Jan. 8, 2021  

Federal Issues

Elections Done, Now the Advocacy Work Begins

Now that the U.S. Senate runoff election is behind us, GBA’s work on members’ behalf turns to helping new members of Congress get up to speed on all things banking. We’ve got two new Senators and four new House members to educate on our issues. We’ve already seen some key committee assignments of note: Rep. Nikema Williams (D-GA5) holds the seat once held by the late Rep. John Lewis and has been named to the House Financial Services Committee. Rep. Barry Loudermilk (R-GA11) is expected to stay on the committee, as is Rep. David Scott (D-GA13). Rep. Scott is the new chair of the House Agriculture Committee, so he’ll need to devote most of his resources there. We should know more soon about other committee appointments for the delegation, so stay tuned. Once sworn in, we expect President Biden will quickly send candidates to the Senate for confirmation to various bank regulatory agencies. There’s a vacancy on the Federal Reserve Board, and the President may move to replace the current head of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and submit a candidate for Comptroller of the Currency. As we see with any change in Administration, the regulatory agencies will likely first move to modify existing regulations if there is a policy reason to do so. Banking issues were seldom discussed during the recent election cycle, but we will be attentive to proposals affecting the industry as they surface. 


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Georgia General Assembly

Session Set to Start Jan. 11, GBA Team Ready for Action

The Georgia General Assembly will meet Monday, Jan. 11, to begin its 40-day session. A number of new legislators will be sworn in but we’ll see many familiar returning members. We hope to hear soon who will chair the Senate Banking and Financial Institutions Committee as well as who the chairs will be of the House and Senate Agriculture Committees, the Senate Judiciary Committee and the House Ways and Means Committee. We work closely with those committees, and last year’s chairs will not be in the legislature this year. As for issues, we have been working with the Georgia Department of Banking and Finance on its housekeeping bill. We are also part of a group of stakeholders supporting remote notary authorization. And we have been in conversation with the Georgia Forestry Association about some tweaks to the statute related to timber liens. We expect to see dozens of bills introduced that will affect the industry and will stay in touch through our weekly Legislative Update we’ll begin publishing next Friday.


As we prepare for this year’s session, we’ve updated our State Issues page on the GBA website to begin tracking issues and bills we know will be covered in the upcoming session. This will be the first of a two-year legislative cycle, so our tracking will be full of new legislation. GBA will be represented throughout the session by our Senior Vice President for Government Relations, Elizabeth Chandler, 404.372.7893, President and CEO, Joe Brannen, 404.401.0274, and our Government Relations Consultant Steve Bridges, 404.420.2037. Contact any of them with questions about legislation, information about your legislator's stance on a particular issue or to request any other information related to the Georgia General Assembly.


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GBA Staff Profile

A Deep Dive on Government Relations with Steve Bridges

A key member of the GBA Government Relations team is Steve Bridges. The former Department of Banking and Finance Commissioner turned his talents toward government relations after retiring from a long career at the Department. In this week’s GBA Staff Profile, Bridges shares about his professional journey and insights on working with legislators. He stresses that while lawmakers may listen to industry lobbyists, what really matters to them is what local bankers think about an issue. “It is extremely important for bankers to get to know and develop relationships with their elected officials at the state and federal levels, in order to facilitate communication with them when important legislative issues arise,” Bridges said. Get to know Bridges better here…


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SBA Issues New PPP Guidance

Late Wednesday the Small Business Administration released three documents with important information about the new Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) provisions and Round 3 rollout. No date for opening the program was given. An Interim Final Rule (IFR) contains all the changes resulting from the recent Economic Aid Act, and another IFR covers second-draw loan rules. To help prioritize funding for minority, underserved, women- and veteran-owned businesses, community financial institutions will have access to the program at least two days before other lenders. Of note in the IFR about changes to the overall program are details about the new fee structure, eligibility of borrowers, expenses eligible for forgiveness, loan amounts, how lenders may rely on borrower certifications and a new registration requirement for lenders. Related to second-draw loans, differences are that a borrower must have 300 or fewer employees, have experienced a 25% or greater revenue drop in 2020 compared to 2019 and have used the full amount of their first-draw PPP loan. The maximum loan amount is $2 million or two and a half months of average payroll costs, whichever is less, with some exceptions. Documents are linked below. 

