Nov. 6, 2020  

Elections Matter

As we’re writing this article about the 2020 election results, there are still many unknowns at the national and state levels; but let’s focus on banking here. At the state level, the House and Senate remains in Republican control, so Lt. Gov. Geoff Duncan will have senators of his own party in positions of leadership, and we expect Speaker David Ralston will be reelected to his position by his caucus. In the Senate, we will have new chairmen of three committees through which much of our legislations passes: Senate Banking and Financial Institutions, Judiciary and Agriculture. In the House, we’ll have new chairmen of the Agriculture and Ways and Means Committees, two important committees for our industry. There will be other shifts in chairmanships and committee membership as the two bodies get organized for the 2021 session. At the federal level, we’ll be working with four new members of our U.S. House delegation: Nikema Williams (D-5), Carolyn Bordeaux (D-7), Andrew Clyde (R-9) and Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-14). The Georgia House delegation will have eight republicans and six democrats. We’ll cover more about the Senate as the election results become clearer. We’ll also know more about plans for a possible lame duck legislative session and priorities for 2021 as the election results are certified. We have several legislative issues, like a simpler Paycheck Protection Program forgiveness process, ready to be included when there’s an opportunity.


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Coming up Dec. 10-11

Time to Gear up for Credit Conference

In-Person and Virtual Attendance Available

Now’s the time for bank credit teams to set the stage for a successful 2021, and GBA’s Credit Conference coming up Dec. 10-11 will deliver tons of helpful info for your planning. Speakers will cover the state of the housing market (John Hunt, ViaSearch), commercial real estate (Cal Evans, Synovus), agricultural trends (Jeffrey Harvey and Tripp Cofield, Georgia Farm Bureau), overall portfolio management strategies (Mike Allen, Cadence Bank) and an economic outlook (Roger Tutterow, Kennesaw State University). We’ll also hear an inspirational leadership talk to open the conference from Laura Hope Whitaker of Extra Special People, Inc. Members may attend in person or by videoconference. Get all the details and register here.


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Several EIDL & PPP Updates This Week

Earlier in the week we provided detailed updates to CEOs and key contacts about a variety of important issues related to Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL) and the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). Georgia is a top-10 state for loans from both programs, so there’s far-reaching impact.

  • EIDL lien wavers for ag-related loans and other subordination requests – Broad language in SBA’s standard UCC-1 financing statement related to collateral essentially encumbers all tangible and intangible personal property, and some of those filed on early EIDLs included farm products, crops, livestock and equipment. SBA has since clarified it has no interest in farm products and will subordinate their interest in those. SBA is saying it does intend to retain interest in equipment and other personal property but will consider subordination requests. We shared internal SBA documents outlining the process for farm-related waiver/subordination requests as well as for other loans.


  • PPP Loan Necessary Questionnaires – SBA is distributing through lenders its questionnaire required of PPP borrowers that got loans of $2 million or more as lender forgiveness decisions are submitted. It’s eight pages long, has a short time to be returned and asks for a lot of detail. It’s raising concerns by borrowers that their loans may not be forgiven, especially by those whose businesses had decent liquidity going into the pandemic and whose businesses have held up pretty well during the pandemic. Access the questionnaire here.


  • Unsolicited Marketing with PPP Info – We also shared an example of how some opportunistic companies are using public PPP data to market their services to borrowers. What’s disturbing and confusing for borrowers is that the marketing materials may include their lender’s name, the approximate loan amount and number of jobs reported as affected, all of which is available in the PPP public data SBA released. One example we saw began, “Congratulations on your PPP loan from _____ Bank.” That type of message has led some borrowers to believe their bank is sharing sensitive information with others, which is not the case. We’ve asked people within the administration and congress to weigh in and require marketers to disclose they’d learned of the loan from public sources as opposed to any particular bank.


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FRM Conference is Underway

Our annual deep dive into important bank financial management matters kicked off Thursday. Member CFOs and finance officers are meeting in person and virtually Thursday and Friday to get the latest intel on strategies, updated market assessments and for networking. Look for details and more photos next week.



