September 12, 2014

GBA Chairman's Message

Calling All CEOs for GBA's President/CEO Conference Oct. 12-14

"I encourage every Georgia bank president or CEO to come to this year's President/CEO Conference," said GBA Chairman Remer Brinson, president and CEO, First Bank of Georgia, Augusta. "The agenda is full of valuable information, and the networking opportunities are abundant. We're guaranteed to have a long list of ideas to take back our banks to use after the conference." The conference is Oct. 12-14 at The Ritz-Carlton Lodge, Reynolds Plantation, in Greensboro. Here's a link to the agenda and registration information. The conference, planned by GBA's Community Bankers Committee chaired by Philip Williams, CEO of The Claxton Bank, will be held in conjunction with the annual Bank Counsel Conference and Bank Accountant Conference, so spending time with those professionals is also a highlight of the program. With questions, please contact GBA's Susie McGehee at 404.420.2010.


Rooms Selling Out Quickly for Tri-Conferences

Attention President/CEO, Bank Counsel and Bank Accountant Conference attendees! Rooms are selling out quickly at The Ritz-Carlton Lodge, Reynolds Plantation. If you have not already done so,  make your reservations by calling the hotel directly at 866.972.6779. Be sure to let them know you are with the Georgia Bankers Association group to get the discounted room rate of $169 per night for single or double occupancy. The cut-off date for reservations is Sept. 17. With questions about hotel rates and availability or the conferences in general, please contact GBA's Susie McGehee at 404.420.2010. Make your reservations today!


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Bank Accountant Breakfast Meeting will Highlight Annual Conference

At the breakfast meeting on Oct. 13 during the Bank Accountant Conference, Donny Luker, Managing Partner at Mauldin & Jenkins, Atlanta, and Tim Keadle, Partner at Porter Keadle Moore, will co-lead a discussion about current issues in the banking industry that affect accountants. In preparation for that session, feel free to e-mail Donny and Tim with suggestions for topics. This is the fourth Bank Accountant Conference, and it's been a valuable and successful addition to the GBA University calendar that can greatly help you serve your bank clients. You'll also get the necessary information to apply for CPE credits for attending. Click here to register online. With questions, please contact GBA's Susie McGehee at 404.420.2010.


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Legal Issues Panel to Kick off Bank Counsel Conference

Georgia bank attorneys will be treated to a candid panel discussion about the most pressing legal issues facing banks today. The panel features Bo Fears, deputy commissioner for Legal Affairs at the Georgia Department of Banking and Finance; Mark Kanaly, partner, Alston & Bird, LLP; and Walt Moeling, partner, Bryan Cave, LLP. They’ll discuss TruPS, virtual currency, 382 Rights Plans, M&A developments, merchant acquired limited purpose banks, fiduciary duties and much more. GBA's annual Bank Counsel Conference will be held Oct. 12-14 at The Ritz-Carlton Lodge, Reynolds Plantation, Greensboro. See above for hotel information. Any bank lawyer will benefit from attendance, not just your general counsel. Register online here. With questions, please contact GBA's Susie McGehee at 404.420.2010.


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Bank Marketers Recharge with New Ideas at Peer Group Meeting

Innovation and ideas for how marketing can lead new customers to a bank were key themes at this week's GBA Marketing Peer Group meeting in Macon. "The peer group meeting today provided thought-provoking concepts and ideas about how to attract, build and conserve clients," said Donna Chambers, Pinnacle Bank, who attended. "I was hesitant to spend an entire day at this event, but it was definitely worth it. I can't wait to go back and implement what I learned," said another marketing pro after the meeting. Bank marketers from around the state were challenged to think of marketing in new and somewhat unconventional ways during the first session with Charles Jordan of GBA Associate Member the Charles Jordan Group. The session was about how to modernize bank marketing messaging and storylines. "It helped me realize whatever I do I need to make sure I simplify my marketing and draw in my target customer with simplicity," said one marketer about Jordan's talk. Participants also shared examples of their recent work, as well as discussed ideas for meeting common challenges they face such as planning, budgeting, ad buying strategies and how to communicate critical customer protection messages. The afternoon session featured an in-depth look at how to use Google Analytics website metrics from Denise Mailing of AIS Media. "The interactivity and presentations were what I liked best," said an attendee. "There were great sessions with lots of detail and they were all relevant." Thanks to Renee White, First Landmark Bank, Marietta, who chairs the GBA Marketing Committee, and Tom Woodberry, State Bank and Trust, Macon, who is the co-chair, for their leadership. For more information or with ideas for the next Marketing Peer Group meeting, contact Kathy Friestad, 404.420.2024.



