March 5, 2021  

General Assembly Approaching Crossover Day

As the Georgia General Assembly prepares for Crossover Day this coming Monday, bills of interest to our members are in good shape. Crossover Day is theoretically when a bill must have passed its body of origin to be considered by the other body. All the major bills we’ve been supporting or monitoring have already passed one body. Among those are the Banking Department’s annual housekeeping bill as well as bills related to remote online notary, tax conformity ensuring PPP loan forgiveness and expenses aren’t taxed, remote shareholder meetings for banks and bank holding companies, tort liability immunity for COVID-19 related matters and expanding favorable tax treatment for Sub S corporations. Overall, this has been a good session for issues of importance to the industry. Our thanks to the legislative leadership and sponsors of this legislation for their diligence in the face of a challenging working environment. They’ve done a great job keeping everyone safe and healthy with strict protocols in place while giving appropriate in-person and remote access to those of us who need to have input.


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New PPP Rules, Forms, FAQs Released by SBA

SBA Wednesday pushed out a bevy of new information for lenders related to last week’s announced changes to the PPP to enhance funding eligibility for certain borrowers. There’s a new Interim Final Rule, new forms for borrowers, revisions to their FAQs and new lender guarantee forms for first- and second-draw loans. The IFR allows individuals who file an IRS Form 1040, Schedule C to calculate their maximum loan amount using gross income, and the forms reflect these changes. The IFR also removes restrictions of certain individuals involved with felonies as well as certain individuals delinquent on a student loan from receiving PPP loans. We communicated details, links to the new information and some early clarifications with CEOs and key contacts in an email Wednesday afternoon. Other topics covered in our quick-hitter emails during the past week included Gov. Kemp’s latest health orders, details on how SBA will decide on announced reductions to Section 1112 payments for 504, 7(a) or micro loan customers and some details on self-service for adjusting EIN/SSN errors on PPP loans. With questions, contact Joe Brannen, 404.420.2026.


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Advocacy in Action

Pike County Kiwanis Gets Banking Update

GBA was on the road this week advocating for banks in the community. First Bank of Pike’s Jason Brisendine hosted GBA President and CEO Joe Brannen as speaker at the Pike County Kiwanis Club meeting Thursday. Brannen shared details about the solid performance of the state’s banks in 2020, told the behind-the-scenes story of how bankers stepped up as financial first responders during the pandemic, and noted some positive economic trends. GBA often speaks to banker and business groups about Georgia's banking industry. Contact David Oliver, 404.520.6311, with questions.


Brannen with Brisendine (third from left) and
the Pike Co. Kiwanis Club Board.

Brannen addresses
the club.

Pike County bankers turned out in force.


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Warnock Named Key Banking Subcommittee Chair

The big Georgia-related news out of the U.S. Senate this week is that Georgia Sen. Raphael Warnock was named chair of the Subcommittee on Financial Institutions and Consumer Protection of the U.S. Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee. This subcommittee has direct jurisdiction over legislation affecting our members and other financial services entities. We have an introductory meeting scheduled with Sen. Warnock and our GBA banker leadership to begin a dialogue about the issues important to our members as well as learn more about his goals. Sen. Warnock provided a glimpse into his focus for subcommittee work in the press release about his appointment. “As Georgians work to move beyond the economic turmoil of this once-in-a-century pandemic, I look forward to leading the subcommittee’s efforts to help ensure stability in the community banks, credit unions, and other financial institutions that families and communities in Georgia rely on, and that we’re protecting hardworking Georgia consumers from scam, abuse, and fraud,” he said.


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Treasury Announces $9 Billion Fund for Minority and Community Development Financial Institutions

Minority Depository Institutions and Community Development Financial Institutions may apply for a share of $9 billion from the new Emergency Capital Investment Program (ECIP). The program is designed to support access to capital in communities traditionally excluded from the financial system and that have struggled the most during the COVID-19 crisis. Georgia has nine Minority Depository Institutions and 23 state-based CDFIs. Get details here.


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Loudermilk Re-Introduces TAILOR Act

Rep. Barry Loudermilk (R-GA11) has reintroduced legislation important to the industry, the TAILOR Act. The bill would require regulators to consider the risk profile and business model of the institutions being regulated, determine the necessity, appropriateness, and impact of applying such regulation, and tailor rules to institutions in a manner that limits the regulatory compliance impact, cost, liability risk, and other burdens. We appreciate Rep. Loudermilk’s support of this legislation, which has received significant bipartisan support in the House in recent years, and a prior version passed in the full House in 2018.



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Qualified Mortgage Rule Compliance Date Extended

Members with significant mortgage lines of business will want to be aware that the CFPB Wednesday proposed to delay the mandatory compliance date of the General Qualified Mortgage final rule from July 1, 2021, to Oct. 1, 2022. The proposal would also extend the temporary “GSE patch” until the new mandatory compliance date, or until the GSEs exit conservatorship, whichever comes first. More details here.


