Leadership Conference Energizes Attendees
Emerging leaders in the banking industry met at Ponte Vedra, FL, this week for Leadership GBA's annual Leadership Conference. Walker Jordan with the Bank of Monticello was this year's Leadership GBA president. Attendees got a valuable update from Wells Fargo economist Tim Quinlan examining the various drivers of growth at the present stage of the economic cycle. The program also included a thought-provoking CEO panel that focused on methods and philosophies their banks have implemented to profit and grow. The CEOs were Jackson McConnell, Pinnacle Bank, Elberton; Rick Drews, Century Bank of Georgia, Cartersville; and Philip Williams, The Claxton Bank. Other popular sessions were led by Elaine Demarest, who shared ideas about how to define and move a bank's business plan forward; and James Moore with Steve H. Powell & Co., who covered the pros and cons for implementing ARMs and escrow accounts for mortgages. The conference concluded with Will Knecht, owner, Wendell August, who shared tips for managing in the present while planning for the future. He told the story about how his local community bank helped his business recover quickly from a devastating fire, and his positive message about banking from the customer's perspective and his inspiring business outlook left attendees energized. Below are a few scenes from the Leadership Conference. See a complete gallery of photos from the Conference on Facebook and like our page while you're there...
Leadership GBA Officers Installed
At this year's Leadership Conference Parrish Clark, executive vice president, Guardian Bank, Valdosta, was installed as the 2014-2015 Leadership GBA President. Joining Clark as officers this year are Susan Keigans, executive vice president, Planters and Citizens Bank, Camilla, as President-Elect; and Doug Strange, senior vice president, Ameris Bank, Moultrie, as Vice President. Click here to see the 2014-2015 Leadership GBA Executive Committee...
Financial Literacy Excellence Award Winners Announced
Additionally, the following Georgia bankers/banks were recognized at the Leadership Conference for their Financial Literacy excellence during the past year.
Sponsors and Exhibitors always Brighten Conference
A special thanks to the companies and banks who exhibited and sponsored various events this year. Here's a list of exhibitors and sponsors...
If you would like to join one of the three GBA Senior Lending Officer Roundtables, click here to download the flyer / registration form. These roundtables have just completed a successful first full year, so spots will be at a premium. All three roundtables are facilitated by Paul Sims, president of Guided Solutions, Franklin, TN. The roundtables provide an in-depth look at all the latest issues a senior lending officer needs to understand to cultivate new business, evaluate risk and strongly support profitability. Roundtables meet three times a year and are limited to 15 members per group. Locations and dates are as follows:
Bank Directors' responsibilities and liabilities have greatly expanded during the past few years as we suffered through our second banking crisis in modern times. That crisis, coupled with an unprecedented interest rate environment continues to challenge our industry. The new Bank Directors & Executive Management Conference is designed to examine issues that are high priorities for regulators and banking executives, and our focus is on information that will help directors understand their critical role and also provide guidance about how we might achieve success in the coming years. This conference is designed for directors, CEOs, CFOs, and executive management of community banks of all sizes. Inside and outside directors will, we believe, gain a better understanding of the duties and responsibilities involved in this leadership role while also discovering how to enhance profitability in this challenging environment. This conference will be held on Aug. 27 at the Idle Hour Country Club in Macon. Please click here to register for the session. Directors who attend will get a Certificate of Attendance as director training documentation. If you have any questions, please contact Danielle Driggers, 404.420.2002.
The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) has published a new report called SAR Stats. The publication outlines trending activities reported in suspicious activity reports (SARs) by banks and other institutions. From March 1, 2012, to Dec. 31, 2013, depository institutions in Georgia filed 21,004 SARs, which was 13th most among states and territories reporting. Nationally, auto loan fraud, tax fraud and prepaid card fraud were among the most prominent triggers for filings. The report doesn't break down filing-type trends by state or geography. GBA University has a BSA / AML Seminar coming up Aug. 6 that will include information about SARs...
Related: Bank Secrecy Act session among many at GBA Compliance Conference Sept. 24-26. More details about that below.
Almost 14 percent of those with national flood insurance policies will be getting refund checks beginning Oct. 1. The refunds stem from the Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act that repealed and modified provisions of the Biggert-Waters flood insurance law that significantly raised flood insurance premiums for many policyholders. FEMA's website has information about the refunds, and a thorough two-page guide about who will get refunds and who will not. Read more here from the New Orleans Times-Picayune.