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GBA Partner Webinar with Abrigo - What’s Changed with PPP in 2021?

For more details on all the changes to PPP, please plan to join GBA partner Abrigo on Monday, Jan. 11, at 1 p.m. ET, for a complimentary webinar with representatives from SBA, who will discuss the changes in the latest round, including information on new qualifications and eligibility for a second draw. Register for the free webinar here. If you’re considering using Abrigo to help originate your PPP loans, make sure to mention you are a member of the GBA to access discounted pricing. For more information, please contact Abrigo’s Laura Wahllaura.wahl@abrigo.com, 919.906.5649.


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Update on Economic Impact Payments from IRS

We’re hearing from members that some customers continue to inquire about the status of their Economic Impact Payments, which began flowing last week into accounts by ACH and checks were beginning to be printed and distributed. Things got confusing for some, as the IRS sent some payments to tax preparers, closed or inactive accounts, and some people are now being told they will not receive their payment and must instead claim the Recovery Rebate Credit when filing their 2020 tax return electronically. As a resource, the IRS Tuesday published a FAQ to help with their questions. IRS has also updated its online portal that individual taxpayers may use to see the status of their payment found at this link: https://www.irs.gov/coronavirus/get-my-payment 


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Anti-Money Laundering Act Resource

Attached to the National Defense Authorization Act recently passed was an important bipartisan banking-related bill GBA supported, the Anti-Money Laundering Act of 2020. Most notably, the legislation establishes a national registry to help you comply with beneficial ownership identification rules. The act clarifies other BSA and AML obligations, and it imposes new regulatory requirements such as requiring financial institutions to integrate a set of National AML / Countering the Financing of Terrorism (CFT) Priorities into your compliance programs. As a resource, The Davis Polk law firm shared with us a client memo giving more details about the changes that are to come.


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GBA Operations & Technology Conference - Registration is Open!

GBA’s Operations and Technology Committee has been working hard on the program agenda for the Feb. 24-26 Operations and Technology Conference. Registration is now open. The agenda is almost ready but we have confirmed the following speakers.

  • Payment System Trends: A Practical Approach for Choosing the Best Option, Terri Sands, Founder, Secura Risk Management

  • FinTechs, Zach Duke, President, Finosec

  • King of the Hill Mobile App Edition, Dave DeFazio, Partner, StrategyCorps,

  • Keynote Speaker Marc Pritchett, CEO & Founder at RUSH Ministries, Pastor at NorthRidge Church

  • Navigating Microsoft Teams, Will Beers, Senior Messaging Engineer, Conversant Group

We will offer two types of registration options, in-person or virtual. Click here to register. The conference will be at the King and Prince Beach & Golf Resort, 201 Arnold Rd., St. Simons, GA (912) 638-3631. To reserve a room, call 800.342.0212 and mention that you are with the Georgia Bankers Association to receive GBA’s special nightly rates. See the King and Prince's COVID-19 Health and Safety Updates here. Contact GBA’s Alison Moreau, 404.420.2034, with questions.


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Women in Banking Series Rolls On

Register now for final session Feb. 1, and access to all others

Our Women in Banking series of virtual conversations for members of GBA and the North Carolina Bankers Association continued this week. Participants heard an inspiring conversation about how to manage stress, achieve work-life balance, coaching, mentoring and more. Speakers were Pinnacle Bank’s Jenny Wofford, vice chair of Leadership GBA and a member of ABA’s Emerging Leaders Program, Jenna Kelley, Truist Bank’s North Georgia Regional President, Robin Hager, President and COO of North Carolina-based Triad Bank, and moderator Casey Edmonds of GBA Insurance Trust’s wellness program partner Wellview Health. The final session of the six-part series will be Feb. 1 featuring Natalie Bartholomew, founder of the popular Girl Banker blog and podcast. Register here for that session and access to recordings of the entire series.