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HR Resource Opportunity

Quick Poll on Pandemic Comp & Benefits and More

GBA and Pearl Meyer are offering online quick polls to GBA members about HR or compensation topics. A quick poll is a small survey with approximately 5-10 yes/no or multiple-choice questions. Questions have been provided by members of the GBA HR Committee. Once data is submitted, all quick poll participants will receive a complimentary report of the data. The first quick poll includes questions on COVID-19-related compensation and benefit issues and general human resources policies. Bank HR directors or CEOs may submit the inaugural quick poll data by Nov. 11. Take the quick poll here.


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Banks Trusted Most to Protect Personal Data

Our industry continues to get top marks from consumers in terms of who they trust to keep their information safe. Consumers trust banks (49%) more than healthcare companies (27%), nonbank payment providers (12%) and the government (9%) in safeguarding private information, according to the latest polling from ABA and Morning Consult. Also of interest, most adults prefer to get their banking services from a bank (56%) as opposed to a technology company (17%). Read more here.


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Main Street Lending Program Loan Minimums Reduced

Late last week the Federal Reserve made changes to the Main Street Lending Program to make it more attractive to smaller businesses. The minimum loan size for three Main Street facilities available to for-profit and non-profit borrowers has been reduced from $250,000 to $100,000 and the fees have been adjusted to encourage the provision of these smaller loans. The Board and Department of the Treasury also issued a new frequently asked question clarifying that Paycheck Protection Program loans of up to $2 million may be excluded for purposes of determining the maximum loan size under the Main Street Lending Program, if certain requirements are met, which should also help smaller businesses access Main Street loans. The program expires at year end. More details here.


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Member-Exclusive Briefing Nov. 9

How Banks are Managing through COVID-19

Sign up to get a big-picture look at a variety of ways banks are managing through the pandemic from S&P Global Market Intelligence Principal Analyst Nathan Stovall on Nov. 9. This no-cost webinar briefing will cover the impact of government stimulus, including the Paycheck Protection Program, on the banking industry as it faces higher credit costs and what institutions are doing to mitigate the fallout. The presentation will also cover how the pandemic has increased digital adoption and encouraged some banks to rethink their branching strategies. Register here.


Related: The SNL Banker financial performance management platform from S&P Global Market Intelligence is a GBA-endorsed product. More details below. For information, contact Amy Garner,


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Crime and Punishment

Armed Robbery Suspect Nabbed

In Dacula last week, an alert teller’s 911 call to police led to the arrest of a Gwinnett County man suspected in four armed robberies since mid-June. The teller made the call after noticing a suspicious car driving around the bank that met the description of the suspect’s car mentioned in news reports about the robberies. Gwinnett County Police responded and arrested Eric Letman, 55, of Lawrenceville, Georgia, Friday, Oct. 30. Read more here.


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Registration Now Open for Feb. 11 Georgia BankPAC Sporting Clay Tournament

Leadership GBA will host the fourth-annual Georgia BankPAC Sporting Clay Tournament on Thursday, Feb. 11 at Old Hudson Plantation in Sparta (near Greensboro). Registration is now open for the four-person scramble tournament. If you haven’t participated before, it’s a fun and challenging event and a great opportunity to invite your customers, prospects, legislators, directors and friends to meet and shoot a round of clays. Proceeds will go to the GBA StatePAC.* It’s just $500 to register a four-person team or $150 for an individual. Or, step up your support for the StatePAC with our special offer of $700 for a Four-Person Team + Stand Sponsorship. We know it’s early to have a team put together, so we invite you toe register as a team now and let us know later who your team members will be. The shotgun start will be at 1:15 p.m., and a barbecue lunch is included before the shoot. Sponsorships are available and range from $250 - $1,000 and include recognition on course signage, at the event, and in GBA event promotions and website. Click here to access the sponsorship form. Contact GBA’s Kathy Friestad with 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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NEW Program Offering!

WEBINAR: Stout and GBA present a BSA/AML Overview, Parts I-III

We’re bringing in the much-loved presenters from Stout (as featured at The BSA Experience) to a Zoom Webinar on Dec. 1-3, 2020. This three-part series is designed to provide an overview of the following:

  • What is money laundering?

  • What are the various types of money laundering and the related risks?

  • AML-related laws, rules, and regulations

  • What types of financial institutions are subject to AML regulations?

  • What do financial institutions need to do to comply?

  • What are the risks of non-compliance?

  • What are the Five Pillars?

  • What are the primary responsibilities of a BSA officer?

