athens, has been appointed by Gov. Nathan Deal as director of the Georgia Forestry Commission (GFC), effective Sept. 1. “Chuck Williams is a dedicated public servant and an effective leader who has demonstrated an unwavering commitment to forest management and sustainable forestry,” said Deal. “As a forest landowner, Chuck has a keen understanding of the forestry community in our state and country. Georgia’s 24.1 million acres of commercial timberlands, more than any other state in the nation, offer a number of benefits to our citizens, from clean air and water to wildlife habitats, products and jobs. I am confident that under Chuck’s guidance, GFC will continue to provide critical support of Georgia’s timberlands and help to solidify our status as a top state for forestry.” GBA President and CEO Joe Brannen said William’s appointment is yet another example of bankers serving their community. More about Chuck Williams here...

Support GBA’s StatePAC at the Georgia BankPAC Golf Classic on Oct. 18
Now more than ever, it is critical that we fund GBA’s StatePAC so the industry can support candidates who will listen to our members’ concerns. You can do that by participating in Leadership GBA’s annual Georgia BankPAC Classic on Wednesday, Oct. 18, at The Club at River Forest, Forsyth. Put together a foursome or two of bankers, directors, community leaders or even customers to share a round and talk about important banking issues. Registration is $150 per person, $250 per team or $450 for a team and hole sponsorship (a $100 savings). Click here to register. With questions please contact GBA’s Susie McGehee at 404.420.2010. Support the GBA StatePAC today.

GBA 125 Fast Facts
How GBA Stacks up Against Other Iconic Brands

It’s pretty amazing to think about the fact that GBA has been serving Georgia’s banks during parts of three centuries now (1800s, 1900s and 2000s). For banking, GBA certainly is an iconic brand. Several significant Georgia institutions also date back to 1892, when GBA was founded. That’s the year in which Coca-Cola was incorporated, Grady Hospital in Atlanta was founded and the University of Georgia fielded its first football team, with the Dawgs going 1-1 in a two-game season. We were reminded this week at one of our 125th anniversary celebrations that the historic Windsor Hotel in downtown Americus was also built in 1892 and there are like other landmarks throughout Georgia dating to the year of GBA’s founding. And for perspective, think about other iconic brands and attractions celebrating milestone anniversaries this year that have not been around nearly as long as GBA such as McDonald’s (50 years old), The Cat in the Hat (60 years old), Jeep (75 years old), Walt Disney’s Snow White and the Seven Dwarves (80 years old), Mount Rushmore (carving began 90 years ago), and Converse sneakers (100 years).

Relevant Issues Facing Banking to be Discussed at Bank Counsel Conference
Come to our GBA Bank Counsel Conference and join attorneys from Moore, Clarke, DuVall & Rodgers, PC, Albany, and James Bates Brannan Groover, LLP, Macon, as they discuss matters community banks deal with on a daily basis. You’ll learn more about the new Power of Attorney law, how to handle multi-party accounts when one of the parties passes away and more details about the Bank Secrecy Act. Time will be allotted for questions and answers. Click here for more details...

Does Your Bank Have the Right Structure? Find Out at President/CEO Conference
In light of recent announcements, many bankers are wondering if they should make changes to their bank’s corporate structure to maximize regulatory and operational efficiency. During a keynote session at our upcoming President/CEO Conference, James Stevens, partner, Troutman Sanders, LLP, Atlanta, and Jonathan Hightower, partner, Bryan Cave, LLP, Atlanta, will have a friendly debate of the merits (or lack thereof) of bank holding companies, operating subsidiaries, joint ventures and seldom-used bank service companies. Click here for more details...

Compliance Conference Early Registration Deadline Sept. 5
With the long holiday weekend upon us, don’t let the Sept. 5 early registration deadline slip up on you for the GBA Compliance Conference! That’s this coming Tuesday! Be sure someone from your bank’s compliance team is signed up and takes advantage of the $50 per person savings. The early registration price for the full conference is just $450, with additional registration packages available. The conference itself - just three weeks away – is Sept. 20-22 at Middle Georgia State University in Macon. The agenda is excellent and the networking and information sharing with fellow compliance professionals is invaluable. Click here to see the detailed agenda and to register now! Questions? Contact GBA’s Kathy Friestad, 404.420.2024.


