April 30, 2021  

Official Notice of GBA Annual Meeting

As stated in GBA's bylaws, the GBA annual meeting is held at a time and place set by the GBA Board of Directors. The official GBA business session of this year's Annual Meeting will begin at 7 a.m. Tuesday, June 22, 2021, at The Cloister, Sea Island, Georgia, in the Cloister Ballroom. We’ll hear a state of the association speech by GBA Chairman Spence Mullis, elect officers, install board members, consider resolutions and recognize bankers who have served 50 years or more in the industry. ABA Chairman Jim Edwards, United Bank, Griffin, will also address the membership.


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GBA Partner Employment Law Compliance

Will President Biden’s $15 Per-Hour Minimum Wage Executive Order Affect Your Bank?

On Tuesday, President Biden issued an Executive Order increasing the federal minimum wage rate for federal contractors to $15 per-hour. The immediate question is whether this mandate will apply to community banks. The Department of Labor (DOL) considers banks federal contractors given the required deposit insurance relationship with FDIC. Steve Greene of GBA partner Employment Law Compliance recently shared and update with us, and believes the answer to that immediate question is, no. "That present opinion is based upon the language of the Biden Executive Order that mirrors language in Executive Orders issued by President Obama, and historical interpretations of the underlying federal procurement statutes," he says. "DOL is instructed in the new Biden Executive Order to issue regulations to define the obligations further by Nov. 24, 2021. We will be eager to see those regulations, but anticipate that the DOL guidance will closely track regulations implementing President Obama’s Executive Order 13658, which initially established a heightened federal minimum wage rate for federal contractors." Click here for additional information, or contact Steve Greene, sgreene@employlawcompliance.com, 866.801.6302 (toll free).


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Compliance News – Action Request by May 5

Weigh in on Beneficial Ownership Proposal

We encourage member compliance experts to weigh in on FinCEN’s rulemaking for a new beneficial ownership registry. Real-world examples that will show how the proposal will affect your bank will be helpful, as the new registry has the potential to simplify, streamline and strengthen the customer due diligence process. Comments are due to FinCEN by May 5, 2021, and will be made public in accordance with federal rulemaking procedure. Here’s access to an easy-to-use tool for submitting a comment letter.


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PPP Statistics Update

Lenders continue to support Georgia small businesses through the PPP program. Data from SBA this week shows that through April 25, 38,301 additional Georgia small business borrowers received loans totaling $672,665,707 since the prior week’s report. Just over $31 billion remained in the program for new loans. Since the beginning of the program in 2020, here’s the stat sheet: 

  • 458,732 loans to Georgia small businesses

  • $23.3 billion loaned

  • Average loan: $52,767

  • 2.4 million Georgia jobs preserved.

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Vaccine Tax Credit Info and other IRS Guidance

The American Rescue Plan coronavirus relief bill includes incentives for employers to encourage vaccinations for their employees. The IRS distributed information late last week about the tax credits available to cover most, if not all, employer-paid leave for Covid-19 vaccinations. The information covers eligibility, what paid leave is covered, tax credit amounts, calculations and claim instructions. Read the details here.


Other IRS info: We also shared in an email with CEOs, committee members and key contacts information about IRS guidance for businesses that received first-round PPP loans, anticipated or realized forgiveness, but did not deduct any of the original eligible expenses because the business relied on the Treasury Department’s guidance issued before the enactment of tax relief legislation in December 2020. Read the IRS info here.


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GBA Member Profile

Developing the Next Generation of Industry Leaders with Zac Frye

Zac Frye found his career calling early in life when he started working as a teller in high school for Durden Banking Company, Inc., where he still serves as vice president and Swainsboro city president. “I learned from the head teller at the time to get to know the customers well and interact with them as much as possible, both at the bank and outside of the bank,” Frye said. He continued developing his passion for banking while studying under Ed Sibbald at Georgia Southern University, whom he credits for making banking fun, interesting and accessible for young students. Now he’s paying it forward by encouraging young bankers to grow in their careers in his role as a director and second-year grader for the Georgia Banking School. “Being able to train young bankers and keep them engaged will be key in helping our industry thrive,” he said. Frye shares about his outlook for the future of banking, his take on the benefits of attending the Georgia Banking School and his family’s love of baseball and all sports in the latest GBA Member Profile.


Related: The Georgia Banking School and GBA Compliance School both are in session next week in Athens. Look for coverage of their activities in our next edition.


