Legislature Considers GBA Priority Bills
There's been a heightened sense of urgency to take care of necessary business efficiently at the State Capitol this week on the heels of last week's winter weather as well as with the aggressive calendar set for this session. For example, the House passed the 2015 annual budget and sent it to the Senate for additional work. GBA's two priority bills dealing with certain bank fees and patent trolls were the subject of discussion in the Senate Banking and Financial Institutions Committee. The "Fees are Not Interest" bill, H.B. 824 by Rep. Richard Smith (R-Columbus) was reported out of the Committee Thursday. There were lots of fireworks from trial lawyers complaining the bill would affect pending and future litigation against banks. The Committee amended the bill so as to not affect pending litigation, but shuts off litigation filed after Feb. 19, 2014. The patent troll bill was reported out of committee and is scheduled for a vote in the Senate today. There was also significant work done on S.B. 363 by Sen. Lindsey Tippins (R-Marietta) dealing with utility contractor liens. Ford Thigpen, President, Westside Bank in Hiram testified as GBA's witness on Tuesday and GBA President and CEO Joe Brannen testified Thursday about member concerns with the bill. The bill was reported out, however, with the only no vote coming from Sen. Steve Thompson (D-Marietta). We'll keep working to help legislators understand how bad this bill is for real estate lending in Georgia. We also participated in a hearings on H.B. 917 by Rep. Brian Strickland (R-McDonough) that proposes to extensively revise the current foreclosure confirmation process and extend that confirmation process to post-judgment foreclosures. Another hearing is expected to take place on the bill soon. Look for full details about these bills and more in our weekly Legislative Update we'll send out tomorrow after the General Assembly adjourns for the week. Contact either Elizabeth Chandler, 404.420.2027, or Joe Brannen, 404.402.2026, with questions about legislation, information about how your legislator voted on a particular issue or to request any other information related to the Georgia General Assembly.
Former GBA Chairman Don Crafton Dies This Week
We were saddened to learn that GBA's chairman Don Crafton of Dublin died this week. For those who didn’t have the privilege of knowing Don, he was our chairman in 1982-83 and was president & CEO of Morris State Bank, Dublin, at the time. "I remember him fondly for his quiet manner and gracious demeanor and total commitment to Lawanna and their children, Gene and Linda. Their grandson, Ben, was a huge part of their lives. Don also was a much-needed mentor for me early in my career at GBA," said GBA President and CEO Joe Brannen. Crafton was one of the organizing directors of the GBA Insurance Trust and served many years as vice chairman. He retired in 2002. Crafton was a World War II veteran serving with distinction as part of the Occupation of Japan. After the war, he began his banking career as a bookkeeper and teller, was a state bank examiner and later worked with banks in Dublin, Hawkinsville, Pineview eventually returning to Dublin in 1980 as President, CEO and Director of Morris State Bank.
Effective implementation of the new mortgage servicing rules that went into effect last month has the full attention of the CFPB. The bureau's Deputy Director Steve Antonakes outlined the special attention it is paying to servicing to a trade group in Orlando this week. "We have raised the bar in favor of American consumers and we are ready, willing and able to vigorously enforce that," Antonakes said in his speech. The CFPB expects servicers to reach out actively to customers in default to ensure they understand their options for modifications or other relief. The bureau also expects seamless servicing transfers and any use of force-placed insurance to be as a "last resort," he said.
GBA's Two-Part Seminar: HMDA and CRA Workshop + Fair Lending Feb. 25
As you can see above, with the new mortgage rules in place there will be a lot of scrutiny on a variety of lending areas. Stay ahead of the curve from a HMDA, CRA and Fair Lending perspective by attending our Feb. 25 two-part workshop led by Steve Moore of Bank Compliance Services, Avondale Estates. This workshop will be packed full of valuable information for compliance officers, loan officers, and other bank personnel responsible for HMDA, CRA and Fair Lending compliance. In the morning session attendees will learn about new and updated rules, types of loan applications that are HMDA reportable, the regulatory consequences for non-compliance, community development loans and much more. In the afternoon, Steve will provide an-depth look at fair lending, including a detailed description of "side-by-side loan file analysis", common loan practices with potential fair lending effects, and other components of an effective fair lending program. The HMDA and CRA Workshop + Fair Lending is Feb. 25 at Idle Hour Country Club in Macon. Click here to register online. With questions, please contact GBA's Danielle Driggers at 404.420.2002.