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Is Your Aim True? Sign Up for State BankPAC Sporting Clays Tournament

Leadership GBA will host its fourth-annual Sporting Clays Tournament Feb. 11 at Old Hudson Plantation in Sparta. We’re really looking forward to getting together, being outside and showing support for GBA’s State BankPAC*. To reserve your spot, click here. Invite fellow bankers, customers, prospects, directors and elected officials to join you. It’s $500 for a four-person team and $150 for an individual. Or, register a team and get a Stand Sponsorship for $700 (save $150). You may opt to support the PAC through sponsorships ranging from $250 - $1,000. Click here for sponsorship details. Sponsors will be recognized in event and promotional materials, on on-site signage, and at the event. We look forward to seeing you at the tournament! Thanks to ATM Response, FHLB of Atlanta, and Haberfeld for sponsoring!  Contact GBA’s Kathy Friestad with any questions.


* The GBA StatePAC contributes only to candidates running for state-level office such as the Georgia General Assembly, the Governor’s office and the Lieutenant Governor’s office.  Contributions can be made from an individual, from bank funds if you are a state-chartered bank or from a national bank holding company if the contribution is made from funds other than those resulting from the operations of the national bank.


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Remote Work: How Banks Can Build and Lead a Team - Jan. 21

We’ve been navigating uncharted waters for months now and remote work looks like it’s here to stay. While remote work is new to so many of us -- it’s not new to BELAY, which has been growing a successful company through remote work for over 10 years and is proud to lead the charge in disrupting the status quo by dismantling the way things have always been done. Join Krisha Buehler, BELAY’s vice president of human resources, on Jan. 21 as she shares answers to some of the most asked questions regarding remote work in this new webinar:

  • How do you measure productivity in a remote environment?

  • What traits indicate a person can work remotely?

  • How can managers support employees who work remotely?

  • Is remote work sustainable for my bank/company long term?

Register here (only $99 per person through Jan. 7!) Questions? Email Jenna Lynn Warner.


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Registration Opening Soon for GBA Signature Summer Events!

You’ve got your calendar marked for GBA’s Annual Meeting (June 20-22, The Cloister at Sea Island, GA) and Leadership Conference (July 12-14, Ponte Vedra Inn & Club, Ponte Vedra FL), right? An announcement about when registration and the hotel room blocks opening is coming soon, with a target open date of early February. We’re in the process of implementing a new online registration system for a more efficient and seamless registration and payment process for you, so we want to get that just right out of the gate for these signature events. Remember, meeting registration is required before you can reserve your hotel room, and we will open the room block concurrent with opening registration. Here is event pricing for your budget and planning purposes:



GBA 2021 Annual Meeting (June 20-22, The Cloister at Sea Island, GA): Member Banker/Associate Member:  $765/pp; Spouse/Guest: $550/pp.  Exhibit Space:  $750 (plus registration)



GBA 2021 Leadership Conference (July 12-14, Ponte Vedra Inn & Club, Ponte Vedra FL): Member Banker/Associate Member: $575/pp; Spouse/Guest: $215/pp. Exhibit Space:  $750 (plus registration)


The 2021 GBA Sponsorship Kit and reservation form will be posted on the website this week. We’ll also be emailing the kit to all associate members this week. Opportunities are available for GBA banks and associate members to sponsor these two GBA signature summer events as well as GBA conferences, seminars, and schools. Click here for a list of confirmed 2021 events. We can’t wait to gather in-person this summer and we’ll share planning updates in the e-bulletin regularly over the coming weeks and months. If you have questions, contact GBA’s Kathy Friestad.