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Georgia Grows by 1 Million since 2010

Georgia continues to be a magnet for people and businesses, as data out this week from the U.S. Census Bureau shows the state’s population hit 10.7 million in 2020. That’s up by 1 million people since 2010. Among other things, the data is used to determine the number of U.S. Congressional seats for each state. Georgia did not gain any additional seats in this round of apportionment, so we’ll continue to have 14 U.S. Representatives. Get details here. We’ll be hearing a lot in the coming months about the state and congressional re-districting process that follows each 10-year census update, so we’ll keep you posted about how that might affect representatives serving your districts.


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GBA Announces Co-Ownership in the Bankers Alliance Family of Compliance/Audit Services

Bankers Alliance (B/A), owned by 32 State Bankers Associations, offers a family of services that includes Compliance Alliance (C/A), a subscription-based regulatory and consumer compliance advisory service with tools, hotlines, and document reviews, and Review Alliance (R/A), an independent group of compliance specialists offering banks deep-dive audits of their existing transactions, recommendations about program enhancements or guidance on future safety and soundness. In 2020, Bankers Alliance added Virtual Compliance Officer - a new shared service-model using bank-dedicated compliance officers; perfect for monitoring and guiding your bank remotely. To learn more, register for a Live Membership Demo and receive a free 48-hour trial. Just call 833.683.0701 or email info@bankersalliance.org and ask for the Membership Team. For timely compliance updates, subscribe to the B/A email newsletter.


Features of Compliance Alliance membership:

  • All-inclusive unlimited membership

  • Designed for all departments

  • Hotline available 8am–7pm EST

  • 1800+ tools - to download & edit

  • Unlimited document reviews monthly

  • Monthly webinars with CE credits

  • Annual website review

  • Enroll every member of your bank


In addition to these packages, R/A offers Virtual Compliance Officer (VCO), a customized program for monitoring, reporting and guidance remotely. Learn more about VCO here.


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QM Rule Effective Date Delayed

The CFPB Wednesday issued a final rule that extends the mandatory effective date for its general Qualified Mortgage rule from July 1, 2021 to Oct. 1, 2022. With this action, the CFPB also extended the temporary “GSE patch” until the new mandatory compliance date or until Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac exit conservatorship, whichever comes first. Full details here.


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Statements Are Dead – Now What?

The traditional printed bank statement remains a valuable messaging medium for a segment of bank customers to fully and effectively engage customers. Unfortunately, it is a diminishing segment: only around 30% of recipients actually read their printed statements. Banks need to engage customers where they are; and increasingly, that is online. Read this article and access a case study from GBA Associate Member Data Oceans for some good ideas to address this trend.


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Discover the power of great checking with GBA partner StrategyCorps

How Innovative ‘Bundled Banking’ Subscription Models Earn More Revenue

Traditional financial institutions need non-interest revenue. It is undeniable. The median bank produces about 23 percent of its revenue in non-interest income, while the highest-performing banks often surpass 27 percent or greater. This can put banks in a vulnerable position, with one-quarter of revenues hinging on variable economic conditions and the behaviors of its sometimes-unpredictable customer base. GBA partner StrategyCorps has learned over the years that successful subscription pricing models elude banks mainly because they were charging for a bundle of bank services they previously offered for free. The only way to earn more revenue is to bundle relevant, non-traditional services that consumers are already paying for in combination with traditional banking services, at a reasonable (and lower) price point. The hundreds of pioneering banks who have figured this out are earning more money every year. Find out how StrategyCorps can help your bank by talking with them today. Contact Ryan Harbry, ryan.harbry@strategycorps.com, 404.819.1438.


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FDIC, OCC, Fed Atlanta Program May 6

Tune in for Idea Session on Supporting CDFIs and Community Organizations

The FDIC, OCC and the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta will host a webinar May 6 from 1-3 p.m. to provide strategies for banks to support community-based organizations and Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs). Attendees will learn how to identify and support the needs of low-and moderate-income individuals and communities, and small businesses during the pandemic. Federal bank regulators will also provide attendees with an overview of the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA), interagency guidance concerning COVID-19, and community development activities that may receive consideration for CRA purposes. Get more details and register here.


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GBA Leadership Conference: Register and Book Your Room Now!

