Sept. 11, 2020

Update on Simplified PPP Forgiveness Legislation

While we we were encouraged this week that a COVID-19 relief bill presented in the Senate included a provision for streamlined Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) forgiveness for loans under $150,000, the bill didn't garner the 60 votes necessary Thursday to move forward. There’s a tight window for Congress to consider any legislation before returning home in advance of elections and there doesn’t seem to be much momentum for a significant bipartisan pandemic relief package. So the focus of our advocacy for a simpler forgiveness process will be to support standalone legislation in the coming days. Stay tuned.


Back to top of E-Bulletin

Leave Provisions for In-Home-School Care Clarified

The Department of Labor recently issued updated frequently asked questions about how the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) applies to circumstances in which an employee’s work is affected by how schools are being operated. This came up as an issue in an August GBA virtual HR Peer Group meeting. The FAQs clarify that an employee whose child's school is providing a choice between in-person or remote learning for the fall is not eligible to take paid leave under the FFCRA because the child’s school is not “closed” due to COVID-19-related reasons. The FAQs also state that an employee is eligible to take paid FFCRA leave if the employee’s child’s school is operating in a hybrid arrangement where the child attends in-person instruction some days and remote learning other days, as long as the employee needs the leave to care for the child during the remote learning time and no other suitable person is available to do so. Access the FAQs here.


Back to top of E-Bulletin

Advocacy Opportunity – Sept. 21-24

Direct Line to Regulators Available During Virtual D.C. Fly-In

All GBA members are welcome to join their colleagues from across the state and the southeast for ABA’s Virtual Washington Fly-In, Sept. 21-24. During this virtual forum, you’ll hear from senior officials from the FDIC, OCC, Federal Reserve, CFPB and ABA on the key issues facing our industry. There’s only one briefing each day, so the format helps members fit the briefings into their daily schedules without significant disruption. There’s also the opportunity to submit questions or issues you’d like to hear addressed by taking part in the Banker Priority Feedback Survey in preparation for the briefings.


Registration: Get details about each day’s agenda and register here. We will share additional information to those registered before the briefings. With questions, contact GBA’s Elizabeth Chandler, 404.372.7893.


Back to top of E-Bulletin

Card Debt Paydown at Record Levels

Consumers shed credit card debt by $60 billion during the first quarter of this year, which marks the largest first-quarter paydown ever. And in the second quarter, they almost matched that with $58 billion in paydowns, according to a report out this week by WalletHub. The report attributes the paydowns to generous unemployment benefits and austerity measures during the pandemic.


Related: Get a look at how COVID-19 has affected Georgia-specific spending patterns during a free, GBA-member-exclusive webinar with Fiserv on Sept. 17 at 11 a.m. Fiserv has seen a wide-ranging impact on consumer spending behavior in Georgia, with the trajectory of spending trends hinting at significant shifts in banking and payments activity. Register here. Visit Fiserv’s Virtual Trade Show booth here to learn more about the company and enter to win an Amazon Gift Card!


Back to top of E-Bulletin

Scam Alert

DOJ Imposters Targeting Older Americans

Recent reports to the National Elder Fraud Hotline indicate that imposters claiming to be Department of Justice representatives are contacting older members of the public trying to harvest personal information. Scammers also leave voicemails with a return phone number, which typically directs victims to a recorded menu that matches the recorded menu for the department’s main phone number. Those who receive these calls are encouraged not to provide personal information and to report these scams to the Federal Trade Commission via their website or by calling 877.FTC.HELP (877.382.4357). Fraud can also be reported to the FBI for law enforcement action at More details here.


Related: Access GBA’s resources for preventing elder fraud here.


Back to top of E-Bulletin

The Things Banks Don’t Ask

Input your account number. Click this link. Give personal information on a text message. These are some of the things banks never prompt customers to do in emails, text messages or phone calls, and they’re the focus of a new #BanksNeverAskThat anti-phishing awareness campaign that kicks off Oct. 1. GBA member banks may register to get free campaign materials now. The campaign features contests, humorous videos, social media outreach and more. GBA is registered, so we’ll be promoting the campaign and we’ll look to amplify member participation through our social media channels as well. Get information and register at #BanksNeverAskThat.


Related: Get Smart About Credit Day is Oct. 20, and banks are encouraged to participate with outreach efforts throughout October. Details and registration available here.


