Sept. 20, 2019


State Leadership Continues Focus on Rural Georgia

Last week was busy for elected and volunteer leaders working to enhance opportunities for rural Georgia to thrive. GBA’s SVP-Government Relations, Elizabeth Chandler, was in Moultrie for three days of meetings with the House Agriculture Committee and the House Rural Development Council. Gov. Brian Kemp announced the creation of a rural strike team to focus on bringing jobs, investment, and economic development to all corners of the Peach State. And Georgia Chamber of Commerce head Chris Clark penned an op-ed for Georgia CEO outlining significant rural prosperity efforts the business community is undertaking in concert with state and local elected officials and community stakeholders. "Legislators attending the Agriculture Committee got a good update on all the agricultural commodities so important to our state. Presenters ranged from areas as diverse as poultry, cotton, peanuts, forestry and vegetables. There was a lot of interest in federal disaster assistance and it was helpful to have had USDA release their metrics for producers to qualify for that aid," said Chandler. During the Rural Development Council meeting, legislators were given deep dives into challenges and opportunities related to internet, natural resources, workforce, micro- and CDFI lending, jobs tax credits, expanding post high school education opportunities and structuring regional development organizations. "Participating in these sessions gave me the opportunity to share our chairman Chuck Copelands initiative of bankers supporting state and local economic development opportunities. Everyone appreciated that we were there so we could talk about the crucial role bankers play in the success of their communities," Chandler concluded. Both meetings were on the campus of Georgia’s newest medical college, the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine. In Swainsboro to announce his strike team initiative, Kemp said staff was in place to corral all areas of state government to help develop more shovel-ready development sites. The team will raise the visibility of regional economic development assets, specifically, large industrial sites outside of metro-Atlanta, and unite communities to market those sites to potential prospects. Kemp also announced a statewide "Georgia Made" tour to raise awareness and show support for local businesses and manufacturers providing jobs and opportunity to communities across Georgia. "For the next several months, I look forward to highlighting what local businesses are doing to employ hardworking Georgians in rural communities and how we can help those businesses continue to succeed," said Kemp. With questions, contact Elizabeth Chandler, 404.420.2027.


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State Depository Board Approves Deposit Placement Arrangement Policies

The State Depository Board chaired by Gov. Brian Kemp met this week and approved the policies to implement legislation passed by the General Assembly allowing banks to offer shared deposit services to public depositors to avoid collateralizing the deposits. The policy outlines the documentation and procedures deposit placement providers must follow to apply for approval to offer their services to banks and public depositors in Georgia. The Board delegated authority to the State Treasurer to approve applications between meetings of the Board. Promontory and StoneCastle have filed their applications for approval and we understand Reich & Tang will do so shortly. We do not expect any will have difficulty meeting the application requirements. As we’ve recommended in the past, if your bank is interested in offering this service to public depositors, please reach out to one or more of the vendors to discuss your participation. Promontory and StoneCastle are GBA associate members, so contact Danny Capitel, with Promontory,, 866.776.6426 ext. 3476, or Bruce Hinkle with StoneCastle,, 347.887.0372. The vendor’s application must be approved before a bank may open shared-deposit related accounts with public depositors, and we’ll let you know as the vendor’s applications are approved by the Treasurer. The policy also requires public depositors to provide documentation to the Office of the State Treasurer that they are participating in a deposit placement service. If the public depositor chooses to use more than one provider, the public depositor is required to develop a monitoring program to manage its oversight ensuring full FDIC insurance coverage. Please pay particular attention to these requirements in the policy as the public depositors will likely ask their banker for help with those. The Board also approved a revised policy governing state deposit accounts and the requirements a bank must meet to become a qualified state depository to hold state money. Copies of the policies may be found on the Public Deposit Collateral Pool Programs page on our website. With questions, contact David Oliver, 404.420.2036, or Sherry Scruggs, 404.420.2029.