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Georgia Messes with Texas, Grabs Top Business Ranking

Georgia continues to get accolades for its business environment. The state ranks as the No. 1 place in the nation in which to do business according to Area Development magazine. Georgia unseated Texas in this year's magazine’s ratings, scoring top-three positions in 12 of the 18 categories rated. “Georgia’s success has come from dead reckoning in areas that are crucial to business locators,” said Area Development Staff Editor Dale Buss. “That includes the state’s welcoming and business-friendly government, to be sure. The state also enjoys a strong infrastructure, featuring Hartsfield International, one of the world’s most efficient passenger airports; two deepwater ports; and one of the nation’s most extensive surface-transportation networks. No wonder that Georgia has been able to announce a continuing string of business expansions and relocation over the last year.”


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Banking Reputation Rises 18 Points

The public's feelings about the banking industry are better and tracking alongside improvements in the general economy and bank performance. A Gallup poll released last week showed that the public's view of the industry improved by 18 points for the second straight year and is in the positive category overall for the first time since 2007. The industry scored a net positive view of 8 percent, up from negative 10 percent a year ago and negative 28 percent in 2012. Read more details here...


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State of Small Banks Subject of Hearing Next Week

One of the hearings we'll be watching closely next week in Washington, D.C., is U.S. Senate Banking Committee session about the state of small depository institutions. The hearing will be Tuesday, Sept. 16, and it will feature two panels. The panel of regulators includes Doreen Eberley, the FDIC's director of Risk Management Supervision, who also spent time in Georgia as acting regional FDIC Director for the Atlanta Region. A second panel will feature a mix of bankers, credit union executives and consumer advocates. The hearing is intended to get an assessment from the regulators and bankers about how the Dodd-Frank Act, the economy and other issues are affecting smaller institutions around the country. Link to more details about the hearing....


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Voter Registration Period Ends Oct. 6, Register with phone App

Registering to vote is no hassle these days. There's a new mobile phone app that lets Georgians register to vote and get other important election information including polling places and early voting locations. The GA Votes app is available free from Apple's App Store and Google Play. Bankers, please encourage employees and customers to vote, and please take part in our Georgia Banker Democracy Days campaign. Remember, voter registration ends Oct. 6. We've got free resources available, and please sign up for the program so we can recognize your participation. Click here to visit our Democracy Days website for details...


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Results for Compensation and Benefits, Affordable Care Act Impact Survey Available

The results of the 2014 GBA Compensation and Benefits Survey and the Affordable Care Act Impact and Healthcare Benefits Survey are on sale now. We've already sent the results to those members who participated and pre-ordered the report. The price for the survey results for members that did not provide data for the survey is $400. This year, more than 60 Georgia financial institutions provided data for about 11,500 employees. You can order a copy by contacting GBA's Kenyetta Parks, 404.420.2035.


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Invite your Legislators to Georgia BankPAC Golf Classic - Oct. 1

Don't miss the opportunity to invite your legislators and directors to meet and play golf with your colleagues at Leadership GBA's 13th-annual Georgia BankPAC Classic Wednesday, Oct. 1, at The Club at River Forest in Forsyth. This two-person scramble tournament is sure to be a fun and challenging event for everyone. Registration is $150 per person, $250 per team or $450 for a team and hole sponsorship. The proceeds will be donated to the GBA StatePAC. Click here to register online. Please call GBA's Susie McGehee at 404.420.2010 with questions about the tournament.


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Fewer Paying Account Service Fees, Says Survey

Basic banking services continue to be a good deal, with more and more people finding ways to avoid monthly account fees, according to an ABA survey out this week. Sixty-two percent of bank customers pay no monthly account fees, an increase of seven points from the year before. If you combine that with the 12 percent who pay $3 per month or less, that means about three of every four bank customers pay less than the cost of a gallon or milk or gas to get insured bank accounts with lots of convenient features.


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Remember to Take Advantage of Early-Bird Registration for Georgia Banking School to Save Big

The Georgia Banking School is a unique learning opportunity for qualified, highly-motivated bankers and a challenging experience that requires full personal commitment. Your bank also makes a commitment to invest in tuition and your time away from the bank for one week during each of the school's three years. If you're considering attending Georgia Banking School as a first-year student, remember to register early to take advantage of Early Bird tuition. First-year applicants may register and pay by Jan. 16, 2015, and receive the early bird price of $1,750. You'll save $125 and tuition includes: all instruction, supplemental materials, accommodations for Sunday-Thursday nights at the UGA Hotel, daily breakfast and lunch, a welcome reception and dinner on Sunday, May 3, and daily refreshment breaks. One recent Banking School graduate had this to say about his time in Athens:


"The Georgia Banking School was a great experience for me. I learned a great deal from the curriculum - and I also learned a great deal from my fellow students. The time and effort commitment was a great investment in my career."
Bryan Williams, vice president, The Citizens Bank, Nashville, and 2014 Georgia Banking School Honor Graduate.


