Dec. 3, 2021  

Credit Conference Underway with Full House

Our Credit Conference kicked off Thursday in Atlanta, and we’re excited to have the largest crowd of Georgia bank credit and lending professionals attending since 2011. The conference concludes Friday, so look for more scenes from the conference and full summaries of the sessions next week.



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FDIC Quarterly Banking Profile

Georgia Bank Performance Momentum Continues in Third Quarter

The state’s 153 FDIC-insured banks earned $579.1 million during the third quarter, an increase of $128.8 million, or 29%, compared to the same three-month period in 2020. That’s the headline stat from the FDIC’s release of third-quarter bank performance data. Also, for the first nine months of this year, cumulative industry net income was up by $1.3 billion compared to the same period a year ago. Community banks also fared well. Georgia’s 147 community banks’ net income was up about $32 million, or 22%, compared to the third quarter of 2020, and up by 37% for the first nine months of the year. Credit quality and capital levels remained strong, and it wasn’t a surprise to see continued margin compression. Read more of our analysis in a news release we sent to media statewide. GBA’s analysis includes comparative performance of only the banks classified by FDIC as Georgia-based banks as of the end of the third quarter 2021. There are an additional 42 FDIC-insured banks operating in Georgia whose performance numbers are reported in the state in which they’re chartered. Below are some specific highlights of the latest data. With questions, contact David Oliver, 404.420.2036.


YTD Results

All Georgia Banks

$ in 000s

Georgia Community Banks


$ in 000s 

All U.S Banks


$ in 000s

Number of institutions reporting




Total employees (full-time equivalent)




Total assets




Total deposits




Total loans and leases




Net income




Noncurrent loans to loans




Net charge-offs to loans




% of profitable institutions




% of institutions with earnings gains




Net interest margin




Return on assets (ROA)




Return on Equity (ROE)




Equity capital to assets





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Advocacy Today

Here at GBA, we’ve continued to find ways to represent the industry as we’re dealing with the reality that in-person visits just can’t always be accommodated. This week was another example when GBA’s SVP Government Relations, Elizabeth Chandler, and President and CEO Joe Brannen spent an hour on the phone with 12th District Representative Rick Allen and his legislative assistants. Allen serves on the U.S. House Education and Labor Committee and the U.S. House Agriculture Committee, where much of the legislation we follow is considered. We had the opportunity to remind the congressman of our support for the ECORA Act that would give community banks the same tax treatment for ag loans that the Farm Credit Administration has. We also thanked the congressman for his support of our position opposing the IRS Reporting issue and the SAFE Banking Act that would help our members do business with companies operating legally under Georgia’s medical marijuana laws. Rep. Allen was a strong supporter helping our members navigate the Paycheck Protection Program and we relayed our opposition to SBA’s direct lending proposal that would take our members out of the picture when making 7(a) loans of $150,000 or less. Read details about that below.


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GBA Supports Bill to Prohibit SBA Direct Lending through 7(a) Program

We’ve added our voice to growing support for a bill by House Committee on Small Business Ranking Member Blaine Luetkemeyer, H.R. 6037, to prohibit the Small Business Administration (SBA) from directly making loans under the 7(a) loan program. The concern is that direct lending by the SBA would constitute movement away from private-sector lenders having a role within these programs toward a sole government lending option. “The Georgia Bankers Association supports H.R. 6037 to preserve the longstanding working relationship banks in Georgia have had with SBA in making 7(a) loans to small businesses. During the rollout, implementation and forgiveness process of Paycheck Protection Program loans, we were reminded once again of the important partnership small business owners have with their local bankers. Helping those small businesses, their employees and the customers they serve thrive is top of mind with these relationships,” said Joe Brannen, GBA president and CEO. “Rep. Luetkemeyer’s bill is necessary to preserve the opportunity for those small business owners to not just get an SBA-backed loan, but also all the advice and counsel that comes with it from their banker throughout the process. We applaud Rep. Luetkemeyer for putting forth the legislation and we will be working in support of its enactment.” The link to the H.R. 6037 bill text can be found here. With questions, contact Joe Brannen, 404.420.2026, or Elizabeth Chandler, 404.420.2027.