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Modest Economic Expansion Through February

Rising employment levels, some upward price pressure and modest economic expansion headlined this week’s Beige Book report for the Southeast from The Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta. Financial institutions reported stabilized net interest margins, tepid loan demand and improving earnings. Ag conditions were mixed, with unusually dry conditions throughout the Southeast. Read the full overview here.


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Compliance Pros Huddle for Updates

Keeping up with PPP compliance, setting up cannabis banking programs, exam prep and management, e-sign and COVID-related documentation were among the major issues discussed at the GBA Compliance Committee's virtual meeting this week. Incoming committee Chair Christopher Marks, American Pride Bank, led the meeting as he’ll officiate at the GBA Compliance Conference in the fall as part of his Chair duties. The committee also mapped out ideas for conference sessions and learned about GBA’s new compliance services available through Compliance Alliance (full details coming soon). Mark your calendar for the conference, which is going to be Oct. 20-22 at the King and Prince, St. Simons. Details about the program and registration are coming soon. Thanks to committee Chair Melody Halloran, WB&T Bancshares, for her leadership during this program year. With questions, contact Alison Moreau, 404.420.2034.


Christopher Marks leads the meeting

Talbot State Bank's Latisha Brundidge
shares an update


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Complete Industry Scan Covered during Senior Lending Officer Roundtables

The spring meetings of GBA’s four Senior Lending Officer Roundtables took place this week. Bankers in the four groups gathered virtually for a complete download of industry trends, market conditions, best practices and resource sharing. The lenders covered statewide industry performance, took a look at comparative bank performance within their peer groups and debated loan portfolio strategies. Karl Nelson and Eric Nelson, KPN Consulting, facilitated the groups. With questions or interest in joining one of these roundtables, contact Jenna Lynn Warner, 404.420.2035.


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HR Pros Take Note

Legal Update Session Confirmed for HR Institute Virtual Agenda

We’ve confirmed our session leaders for this year’s HR Legal Update as part of our virtual HR Professionals Institute. Alfreda Sheppard and Louis Hatcher of the Watson Spence Law Firm will co-present and cover a full range of important employment law updates for us. In addition to being an employment law expert, Sheppard is a community bank board member and has a number of bank clients. Read Sheppard's bio. Hatcher also has an extensive employment law background. Read Hatcher's bio. Sheppard and Hatcher join an all-star lineup of presenters for this unique virtual conference experience March 24-25. Register here today.


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Marketing Six Pack Virtual Conference
Turbocharge Your Marketing with Technology

Connecting with your customers has never been more important, and in our April 6 session of the GBA Marketing Six Pack Virtual Conference, participants will get the skinny on new ways technology can help marketers propel growth at the bank. Sherry Patton, VP of Business Development at Onovative, recently acquired by associate member Main Street, Inc., will lead the session. Here’s the full lineup of sessions happening on six consecutive Tuesdays from 10-11 a.m.

  • March 16: LinkedIn: Personal Branding for Professional Success

  • March 23: Creative Ideas for Digital Networking and Community Outreach

  • March 30: 10 Tips to Optimize Your Bank’s Social Media Presence

  • April 6: Leveraging Technology to Drive Marketing Success

  • April 13: How to Become the Resilient Leader Who Thrives During a Crisis

  • April 20: Peer Sharing and Roundtable Discussion Session

At only $295, this conference series is a tremendous value. Get all the details and register here


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GBA Annual Meeting Update

Plans are in high gear for the GBA Annual Meeting, June 20-22, at The Cloister at Sea Island. Take a tour around the annual meeting website for everything you need to know, and to sign up. The educational program is nearing completion, with sessions designed to inform you, engage you and inspire you. Registration for fun afternoon activities will open next week. Options will include fishing, shooting, golf schools at the renowned Sea Island Golf Performance Center, an island historical tour with Sea Island historian Wheeler Bryan, and a river cruise on Sea Island’s yacht, the Explorer. Of course, we’re closely monitoring COVID-related guidelines and partnering with our team at Sea Island to provide a safe, thoroughly enjoyable and memorable experience for you and your family. Exhibit and sponsorship opportunities are available. Speaking of sponsors – thanks to these Associate Members that are already showing their support. CRS Data; Elliot Davis; Fenimore, Kay, Harrison & Ford; FHLB of Atlanta; Haberfeld; Jack Henry; Mauldin & Jenkins; McNair, McLemore, Middlebrooks & Company; Nichols Cauley Associates; Point to Point Environmental; Safe Systems; ServisFirst Bank; South State Bank; Truist Bank; United Bankers’ Bank; and Wipfli. Contact GBA’s Kathy Friestad with questions. Register here.



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Security, Rural Development & Lending Conferences taking Shape

We’ve got a couple of important professional skills conferences coming up. Take a look at the latest about each:

  • Security Conference – April 14-16, The King and Prince, St. Simons
    From physical security to helping thwart cybercrime attempts, bank security officers and team members have an increasingly complex role. GBA’s Bank Security Conference is the top local event coming up for bank security pros to help them sharpen their skills. Registration is open and we’re looking forward to hosting this in-person event. Sessions will cover PPP/employment fraud, business e-mail compromise, robbery prevention, sex-trafficking awareness and prevention, roles and responsibilities updates, peer networking and more. Get all the details and register here.