Marketing Committee Plans In-Person Peer Groups
GBA's Marketing Committee met this week to discuss ideas for bank marketing training and development programs for the coming year. Chaired by Renee White, First Landmark Bank, Marietta, the committee is working toward a schedule that includes twice-yearly peer group meetings and an annual conference. The dates and locations are still to be determined, so stay tuned. Among the variety of topics the committee identified as priorities for bank marketers were better leveraging the uses of various social media channels, the importance of understanding the rapid consumer adoption of mobile devices for basic transactions and content marketing techniques that give customers practical "how-to" information. Adam Montgomery, The Coastal Bank, Savannah, is the vice-chairman of the committee. With questions or suggestions, contact Kathy Friestad, 404.420.2024. See GBA's current calendar of Marketing-related programs here, which includes a Social Media risk webinar Feb. 27.
Peanut Commission to Host Farm Bill Webinar Feb. 24
The Georgia Peanut Commission will broadcast a webinar on Feb. 24 at 10:30 a.m. to answer questions about the Farm Bill. Peanut farmers and lenders to those agribusinesses are encouraged to attend at one of many locations to learn more about the specifics contained in the farm bill concerning peanuts for the 2014 growing season. The webinar will be broadcast live to the University of Georgia Tifton Campus Conference Small Auditorium; the Emanuel County 4-H Building, Swainsboro; Mitchell County Ag Center, Camilla; Oconee Fall Line Technical College, Dublin; Sumter County Extension Office, Americus; and the UGA Vidalia Onion and Vegetable Research Center, Reidsville. For more information, contact the Georgia Peanut Commission office at 229.386.3470 or email@example.com.
Calendar Alert: GBA's Rural Lending and Development Conference is May 16-17 at the Savannah Riverfront Marriott. Look for an agenda soon, but you can go ahead and register now if you like. Register here.
Promote America Saves Week Feb. 24-March 1
Please join us next week in promoting America Saves Week. GBA and member banks are uniquely positioned to help Georgians set savings goals and establish family financial stability. The FDIC has a great suite of resources available to you as you talk to customers next week. There are also resources available about savings in GBA's Consumer Toolbox section of our website. And, as you promote savings through your social media channels, we'll look to connect to them through our GBA Twitter feed and Facebook page to boost the power of our common connections. If you host or take part in events in the community, please let us know and send pictures, and we'll share that in upcoming bulletins and social channels. With questions or to share your participation stories, contact David Oliver and Bo Brannen.
Consumer Borrowing Rises, Signaling More Confidence in Economy
Stabilized housing, improving employment conditions, gains in the stock market and continued low interest rates led consumers in the fourth quarter of 2013 to increase household borrowing significantly. Household debt, which includes mortgages, credit cards, auto loans and student loans, jumped $241 billion between October and December to $11.52 trillion, according to statistics from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. It was the biggest jump in borrowing over one quarter since the third quarter of 2007. The consumer behavior behind the increase is a signal that Americans are finally feeling confident enough in their finances and the economic recovery to borrow again, said several press reports about the statistics.
Exhibit Honoring Georgia's Fallen Veterans on Tour
touching exhibit that was on display at the state Capitol office
complex recently that is now traveling the state we want to let you
know about. The Remembering our Fallen exhibit pays tribute to and
recognizes the sacrifices made by 196 Georgia sons and daughters in
service to the United States in Iraq and Afghanistan. The
current Georgia tour schedule is here. The Heritage
Bank, Hinesville is co-sponsoring the exhibit along with
another local business. Those interested
in more information about how to bring the exhibit to your community
can contact the exhibit's Georgia representative,
The stock market's surging performance in 2013 boosted average 401(k) balances to a record high of $89,300, according to a report by Fidelity Investments covered by CNNMoney. That's up 15.5 percent from the 2012 average. People on the verge of retirement, ages 55 to 64 years old, saw their nest eggs grow to an average balance of $165,200 from $143,300 in 2012, Fidelity said. The Fidelity report points out that many may not be saving enough for retirement and putting their savings at risk by cashing out 401(k) plans when they leave a job, rather than rolling them over into a new 401(k) or an IRA. GBA Retirement Services offers high-quality 401(k) plans for banks and their employees, and banks also can refer their customers to GBA Retirement Services for participation. For information and more details, contact Mandy Richards, 404.420.2025, or Danielle Driggers, 404.420.2012.