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GBA Member Profile

A Family Legacy of Service and Hard Work with Dana Litman

From age 14 until graduating from college, Dana Litman spent time working in his family’s pizza and sandwich shop, where he learned the importance of customer service and hard work (and to not rub his eyes when he was chopping onions). Litman, who is executive vice president and CFO at Quantum National Bank in Suwanee, says he was strongly influenced by his mother, who loved numbers and serving her community, as well as his self-made grandfathers, who both immigrated to the United States in the early 1900s, starting out with nothing, but one founded several shoe stores in Maine while the other successfully ran the shoe department of a department store for over 55 years. “They taught me to work hard, be nice to people and do the right thing when no one is watching.” The Group 9 representative on GBA’s Asset/Liability Management Committee shares about his career journey in financial services, which taught him that “change and chaos bring opportunity and education,” as well as his experience navigating PPP programs and surprising hobbies in the latest GBA Member Profile.


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CFPB Focuses on Overdrafts, Signals Enhanced Scrutiny

The CFPB this week published two sets of research on overdraft and other non-interest income at banks since 2015. Even with aggregate fee revenue declining by 26% in 2020, the research carried a critical tone toward overdraft fees. Research showed a modest increase in overdraft revenue of about 1.7% annually from 2015-2019. During and since the pandemic, many banks have dramatically changed their overdraft programs, and the research said, “It is not possible to determine how much of the drop in overdraft/NSF fee reliance during the pandemic was due to changing institution policies and practices and how much was due to changing consumer use patterns.” In GBA’s view, the research doesn’t provide adequate context about bank overdraft services. What the CFPB didn’t say is that many banks offer overdraft-free account options and consumers are in full control of their finances. The scope and variety of tools and technology to help consumers avoid overdrafts and get the most up-to-date, accurate information about their account balances has never been greater. Also of note, the bureau’s press release about the reports closed by saying, “The CFPB will be enhancing its supervisory and enforcement scrutiny of banks that are heavily dependent on overdraft fees.” Read details and access the reports here.


Related: GBA’s Strategic Partner John M. Floyd and Associates provides an industry-leading overdraft program centered on consumer choice and compliance. Contact Waid Thompson, 504.812.8099, for information.


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Beige Book

Price Pressure Expected to Ease in 2022

Transportation activity, consumer demand and domestic travel were strong from October to mid-November in the Federal Reserve’s Sixth District, according to the latest Beige Book out this week. Prices and wages continued to climb, but the regional economics team says contacts expect that to ease next year. In banking, loan demand strengthened. Commercial real estate contacts reported improved office-market conditions, and ag contacts reported supply chain and labor scarcity issues are pressuring profit margins. Read more here.


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Legislative and Economic Forum & Reception – Jan. 12

We’re looking forward to members coming out in full force for our annual Legislative and Economic Forum, Jan. 12 at the Hyatt Regency Atlanta Downtown. If you’ve attended the Forum before, you know that we pack a lot of timely and important information into a short period of time. In January, we will get an economic update from Jeffrey Dorfman, the State Fiscal Economist of Georgia and a professor of economics at The University of Georgia. We’ve also confirmed Georgia Department of Banking and Finance commissioner Kevin Hagler, who will join us for a state regulatory update. Our agenda will also include political perspective and congressional representatives and additional special guests we’re working to confirm. Watch upcoming GBA e-bulletins for details. The forum will be from 3-6 p.m., followed by the reception from 6-7:30 p.m. Click here to register. While the block of rooms at the Hyatt has sold out, we’ve secured overflow rooms at The Loews Midtown ($279/night), a 10-minute drive from the Hyatt. Call 888-563-9763 to reserve a room. The cut-off date is Dec. 22, and rooms may sell out before that date. A special shout-out to event sponsors FHLB of Atlanta and ServisFirst Bank, Correspondent Division. Click here for details and to reserve your sponsorship. Questions? Contact GBA’s Kathy Friestad. 