Compliance Conference Sept. 24-26
Updates about Flood Insurance and Other News from D.C. Scheduled
Day 2 of GBA's Compliance Conference will feature sessions about flood insurance and news from Washington, D.C. On Thursday, Sept. 24, conference attendees will hear from Virginia O'Neill, Vice President and Assistance Chief Compliance Counsel at ABA. O'Neill will focus on the CFPB and other consumer compliance issues on which regulators are focusing. Attendees will also get a refresher on flood rules from Brad Washburn, Financial Institution Specialist with Steve H. Powell and Company. Washburn will also explain how your bank will be affected by the changes brought about by the Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act and the Biggert-Walters Flood Insurance Reform Act. The GBA Compliance Conference is Sept. 24-26 at Idle Hour Country Club in Macon. Remember, registrants may choose to register for the full conference, Day 1 only (compliance risk management), or Days 2 and 3 only (loans). Click here to see the agenda or to register. Nearby hotels are the Homewood Suites and the La Quinta Inn, Macon. Call Homewood Suites at 478.477.9776 and mention you are with the GBA to request our corporate rate of $109 per night. This rate is based on space availability. Attendees may also stay at the newly renovated LaQuinta Inn, Macon,478.475.0206.
The FDIC this week published a study of minority depository institutions (MDIs) and FDIC-insured community development financial institutions. Georgia ranks sixth nationally in its number of MDIs, with 10 institutions and 41 offices. MDIs carry a number of different minority designations, with half of MDIs designated as Asian or Pacific Islander American, followed by MDIs that are Hispanic American, African American and Native American. MDIs were noted for having particular success in reaching underserved customers, and MDIs are similar to other community banks in terms of net interest income and noninterest income but face higher problem loan and overhead expenses, the report said...
This week marked the fourth anniversary of the Dodd-Frank Act. Take a look at a new infographic from ABA about the volume of new requirements, the cost in dollars and resources to banks and curtailment of services to communities. For example, one chart shows that banks spend 204 hours on ability-to-repay and qualified mortgage standards. Another shows how 27 percent of banks decided not to launch a new product, delivery channel, or enter a new market due to expected increased regulatory costs/risks. Access the infographic here...
As CEOs of Georgia banks think strategically about leading their institution toward its goals, participation at the bank level and of the officers and directors in the Georgia BankPAC Campaign should be an action item. Enabling the GBA to continue to represent the banking industry before elected officials should be a fundamental practice for all banks in Georgia, and now is the time to respond to the 2014 BankPAC solicitation. As a reminder, the GBA StatePAC accepts contributions from a state bank or the holding company of a national bank while the GBA FedPAC accepts personal contributions from bank officers, directors and eligible employees. GBA Associate Members and Bank Counsel Members are also encouraged to contribute to the StatePAC. Here are the contribution forms for each PAC with suggested giving amounts for your use. See how your group has done so far this year. With questions, please contact Elizabeth Chandler at 404.420.2027. Thanks to those that have already made their contributions including these companies that contributed to the GBA StatePAC:
And the officers, directors and eligible employees of the following banks contributed to the GBA FedPAC:
We Will Miss David Williams
Former GBA director of Government Relations David Williams passed away this week after a valiant struggle with ALS. David joined GBA in 1985 after working a number of years for then-U.S. Sen. Sam Nunn. One of the key legislative initiatives David worked on during his 10 years at GBA was to create the Georgia Superior Court Clerks Cooperative Authority. The governor appointed a number of local clerks and bankers to the organizing authority board, and they turned to David to join the Authority as its first executive director. David ably oversaw the complicated software necessary to maintain the traditional local filing with a statewide database for real estate records. The system became a model for other states to follow. David is survived by his wife Sally and children Cameron and Jackson. Services will be at 3 p.m. Saturday at Simpsonwood United Methodist Church, 4500 Jones Bridge Circle, Norcross, GA 30092. David is at the far left in this photo with Governor Deal and members of the authority in a 2012 bill signing related to the authority.
