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Home I GBA University I Member Services I Volunteers I Government Relations I Calendar of Events   February 7, 2014

Legislative Brief

Priority Bills Pass House Unanimously

GBA's two priority bills for this year's General Assembly session have passed the House and now head to the Senate for further action. The "Fees are Not Interest" bill, H.B. 824, passed the full House unanimously Wednesday. Rep. Richard Smith (R-Columbus) ushered the bill through the House. The patent troll bill, H.B. 809, passed the House, also unanimously, Thursday. The bill authorizes the Governor's Office of Consumer Affairs to enforce the bad faith assertions found in violation of the act. Individuals may also bring a private action against the troll. We also added several new bills to our tracking list this week, the most significant being one that radically changes the foreclosure confirmation process and requires any lender seeking a deficiency following a foreclosure to go through this new confirmation process including when a judgment has been received on a note. Look for full details in our Legislative Update tomorrow after the Legislature adjourns for the week. Throughout the session, GBA is represented by our Senior Vice President for Government Relations, Elizabeth Chandler, 404.420.2027, and President and CEO, Joe Brannen, 404.402.2026. Contact either of them 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.


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GBA, Others Push for Fed Governor with Community Bank Background

GBA this week joined most other state bankers associations and the ABA in urging President Obama to nominate someone with strong community bank experience to the Federal Reserve Board of Governors to fill one of the current vacant positions. In a letter to the president, the associations pointed out that at times, attention to community bank issues has been overshadowed by the Fed's monetary policy duties. "The participation of someone on the Board with this important background [community banking] will help to ensure that the Federal Reserve fulfills its full set of responsibilities. Community banks are committed to the growth of their communities, prospering as their customers prosper. We offer our request and recommendation in view of our shared desire for economic growth that reaches to all parts of our nation, and in the recognition that community banks are fundamental to achieving that growth," the letter said.


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HR Professionals Gather In Atlanta

Georgia's top bank Human Resources officers attended the annual GBA HR Professionals Institute this week in Atlanta. We've heard from GBA board members and many other member bankers throughout the past year that HR issues are top of mind right now for bank management, boards and employees, so the agenda was stocked with the latest updates on the most pressing HR topics. Attendees got a thorough briefing about Affordable Care Act issues, the latest about compensation and benefit practices, technology trends related to HR, succession planning tips and a full HR legal update. Networking is also a prime benefit of the annual institute, and there was a lively peer exchange and quality relationship-building time. Many thanks to Wanda Nesbit, Citizens Trust Bank, Atlanta, for chairing the GBA HR Committee that planned the conference. Frankie Wright, Georgia Bank & Trust Company, Augusta, is the committee vice chair. Thanks to Matthews Young-Consulting, Mike Hamilton, for sponsoring part of the conference. With questions, contact GBA's Kathy Friestad, 404.420.2024.


Tommy Zielinski, State Bank & Trust, during peer discussion.


Heather Martin, Community Bank
and Trust, Cornelia addresses attendees.

Lance Whitley, Heritage Bank of the South, Albany during peer discussion.


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Action Alert

Sub S Banks Should Comment on Capital Solution

The Basel III capital rules require a capital conservation buffer that could cause a tax liability for Subchapter S bank shareholders. The conservation buffer rule prevents banks from making distributions to shareholders when capital falls below a certain level. Because federal tax liability passes through a Sub S bank to individual shareholders, this rule may cause Sub S shareholders to face a tax liability even when they did not receive a distribution. Sub S banks are encouraged to join GBA and ABA in urging regulators to allow Sub S banks to make distributions equal to the taxes due on the bank's undistributed income, which would eliminate the disadvantage. There's a sample letter available here to help you write regulators. With questions, contact Joe Brannen, 404.420.2026, or Elizabeth Chandler, 404.420.2027.


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LIBOR References in Loan Docs May Need Updates

Commercial and consumer loan documents that refer the London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR) may need to be updated. As of
Feb. 1, the British Bankers Association (BBA) no longer administers LIBOR. The new administrator is the Intercontinental Exchange Benchmark Administration Ltd (ICE). So, for new, modified or renewed loans, any references to BBA LIBOR in your loan documentation should be updated. There is no reason to refer to the entity that administers LIBOR, says a bulletin about the change from GBA Associate Member Bryan Cave. A general reference to LIBOR should suffice. The bulletin says that there's probably no need to change existing loan documents, but check that with your compliance experts to be sure.