Back to top of E-Bulletin

Join the Conversation - Register Today!
The Women in Banking Virtual Series Kicks off Next Week!

Nearly 300 female bankers from across the Southeast are set to take part in the Women in Banking Virtual Series: Conversations and Connections for Empowerment, presented by GBA in partnership with the North Carolina Bankers Association. The series of six live virtual sessions kicks off next Tuesday, Sept. 15, at 10 a.m. EDT, with ABA Chair Laurie Stewart, president and CEO of Sound Financial Bancorp., Inc., in Seattle, giving her talk "Try, Try Again." If you haven't yet registered, there is still time to gather your teammates and reserve your seat. Registration is per person, includes all six sessions and optional peer networking, and a discount is available when three or more register from your bank/company. And don’t forget, sessions will be available on-demand if you miss any along the way. We’re all looking for ways to really connect in these virtual times, so we’ve got time built in after each speaker presents for either Q&A with the speaker or peer networking with your colleagues from around the country.


Register Here


Related - Connections App: Registrants will be able to interact with each other through the series connections app. The app will not only feature important info like the attendee list, Zoom tips and speaker materials, it will create an avenue for you to connect with other attendees through the messaging feature and social wall. Plus, we’ll host some fun social wall competitions during the series, so you’ll want to check the app regularly to engage and for a chance to win a prize. Contact Kathy Friestad with questions.


Back to top of E-Bulletin


GBA Tri-Conferences

Chick-fil-A Leader's Closing Message: Make the Decision to Lead with Care

In these challenging, dynamic, and yes – uncertain, times, we could all use an inspirational nudge and an encouraging and positive lesson on how to lead our teams to engage and succeed. Andre’ Kennebrew, mentor, career coach, pastor, former banker, and program lead with Chick-fil-A’s Leadership Development Program, will close the GBA Tri-Conferences with a message about Leading with Care. Kennebrew will discuss why leading with care is critical to organizational success and will provide practical tips on how to create a higher level of employee engagement. Having conducted roughly 7,500+ interviews, Andre’ is an expert at recruiting and selecting top talent for organizations. Don’t miss the chance to get that needed inspirational nudge from Andre’! If you haven’t registered yet, note that the GBA room block is full. We recommend you register for the conference and email GBA’s Kathy Friestad to be put on the room waitlist. We have been able to accommodate everyone who has registered. Also, to reserve your spot for Monday afternoon golf outing ($153) or sporting clays shooting at Old Hudson Plantation ($270), email Kathy Friestad. Thank you to our event sponsors: EBSFHLB of AtlantaMcNair, McLemore, Middlebrooks and Co., LLC; and ServisFirst Bank.


Back to top of E-Bulletin


Compliance Conference, Oct 21-23, Buford

How to Spot and Help Stop Sex Trafficking

One of the items on the upcoming Compliance Conference agenda is a continuation of GBA's efforts to support Gov. and First-Lady Kemp's efforts to raise awareness and prevention of human trafficking. It's an unfortunate fact, but sex trafficking is one of the most profitable and fastest growing criminal activities in the world. Jeff Shaw, Executive Director, Atlanta Dream Center {Out of Darkness | iAM | Metro Kids} will discuss the extent of the problem in Georgia, who is involved, the impact on victims' lives, and the role that the banking industry can play in bringing it to an end. The agenda also includes covering hemp banking, fraud management, marketing and advertising compliance, updates on CRA, BSA and more.


We're working closely with the hotel to ensure a clean, comfortable environment with well-defined steps for keeping people healthy. We'll set up sessions and activities to ensure as much social distancing as possible, the hotel requires masks in public areas and we strongly encourage our members to wear masks as much as possible. See the full agenda here and secure your spot by registering here. With questions, contact Alison Moreau. Hope to see you in October!


