September 23, 2016    

Time to Highlight Banking’s Best

The regulatory, political and public fallout from last week’s fines of Wells Fargo by regulators has been expectedly severe. We’ve been asked to weigh in on behalf of the industry in several forums. Our clear message is that dishonest and unethical practices have no place in our industry, and we must make sure people recognize the tremendous amount of good work of our state’s banks and bankers, including the vast majority of Wells Fargo employees. “60,000 Georgians have the privilege of working in our industry. They go to work every day and do the right things for their customers, their communities, their banks, and their families. Those are the bankers who define who we are. We have a positive story to tell and there’s no better time than right now to tell it to anyone who will listen,” said GBA President and CEO Joe Brannen during a panel discussion at the annual FIG Partners bank CEO Forum titled “Community Bank Opportunities.” Also on the panel were bankers from two members: John Stephens, Atlantic Coast Bank, Jacksonville, Kim Davis, Capital City Bank, Tallahassee, FL. Our message of broad community enrichment by banks and bankers was also carried this week in a video by the Georgia CEO online news publication. Link to the video and learn more about our efforts here...

Member Profile

A 24/7 Banker who Makes Fishing Poles

Stephen Whittaker wants to make one thing very clear about the term bankers’ hours. “We are representatives of our banks and industry 24-7. I believe we serve our communities as much outside of normal banking hours as we do during them. But that’s OK when you consider the great amount of trust our communities place in us,” he says. Whittaker is a senior credit administrator at First National Bank of Decatur County, Bainbridge, and was the Graduate of Distinction for the 2016 class of the Georgia Banking School. Somewhere in his all-day-every-day work of banking he finds time to build custom fishing rods as a hobby. Find out more about Stephen in this week’s GBA member profile here...

Please Take Ag Lender Survey

We encourage those of you who have significant agriculture lending portfolios to take a few minutes to complete a survey from the Department of Agricultural Economics at Kansas State University. The national survey is used to get a read on a short-term and a long-term assessment of the credit situation for production agriculture. Dr. Brady Brewer, who spoke at our Rural Development and Lending Conference in May, is one of the survey’s authors. The survey will only take about 10 to 15 minutes to complete. Thanks to Adam Smith, First National Bank of Coffee County, Douglas, for sharing the survey with us and his peers on the GBA Agriculture Committee. Take the survey here. Respondents will have access to an analysis of the results here, along with past survey results...

Queensborough Recognized for Mobile Pantry Program

A project that helped deliver 24,000 pounds of food to Queensborough National Bank & Trust Company’s Millen, Louisville and Wadley markets is featured on the ABA’s map of social responsibility programs by banks nationwide. The map pinpoints entries to the ABA Foundation’s annual Community Commitment Awards program. Queensborough’s entry this year focused on its mobile pantry project with the regional Golden Harvest Food Bank out of Augusta, Georgia. Get more details and see other entries from Georgia banks over the years here...

Compliance Conference Wrap up

GBA’s annual Compliance Conference concluded last Friday with a busy agenda. The final day’s highlights included a HMDA overview, an Appraisal process and regulatory refresher and a guide to a strong Uniform Compliance System Model. By all accounts, the conference delivered a treasure trove of helpful updates for Georgia’s compliance pros. Matt Donaldson from Durden Banking Company in Twin City said this, "The agenda for the GBA Compliance Conference this year was a timely addition to what I need to know for my institution. From the Military Lending Act, UDAAP, and Flood updates, the agenda was packed with useful information and best practices. It was well worth the time away from the bank.” Thanks go to the GBA Compliance Committee, chaired by Jim Bedsole, BankSouth, and co-chaired by Janna Elrod, First Landmark Bank, for delivering an outstanding agenda. Thanks also to the sponsors and exhibitors for their support and participation.
Scenes from the 2016 Compliance Conference

Fore!...Georgia BankPAC Golf Classic is Oct. 17

Don’t forget to register for Leadership GBA’s annual Georgia BankPAC Classic that is Monday, Oct. 17, at Idle Hour Country Club in Macon. It’s a great opportunity to invite your legislators and directors to meet and play golf with your colleagues. This two-person scramble tournament is sure to be fun plus you’re helping GBA’s StatePAC. Registration is $150 per person, $250 per team or $450 for a team and hole sponsorship ($100 savings!). The proceeds will be donated to the GBA StatePAC. To register, click here. Please call GBA’s Susie McGehee at 404.420.2010 with questions about the tournament.