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Nominate Your Customers for Small Business Awards

Here's a good way to show your appreciation for some of your customers and help promote small business lending. The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) Georgia District Office is seeking nominations for Georgia's 2014 Small Business/Champion of the Year awards in 10 categories ranging from entrepreneurs, family owned businesses, minority businesses and more. Banks, people and other organizations that support small businesses in any way can nominate a small business. The deadline for nominations is March 15.
Here's a link to all the details. Submit all nominations to


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President to Sign Farm Bill

The Farm Bill passed the Senate this week, and President Obama has said he intends to sign it. As we reported last week when the House approved the legislation, the bill includes the removal of term limits for USDA-guaranteed farm loans, something GBA and others have supported for years. The bill also trims some farm subsidy programs and institutes an enhanced crop insurance program. Georgia Sens. Chambliss and Isakson voted for the bill. Here's a link to an article with an overview of the bill and a video of Sen. Chambliss' speech on the Senate floor in support of the bill.


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Evans Recognized for Cordele Redevelopment Efforts

It's always nice to see member bankers recognized for their contributions and commitment to their hometowns. This month's Georgia Trend magazine has an article that highlights Colony Bank's Bob Evans for his role in helping redevelop Cordele's downtown. Evans, city president for the bank in Cordele and recent GBA Board Member, is specifically recognized for being the force behind building a new downtown campus for Darton State College. "This is all about education and jobs and bringing back the downtown area," says Evans. "We have made a major commitment to education in our chamber of commerce and in the Industrial Development Authority. If you don't have a trainable workforce, you can't recruit jobs into the community. In just the college itself, we've got 300 students, and in five years we think we'll have 1,000 full-time students. Those students will come to Cordele with money in their pockets to spend for housing and gasoline and to spend at restaurants." Here's a link to the full article.



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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, is the committee chair. Click here to learn more and to register or contact Alison Moreau, 404.420.2034.


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GBA 2014 Operations and Technology Conference March 5- 6

Smashing Tokens with Zeus / Leprechaun – Now You're Curious, Right?

GBA's Operations and Technology Conference will be March 5-6, at the Cobb Galleria Centre in Atlanta. GBA's Operations and Technology Committee plans the conference, which addresses the concerns of bankers on the operations and IT sides of the bank. This year's program agenda is a full one. Attendees will have five excellent educational sessions, the annual peer exchange, an opportunity to hear from and meet 12 exhibiting companies, and an opening networking reception, all over a 24-hour timeframe. Attendees will hear from Lawrence Baldwin, of, a cyber investigations and network analysis firm based in Atlanta. In his session, "Smashing Tokens with Zeus/Leprechaun," Baldwin will discuss how criminals use social engineering to bypass all forms of secondary authentication in the transaction process, the implications, and mitigation strategies. Click here to register and for hotel information.


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Teach Children to Save Day Registration is Open

The ABA this week opened registration for Teach Children to Save Day (TCTSD) set for April 11. Since 1997, more than 130,000 bankers have leveraged the program and its resources to bring financial literacy lessons to more than 6 million students. If you are interested in learning more, ABA is hosting a free webinar on Feb. 11 at 3 p.m. to kick off the event. The webinar will cover information on this year's program, best practices from veteran participants, and tips for planning a successful TCTSD, and end with a Q&A session. We encourage all GBA members to participate in the day, report your activities through our Financial Literacy Program and share with us photos of your participation so we can recognize the good work of your bank.

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2014 Affordable Housing Program Application Deadline is Feb. 13

The application round for FHLBank Atlanta's 2014 Affordable Housing Program (AHP Competitive) is underway. Applications and all supporting documentation must be submitted to the bank through FHLBAccess® by Feb. 13. As a reminder, all project sponsors must partner with an FHLBank Atlanta member financial institution to submit an AHP application. Sponsors that are new to the AHP must complete a one-time registration. Click here to begin the registration process. New registrations must be submitted by Feb. 11. The bank encourages sponsors to register as early as possible so the member financial institution will have adequate time to review applications prior to the deadline. With questions, contact Don Billingsley, 404.888.8341,; James Monaghan, 404.888.8429, or Joel Brockmann, 404.888.8156,


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Register Now for GBA's IRA Basics Seminar - Feb. 12

Learn about IRAs from the esteemed Patrice Konarik of Sunwest Training Corp. This seminar is specifically designed to teach new account representatives, certificate of deposit personnel and any officer/manager who oversees the IRA department, everything there is to know about IRAs. Included in 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." 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 Feb. 12 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.


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Don't Miss GBA's Analyzing Financial Statements Seminar Feb. 20

Now is the time to register for GBA's Analyzing Financial Statements seminar. Led by Mike Allen with State Bank & Trust, Atlanta, this one-day seminar is designed for entry-level commercial lending officers, credit trainees and analysts. Topics to be covered include analyzing personal tax returns, analyzing commercial financial statements and much more. The Analyzing Financial Statements Seminar is Feb. 20 at Idle Hour Country Club in Macon. Click here to register online. With questions please contact GBA's Danielle Driggers at 404.420.2002.