  • Training best practices

  • Overview of CDD and beneficial ownership

  • Policies, procedures, and controls basics

  • Independent testing

  • Case study examples.

Register here. Questions? Email


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2020 BankPAC Campaign Update

The 2020 BankPAC campaign rolls on and is surpassing record levels in the FedPAC and StatePAC! This support has been critical during this election year and enabled GBA to participate at a level that has not gone unnoticed. If you and your bank have yet to contribute, please find the campaign materials on the BankPAC page of GBA’s website. And, check out the progress of your GBA Group here. We appreciate all of our contributors and want to thank this week’s contributors to the GBA StatePAC:

  • Durden Banking Company, Inc., Twin City, G.W. Johnson, CEO

  • Loyal Trust Bank, Johns Creek, Charlie Brown, CEO

And, thank you to the contributors to the GBA FedPAC who are eligible employees, officers and directors from the following banks:

  • Durden Banking Company, Inc., Twin City, G.W. Johnson, CEO

  • United Bank, Zebulon, Jim Edwards, CEO

Thank you for your support of this important effort! With questions, contact Elizabeth Chandler, 404.420.2027.


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Click here to learn more about the GBA-endorsed agent bank credit card program:



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Georgia Tax Credit Market Update from the CEO of GBA Partner Monarch Private Capital

By George Strobel


Now that we’ve survived the brutal 2020 tax season and you can begin doing year-end planning for your clients, let me apprise you of an unexpected development with respect to the Georgia tax credit market. 
For those of you who don’t know, many Georgia syndicators ran out of 2019 film credits mid-October. Nevertheless, most clients’ needs were met. However, other than one large film company (which only places credits in increments of 100,000 or more), there are few 2019 credits carrying over for use in 2020 tax returns.
As you know, because of COVID-19, there was very little film credit activity in Georgia during 2020. These two factors make us believe that there will be an extreme shortage of 2020 Georgia film credits, especially for investors needing fewer than 100,000 credits. Additionally, a new film credit law was passed this year effective for films shot in 2021 and onward. Significantly, it makes the vintage of the credits effective when they are certificated by the state and not in the year of the expenditures. Given that a film normally takes several months to complete, then the accountants take a while to compile information related to the film, and then the information must be submitted to the state for certification, it’s unlikely that there will be many certifications completed in 2021. Therefore, it’s highly likely there will be very few Georgia film credits created that will be available for use in the 2021 tax year.
The obvious conclusion is that there will be a significant shortage of Georgia film credits available for the tax years 2020 and 2021, particularly if the taxpayer needs fewer than 100,000 of film credits. Pricing will be higher as well.
The logical alternative will be to acquire Georgia Low Income Housing Tax Credits (LIHTC), particularly for tranches between 20,000 – 100,000. These credits must be obtained during the same calendar year as their intended use, as the taxpayer receives these credits through a partnership K-1. Thus, there are less than 2 months remaining to acquire these credits for 2020 usage. There is now at least a 2 to 4 cent price differential between buying Georgia LIHTC and Georgia Film Credits. So, taxpayers that need 2020 Georgia tax credits in the future and have the means to buy credits by year-end should consider buying Georgia LIHTC. These credits are also likely to be gone prior to year-end. Issues with the processing of these credits with our firm have gone away as almost all of our 2019 Georgia LIHTCs were processed by October 1. Our expectation is that these credits will also fall sway to market forces, and their pricing will go up as supplies shrink.


For more information about purchasing Georgia Film Tax Credits, please contact George Strobel,, (O) 404.596.8032, (M) 404.372.3383.


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What’s Included in an SNL Banker Subscription?

SNL Banker from S&P Global Market Intelligence is an intuitive, powerful and affordable business intelligence application that seamlessly integrates data from your core, general ledger (GL), and other internal systems and centralizes it into an easy-to-use data warehouse. Bankers gain instant access to daily performance metrics and insights to inform your decision-making. With tools from SNL Banker, you can turn raw data into actionable intelligence for:

  • Risk Management: new insights into customers, product, and employee activity

  • Profitability: clarity on your most profitable products and customers

  • Automation: reduce manual collection and upload of data into Excel

  • Historical Analysis: store daily to yearly core data

  • Compliance: bank-wide consistency meeting regulatory needs.