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Beef is with Congress and Regulators on Credit Unions Buying Banks

The American Banker industry publication asked GBA President and CEO Joe Brannen to weigh in on a story they were doing about the growing trend of credit unions acquiring banks. Here’s a link to the article that covered transactions from around the country. Other than not mentioning the billions of dollars of tax revenues credit unions should be paying, overall the story accurately captured bankers’ frustration about the unfair advantages credit unions enjoy over traditional banks. The story took on added relevance when news broke this week that our member Citizens Bank, Nashville, has entered into a Purchase and Assumption agreement with Tallahassee, FL-based First Commerce Credit Union. Should the deal close, it will be Georgia’s fifth bank acquired by a credit union. "Our beef isn’t with bank boards of directors as they’re exercising their fiduciary obligations. Our beef is with Congress and the regulators for doing nothing to address the unfair competitive and regulatory advantages," said GBA Chairman Chuck Copeland, First National Bank of Griffin.


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FDIC Sets CBLR at 9%, Adopts Tier 1 Capital as Standard for Threshold

The FDIC this week approved a final rule allowing community banks with 9% Tier 1 Capital to opt in for an exemption from complex Basel III capital requirements. Under this rule, all but four Georgia banks would be eligible for the Community Bank Leverage Ratio exemptions from Basel III calculations based on second-quarter performance. For those banks opting in, there’s also a two-quarter grace period for those falling below 9% but remaining above 8% to either get back above 9% or comply with the generally applicable capital rule. In adopting the standard Tier 1 Capital calculation as the benchmark for setting the 9% threshold, FDIC responded to feedback that creating a new capital definition as originally proposed would have added unnecessary complexities. FDIC released a good fact sheet about the rule, available here. The rule implements a key section of the S. 2155 regulatory reform bill passed last year. The rule takes effect Jan. 1, 2020. With questions, contact Joe Brannen, 404.420.2026, or Elizabeth Chandler, 404.420.2027.


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Compliance Pros Huddle at Conference

The GBA Compliance Conference got underway Wednesday this week with a slate of the latest updates to help Georgia bank compliance pros run a tight ship. Wednesday focused on lending compliance, Thursday’s agenda covered broad topics and Friday’s sessions were deposit-related topics. Look for more details and a full photo album in next week’s edition.



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New Georgia Driver’s Licenses and ID Cards Rolling Out

Be aware you’ll soon start seeing new designs for Georgia driver’s licenses and ID cards from your customers. The state has announced a new design and features to help combat forgery and ID fraud. The new cards will be phased in, and the current style will be valid until the expiration date for each card. And, as was the case in the previous licensing process, temporary licenses will be issued with photographs and bar codes on 8.5" x 11" white paper while the permanent cards are in production. Read more details from the state here, and take a look at the new design here.


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Serving Others, Keeping Up with the Kiddos and Getting Outdoors with Cory Burdette

Most kids put up a fuss when their parents first say they will need to earn their own spending money, but Cory Burdette, SVP-Financial Institutions Group of Atlantic Capital Bank, Atlanta, thanks his parents for instilling the concept of financial independence in him at an early age. Of his first summer job bagging groceries at Kroger, Burdette said, "I learned the real value of a dollar, a sense of pride in working and doing a good job, customer service, how to engage in conversation and good people skills." The Group 5 representative on the Leadership GBA Executive Committee, Burdette didn’t have aspirations to be a career banker until he was selected for BB&T’s management training program, which opened his eyes to all aspects of the industry. "Being at a bank that works with other banks, I know and understand their business, what they need and the impact they have in the communities they serve," he said. He discusses his career journey, experiences with GBA, passions for the outdoors and fitness, parenting his three sons and more in his GBA Member Profile.