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HMDA and CRA Workshop + Fair Lending - Feb. 25

This seminar features two outstanding sessions. Steve Moore of Bank Compliance Services, Avondale Estates, will be leading a full-day seminar packed with valuable information for compliance officers, loan officers and other bank personnel responsible for HMDA 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 session, 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 Seminar 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.


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Loan Documentation Seminar Scheduled for March 13

Preventing loan losses by implementing proper loan structuring and documentation techniques is critical in the banking industry. Join Mike Allen, State Bank & Trust, at GBA's Loan Documentation Seminar as he shares techniques for proper loan documentation. Topics include background and review, identifying the borrower, identifying the collateral, evidencing the debt, attaching and perfecting the collateral, real estate specifics and much more. Designed for commercial loan officers, commercial loan personnel, loan assistants and closing specialists, the seminar will be March 13 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Idle Hour Country Club in Macon. Click here to register online. With questions, please contact GBA's Danielle Driggers at 404.420.2002.


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GBA's Southeastern Community Bank Symposium is Coming Up April 3

Attention Southeastern Georgia community banks: the Georgia Bankers Association along with Georgia Southern University Center for Excellence in Financial Services will host the annual Southeastern Community Bank Symposium April 3 at Forest Heights Country Club in Statesboro. It will feature leading industry experts who will focus on the important issues facing the banking industry. A detailed brochure will be available soon. Be sure to take advantage of the special pricing structure by registering several people from your bank for this event. The registration price is $159 for the first attendee and $129 per person for each additional attendee. Click here to register online. With questions, please contact GBA's Susie McGehee at 404.420.2010.


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GBA-U Webinars

Vendor Management, Fighting Cybercrime, Lending Essentials 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


Feb. 10

Managing Your Core Vendor Relationship

Feb. 13

Personal Survival: 25 Rules to Live By

Feb. 20

Online Fraud & Cybercrime - Are You Safe?

Feb. 24

2014 Integrated Disclosures (Overview)

Feb. 26

Start Coaching & Stop Hovering Over the Teller Line

March 3

Lending Essentials: Business Entities

March 10

Call Report Preparation

March 18

2014 Integrated Disclosures: The New Loan Estimate


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.


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AIB Course Highlight

AIB IRA Online Institute

Delivered in conjunction with ABA, the IRA Online Institute is an intensive 12-week course developed and supported by Ascensus' professional instructors that teaches in-depth, essential IRA information about Traditional IRAs, Roth IRAs, SEP plans and SIMPLE IRA plans. Ascensus has tailored its premier on-site IRA training so attendees can conveniently access the web-based study material and submit assignments. Students should expect to spend 15-20 hours a week completing the readings and assignments depending on the student's prior knowledge of IRAs. The Online Institute is an Institute of Certified Bankers-approved educational program for the Certified IRA Services Professional (CISP) designation. Click here to learn more or to register or contact Alison Moreau, 404.420.2034.


AIB Instructor-Led Courses

Intro to Mortgage Lending, Law and Banking, Principles of Banking Sessions Coming  up

Here are instructor-led AIB online classes coming up in February. 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.



March 3

AIB Analyzing Financial Statements

March 3

AIB Introduction to Mortgage Lending

March 3

Introduction to Trust Products & Services

March 3

AIB Law & Banking: Applications

March 3

AIB Principles of Banking

March 10

AIB Principles of Banking Accelerated

March 17

AIB Economics for Bankers

March 17

AIB Law & Banking: Principles

March 17

ABA Online Review Course for the CRCM Exam

March 17

AIB Principles of Banking

March 31

AIB Analyzing Financial Statements

March 31

AIB Principles of Banking


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Bank Assetpoint Is the Best Place to Search for and Post Assets for Sale

The Bank Assetpoint CommunitySM is designed to foster the formation of a mutually beneficial community of buyers, sellers and service providers. Their team aims to provide tools for all users to connect, to be informed, and to share information. Use Bank Assetpoint to find and connect with:

  • CRE brokers who can help you purchase or post and manage CRE real estate for sale

  • Loan sale advisors who can assist with a loan purchase or sale by providing document management services, valuations, closing, and other services

  • Specialty service providers who offer services such as asset management, credit services, market data, due diligence and more.

As Bank Assetpoint approaches the end of its beta phase and prepares for a national launch, its listing inventory continues to expand and site functionality continues to improve. One recent enhancement - the Save My Search feature - allows you to be among the first to see new listings that meet your search criteria. Simply search for loans, refine your search and click the "Save My Search" button on the upper-right area of your screen. Your search will be saved, and you'll have the option to receive emails when a new posting matches your search preferences. You can also view your saved searches anytime by clicking on the "My Saved Searches" tab on your Bank Assetpoint Dashboard. You can check out Bank Assetpoint at With questions, contact Promontory's Danny Capitel, 770.630.6796, or GBA's David Oliver, 404.420.2036.