Recent and proposed changes have produced many questions about the call report. This webcast is your chance to get them answered. This webcast provides an in-depth review of the revisions, schedules and more complex issues. Participants will learn what has changed and how to report accurately. The webcast begins with an overview of proposed revisions, followed by a detailed review of balance sheet schedules, concluding with the income statement schedules. Schedules included in the presentation are the FFIEC 041 forms. Although most schedules are addressed, the focus will be on the more complex issues. In May 2013, the regulatory agencies proposed changes to provide additional data for safety & soundness or other public purposes. Basel III changes to Risk Weightings and Capital Ratios will also affect the Call Report in the future. If you need to train multiple individuals, the video webcast is a great training option. Click here to register for this program. The GBA member price is $795.
New Date: IRA Basics Seminar March 19
Take advantage of the opportunity to learn everything from A to Z about IRAs during this popular annual seminar. Included with the cost of the seminar, each attendee will receive the 225-page IRA Training and Reference Manual, otherwise known as the "IRA Survival Guide" or the "Red Book." Designed for new account representatives, certificate of deposit personnel and any officer/manager who oversees the IRA department, the seminar will be led by Patrice Konarik of Sunwest Training Corp. in Gilchrist, TX. This comprehensive workshop will provide you with a complete understanding of the IRA as well as a review of significant proposed changes. The one-day seminar will be March 19 at Idle Hour Country Club in Macon starting at 9 a.m. For information or to register, please click here. With questions, contact GBA's Danielle Driggers at 404.420.2002.
The Information Security Officer (ISO) March 20
Designed for Information Security Officers, Compliance Officers and network administrators, this seminars will highlight all the information you need to be a successful professional in this role. You will get a better understanding of the regulatory requirements and expectations, and we will define the internal roles and responsibilities including coordination with NetAdmin, reporting to the board of directors, leading the IT steering committee and the ISO's role in audits and examinations. Helpful checklists and white papers will be included. Registration is $225 for members and will be held at the Idle Hour Country Club in Macon Georgia. For more information or to register, click here. For personal assistance contact GBA's Danielle Driggers at 404.420.2002.
Compliance Peer Group Meeting March 25
Compliance Management, UDAAP and New Flood Rules
The next GBA Compliance Peer Group Meeting is March 25 at Idle Hour Country Club in Macon from 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. We have two speakers for this event. Brad Washburn with Steve H. Powell and Company will discuss new flood rules and Harriett Price, also with Steve H. Powell and Company, will cover UDAAP and tips for complying with updated guidelines. Thanks to GBA's Compliance Committee for planning the program. Sandra Chastain, Private Bank of Buckhead, Atlanta is the committee chair. Click here to learn more and to register or contact Alison Moreau, 404.420.2034.
Related: See GBA's full calendar of Compliance-related training and development
Don't miss the opportunity to ask Regulators questions at the Southeast Georgia Community Bank Symposium slated for April 3 at Forest Heights Country Club in Statesboro. Commissioner Kevin Hagler, Georgia Department of Banking and Finance; Tom Dujenski, regional director, FDIC; and Michael Johnson, senior vice president, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta will be on hand to provide an update and answer questions. Be sure to take advantage of the special pricing structure by registering several people from your bank for this event. The registration fee is $159 for the first attendee and $129 per person for each additional attendee. To register for this event, click here. With questions, please contact GBA's Susie McGehee at 404.420.2010.
Disclosure Update, Lending Essentials and Safe Deposit Box Certification and More
A GBA Webinar is a great way to quickly get the training you need right from the comfort of your office. Here is a sample of upcoming offerings. Check the GBA-U Calendar of Events for any webinars you are interested in at www.gabankers.com.
Webinars are live and allow time for questions and answers. The $255 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 Danielle Driggers at 404.420.2002.
AIB Principles of Banking
For more than 85 years, AIB Principles of Banking (POB) has started the careers of millions of successful bank professionals. Covering every aspect of the industry and its role in the economy, Principles of Banking is still the most comprehensive introduction to banking and the foundation course for all AIB diplomas. Click here to learn more or to register or contact Alison Moreau, 404.420.2034.