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Reminder: Georgia Peanut Bank Week is Oct. 14-18

GBA and our friends at the Georgia Peanut Commission (GPC) want to remind everyone that the 2019 Georgia Peanut Bank Week is scheduled this year for Oct. 14-18, at banks across the state. This year's theme is: "Georgia Peanuts. It just makes cents!" The deadline for Bank Week supply orders has just passed, however banks still interested in participating should contact GPC’s Brett Butler at 229.386.3470 or Link to some available promotional materials below.

Georgia Peanut Bank Week Supplies

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National Briefs
Cannabis Action, Flood Insurance and Disaster Aid News

Here are a couple of briefs on key national issues.



  • USDA Disaster Aid Update
    Our members with customers eligible for recently announced disaster assistance related to weather events tell us the local FSA offices are being flooded with applications. Please encourage your customers who are still working on their applications to get them in as soon as possible. We understand there are still some kinks in the application software and the FSA offices are also facing deadlines to get Agriculture Risk Coverage (ARC) and Price Loss Coverage (PLC) payments processed, so be mindful of the tremendous workload at most FSA offices. Here’s a link to USDA’s announcement about eligibility and the process to follow.

With comments or questions about any of these issues, contact Joe Brannen, 404.420.2026, or Elizabeth Chandler, 404.420.2027.


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Big Three Conferences Filling Up Fast

Our annual tri-conferences for bank presidents and CEOs, bank counsel and bank accountants are attracting big crowds for Oct. 6-8. Each conference features a stellar lineup of content, and our room block at the Ritz Carlton is full for now. However, Kathy Friestad is keeping a waiting list and working daily to squeeze in more to the hotel. Take a look at the agendas and details for each at the links below, and contact Kathy, 404.420.2024, with questions or to get on the rooming waitlist.

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BankPAC Update – Have You and Your Bank Participated?

With a little cooler weather, football and the first pumpkin sightings, come thoughts of year-end to dos. We hope you have on that list participating in the Georgia BankPAC campaign in the near future. Georgia now has both of our U.S. Senate seats on the ballot in the coming year along with our 14 Congressional seats and all members of the Georgia General Assembly. Our industry and the GBA PACs must be ready to participate in this incredibly important cycle. With new online capability of contributing to the GBA FedPAC, all eligible employees, officers and directors, can simply use this link to make a contribution by logging in with your MyGBA profile credentials. Also, here are the contribution forms for both the FedPAC and the StatePAC which include a useful guide of suggested amounts of giving. Check out how your GBA Group is progressing toward its goals so far.


Many thanks to the following banks for contributing to the GBA StatePAC this week:

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

  • Renasant Bank, Albany, David Durland, Georgia President

And, much appreciation goes to all of the eligible employees, officers and directors of the following banks for contributing to the GBA FedPAC:

  • Ameris Bank, Atlanta, Palmer Proctor, President & CEO

  • Citizens Bank & Trust Company, Eastman, Mike Odom, CEO

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

  • First Port City Bank, Bainbridge, Scott Ewing, President & CEO

  • Morris Bank, Dublin, Spence Mullis, President & CEO

  • Planters and Citizens Bank, Camilla, Susan Moss, President & CEO

  • The Citizens Bank of Americus, Rick Whaley, President & CEO

  • United Bank, Zebulon, Jim Edwards, CEO

With questions, please call Elizabeth Chandler at 404.420.2027.


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Contribute to GBA StatePAC by Playing a Round of Golf

On Oct. 23, the Leadership GBA Executive Committee will host its annual BankPAC Golf Classic at The Club at River Forest in Forsyth. All proceeds go to the GBA StatePAC, whose sole purpose is to support the campaigns of candidates who understand the concerns of the banking industry - your concerns. Sign up today, and plan to bring a friend, your legislator, or a fellow banker to enjoy the day with you. You can sign up as a two-person team or an individual, and we hope you’ll consider adding a hole and other sponsorship for the cause. Click here for details and sign-up information. Questions? Contact GBA’s Kathy Friestad, 404.420.2024.