Back to top of E-Bulletin

2020 BankPAC Campaign Rolls On

The response to the 2020 BankPAC Campaign continues with a lot of enthusiasm as we enter the general election season this year. CEOs were sent the 2020 BankPAC Campaign materials last month, and those materials are also easily accessed on the BankPAC page of GBA’s website. Thanks to Waycross Bank & Trust, Russell Bates, president & CEO, for contributing to the GBA StatePAC this week and to the contributors to the GBA FedPAC who are eligible employees, officers and directors from the following banks:

  • Altamaha Bank and Trust Company, Vidalia, Brent Sammons, president & CEO

  • Century Bank of Georgia, Cartersville, Rick Drews, CEO

  • Flint Community Bank, Albany, Scott Tomlinson, CEO

  • Great Oaks Bank, Eastman, Mike Odom, CEO

  • OneSouth Bank, Blakely, Kim Wilson, president & CEO

  • Pinnacle Bank, Elberton, Jackson McConnell, CEO

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


Back to top of E-Bulletin

Get Out on the Greens for a Great Cause - BankPAC Golf Classic on October 21 in Forsyth

We’re looking forward to getting together for Leadership GBA’s annual Georgia BankPAC Golf Classic on Oct. 21 at the River Forest Golf Club in Forsyth. If you haven’t participated before, it’s a great, relaxing day, with all proceeds going to the GBA StatePAC.* Invite your customers, directors, legislators and fellow golfers to spend the day with you and your banking colleagues. It’s just $275 for a two-person team or $175 per individual golfer. Build your team or we’ll do it for you! Or, take advantage of our special offer: Pay $500 for a two-person team AND hole sponsorship. Click here to register. If you don’t know who your teammate will be, we can get that information from you closer to time. Not a golfer? That’s okay - show your support of the PAC through a sponsorship, opportunities range from $250 - $1,000. Sponsors will be recognized on on-course signage, at the event, and in GBA publications and website. Click here for the sponsorship form or contact GBA’s Kathy Friestad, 404.420.2024.


* 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.


Back to top of E-Bulletin


Financial Risk Management Conference - Nov. 5-6

Popular Economist Piegza to Give Update

We're excited that Lindsey Piegza, Ph.D., chief economist, managing director, Stifel Nicolaus & Co. will wrap up this year's Financial Risk Management conference for us. As we'll be headed in to the home stretch for the year, it will be interesting to get her take on how or if the economy is gaining momentum into 2021. The conference is Nov. 5-6 at the Hyatt Regency Atlanta Perimeter at Villa Christina. Additional sessions include a host of peer banker and expert panels, as the Asset Liability Committee wanted to focus on members getting to hear from as many people as possible about strategies, best practices and market conditions. Get full details and access registration here.


We're working closely with the hotel to ensure a clean, comfortable environment. See the hotel’s protocols, as well as GBA’s approach to health and wellness at in-person events. We'll set up sessions and activities to ensure as much social distancing as possible. Please help us plan by registering early if you plan to attend. With questions, contact Alison Moreau. Hope to see you in November!


Back to top of E-Bulletin

Credit Conference, Dec. 10-11, Atlanta

Registration is open for GBA’s 2020 Credit Conference, scheduled for Dec. 10-11 at the Atlanta Marriott Renaissance Waverly Hotel. The Credit Committee has confirmed the following sessions/speakers but make sure to continue to watch upcoming GBA E-Bulletins for more details. Confirmed speakers are: John Hunt, principal, MarketNsight, president, ViaSearch; Jeffrey Harvey, director, Public Policy Department, Georgia Farm Bureau; Mike Allen, Cadence Bank, and Roger Tutterow, Ph.D., Kennesaw State University. We will also have a Regulatory Panel this year moderated by Mark Kanaly, partner, Alston and Bird. Joining the panel will be Michael Johnson, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, John Henrie, FDIC; Jason Sisack, OCC and Kevin Hagler, Commissioner, Georgia Department of Banking & Finance. Click here to register. With questions, contact Alison Moreau. Thanks to the committee chair Stacy Brantley, Morris Bank, and vice chair Philip Bernardi, Oconee State Bank.


Back to top of E-Bulletin

Free Financial Webinars: Mark your Calendars

GBA Retirement Services, in partnership with Unified Trust Company, has scheduled a series of three monthly informational webinars beginning Oct. 6. These webinars are most beneficial for sponsors of retirement plans, including CEOs, Human Resources professionals and other Retirement Plan Committee members. The webinars are: 

Retirement Plan Insights: What’s Trending? #fiduciary

Tuesday, Oct. 6, at 10 a.m.

There are many interesting and important trends we are seeing in the retirement plan industry today. This webinar will provide you with an overview of industry trends so you can determine if you would like to incorporate some of these strategies in your company’s benefits program. Some of the topics we will review are: Plan Design, Financial Wellness, Potential Market Correction, and DOL Initiatives. Click here to register.