Though first quarter was a weak and volatile period in the overall stock market, second quarter had an improvement in returns, and experienced the sixth consecutive quarter of gains in the overall market. For GBA Retirement plan participants, the investment returns of Reliance Trust Company, performed well against major market indexes and other competitive funds and models. Please refer to the most recent update for detailed returns on the LifeStylesSM models and individual mutual funds offered. The LifeStylesSM portfolios are a great way to ensure participants are well diversified and to allow participants to make investment decisions in a simplified way. Returns for the LifeStylesSM models ranged from 1.89 percent to 4.47 percent year to date depending on the model's investment style. You also have access to the second quarter 2014 investment newsletter produced by Reliance Trust Company. Members of the GBA Master Trust have ongoing investment education for their participants through annual re-enrollment meetings and an optional interactive web advisor called "Smart Plan." The GBA Retirement Services, Inc. Board of Directors meet quarterly to review the investments and administration of the Master Trust. The board is comprised of bankers who know the business and help produce the greatest results for their banks, their employees and other banks and bankers participating in the Trust. Under the Master Trust, Reliance Trust Company serves as a 3(38) Discretionary Trustee, which helps reduce some of the liability a bank would have when serving as Trustee of its own plan or when hiring a broker who is only an advisor and not a discretionary trustee. Please call Mandy Richards at 404.420.2025 or Danielle Driggers at 404.420.2002 for assistance in doing a plan review or for information about how GBA Retirement Services can help design or improve your retirement plan.
If your bank has mortgage borrowers who are struggling with their loans, one resource available to them is HomeSafe Georgia. Operated by the Georgia Department of Community Affairs, HomeSafe Georgia is a federally funded, state-operated mortgage assistance program that helps homeowners avoid foreclosure. The program has helped more than 5,300 Georgia homeowners in 124 counties stay in their homes. There are a variety of components and eligibility for borrowers:
Find out more at the HomeSafe Georgia website...
A number of bank holding companies are dealing with the issue of paying dividends on Trust Preferred Securities (TruPS) they'd deferred during the economic downturn. During the past five years or so the dividends have been accruing on the TruPS and the deferral period is coming to an end. Fitch estimates that there is $2.6 Billion of TruPS that will run out of their deferral period over the next several years. In two recent instances, one of which is in Georgia, creditors have filed involuntary bankruptcy cases against bank holding companies from which they are trying to collect dividends. The issue has become a hot topic in the industry. So, we're holding a Town Hall meeting about TruPS Wednesday, August 6, at Idle Hour Country Club in Macon. While GBA's counsel has been asked to coordinate the program, we trust other members of GBA's Bank Counsel Section as well as others, like our bank accountants, will attend as the collective wisdom of all involved in this issue will benefit the industry. Contact Susie McGehee with questions about the Town Hall meeting.
BSA compliance is a focus for bank examiners, who expect that all bank employees, particularly frontline personnel, are well-trained at least annually on the various reporting and recordkeeping requirements for BSA, CIP and OFAC. GBA is aware of the need for this training and has set up a helpful resource for you and your bank. Take advantage of this seminar Aug. 21 at the Idle Hour Country Club in Macon. This seminar will address the fundamental BSA reporting and recording requirements, including the following topics:
GBA Marketing Peer Meeting Group
How to Modernize Your Marketing Plan - Sept. 9
It's time to take a fresh look at the most important tool of the marketing trade, your marketing plan. At our Marketing Peer Group meeting in Macon Sept. 9, you'll get a starter kit to take back to the bank for modernizing your marketing plan from Charles Jordan of the Charles Jordan Group. Jordan will share the key questions you and your management should be answering and share a guide for how those answers can drive a modernized plan and change how you view traditional marketing. And, he'll facilitate discussion of a variety of the tools of the trade you are using or have questions about based on the principles he'll outline and samples you provide. This session will give you lots of new ideas, specific tools and take-home resources. We'll also have an in-depth session about website analytics, and plenty of time for sharing best practices and networking. Register today and get more details here. See the flyer for the meeting here..
Sessions About Fair Lending, BSA/AML Compliance, Remote Deposit Capture and More Available
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 Bank Financial Management Diploma
This diploma is designed for individuals who are involved in the financial management of their bank, including junior officers up through CEOs, CFOs and other senior officers making key decisions that affect bank profitability. The courses required for this diploma cover the analysis of bank performance, the measurement and management of interest rate risk, and the management of funding, liquidity and capital. The core courses all use the same textbook, and each of the courses includes exercises in which participants apply these concepts to their own institution. Candidates should have an understanding of accounting and financial markets before beginning the required courses. Experience in the use of electronic spreadsheets is helpful but not required. Click here to learn more or contact Alison Moreau, 404.420.2034.
Commercial Lending and Principles of Banking Headline August AIB Offerings
Below are instructor-led AIB online classes coming up in August. 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.
