October 3, 2014
An important part of GBA's advocacy efforts is regular conversations with regulators. On Sept. 26, GBA President and CEO Joe Brannen was a guest speaker to a meeting of more than 100 risk and compliance examiners from the FDIC's Atlanta Field Office. Brannen was asked to share perspectives on the overall banking environment and feedback from members about supervisory issues. Some of the topics he covered included the improved performance of our members, the increased cost and complexity of regulations, the importance clear guidance for all the new rules and ongoing open lines of communication with regulators. "This forum was a welcome chance to talk directly to the people who are in our member banks during exams. I'm glad to get to share our members' feedback with them, and it's also good to hear details about where they're coming from when they are doing their thorough reviews," Brannen said. Thanks to FDIC's Jeff Earl, field supervisor, Atlanta Field Office, for inviting GBA to participate. With questions, contact Joe Brannen, 404.420.2026.
Leadership GBA's 13th-annual Georgia BankPAC Classic included an excited crowd of bankers, Bank Counsel Members and Associate Members this year. "We really appreciate the show of support for this year's tournament," said Parrish Clark, Leadership GBA president and executive vice president at Guardian Bank, Valdosta. "We're proud that Leadership GBA can play a key role in increasing participation in the BankPAC each year." A special thank you to all the tournament sponsors that helped make the tournament a success. Click here for a list of those who sponsored. A few images from the event are below and you can see a gallery of more photos on our Facebook page.
Deposits in Georgia banks on June 30, 2014, were up by $9.4 billion from 2013, an increase of 5 percent, according to the FDIC's annual deposit market share report. Total Georgia deposits in 259 institutions on June 30 were $197 billion compared to $187.6 billion on deposit with 267 banks on June 30, 2013. The top-five market share leaders were unchanged; SunTrust (20.47%), Wells Fargo (16.29%), Bank of America (13.91%), Synovus (6.22%) and BB&T (5.77%). Here's a link to the full Georgia report.
GBA is pleased to announce it will host its inaugural Women in Banking Conference on January 29-30, 2015, at the Federal Reserve Bank, Atlanta. On tap is a great agenda packed with information that will be valuable to all women in the banking industry. Some of the sessions include an economic update, managing work / life balance, the importance of networking and women's role in the government relations process. A special thanks to planning committee members below for their help in organizing this event.
Brochures will be mailed in the coming weeks, but be on the lookout for more detailed information on our website next week. With questions about the conference, contact GBA's Susie McGehee at 404.420.2010 or Kathy Friestad at 404.420.2024. This is a can't miss event!
Don't forget to register to vote in this year's elections for local state and national offices. The deadline is Monday, Oct. 6. Also, please participate in GBA's Georgia Banker Democracy Days public awareness campaign to encourage voter registration and voting. We have resources available to you, including materials to distribute to employees and customers. Access the materials at the GBA Democracy Days section of our website or from the link on our home page, www.gabankers.com. If you register or are doing some customer outreach, take a quick phone snapshot and Tweet or post on other social media channels with the #GABankersVote hashtag. With questions, contact David Oliver, 404.420.2036, or Elizabeth Chandler, 404.420.2027.
GBA and other industry groups are continuing the push to fix a provision in the Basel III capital standards that would unnecessarily increase tax liability for shareholders of some of the 60 Subchapter S banks in Georgia and throughout the United States. ABA President and CEO Frank Keating wrote to the heads of the Federal Reserve and the OCC about it last week. Basel III's capital conservation buffer prevents banks from making distributions to shareholders when capital falls below a threshold, but because federal tax liability passes through a Sub S bank to individual shareholders, Sub S shareholders might face tax liability even when they had not received a distribution. C corporation banks subject to the capital buffer pay any taxes due directly out of the bank's income. Here's a link to the letter to the Federal Reserve, and a link to the letter to the OCC.
More than 100 Georgia bank compliance officers spent two-and-a-half days last week taking a deep dive into a long list of important updates at the 2014 GBA Compliance Conference. "The banks in Georgia that had a compliance representative at this year's GBA Compliance Conference took advantage of a wonderful opportunity to provide their staff with professional training on current issues," said Ken Stewart, Pinnacle Bank's senior vice president of Compliance & Risk Management. "Two of the sessions I found particularly interesting were Virginia O'Neil's update on the regulatory initiatives from Washington and Richard Horn's presentation of the Integrated Disclosures rule from his perspective as one of the CFPB's principal authors of that new rule. Richard's presentation provided information that will be beneficial as our bank prepares to implement these new disclosures." Networking was also a huge draw. "I exchanged several cards with other compliance officers. It's important because we all need that extra support system to help wade through the regulatory mud," said Amanda Hollingsworth, assistant vice president, loan compliance officer / asset quality control, First American Bank and Trust, Athens. She said the sessions about electronic signatures, fair lending and qualified mortgage rules were helpful. "We are definitely going to ramp up our fair lending risk assessment and tracking," she said. See a few photos from the three-day event below or check out our Facebook page for a full photo gallery. Thanks to Compliance Committee Chairman Thomas Williams, United Bank, Griffin, and the entire GBA Compliance Committee for planning such a strong conference. Thanks also to our sponsors: Banc Financial Group, Fiserv, Global Vision Systems, Safe Systems, Steve H. Powell & Company. Exhibitors were Verafin and the Federal Reserve Bank. With questions, contact Kathy Friestad, 404.420.2024.