Join the freshman class of the 2015 Georgia Banking School and enroll today by registering here. We hope to see you next spring in Athens! Contact Kathy Friestad, 404.420.2024, with questions.


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IRA Advanced Update and Review Workshop - Sept. 25

In a landmark case, the courts and IRS have re-defined the "once-per-12-month" rule. Banks must know about this so their customers can avoid huge IRS tax and penalty pitfalls. At this seminar you will learn to separate fact from fiction for the more technical areas of IRAs. Too many times so-called experts post things on the internet that are vague or fabricated about retirement account rules and regulations. IRAs are a specialized area requiring expertise. Come and learn from one of the most respected IRA experts in the country, Patrice Konarik of Sunwest Training Corp., at GBA's seminar Sept. 25. The seminar will be at The Brickyard Golf Club in Macon. Please click here to register for the seminar. With questions, please contact GBA's Danielle Driggers at 404.420.2002.


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Fair Lending Seminar - Sept. 30

Examiners have a renewed interest in fair lending compliance, particularly for HMDA-reporting community banks. Banks are expected to implement fair lending compliance activities, including monitoring of lending policies, procedures and practices, loan personnel training, and second reviews of denied applications. Steve Moore, president of Bank Compliance Services, will provide an in-depth look at fair lending, including a detailed description of "side-by-side loan file analysis," common loan practices with potential fair lending effects, and other components of an effective fair lending program. GBA's Fair Lending seminar is scheduled for Sept. 30 at Idle Hour Country Club in Macon. If you're a compliance officer, compliance auditor or a loan officer, you can't afford to miss this one! To register, click here. With questions, please contact GBA's Danielle Driggers at 404.420.2002.


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The Information Security Officer (ISO) Seminar - Oct. 16

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 Georgia. For more information or to register, click here. For personal assistance contact GBA's Danielle Driggers at 404.420.2015.


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Attention Central and South Georgia Bankers

FDIC Consumer Protection Workshop - Oct. 29-30

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 on 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.


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GBA-U Webinars

Customer Onboarding, Construction Lending, Supervisor Skills Highlight September Webinars

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


Sept. 16

Writing an Effective Credit Memorandum

Sept. 16

Equal Treatment of Same-Sex Married Couples

Sept. 18

Basics of Interest Rate Derivatives

Sept. 23

First Impressions - New Customer Onboarding Strategies

Sept. 23

Commercial Construction Lending

Sept. 24

Sixty (60) Steps for Properly Handling Delinquent and Abandoned Safe Deposit Boxes (2014 Update)

Sept. 24

Morale and Motivation for Supervisors: Keeping the Team Enthused About Their Job

Sept. 25

Legal Liabilities When Check Fraud Occurs

Sept. 25

Signature Card Danger Zones: Account Titling, Ownership & Access

Sept. 25

Business Development Strategies for Lenders

Sept. 26

BSA Series: NRAs, FACTA, OFAC and Other International Issues


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.


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ABA Facilitated Online Training Courses for October

Ag Lending, Law and Banking, Principles of Banking among October Courses

Below are the ABA Facilitated Online Training Courses coming up in October. 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.


Oct 6

Analyzing Financial Statements

Oct 6

Introduction to Agricultural Lending

Oct 6

Law and Banking: Principles

Oct 6

Marketing Financial Services

Oct 6

Principles of Banking

Oct 14

General Accounting

Oct 14

Law and Banking: Applications

Oct 14

Principles of Banking Accelerated

Oct 20

Consumer Lending

Oct 20

Principles of Banking

Oct 27

Commercial Lending

Oct 27

Introduction to Mortgage Lending


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GBA Members Eligible for Discount for Completing EEO-1 Report

Atlanta-based Employment Law Compliance Inc. is offering a discount to GBA members to help them complete the EEO-1 report that most banks with 50 or more employees must file with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission by Sept. 30 of each year. The EEOC reviews the report data to evaluate compliance with federal discrimination and affirmative action standards. ELC also offers other discounts to GBA members, too. Access the EEOC's online reporting system. For more information about ELC's service, e-mail the company or contact it at 866.801.6302. Read more about ELC's human resources products.