Financial Risk Management Conference - Nov. 8-9
Chris Nichols To Discuss Trends Impacting Your Business in 2018

Chris Nichols, chief strategy officer from CenterState Bank will share 10 trends you can take action on to improve your bank’s performance. These concepts are for all managers desiring to manage their strategic plans including the art and science of loan pricing, the need to develop a value proposition that will stand the test of time, and why some long-held banking assumptions are no longer valid. Don’t miss this session. Come and see what will make a difference in deposits, loans and fee income. The conference will be at the Atlanta Marriott Northwest Hotel. Click here to see the detailed agenda and to register online...

Put Your Bankers First When Budgeting for Next Year – Send ‘em Back to School!
Each May, more than 125 promising young Georgia bankers take a significant step in their professional and personal development by attending Georgia Banking School or GBA Compliance School. Shouldn’t your bank’s motivated professional be one of those next spring? Be sure your 2018 budget includes what is sure to be a true investment. Georgia Banking School is a three-year program for first-time and mid-level managers and the early tuition price for first-year students is $1,845, which includes tuition, hotel, and most meals. Find out more about GBA schools here...

Results Ready from GBA Compensation & Benefits Survey
The results of the 2017 GBA Compensation and Benefits Survey are now available. It is a great resource about salary and benefit trends in Georgia as you head into budget planning season. For those of you who participated, look for an email soon to confirm whether you’d like to purchase the results. There are plenty of reasons to buy this year’s version. Find out what those are here...

How to Speak Up about DOL Request for Information on the Overtime Rule
We encourage members to take part in an ABA survey to help inform its comment letter in response to the Request for Information (RFI) issued by the Department of Labor on the final overtime rule issued by the Obama administration. Because the comments on the RFI are due by Sept. 25, this survey must close on Sept. 11. The survey does not encompass every question DOL raised in the RFI, but has condensed the key questions likely to inform ABA’s comment letter. Find out more about the survey and participate by clicking here...

CFPB HMDA and TILA Resources Available
The CFPB this week issued resources and information related to compliance with HMDA and TILA rules and regulations. They are:

  1. The filing instructions guide for HMDA data collected in 2018, available on the CFPB’s Resources for HMDA Filers webpage.

  2. Annual adjustments to the dollar amounts of various thresholds under Truth in Lending Act (TILA) regulations that will apply to certain consumer credit transactions in 2018. The adjustments are based on the annual percentage change in the Consumer Price Index. Access the Detailed Summary of Changes and Clarifications here...

2017 BankPAC Campaign Update
It’s been a great week for the 2017 BankPAC Campaign! If you haven’t yet contributed, 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. With questions, please call Elizabeth Chandler at 404.420.2027. Many thanks to the CEOs of the following banks making a contribution to the GBA BankPAC this week...

September Seminars Offer Training on IRAs, Lending, Internal Audit
Our lineup of seminars is designed to offer something for career bankers at any level. See below for the schedule of upcoming GBA-U seminars:

  • On Sept. 21, Patrice Konarik, Sunwest Training Corp., will separate fact from fiction for the more technical areas of IRAs at the IRA Advanced Update and Review Workshop, which will include legislative updates for 2017. Click here to register...

  • On Sept. 27, Mike Allen, State Bank & Trust Company, will help attendees prevent loan losses through the implementation of proper loan structuring and documentation techniques during GBA’s Loan Documentation seminar. Click here to register…

  • On Sept. 28, Mike Thomas, Crowe Horwath, LLP, will present an Internal Audit seminar covering auditing the Electronic Funds Transfer function, the deposit function and the branch operations function as well as recent trends in financial institution fraud. Click here to register…

Registration for each seminar is $225 per person ($250 per person if received within a week of the seminar date). With questions, please contact GBA's Katina Prokos, 404.420.2021.

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 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...

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...

Bank of America

Rabun County Bank

Southwest Georgia Bank

Planters First Bank's new Albany team






Durden Banking Company president and CEO G.W. Johnson cuts the ribbon at the Grand Opening of the bank's new Millen branch

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