AIB Instructor-Led Courses
Principles of Banking, Economics for Bankers, Law and Banking
Here are instructor-led AIB online classes coming up in March. These courses have weekly assignments as well as midterm and final exams. All you need is a computer, printer and Internet access. Classes with an asterisk require Microsoft Excel Software. Please register two weeks in advance to secure a seat in the class. For more information, contact Alison Moreau, 404.420.2034.
ATMs offer extraordinary convenience, providing anytime access to cash and account information in the smallest towns and the biggest cities. However, The SUM Surcharge-free ATM Network allows your bank's customers to save time and money by offering surcharge-free access to thousands of ATMs around the country. Any small steps that save your customers time, money or add convenience are truly great. If your bank is a SUM Program member, your customers can use any SUM ATM without paying a surcharge. The consumer benefits of the SUM Program are immediate and easy to access. Your customers don't have to register, and all they need to withdraw cash without a surcharge is your bank-issued ATM card. Regardless of how many ATMs your bank has, with SUM, your customers have even more options for withdrawing funds anytime, anywhere. Customer advantages include:
For more information, please contact Steven Roberts at 770.209.8484.
American Bankers Mutual Insurance Gives Peace of Mind
The ABA Insurance Program (ABAIS) has provided GBA members peace of mind for years through its directors & officers liability, financial institution bond, Internet banking liability, employment practices liability and other related insurance products. ABA Insurance Services works closely with agents and brokers whether they have a sizable financial institution book of business or simply write policies for their local community bank. Read more about the ABA Insurance program here...
Access to Multiple Distressed-bank D&O and Bond Insurance Markets,
Coverage Available for Banks of Any Size from McEver & Tribble
After a difficult period for D&O Insurance coverage, we are starting to hear of emerging patterns regarding market response to banks of varying health. The current market is helpful for certain banks but still a challenge for others. Healthy banks can expect improved market response, similar to what they found before the 2008 market correction, with 3-year policies, no restrictive wording or endorsements and competitive pricing. Distressed banks, on the other hand, can expect one-year terms, lower limits, restrictive endorsements, higher premiums and some are still encountering regulatory exclusions on their polices as well as Prior Acts exclusions. The cost to obtain these coverages can be high, however, GBA Strategic Partner McEver & Tribble has access to multiple distressed-bank D&O and Bond Insurance markets and can provide regulatory coverage for banks of any size. Please contact Hayward McEver with questions at 404.949.3825.
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 at 404.420.2035.
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 Bo Brannen.
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. See these and other member community contributions on GBA's new Facebook page. Here's our latest installment:
Atlanta - Georgia Commerce Bank
The staff of the Peachtree Corners office was recognized and presented with a Certificate of Appreciation for its continuing service and support of the Peachtree Corners Business Association. Senior Vice President Dan Baker, one of original organizers of the association, was also elected president for 2014. "It has been a privilege to be involved with the business community in the Peachtree Corners area for the past 29 years. When I was asked to be one of the founding directors of the Peachtree Corners Business Association two years ago, I was eager to help in any way I could," said Baker. "The association has now grown to include 167 member companies with some 380 representatives. As the newly elected president, I want to make sure we continue this growth and include all the businesses in Peachtree Corners." See photo below.
Pelham - Pelham Banking Company
The bank recently was a proud sponsor of the Mitchell County Young Farmer's Pig Show.
Pelham - Family Bank
The bank recently supported local high school basketball teams by providing the students and coaches with a fun-filled pizza party.
Community Connections is brought to you by Diebold Inc.
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- Community & Southern Bank
Steven M. LaSota has been named Assistant General Counsel
/ Director of Corporate Services. Ricky Robertson has been
named Director of Security. Christe Smith has been named
Vendor Management & Legal Services Coordinator. Catherine Benitez
has been named ORE & Facilities Manager. Tom Bethel has been
named Director of Middle Market Commercial Division. Brian McLean
has been named Director of Corporate Banking and Heather Cash
has been named Director of Treasury Management Services.
- Private Bank of Buckhead
Alisha Nasse has been named Senior Vice President and
Peoples Community National Bank
Keith Perry has been promoted to Vice President and
Commercial Loan Officer.
Hamilton State Bankshares, Inc.
Hamilton State Bancshares, Inc. has completed the acquisition of
Cherokee Bank, N.A.
- LaGrange Banking Company
The bank recently opened a full-service branch in a newly renovated
building at 2921 Airport Thruway. See a photo of the staff below.