Credorax, a Boston-based payment processor, is the first company to apply for Georgia's unique Merchant Acquirer Limited Purpose Bank charter. The Georgia Department of Banking and Finance (DBF) is taking public comment on the application through Oct. 29, and will make a decision about the application within 90 days. A Merchant Acquirer Limited Purpose Bank is a charter only available in Georgia. It's a state charter that does not require federal regulatory supervision or FDIC insurance. If approved, the charter will allow Credorax to bypass the traditional process merchant acquirers have to go through to be sponsored by a bank member to handle payments through the credit card networks. The networks will still decide membership. There's a jobs angle for Georgia, too. One of the criteria for state approval is that an applicant must have at least 50 Georgia residents working at a payments processing center within a year. "I think it is potentially a very big deal. I think there are going to be a lot of jobs in Georgia" as a result of new payments processors, said Bo Fears, the DBF's deputy commissioner for Consumer and Legal Affairs, in an Atlanta Journal-Constitution article. The charter also requires at least half of the company directors to be Georgia residents. With questions, contact Joe Brannen, 404.420.2026, or Elizabeth Chandler, 404.420.2027.
Check the FFIEC's statement and resource list to help you assess and patch any vulnerability your bank may have to the Shellshock software bug that affects Unix-based operating systems. "Financial institutions and their service providers should assess the risk to their infrastructures and execute mitigation activities with appropriate urgency," the FFIEC said in releasing the resources. In a related release of cyber security resources, a customizable presentation is available for our members to use in the community about how banks protect customers from data breaches. It's a free downloadable PowerPoint for all bankers from ABA's Amplify grassroots advocacy program. October is Cyber Security Month, so it's a good public awareness tool if you're speaking to community groups or policy makers. The presentation emphasizes that banks are the safest places to keep money and argues that retailers need to do more to beef up their data security and contribute to the security of the payments system. It also includes data security tips for consumers. The talking points and PowerPoint presentation are exclusively available at amplifybankers.com under the "Speak to a Local Group" section. You can also find customizable presentations on careers in banking, the state of the economy and other topics of interest to consumers or shareholders.
Northeast Georgia Health System (NGHS) and Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Georgia (BCBSGa) announced this week a new, multi-year agreement that will allow patients with BCBSGa health insurance to continue to receive in-network access to the health system's facilities and employed physicians. This includes plans provided by GBA Insurance Trust. "We're pleased that bankers and families covered by GBA Insurance Trust will continue to have access to this great network of doctors and facilities," said Dan Thomason, president and CEO, GBA Insurance Trust. For a complete list of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Georgia network providers in your area, click on "Find a Doctor" at www.anthem.com, or call the customer service number on the back of your identification card. If you have any questions, please contact Susan Kelley at 404.420.2017.
Beginning in 2015, banks will be able to register for a new internet domain, ".bank." ICANN, the international body that governs Internet domains, this week authorized fTLD Registry Services to operate the newly created top-level domain. fTLD was founded and operated by the ABA and other banking industry organizations to employ strict standards for registration and security. The new domain, for example, will help prevent users from being redirected to fake bank websites, help make it more difficult for criminals to create spoofed emails from a .bank website and provide a higher level of encryption. More information is available at aba.com/dotbank. Once the .bank domain is available for registration, fTLD will have a website where banks will be guided through the registration process. Read ABA's FAQs on .bank. For more information, contact ABA's Doug Johnson.
As mentioned above, Leadership GBA hosted its annual BankPAC Golf Tournament this week and we are tallying the fundraising results. But, the turnout of golfers and the sponsorships was exceptional, so we look forward to reporting a big number soon! In the meantime, there is still progress to be made toward the FedPAC and StatePAC goals. Take a look at how your GBA Group is faring so far in the campaign and make your contributions this week if you have not yet done so. 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. 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:
Thanks to these officers, directors and eligible employees of the following banks and associate member for their individual contributions to the GBA FedPAC:
Designed for Information Security Officers, Compliance Officers and network administrators, this seminar will highlight all the information you need to be a successful professional in this role. You will get a better understanding of the regulatory requirements and expectations, and we will define the internal roles and responsibilities including coordination with NetAdmin, reporting to the board of directors, leading the IT steering committee and the ISO's role in audits and examinations. Helpful checklists and white papers will be included. Registration is $225 for members and will be held at the Idle Hour Country Club in Macon. For more information or to register, click here. For personal assistance contact GBA's Danielle Driggers at 404.420.2015.
The FDIC Atlanta Region is pleased to announce the third installment of its Consumer Protection Workshop seminar series. This workshop is an interactive one-and-a-half-day event designed to provide information about current topics of interest and enhance knowledge of consumer protection laws and regulations. FDIC presenters and participants will include regional and local managers, regional specialists and compliance examiners. GBA and CBA are partnering with the FDIC Atlanta Regional Office to offer this informative workshop. This workshop is Oct. 29 and 30 at Idle Hour Country Club in Macon. See more info and download a registration flyer here. Contact Danielle Driggers, 404.420.2002, with questions.