  • Rural Development and Lending Conference – May 20-21, The King and Prince, St. Simons
    Georgia’s banks provide specialized funding, expertise and support for the state’s number-one industry, agriculture. And they go to great lengths to support a variety of ag-related businesses, general economic development projects and families in rural markets throughout Georgia. Our Rural Development and Lending Conference is the premier in-state event for bankers in these markets. This year’s agenda includes Georgia Agriculture Commissioner Gary Black, an economic outlook, a commodity outlook, a crop insurance update, ag-tech and precision-ag trends, regulatory updates and peer networking. Registration will open soon so stay tuned.


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Compliance Juris Master Degree Summer Deadline is April 1

There’s a great career development opportunity coming up for bank compliance professionals. We are proud to partner with the Florida Bankers Association and the Florida State University (FSU) College of Law to sponsor a Juris Masters (JM) program in financial services compliance. The JM in Financial Regulation and Compliance is an online, 30-credit-hour master’s in law that can be completed on a part-time basis. For a full description of the program, click here. Students will gain a strong foundation in banking law, BSA/AML, consumer protection and compliance and much more. The FSU College of Law is currently accepting applications for the Summer 2021 semester. Deadline to apply is April 1, and summer classes begin on May 10. You can find Admissions Procedures here and access the Application here. With questions or to speak to an advisor at FSU, contact Juris Master Program Director Laura Sellati, 850.644.6022.


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Click below for more details and some special offers from three GBA Strategic Partners:




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New In-Person Program

Loan Documentation Seminar April 14

To help your bank prevent loan losses through the implementation of proper loan structuring and documentation techniques, GBA is hosting a Loan Documentation Seminar at Middle Georgia State University in Macon. A faculty member of the Georgia Banking School with more than 35 years of industry experience, Mike Allen of Cadence Bank will address a range of documentation topics including real estate specifics and residential construction lending. Commercial loan officers, commercial loan personnel, loan assistants and closing specialists alike will benefit from this seminar. Allen will cover the following: Identifying the borrower, identifying the collateral, evidencing the debt, attaching and perfecting the collateral, real estate specifics, residential construction lending and guarantees. Register here.


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GBA Virtual Seminars

Underwriting, Reporting and Record Retention

Can’t attend live? Recordings are available for one week after each training.



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Join live or purchase a recording!

Upcoming March Webinars

Do you have a webinar subscription package? Save 10-30% with a subscription package - details here. Use your credits on the webinars below or purchase webinars individually. View the full calendar here for dates, times and more programs.

Questions? Email


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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:


Greenville, S.C. - United Community Bank

On Wednesday, the bank announced a partnership between its mortgage division and the National Association of Minority Mortgage Bankers of America (NAMMBA), an organization that is dedicated to the inclusion of minorities and women in the mortgage industry who are advocates for sustainable homeownership in local communities. Read more here.


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Greensboro - BankSouth

The bank is celebrating being “75 Years Young” by launching a new digital experience that combines BankSouth’s website with BankSouth Mortgage’s website. Read more here.


Greenville, S.C. - United Community Bank

The bank has been recognized with multiple Greenwich Excellence Awards for U.S. Small Business Banking for 2020. The bank received five awards in total, two of which were national honors for Overall Satisfaction and Likelihood to Recommend. Read more here.


Hawkinsville - SunMark Community Bank

Billy Johnson has been promoted to executive vice president. Read more here.


Loganville - Legacy State Bank

Dawn Carlyle has been promoted to vice president, deposit operations manager and network administrator. Wendi Spinks has been promoted to vice president, loan operations manager. Aimee Corcoran has joined the bank as vice president, compliance, BSA, human resources.


Rome - Greater Community Bank

On Feb. 26, the bank celebrated 25 years serving Northwest Georgia. Read more here.


Summerville - Southeast First National Bank

The bank recently celebrated its 40th anniversary and was featured in an article in The Summerville News. Read more here.


Suwanee - Quantum National Bank

Courtney Tetterton has joined the bank as senior vice president and construction lender. Read more here.


Watkinsville - Oconee State Bank

The bank on Monday announced the expansion of its Athens loan production office to a full service financial center. Read more here. EVP – Chief Retail Officer Cristi Donahue recently received the 2020 Oconee Chamber of Commerce Diamond Award. Extra Special People, Inc. Executive Director and OSB Board Member Laura Whitaker has received the ATHENA Award from the Athens Area Chamber of Commerce. Whitaker spoke at the GBA Credit Conference in December.



Johnson Tetterton

Oconee State Bank
Athens Team

Donahue Whitaker



Read All About It: Send Us Your News

Please remember to include the Georgia Bankers Association on the list of recipients for announcements about promotions, new employees and special recognition your bank has received. We want to share your news with your colleagues across the state. Please forward your announcements and photos to GBA's Katina Prokos.

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