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GBA Partner Webinar: Jump-Starting Your Mortgage Business with Promontory MortgagePath

Promontory MortgagePath is offering a complimentary on-demand webinar focused on helping you transform your mortgage business to meet evolving borrower expectations and market demands. During the webinar, panelists will discuss innovative strategies for maintaining a good product mix and reducing origination costs. You don’t want to miss this chance to jump-start your bank’s mortgage business. For questions, please contact Promontory’s Diane Capersdiane.capers@mortgagepath.com, 314.593.5015; or Sue Shaffersuzanne.shaffer@mortgagepath.com, 901.283.3034. Access the webinar here.


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It’s Time to Take A Seat - Georgia Banking Schools

For those looking for the next step in their banking careers, the Georgia Banking School and GBA Compliance School both will be back in session May 2-7 in Athens. The Georgia Banking School Board and GBA Compliance School Board have made some tweaks to the curriculum that students are sure to enjoy, and we’re making some contingency plans for modified in-person sessions or a quality virtual experience in the event the pandemic persists into the spring. Here are some action items for getting enrolled:

  • CEO action - Identify emerging talent and allocate budget so you can have a representative at each school

  • HR officer action - Take a look at specific development plans to identify candidates

  • Alumni action - Recruit your teammates or colleagues at other banks by sharing how the programs helped your career

  • Banker action - Enroll early, you will be able to adjust registration if necessary based on public health restrictions or program changes.

Georgia Banking School details and enrollment access here

GBA Compliance School: Details and enrollment access here


With questions, contact Alison Moreau, 404.420.2034.


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Upcoming Webinar Hot Topics in 2021

We appreciate members choosing the programs we offer for your ongoing needs. Check out these upcoming virtual offerings. View the full calendar here for dates, times and more programs. With questions, email events@gabankers.com.

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Save 10-30% with a subscription package


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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:


Atlanta - Bank of America

To support communities amid the ongoing pandemic, the bank has awarded $6.3 million to 96 nonprofits across Atlanta in 2020. In addition to this philanthropic capital, which is triple its giving in 2019, the bank also donated 233,000 personal protective equipment masks and 137 cases of 8-ounce hand sanitizer to help protect the most vulnerable populations hardest hit by the coronavirus. Read more here.

Atlanta - PNC Bank

Bank employees participated in a virtual activity with Atlanta YMCA by reading winter-themed books and providing each student with a copy of the book to take home.

Suwanee - Quantum National Bank

The bank held a holiday food drive for the North Gwinnett


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Elberton - Pinnacle Bank

Angela Collins-Johnson has been promoted AVP, Retail Sales Manager.


Fitzgerald - Colony Bank

Jim Jowers has been promoted to Director of Project Management and Senior Vice President. Read more here.


Eastman - Great Oaks Bank

Pam Knowles was elected Vice President by the board of directors. Debra Sheffield, Vice President of the bank since 2019, has been appointed to a newly created dual role as Retail Banking Manager for the Middle Georgia market and Eastman Office Manager. Read more here. Dylan Brinkley has been promoted to Banking Officer and Commercial Relationship Manager. Tim Burnsed has joined the bank as Vice President and Commercial Underwriter, supporting the Richmond Hill and Pooler offices. Read more here.


Jonesboro - Heritage Southeast Bank

First Vice President Willa Lewis retired on Dec. 31, 2020, after a 42-year career at the bank.


Trenton - Citizens Bank & Trust

Our sympathies to the family, friends and colleagues of founding board member Doug Anderton, who died on Dec. 28, 2020. Read more here.


Twin City - Durden Banking Company, Inc.

Assistant Vice President/Controller Matt Donaldson has been appointed to the State Board of Education by Gov. Brian Kemp. Read more here.


Atlanta - James-Bates-Brannan-Groover-LLP

Scott Shipley has joined the firm’s Financial Institutions practice group as an Associate. Read more here.


Columbia, SC - Main Street, Inc.

State Bank of Cochran has contracted with Main Street, Inc., as their exclusive personal and business check provider for its customers.



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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 Katina Prokos.

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