2016 BankPAC Campaign Update

The GBA BankPAC Campaign had another strong week and the BankPAC Board of Directors hope that you will contribute if you have not done so yet. The GBA StatePAC and GBA FedPAC contribution forms as well as the payroll deduction form for the GBA FedPAC provide easy guidelines to get the campaign started in your bank. We also invite GBA Associate Members and Bank Counsel Section members to join in our political efforts by contributing to the GBA StatePAC. There are two ways to do this: by participating in the Georgia BankPAC Classic on Oct. 17 or by contributing directly to the fund. Thanks to all of the bankers and Associate Members for their contributions to the GBA BankPAC this week...

Please Send in GBA Holiday Closing Decal Orders before Oct. 28!

All the banks on our standing order list have been contacted, but you can still place an order for your bank's sets of Holiday Closing decals between now and Oct. 28. GBA is the best source for top-quality, thoughtfully designed window and door decals that provide a professional appearance and communicate the 10 holiday closings recognized by the Federal Reserve Bank in accordance with FDIC rules. GBA Holiday Closing Decals feature...

Budget Season Resource

Gauge Your Comp. & Benefits Program against Peers

GBA’s 2016 Compensation and Benefits Survey is now available to help you with your budgeting for next year. Results include data about new or updated titles and/or job descriptions for eight positions: Compliance Specialist, BSA Analyst/Specialist, BSA Officer, Residential Mortgage Underwriter, Small Business Loan Officer, E-Commerce Head, Accounts Payable Clerk, and Administrative Assistant. And, the benefits results section is in a new format with charts, graphs and online accessibility. To order a copy of the results, please contact GBA's David Oliver, 404.420.2036. The price for the survey results for members that did not provide data for the survey is $400.

GBA-U Seminars

October Seminars Cover the New CECL Model, BSA Basics, Director Training
Register today for one of our in-person sessions coming up in Macon to gain valuable information and new perspectives.
The price for each event is $225 per person or $250 per person for registrations received within a week of the seminar date. Please note that you will be required to sign in to MyGBA to register. Contact GBA's Katina Prokos via email or at 404.420.2021 with questions.

GBA Fall Conference Season Is Here – Register Now for FRMC - Nov. 16-17

With fall upon us, GBA’s annual conference schedule is now underway, and the 2016 Financial Risk Management Conference is an excellent opportunity for your CFO, controller and accounting personnel, investment or risk officer, to learn, refresh, and network with colleagues. GBA has negotiated a discounted nightly hotel rate of $159. Ready to register? Click here! Contact GBA’s Kathy Friestad with questions at 404.420.2024. Find out more details about the Conference here…

Credit Conference - Dec. 15-16

Attention Lenders, Credit Officers, Loan Officers Make Sure This Is On Your Calendar

GBA’s 2016 Credit Conference is a must-attend for bank credit officers, senior lenders, and executive level professionals who deal with credit issues on a regular basis. Attendees get a full day and a half of sessions, panel conversations, updates and time to network with colleagues and associate member exhibitors and sponsors. Here’s a snapshot of the agenda...

New Course! The Mortgage Lending Business

This six-week course is an overview of the mortgage lending business, including mortgage banker, broker and lender business models, the role of government and agencies like Federal Housing Administration and the Veteran’s Administration programs, other key players like Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, important real estate laws, and the basics of real estate investing. You'll also learn...

GAB Strategic Partner EBS Defines the Advantages Of BOLI

Bank Owned Life Insurance (BOLI) consists of policies insuring bank officers and key employees, typically purchased with a one-time payment. The bank is the beneficiary and sole owner of the BOLI policies; however, the bank can elect to share a portion of the death benefit. BOLI is most commonly used as a vehicle through which banks offset the increasing costs of employee benefit programs, including employer-paid health insurance, 401(k) matching, deferred compensation plans, group life insurance and nonqualified benefit plans. It is not necessary to create new executive benefits to justify a BOLI purchase, although BOLI is often implemented in conjunction with nonqualified benefit plans. There are a number of compelling reasons why so many community banks have implemented a BOLI program. In Georgia, 65% of community banks with assets between $100 million to $1 billion have an existing BOLI program. BOLI can have a positive impact in the following ways...

Upcoming GBA-U Webinars

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.

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 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. 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...
Heritage Bank
Newton Federal 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.