- First National Bank of Coffee County
Chief Lending Officer Adam Smith has been accepted into
Leadership Georgia's class of 2014.
Bank of Dudley
Brandon Tapley has been promoted to Assistant Banking Officer
and Assistant Branch Manager of the bank's East Dublin Branch.
Lori Norton has been promoted to Assistant Vice President -
Finance and Operations. Jennifer Wilkins has been promoted to
Assistant Banking Officer. Elizabeth Hodges, has been
promoted to Vice President, Finance and Operations.
Hiawassee - formerly Bank of Hiawassee
Our sympathies to the family and friends of Bank Chairman Elois
Anderson, who died this week. Long active with GBA, Anderson
chaired the Community Bankers Committee, Credit Committee and served
on the Board of Directors.
Georgia House of Representatives
Our sympathies to the family of long-time state representative
Marcus Collins, who died recently. Rep. Collins served many years
as chairman of the Ways and Means Committee.
- Heritage Bank of the South
Susan Moore has joined the bank as a Customer Service
Peachtree City - SouthCrest Bank
Stephenie Whitfield has joined the bank as Senior
Vice-President of SBA Lending.
Springs - Signature Bank of Georgia
Augustus Brown has joined the
bank as Market President and Managing Director of Commercial
Atlanta - SunTrust
Inder Singh and Sandy Draper have joined the firm's
equity research department. Andor Laszlo and Terence
O'Malley have joined its equity origination group.
Left to Right: Andrea Stewart, Cindy Rowe,
Georgia Bankers Association I 50
Hurt Plaza, Suite 1050 | Atlanta, Georgia 30303 |
Atlanta - Community & Southern Bank
Steven M. LaSota has been named Assistant General Counsel / Director of Corporate Services. Ricky Robertson has been named Director of Security. Christe Smith has been named Vendor Management & Legal Services Coordinator. Catherine Benitez has been named ORE & Facilities Manager. Tom Bethel has been named Director of Middle Market Commercial Division. Brian McLean has been named Director of Corporate Banking and Heather Cash has been named Director of Treasury Management Services.
Atlanta - Private Bank of Buckhead
Alisha Nasse has been named Senior Vice President and Relationship Manager.
Bremen - Peoples Community National Bank
Keith Perry has been promoted to Vice President and Commercial Loan Officer.
Canton - Hamilton State Bankshares, Inc.
Hamilton State Bancshares, Inc. has completed the acquisition of Cherokee Bank, N.A.
Columbus - LaGrange Banking Company
The bank recently opened a full-service branch in a newly renovated
building at 2921 Airport Thruway. See a photo of the staff below.
Douglas - First National Bank of Coffee County
Chief Lending Officer Adam Smith has been accepted into Leadership Georgia's class of 2014.
Dublin - Bank of Dudley
Brandon Tapley has been promoted to Assistant Banking Officer and Assistant Branch Manager of the bank's East Dublin Branch. Lori Norton has been promoted to Assistant Vice President - Finance and Operations. Jennifer Wilkins has been promoted to Assistant Banking Officer. Elizabeth Hodges, has been promoted to Vice President, Finance and Operations.
Hiawassee - formerly Bank of Hiawassee
Our sympathies to the family and friends of Bank Chairman Elois Anderson, who died this week. Long active with GBA, Anderson chaired the Community Bankers Committee, Credit Committee and served on the Board of Directors.
Pelham - Georgia House of Representatives
Our sympathies to the family of long-time state representative Marcus Collins, who died recently. Rep. Collins served many years as chairman of the Ways and Means Committee.
LaGrange - Heritage Bank of the South
Susan Moore has joined the bank as a Customer Service Representative.
Peachtree City - SouthCrest Bank
Stephenie Whitfield has joined the bank as Senior Vice-President of SBA Lending.
Sandy Springs - Signature Bank of Georgia
Augustus Brown has joined the bank as Market President and Managing Director of Commercial Banking.
Atlanta - SunTrust Robinson Humphries
Inder Singh and Sandy Draper have joined the firm's equity research department. Andor Laszlo and Terence O'Malley have joined its equity origination group.
Left to Right: Andrea Stewart, Cindy Rowe,
Georgia Bankers Association I 50 Hurt Plaza, Suite 1050 | Atlanta, Georgia 30303 | 404.522.1501