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How You Can Meet New Motor Vehicle Titling Requirements

The Georgia Department of Revenue (DOR) is enforcing its ELT mandatory requirements more stringently now that the Jan. 1, 2014, deadline for all lenders with five or more titles in the previous calendar year has passed. The DOR is also working on a new transaction to allow lienholders to be notified when a title has not been issued due to the owner not paying the second installment of the ad valorem tax. Decision Dynamics Inc., (DDI) works closely with more than 130 GBA member banks, helping set up and support Georgia customers using Premier eTitleLien™, a secure, web-based application. The application allows lien holders to participate in the state's ELT program while remaining in complete control of their title portfolios. DDI is a state-approved provider of ELT service. As Georgia lenders transition to ELT, DDI continues to offer its quality product combined with superior customer support. There are no costs to enroll in the Georgia ELT program with Premier eTitleLien™. DDI offers volume-based transaction pricing, without monthly minimums, per-user fees or support fees, and no locked-in contracts. To enroll in the Georgia ELT program, you can complete the attached GA Enrollment Form and the Premier eTitleLien™ License Agreement, and fax to 803.808.3780, or email to For more information about DDI, please contact Amanda Jensen at 803.808.0117. Please feel free to contact David Oliver 404.420.2036 or Bogan Brannen 404.420.2014 with any questions about GBA's endorsement of DDI, or for additional information.


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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 at 404.420.2035.


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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 Bo Brannen.


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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 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:


Adairsville – Northside Bank

Employees from the bank recently volunteered for the local Reality Store. This is a program in which students are able to envision the lifestyle they would like to have when they are in their mid-20's, select an occupation, receive one month's salary for a desired job, spend their salary in the reality store, handle some of life's unexpected events, and learn whether their selected occupation will provide the financial resources needed to provide the lifestyle they want.


Atlanta – Crescent Mortgage Company

Vice President and Operational Compliance Manager Vernon Tanner presented an overview of the new mortgage rules to a group of professional Realtors on Jan. 21 on behalf of GBA. GBA is the trusted resource about banking for outside industry groups like this. When one of GBA staff can't fulfill the request, or the group wants more technical assistance, we call on Associate Members. Thanks to Vernon and his team for doing this on behalf of GBA.


Valdosta - Commercial Banking Company

Senior Vice President/Regional President Brad Barber recently attended a local event and discussed banking issues with U.S. Rep. Jack Kingston and state Rep. Sam Watson.


Kharis Bramlett, Robbie Stephens, and Mallary Sutton, all from Northside Bank's Adairsville Branch, helping at the Reality Store simulation for students.


From left, Fowler Williams, Crescent Mortgage President; Ashli Matson, Georgia Account Executive, and Vernon Tanner, VP-Operational Compliance Manager. Tanner spoke about new mortgage rules to a group of realtors on behalf of GBA recently. Commercial Banking Company's Brad Barber at right with U.S. Rep. Jack Kingston, center, and state Rep. Sam Watson.


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Atlanta – Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta

Michael Chriszt has been appointed vice president of the Public Affairs department.


Atlanta - Private Mortgage Solutions, a division of Private Bank of Buckhead

Jason Copeland, Denise Pajak and Brandelyn (Brandy) Hall Smith have joined the company as vice presidents and mortgage bankers.


Augusta - Savannah River Banking Co.

First Community Bank, Columbia, SC, has completed its merger with the bank.


Cochran - State Bank of Cochran

The bank recently held a reception to honor former President Ernie Tripp who recently retired after 45 years of service to the banking industry. He will remain a consultant to the bank and on the board.


Columbus – Synovus

The bank recently received 16 national awards from Greenwich Associates for excellence in Middle Market and Small Business banking. Synovus was also honored with four South Regional awards, including two in Middle Market for overall satisfaction and Treasury Management overall satisfaction, and two in Small Business for overall satisfaction and overall satisfaction in Treasury Management.


Rome – Heritage First Bank

Angie Wessell has been promoted to Assistant Vice President, Accounting Department Manager. Dixie Sorrow has been promoted to Assistant Vice President/Public Relations and Marketing Director. Vicki Knight has been named Chief Risk Officer.


Tifton - South Georgia Bank Holding Co.

The holding company completed the acquisition of Vienna-based Dooly Bancshares Inc. on Feb. 1.


Valdosta - Commercial Banking Company

Daryn Russell has been appointed President and CEO of the bank.


State Bank of Cochran's
Ernie Tripp at a retirement reception in his honor with GBA's Joe Brannen.












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