Decision Dynamics, Inc. (DDI) is GBA's preferred provider of the Premier eTitleLien™ product, a leading web-based computer program that enables lienholders to exchange lien and title information with the Georgia Department of Revenue Motor Vehicle Division thus eliminating the need to obtain paper titles for vehicle and mobile home collateral management. When liens are released, a paper title is mailed to the owner (or designated name/address) by the appropriate titling agency. Premier eTitleLien™ provides a number of additional services, including: electronic request for a paper title, electronic generation of title application forms, Lien Alert Processing, VIN verification, and VIN valuation. DDI is now also offering volume discounts on pricing. For volumes over 10 titles per month, the per-unit price drops significantly. And now, there is no software to install, nothing to purchase and no support charges or training fees. For more information, please contact DDI's Jimmy Earley at 803.808.0117.
Executive Benefit Specialists, LLC (EBS) specializes in the placement and service of Bank Owned Life Insurance (BOLI) programs. These programs use BOLI to finance existing employee benefits, as well as to informally fund new or existing nonqualified executive benefit plans. EBS offers implementation and plan design services as well as administrative services. If you have BOLI now and need or want to consider a new service provider, EBS can assist you with compliance and reports essential for your bank, board and regulators. The GBA Services, Inc. Board of Directors conducted a comprehensive assessment of a number of qualified BOLI vendors, and EBS was unanimously selected on the criteria that the board determined to be the most important for Georgia community banks including industry experience, Georgia bank client references, access to highly rated insurance carriers, commitment to ongoing in-house servicing, client retention and overall value provided to GBA member banks. Given the fiduciary responsibilities of bank management and board members, it is crucial that banks partner with experienced and qualified professionals to service their BOLI programs and Nonqualified Plans. EBS provides comprehensive service through a group of qualified professionals with specialized expertise in insurance and public accounting. Each client is assigned a specific service team with extensive back office support. The professional designations held by members of the organization include CPA, JD, CLU, MSFS, MBA, CFP, ChFC and others. Under the guidance of EBS, billions of dollars of BOLI face amount have been placed with the highest-rated carriers offering institutional pricing. Their informal funding solutions are built on sound economic foundations and are conservatively structured from a tax perspective. As an added benefit to GBA members, EBS is offering a complimentary, customized BOLI Assessment Report and Carrier Due Diligence Review Report. Click here for testimonial from your Georgia banking peers. Contact Jim Foyt at 877.242.9751.
EBS, a bank consulting company, does not engage in the practice of law or accounting. Any questions concerning legal, tax or accounting advice should be referred to your appropriate counsel or advisors.
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.
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. Here's our latest installment:
Columbus - Synovus
The bank will soon receive a 2013 Corporate Social Responsibility Leadership Award from the Financial Services Roundtable (FSR) during a ceremony on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. Corporate Social Responsibility Awards promote the positive impact FSR member companies make in their local communities, nationwide, and worldwide by investing in social business opportunities and supporting the work of non-profit and other organizations. The overall criteria for judging include: employee volunteer involvement, community services projects, involvement in financial literacy initiatives, monies raised/donated to community services, and executive-level involvement in non-profit organizations and service on boards. "We are honored to be among such prestigious companies being recognized for enhancing financial education, investing in community development, and protecting the environment," said Kessel Stelling, Synovus Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. "I am proud to be part of a company and team that has a long history of service to others. Our team is passionate about building strong communities and we believe giving back is our highest calling."
Savannah - Bank of America
The bank recently hosted a neighborhood revitalization ceremony in Savannah with Mayor Edna Jackson and representatives from Community Housing Services Agency (CHSA) and Step Up. The bank presented grants to support CHSA and Step Up, which build homes for first-time, low-income residents and provide a job apprenticeship program.
Your company can sponsor this GBA content to help promote how GBA members provide extensive support for communities around the state. Contact David Oliver for information
Abbeville - Wilcox County State Bank
Congratulations to president and CEO Mike Durden for completing a two-year term on the GBA Board of Directors. Photo below.
Alpharetta - Bank of North Georgia
Chris Mixon has been promoted to Executive Vice President.
Atlanta - Fifth Third Bank
Mike Dunlap has been appointed President and CEO of the bank's operations in Georgia.
Atlanta - PrivatePlus Mortgage, a division of Private Bank of Buckhead
Nicki Wynn has been named Quality Control and Compliance Officer. Kelly Bogue, Alisa Curry and Terra Lambright have been named Mortgage Processors.
Atlanta - State Bank & Trust Company
John Silva and Kevin Boyle have joined the bank as Mortgage Sales Managers. Don Powell has joined the bank as Senior Mortgage Lender. Matt Campbell has joined the bank as a Mortgage Lender.
Lawrenceville - BrandBank
Susan Hancock Wyatt has been hired as Senior Vice President and Director of Retail Banking.
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.