Click here to request an SNL Banker demo. With any questions about SNL Banker, please contact Amy Garner,, 770.687.6369.


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Women in Banking Series: Session 4 Coming Up Dec. 1 – Sign Up Today!

More than 225 female bankers joined us Monday for Session 3 of our Women in Banking Virtual Series with speaker Kelly McDonald, and many told us it was their favorite session so far. We’re already looking forward to Session 4, “Embracing the Servant Leader Within You,” Tuesday, Dec. 1, at 10 a.m. Our speaker, Cassi Chandler, has quite an interesting background, and many of our North Carolina banking colleagues who have heard her speak give her rave reviews. She has led a distinguished career as an innovative strategist identifying and addressing emerging cyber and fraud risks in the banking industry and as a senior executive within U.S. government services and the financial services industry. Chandler has also served as a leader and advisor on the Global Diversity and Inclusion Board of one of the world’s top multi-national banks. Chandler’s Women in Banking Series session will focus on the eight drivers of the “servant leader” and how women - often the champions for justice and equity - can develop their servant leader strengths and become a positive influence and inspiration during difficult times of division and conflict. The session will include group discussions and the development of an action plan for championing DE&I - the Servant Leader way.  It’s sure to be an inspiring session - don’t miss it!  Register now! Participate in the remaining three live sessions and access recordings of our first three sessions. A big thank-you to our series sponsors - click here to see the complete list, along with info on all upcoming sessions. Contact Kathy Friestad with questions.


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Fall Webinars: CRE Lending, Beneficial Ownership, and Compliance for Commercial Lenders

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


Save 10-30% with a webinar subscription package - details here!


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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:


Baxley - Pineland Bank

The branch announced its Annual Christmas for Kids Fundraising Event with more than $5,000 in Cash and Prizes to be given away from Dec. 1 through Dec. 25.

Hawkinsville - Planters First Bank

The bank donated Georgia peanuts and other snacks to the students, teacher and staff of Little Children Growing Pre-K in Hawkinsville this past week.

Savannah - Bank of America

The bank has provided a $30,000 grant to Goodwill of Southeast Georgia to support advanced learning and employment opportunities. Read more here.


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Albany - AB&T

Our sympathies to the family, friends and colleagues of founding director Rick Langley, who died recently.


Bainbridge - First National Bank

Shea Campbell has been promoted to assistant vice president. Kristy Cox has been promoted to vice president. Stephen Whittaker has been promoted to senior vice president and Chief Credit Officer. Bert Hines has been promoted to Bainbridge market president.


Blairsville - United Community Bank

The bank has added eight new bankers to its SBA lending division: Carla Arnette as SBA servicing specialist; Chantale Charles as SBA senior construction loan specialist; Jocelyn Ernest Heckler as SBA business development officer - franchise lending; Claire Huse as SBA senior portfolio manager; Erika Redgrave as SBA sales specialist - healthcare lending; Rebecca Robinson as SBA senior portfolio manager; Vincent Russo as SBA underwriter - franchise lending; and Jason Sleeman will now lead the bank’s Craft Beverage lending vertical as vice president of Craft Beverage Lending. Read more here.


Columbus - Colony Bank

Ernie Smallman has joined the bank’s Columbus Community Advisory Board. Smallman is a Certified Commercial Investment Manager (CCIM) and attained his Associates Brokers license in 2007. Read more here.


Macon - American Pride Bank

Paul Patel, president and CEO of Elite Hotel Management Group, has been elected as the Chairman of the Board for American Pride Bank and American Bancorp Inc. Read more here.


Rome - River City Bank

The bank has opened a mortgage and loan office in Blairsville, doing business as Union County Bank. The office is located at 215 Blue Ridge Street, Suite A. Read more here.


Valdosta - Colony Bank

Richard Welch has joined the bank as vice president, commercial banker for its Valdosta market. Read more here.


Watkinsville - Oconee State Bank

Jennifer Rudd has been promoted to Assistant Vice President and Business Services Manager. The bank was named a Support System Finalist in the 2020 Gwinnett Small Business Awards with the Gwinnett Chamber.


Atlanta - Federal Home Loan Bank of Atlanta

FHLBank Atlanta member institutions elected Edwina L. Payne to serve as independent director, and Kim D. Saunders to serve as public interest independent director. Read more here.






Whittaker Hines



Smallman Patel





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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