We’re looking forward to the Leadership Conference, our annual gathering of emerging bank leaders, July 12-14 at the Ponte Vedra Inn & Club, Ponte Vedra, FL. If you or someone from you bank or company is planning to attend, register and reserve your room ASAP, as hotel space is getting limited. This event is the favorite of our “young” Georgia bankers and their families, and the Leadership GBA Board of Directors has an excellent agenda planned, plus two family-friendly evening events. Click here for all the details. As we announced recently, kids will be welcomed at the two evening events, and we are working on plans for outdoor activities for the Monday event. Our revised date for opening kids’ registration is the week of May 10, so watch the conference website for that announcement, and we’ll email all registrants, too. And remember, if you are a Leadership Roundtable member, your conference registration fee is included in your roundtable membership fee (email Kathy Friestad for registration promo code). Contact Kathy for any other questions regarding the conference. Sponsorships still available!  Thanks to these associate members who sponsoring: Anthem/Blue Cross Blue Shield; CSRA Business Lending; FHLB of Atlanta; Fenimore, Kay, Harrison and Ford; Fiserv; Holmes-Shaw Agency; Mauldin & Jenkins; McNair, McLemore, Middlebrooks & Co.; Point to Point Environmental; Qualtik; Troutman Pepper; and Wipfli


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Rural Development and Lending Conference

Cotton Outlook and Crop Insurance Sessions Anticipated

Ag bankers will want to join us at the Rural Lending and Development Conference for two sessions detailing the outlook for cotton from UGA's Don Shurley and a crop insurance update from Plenn Hunnicutt of South Georgia Crop Insurance, among other topics. The Rural Development and Lending Conference is May 20-21 at the King and Prince, St. Simons. We’ll also get an overall ag economy update, learn about tech trends and hear from Georgia Ag Commissioner Gary Black. Register for the conference and make hotel reservations as early as people are snapping up capacity quickly at resorts all along the Georgia coast. Get all the details and register here


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Women in Banking Conference

Conference Agenda Taking Shape for August Gathering of Women Bankers

The Women in Banking Committee is putting the finishing touches on the agenda for the 2021 Women in Banking Conference, Aug. 12-13 at Chateau Elan in Braselton, GA. Sessions will include an economic, public policy, and political outlook from Travelers’ Joan Woodward, Terri Luttrell from Abrigo will discuss human trafficking and the financial industry's role in ending modern slavery, an executive leadership panel will discuss topics that are top of mind, and Wellview’s Heather Fuselier will help us re-center and balance with practical tips for shifting out of survival mode and into a new gear. We’ll also have an interactive roundtable-style session facilitated by subject-matter experts in a session titled “Things Women Bankers Should Know SOMETHING About.” We’ll wrap things up with comedienne, author and singer Heather Land. Heather burst through the clutter of the online world with her hilarious and witty "I Ain't Doin' It" videos, which have garnered more than 300 million views. Click here for a glimpse of Heather's hysterical filtered Snapchat posts. Click here to register and reserve your hotel room. A hearty thanks to these GBA associate members supporting the conference through sponsorship:  FHLB of Atlanta, Fenimore, Kay, Harrison and Ford, and McNair, McLemore, Middlebrooks and Company. GBA associate members are invited to sponsor the event – click here for info. Contact GBA’s Kathy Friestad with questions.


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New location: Athens, GA!

The BSA Experience Returns: Only 30 spots available!

We’re teaming up with Terri Sands of Secura Risk Management to present the third-annual BSA Experience! This year’s program was designed to provide the most pressing topics for BSA officers and support teams such as regulatory expectations, emerging trends that impact your daily BSA, increased fraud and changes to the BSA laws and regulation such as the updated FinCEN guidance on Anti-Money Laundering Act of 2020. This year, we are offering a great program that provides subject matter experts and practical tools to simplify BSA compliance. In addition, each attendee will leave with two certificates to reflect the completion of The BSA Experience. Click here to learn more and register.


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In-Person, Single-Day Programs

Summer Seminars: ISO and New-Account

  • Information Security Officer Seminar – May 19
    Speaker: Tom Hinkel of Safe Systems
    Sponsored by Safe Systems
    Learn more here. 


  • New-Account Documentation and Compliance Seminar – June 16
    Speaker: Suzie Jones of Training Resources Consulting
    Learn more here.

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Sales Skills Webinar: Last chance to register!