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CFPB Releases Data Point on Checking Account Overdrafts

By Cheryl Lawson, EVP of Compliance Review, John Floyd & Associates


The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has issued a Data Point: Checking account overdraft report which provides an analysis of overdraft transactions in several large banks. This data was collected during the CFPB's analysis of banks and includes data from the same institutions analyzed in the 2012 Study of Overdraft Programs. No credit unions or thrifts were included in the study, nor were any banks with assets under $10 billion. Transaction data on roughly two million accounts during an 18-month period provided the CFPB researchers with some key insights about overdrafts. While financial institutions included in this study do not provide fully disclosed overdraft programs, the data is instructive. Because the CFPB analysis represents customers who were not provided information on how the bank responds to overdrafts, the consumer behavior is not representative of all financial institutions. Where fully disclosed overdraft programs are in place, consumers are not "surprised" by overdraft costs. In these situations, consumer use of overdrafts reflects the needs of their household and their ability to pay the overdraft or NSF fee. And while CFPB Director Richard Cordray has stated in interviews that nothing in the report implies that banks and credit unions should be precluded from offering overdraft coverage, he has stressed the need to determine whether current overdraft practices are causing the kind of harm that consumer protection laws are designed to prevent. The release of this data point report has not accelerated the CFPB's rulemaking calendar. Further "pre-rule activities" relating to overdraft practices are not expected until February 2015. As these regulatory conversations continue, now is the time for financial institutions to take the steps necessary to ensure that they are providing an overdraft solution that is in line with compliance expectations.


For more information please contact Waid Thompson, JMFA's regional sales director, at 888.345.8639.


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Find a Job, Post a Job with GBA Job Bank

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.


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GBA Community Connections

Troop Support in Honor of 9/11, and Food Bank Efforts

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:


Atlanta - Community and Southern

The bank is teaming up with Georgia's food banks to collect donations this September during Hunger Action Month, organized by the Feeding America nationwide network of food banks.


Atlanta - Affinity Bank 

The bank recently brought food to help restock the shelves at the Community Assistance Center Food Pantry and will serve as a drop-off location if anyone would like to donate but can't make it to the pantry's location on Roswell Rd. The bank was also proud to sponsor Dentistry for the Developmentally Disabled's 2014 Downswings for Disabilities Golf Tournament, raising money for comprehensive dental treatment to patients
with developmental disabilities.


Elberton - Pinnacle Bank

Employees Ann Harris and Wendi Lewis have coordinated this year's Salute the Troops campaign. Employee efforts raised $4,500. In honor of 9/11 victims, a check was cut this week to help wounded warriors in the bank's community.


Pinnacle Bank's Anne Harris (left) and Wendi Lewis led the bank's fundraising efforts for it's annual Salute the Troops campaign, which Harris began in memory of her son, Blake.


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.


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Albany - Flint Community Bank

Kim Colby has joined the bank as a Vice President.


Atlanta - Fidelity Bank

The bank opened its 37th branch this week on Windward Parkway in Alpharetta.


Atlanta - Georgia Commerce Bank

Cassie Smith has joined the bank as Senior Vice President of Finance, and Chuck Shaw has joined the bank as Senior Vice President of Compliance and Risk Management.


Atlanta - Private Bank of Buckhead

Dan Smith, President of PrivatePlus Mortgage, a division of Private Bank of Buckhead, recently completed the Aspen Institute's Henry Crown Fellows Program.


Cumming - Renasant Bank

Donna Wade has joined the bank as a Senior Commercial Relationship Manager.


Kennesaw - Kennesaw State University

Roger Tutterow will return to Michael J. Coles College of Business at Kennesaw State University to resume his role as director of the Econometric Center as well as serve as a professor of economics. Tutterow is also Chairman of Vinings Bank in Smyrna.


Marietta - Highland Commercial Bank

Congratulations to the Directors, Officers and Staff of the bank, which recently celebrated its 10th anniversary.


Monroe - Liberty First Bank

Our sympathies to the family and friends of Director Lt. Col. George Justus Hearn III, who passed away recently.


Smyrna - Vinings Bank

Michael Van Alstine has joined the bank as Network Administrator. Dolly Glendinning has been promoted to Customer Service Representative.


C. Smith Shaw D. Smith


Wade Tutterow Hearn


Shown above are the three executive officers and original organizers of Highland Commercial Bank, Left to Right, M. Greg Griggs, President, James H. Powell, Chairman and CEO and Beate F. Frank, Chief Financial Officer


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 Bo Brannen.


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