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Compensation & Benefits Survey - Order Now!
Valuable Budgeting Tool Ready for Bankers

The most comprehensive look at Georgia bank compensation trends is available for management teams getting into budgeting season. The 2019 GBA Compensation and Benefits Survey is a key tool for fine tuning your bank’s compensation program. Here’s why:

  • 138 jobs were included in the survey’s data collection.

  • Three reports – a salary report, a director-related compensation report and a comprehensive report that includes all key salary increase trends and non-salary benefits such as healthcare and retirement plans, overtime and vacation policies, perks for various employees and more. 

  • Asset-size peer group comparisons.

  • User support available anytime from Matthews, Young – Management Consulting.

  • Custom report capabilities including multi-state information upon request. Contact Randy McGraw at Mathews Young directly for details, 919.644.6962.

The price for the survey reports is $500 plus tax. Order your survey today by sending an email to Erin Howard at and she will send you the reports by PDF.


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Women in Banking - Nov. 17-19, Lake Lanier
Conference Packs a Punch with 2019 Speakers Slate

Women who work in all areas of their banks and with our associate member companies are invited to attend GBA’s 2019 Women in Banking Conference, Nov. 17-19 at Legacy Lodge at Lake Lanier. This is one of GBA’s most popular annual events, and our lineup of speakers is one of the reasons it’s such a hit. This year’s slate is:

  • Natalie Bartholomew, a career banker and author of the "Girl Banker" blog, will discuss her banking journey

  • Sarah H. Warren, Justice of the Georgia Supreme Court (and she’s 37 years old!) will share how she balances her job and life outside the court

  • Trudy Kremer, partner and executive speaker coach at Jackson Spalding, will talk about commanding confidence

  • Donna Flynn from Skills Mastery Group will show you how to build culture from the inside out

  • Dr. Melissa Furman, Career Potential LLC, will discuss how personal awareness can be a powerful tool to accelerate your career

  • Shannon Huneycutt, a certified Silver KonMari Consultant, will share tools to de-clutter and organize our space, an exercise that benefits both home and work life.

Join a big crowd of your colleagues this fall at the Women in Banking Conference! Click here to sign up, see an agenda and for hotel information. Questions? Contact GBA’s Kathy Friestad, 404.420.2024.


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Financial Risk Management and Credit Conferences
Why Your Bank Should be Represented at these two Conferences

Our calendar year for career banker conferences wraps up in November and December with two of our biggest gatherings. Make sure your bank has a representative attending so you’re in the know about all the latest key industry intel:

  • Financial Risk Management Conference, Nov. 7-8: Economic Updates, the latest on CECL, tech trends, tax credit update, contract negotiation skills and more. Full details here.

  • Credit Conference, Dec. 5-6: Housing and CRE updates, credit quality trends, Roger Tutterow, Ag. Commissioner Gary Black and more. Full details here.

With questions, contact Alison Moreau, 404.420.2034.

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Learn About the Advantages of Bank Owned Life Insurance (BOLI) Programs from EBS

GBA Strategic Partner EBS specializes in the placement and service of Bank Owned Life Insurance (BOLI). Their programs use BOLI to finance existing employee benefits and 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 servicer, EBS can assist you with compliance and reports essential for your bank, board and regulators. 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 will provide a complimentary, customized BOLI Assessment Report and Carrier Due Diligence Review Report. 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.


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Fall 2019
Upcoming One-Day Events Fill a Variety of Skills Needs

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ABA Online Training - Mortgage, Trust, CTFA and More

ABA-facilitated online courses feature an online learning community with fellow students, instructor guidance and feedback. Check out these six courses scheduled from September through October. Any employee of a GBA member bank can participate at the member rate. Your bank does not have to be an ABA member.

For more information, contact Alison Moreau, 404.420.2034. Click here for a list of all ABA offerings.


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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:


Athens - First American Bank & Trust Co.

The bank participated in the Gwinett Chamber of Commerce’s inaugural Car-B-Ques & Brews Festival.