GBA Webinar – RECHARGE: Relationships, Referrals & Results

In the midst of the Covid-19 crisis and PPP program execution, banks continued to have a need to grow, bring in new business and retain existing clients. During the past year, this focus changed and discussions around loan and deposit production goals, sales meetings, joint calling strategies and networking opportunities were set aside. As we look forward to our post-Covid world, how do we help our teams zero-in-on activities that will grow the bank and expand its client base? This workshop on May 12 will concentrate on how to RECHARGE this behavior and get back into the mindset of adding value to our existing clients and bringing in new opportunities to the bank. Deepening relationships leads to better opportunities, referrals and RESULTS. Speaker: Jennifer Finkelstein Hall, MatchKey Consulting. For all the details and to register, click here.


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Join live or purchase a recording!

May Webinars from National Experts

Do you have a BankWebinars.com webinar subscription package? Save 10-30% with a subscription package (details here). Use your credits on the webinars below or purchase webinars individually. View the full calendar here. Questions? Email events@gabankers.com

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Recruit, Retain and Develop the Best Bankers with GBA Career Solutions


GBA Job Bank - GBA will post open positions, free of charge, for GBA members. See the open positions in Georgia here. We will also post professional summaries for bank-job seekers on our Bankers Available page. To make the process easy and answer any questions, we've developed this Q & A. Please contact Katina Prokos, 404.420.2021.


GBA Strategic Partner BankTalentHQ - The central feature of BankTalentHQ is its national bank-job board. Other key benefits include: resume search access, regional and national reach for your open positions, frequent special offers and custom sales/coaching programs. Visit BankTalentHQ to learn more. See the open positions in Georgia here, or search regionally or nationally here.


GBA’s Career Paths for Bankers™ - GBA’s Career Paths for Bankers™ is the most unique, organized and easy-to-use career development resource available for bankers and banks. GBA’s pioneering career development resource is unlike any other in the banking industry. Click here to start mapping your banking career today.


Why do people choose careers in banking? Whatever their talents, interests and educational background, there is a career in banking for them. Here are few good reasons to share with folks you know.


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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 Katina Prokos and David Oliver, or if your company would like to sponsor this content, let us know. Here's our latest installment:


Milledgeville - Morris Bank

The bank donated $150,000 to Navicent Health Baldwin through the bank’s partnership with the Georgia HEART Hospital Program.


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Atlanta - CoastalSouth Bancshares and Cornerstone Bank

CoastalSouth Bancshares, Inc. the parent company of Coastal States Bank, and Cornerstone Bancshares, Inc., the parent company of Cornerstone Bank, announced a merger in which Cornerstone will merge with and into CoastalSouth. The transaction is expected to close in the third quarter of 2021. Details here.


Atlanta - Access To Capital for Entrepreneurs (ACE) and JPMorgan Chase & Company/

ACE is among the group of participating lenders in the newly launched Southern Opportunity and Resilience (SOAR) Fund, a program getting small businesses and nonprofits across the South affordable capital and critical business support. JPMorgan Chase & Company is an investor Learn more here.


Atlanta - SouthState Bank

Adam Beckman and Scott Hilton have joined the bank as commercial bankers. Charity Epps-Bell has joined the bank's treasury management team.


Cordele/Perry - Planters First Bank

Briley Edwards has joined the bank as vice president, senior credit analyst. Amie Jones has joined the bank as assistant vice president, portfolio manager in its Perry office.


Dublin - Community Bank of Dublin - Laurens County

Matthew R. Fordham has been promoted to senior credit officer.


Gainesville - Peach State Bank

Greg Barrett has joined the bank as senior vice president for commercial lending.


Sylvania - Farmers and Merchants Bank

Andy Clifton has been promoted to senior vice president. Jean Potter, branch manager of the Westside branch office, has been promoted to vice president and will celebrate 40 years of service with the bank in June.


Atlanta - ADDO

The company celebrated its 10-year anniversary this week. Congratulations to co-founders Kevin Scott and Garrett Gravesen, and the entire team for their success in building an international leadership development consultancy that includes GBA member bank clients as well as Chick-fil-A, the Atlanta Braves and the Baltimore Ravens. GBA, in collaboration with ADDO, is offering two online courses for emerging leaders: The Lens – A 10-part course that helps leaders develop different ways of looking at things. View previews of the Lens hereOrder the course here. Also, 8 Essential Exchanges – A nine-part course that identifies eight clear exchanges that often confront us, and provides insight on how making the right exchange can have profound impact. View previews of the Exchanges course hereOrder the course here.


Edwards Jones Fordham Barrett


Clifton Potter Scott and Gravesen


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 Katina Prokos.

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