Financial Risk Management Conference - Nov. 4-5
Regulators have started their cybersecurity assessments, and new guidance is likely to follow. At GBA's 2014 Financial Risk Management Conference, don't miss the opportunity to hear from Tom Hinkel CISA, CRISC, CCSA, CRMA, vice president of Compliance Services, Safe Systems, Inc., Alpharetta, as he shares what regulators are looking for now, and why the focus is likely to be on two key areas: vendor management and incident response. The conference is Tuesday and Wednesday, Nov. 4-5 at Cobb Galleria Centre in Atlanta. The early-bird per person registration price is $325 (in effect through Oct. 21). Click here to for more details and online registration.
Click the link here to see the ABA's October Status of Important Cases Banking Docket. Thanks to the ABA's Office of the General Counsel for providing this for our Bank Counsel Section members.
Sales Secrets, HMDA Tips, Consumer and Commercial Lending Courses Coming up
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.
ABA Facilitated Online Training Courses for Fall 2014
Below are the ABA Facilitated Online Training Courses coming up in October and November. 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. Employees of GBA member banks may register at the member rate. For more information, contact Alison Moreau, 404.420.2034.
There is still room in the classes offered the end of this month. Please register as soon as possible.
Banks that have taken a competitive look at their check program over the past few years have realized big savings off their current check program costs. Through our partnership with Deluxe, the GBA is able to offer an exceptional program for your bank. The relationship between Deluxe and the GBA means that we work closely with them to ensure they provide your bank with excellent service and the program delivers:
The banks that have moved to the Deluxe check-printing program tell us the transition has been an easy switch. It is helpful to give Deluxe at least eight weeks to complete the transition. The time and effort required by your bank is minimal, and Deluxe does all the heavy lifting. For a thorough checkup of your checking program and for more information, please contact Deluxe's Kevin Jefferson at 336.676.0321.
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.
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.
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.
Education, Cancer Awareness and Community Projects Featured
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:
Albany - HeritageBank of the South
Bank employees in LaGrange recently participated in "Paint the Town Pink" for Cancer awareness.
Atlanta - Community & Southern Bank
The bank recently announced a partnership with the Blairsville-Union County Chamber of Commerce and the Union County Board of Education to support the Future Leaders of Tomorrow program.
Elberton - Pinnacle Bank
Pinnacle team members recently joined over 100 volunteers for a city-wide cleanup in Social Circle.
Lawrenceville - BrandBank
The bank was a proud sponsor recently at the ACS Pink Ribbon Classic, an annual Women's Golf Tournament held at The River Club in Suwanee to raise money for the American Cancer Society.
Valdosta - CBC Bank
Employees of the bank were recently out in their community, delivering multiplication table cards and spending time reading with local students. This year, 809 cards were delivered to six different schools.
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 - the former Dorsey State Bank
Our sympathies to the family and friends of Glenn Dorsey, who recently passed away. Dorsey was a former president of the bank.
Albany - HeritageBank of the South
Heritage Financial Group, Inc., the holding company for HeritageBank
of the South, has announced that it completed its previously
announced acquisition of Alarion Financial Services, Inc., the
holding company for
Atlanta - Community & Southern Bank
Debbie Tyson has been promoted to Director of Private Banking. Tom Crawford has been appointed to manage the bank's Commercial Loan Group.
Atlanta - Private Bank of Buckhead
Mike Weber has joined the PrivatePlus Mortgage division as a Vice President and Mortgage Banker.
Atlanta - State Bank & Trust Company
The bank's holding company State Bank Financial Corp., has announced the completion of its merger with Atlanta Bancorporation, Inc.
Blairsville - United Community Bank
David Shearrow, Executive Vice President and Chief Risk Officer has announced his retirement effective Jan. 31, 2015. Effective Dec. 1, 2014, Brad Miller will become Chief Risk Officer in tandem with his ongoing role as General Counsel. Miller is Vice Chairman of the GBA Bank Counsel Section Board of Directors.
Bremen - Peoples Community National Bank
Congratulations to the Directors, Officers and staff of the bank, which is celebrating its 10th anniversary this week.
Camilla - Planters & Citizens Bank
Our sympathies to the family, friends and co-workers of Vice President Jim Hodge, who recently passed away. Hodge previously served on the GBA Security Committee and was a current member of GBA's Operations and Technology Committee.
Greensboro - BankSouth
The bank recently opened its first branch in the Atlanta market at 990 Hammond Dr. BankSouth Mortgage was recently named one of the best places to work by the Atlanta Business Chronicle.
Griffin - United Bank
John Hall has been named Newnan Market President. Also, the bank recently celebrated the opening of its branch in Forsyth with a ribbon-cutting ceremony.
Atlanta - SunTrust Robinson Humphrey
Eric Selle has been named Managing Director of the firm's credit sales and trading team.
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.