Atlanta - SunTrust

The SunTrust Foundation and SunTrust Trusteed Foundations announced they awarded $3 million in grants to the Atlanta Police Foundation (APF). The funding will support APF’s youth crime diversion program, the At-Promise Initiative, by opening an At-Promise Center on Campbellton Road in Southwest Atlanta. Set to open in 2021, the center will be named "The SunTrust At-Promise Center Honoring Andrew Young." Read more here.


Canton - United Community Bank

The bank recently donated $500 to Marietta-based MUST Ministries, which provides aid to individuals, families and children in Cherokee and Cobb counties. The donation was made by the bank’s Canton-Bridgemill team, who also donated 100 educational books to children in the community through MUST Ministries’ Summer Lunch Program. Read more here.


Dublin - Morris Bank

The Morris Bank Community Foundation recently purchased 3,000 books for the Ferst Readers program in Laurens County. The foundation also purchased a lofted barn cabin for Gray Elementary School in Jones County to use in its sensory learning program.



Elberton - Pinnacle Bank

Bank team members are staffing Elbert County High School’s "School Bank," which gives students the opportunity to ask questions about banking and learn more about financial literacy.


Louisville - Queensborough National Bank & Trust Company, Inc.

The bank’s Coastal Region branches recently collected Hurricane Dorian disaster relief supplies for Grand Bahama Island and delivered them to the Georgia Port Authority.


Omega - South Georgia Banking Company

The bank’s Omega branch recently took part in the annual Omega Pepper Festival.


Savannah - First Chatham Bank

The bank recently wrapped up its 2019 School Supply Drive, providing needed supplies to more than eight local schools and organizations.


Statesboro - Statesboro Bank, a Division of Glennville Bank

The bank has placed gold ribbons outside the bank in support of National Childhood Cancer Awareness Month.



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Ashburn - South Georgia Banking Company

Rachel Montfort has been promoted to vice president and Ashburn branch manager. Mike Rice has been promoted to senior vice president and Ashburn city president. Joy Carter has been promoted to senior vice president.


Atlanta - Ameris Bank

The bank recently revealed its brand update, including a new logo featuring an iteration of the Fidelity Bank lion. See more at


Dublin - Citizens Bank of Laurens County

The bank recently announced its new class of students on the 2019-2020 Student Council.


Forsyth - Persons Banking Company

Our condolences to the family, friends and colleagues of former bank board member George Berry, who died Sept. 7 following a long illness. Read his obituary here.


Gainesville - Pinnacle Bank

The bank has opened a new branch in Gainesville at 1948 Jesse Jewell Parkway.


Gray and Milledgeville - Magnolia State Bank, a division of Bank of Eastman

J. David Dyer III has been promoted to Milledgeville market president, and Richard Mell Merritt has been promoted to Gray market president.


Greensboro - BankSouth

Commercial banker John Gaultney recently discussed the bank’s culture of honor and empowerment in an interview with Athens CEO. See the video here.


Quitman - Bank of Quitman

Our condolences to the family, friends and colleagues of bank director Alfred "A.J." Jackson Powell, who died Sept. 12 at the age of 100. Read more here.


Musella - Georgia House of Representatives

Congratulations to state Rep. Robert Dickey, who has been named 2019 Georgia Farmer of the year. Dickey is a member of the House Banks and Banking Committee.


Washington, D.C. - Federal Reserve Board

Michelle Bowman was recently confirmed for a 14-year term on the Federal Reserve Board’s community bank seat. "It’s great to get that designated seat for a community banker filled for a full 14-year term. We’ve met twice with Gov. Bowman along with a contingent of Georgia bankers and seen firsthand her passion speaking out in support of community banks and the critical role they play for so many Americans," said Joe Brannen, GBA president and CEO.





Citizens Bank of Laurens County
Student Council




Pinnacle Bank






Ameris Bank






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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