Fiduciary Focus: The Three C’s – Committees, Cost & Cyber Security

Thursday, Nov. 5, at 10 a.m.

We are all facing new challenges this year. However, the job of a fiduciary does not stop even for COVID-19! During these unordinary times, plan fiduciaries still have a responsibility to prudently manage their retirement plan. In this webinar presentation, we will review the responsibilities these plan fiduciaries have, such as holding committee meetings, documenting the decisions made, monitoring their service providers, and making sure fees are still reasonable for the services being provided.  We will also discuss new areas of fiduciary focus; cyber security, ESG investments, and fee disclosure. Click here to register.


Take Care: A Prudent Approach to Evaluating Target Date Funds

Tuesday, Dec. 8, at 10 a.m.

For most retirement plans, a Target Date Fund (TDF) Suite is the qualified default investment alternative (QDIA) for the plan.  It is more critical than ever for plan sponsors to carefully evaluate these investments because they usually have the lion’s share of the plan assets.  Industry professionals discuss the five most important elements of the Target Date Fund selection process. Learn more about how to evaluate your TDF Suite, investment strategy and risk composition, employee risk tolerance assessment, tactical asset allocation strategies, performance, and fees. Click here to register. 

Please reach out to Mandy Richards at 404.420.2025 with any questions. If your plan is not with GBA Retirement Services and you would like to learn more about our high-quality 401(k) program that includes a discretionary trustee, managed account solution for each participant, reduced fees, and added oversight with GBA Retirement Services as the Master Plan Sponsor, please also reach out. We would love to help you with a free plan comparison.


Back to top of E-Bulletin

GBA Partner Abrigo Offers 3 Ways SBA Lending After PPP Can Help Banks Grow

For many banks trying to assist small businesses by participating in the PPP, implementing new technology was the best possible way to handle the waves of PPP applicants and paperwork. It helped them meet a strong demand for limited funds, all while navigating new restrictions on face-to-face business. Now, many newly SBA-approved lenders that are participating in the PPP are weighing the option of leveraging that technology to continue to provide SBA lending after PPP. Our partners at Abrigo believe there are multiple benefits to doing this, but click here to learn about three reasons you may not realize. With questions, please contact Abrigo’s Laura Wahl,, 919.906.5649.


Back to top of E-Bulletin

ABA Remote Learning - Attention Compliance Officers

Reference Guide to Regulatory Compliance 30th Edition - NEW

The Reference Guide to Regulatory Compliance is the ideal resource for compliance professionals, department staff, product managers, and retail branch banking managers. The Guide is updated annually, giving you timely and relevant updates at your fingertips. Updates to the new 30th edition include:

  • Fair Lending

  • Reserve Requirements (Reg D)

  • Electronic Funds Transfer Act (Reg E)

  • Expedited Funds Availability (Reg C)

  • HMDA


  • And many more!

Member Price: $350. Contact GBA’s Alison Moreau with questions or to order your copy today.


Back to top of E-Bulletin

Webinars: What's Hot?

Below are a few webinars heating up in September. Be sure to save your seat!

Save 10-30% with a subscription packagedetails here!

View the full calendar here for dates, times and more programs. With questions, email


Back to top of E-Bulletin

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.


Back to top of E-Bulletin

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:


Macon - CenterState Bank/South State Bank

Bank team members Mark Stevens and Brittany Beauchamp recently presented a donation check to The Fuller Center.


Back to top of E-Bulletin



Atlanta - Georgia Primary Bank

Karen Pilcher has joined the bank as vice president and commercial lender.


Atlanta - Georgia Banking Company

An investor group led by Bartow Morgan, Jr., has reached an agreement in principle to acquire the Georgia Banking Company. Read more here.


Greenville, S.C. - Southern First Bank

Lora Jex has joined the bank as Chief Compliance Officer.


Jonesboro - Heritage Southeast Bank

DeeDee McIntyre has joined the bank as first vice president, senior SBA and USDA lender. Read more here.


Savannah - Carver State Bank

Bank President and CEO Bob James was recognized as a Legacy Leader in the September 2020 issue of Georgia Trend magazine. Read more here.




McIntyre James


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.


Back to top of E-Bulletin