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Your Bank’s Discover Debit Card will be Customers’ First Choice When They Pull Out Their Wallet

A robust debit card portfolio can help you generate more revenue right now. Has your bank’s debit card program been on autopilot for too long? VISA and MasterCard will likely fight to keep your business, but Discover Debit wants to invest in your bank, your customers and your community. By implementing Discover’s debit card program, you will realize an immediate impact on your interchange income and expense. Discover® Debit is the only program that delivers superior economics, simplified rules, fee transparency and unmatched program flexibility. To find out more, contact Jim Lumadue,, 716.743.0118.


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New Seminar Added!

The IRA Merry-Go-Round Seminar – Feb 8-9

Patrice Konarik, Sunwest Training Corp, is back with an intensive 2-day seminar that will teach you all you need to know about IRAs, including the latest updates! Each participant will receive the latest 275-page, IRA Training and Reference Manual - “The Red Book.” For all the details and to register click here.


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2022 Sponsorship and Exhibit Opportunities Kit Available Now!

As your team plans your company’s marketing and event budget for 2022, there’s no better time to reserve your participation in GBA’s 2022 events valuable to your company. Click here to access the 2022 Sponsorship and Exhibit Opportunities Kit.


Menu of 2022 GBA events open to sponsorships:

  • Annual Signature Events: Annual Meeting and Leadership Conference

  • Annual Professional Development Conferences: Compliance; Financial Risk Management; Credit; HR; Security; Operations/Technology; Rural Development & Lending; and Women in Banking

  • Annual Schools: Georgia Banking School and GBA Compliance School

  • Seminars: Various

  • Webinars: Various

See the last page of the kit for event dates or visit our home page at to access our 2022 event calendar.


Ready to sign up? Complete the response form in the kit and submit it to Kathy Friestad.


Have questions? Our professional development team will be happy to discuss your 2022 involvement strategy so that your company gets maximum benefit from this important investment. Email GBA’s Kathy Friestad to request a call or meeting.


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Here are All the Ways Your Bank Can Save Money with Compliance Alliance

The GBA-owned Compliance Alliance can help your bank save money in the following ways:

  • All-in-One Training

  • Reduction of Research Time

  • Fewer Attorney Fees

  • Lowered Staffing Costs

  • Robust and Vetted Policy Development

  • Reduced Accounting Fees

  • Less Regulatory Scrutiny.

By offering hotlines, tools and toolkits that serve every function and department within a bank, the Compliance Alliance program delivers unmatched operational support. Find out more by calling their team at 833.683.0701 or email


Reminder: Register for a live membership demo and receive a free 48-hr trial.


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Mark Your Calendars!

GBA 2022 Winter/Spring Conferences

Mark your calendars and save the date for the following 2022 winter and spring conferences!

  • Operations & Technology Conference - Wednesday, Feb. 23, through Friday, Feb. 25, at The DeSoto, Savannah. Registration now open!

  • HR Professionals Institute - Wednesday, March 23, through Friday, March 25, at the King & Prince, St. Simons.

  • Marketing Conference - Thursday, March 24 through Friday, March 25, at the King & Prince, St. Simons.

  • Bank Security Conference - Monday, April 11, through Wednesday, April 13, at the King & Prince, St. Simons.

  • Rural Development & Lending Conference - Thursday, May 19, through Friday, May 20, at the King & Prince, St. Simons.

With questions, contact GBA’s Alison Moreau.


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Join live or purchase a recording!

Mortgage Rule Updates, Communication for Leaders, Appraisals and more Webinars

Webinar Subscription Packages: If your institution attends at least five webinars per year, a webinar subscription package is a no-brainer! Click here for more info.

See our full calendar of webinars here. 


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Recruit, Retain and Develop the Best Bankers with GBA Career Solutions


GBA Job Bank - GBA will post open positions, free of charge, for GBA members. See the open positions in Georgia here. We will also post professional summaries for bank-job seekers on our Bankers Available page. To make the process easy and answer any questions, we've developed this Q & A. Please contact Katina Prokos, 404.420.2021.


GBA Strategic Partner BankTalentHQ - The central feature of BankTalentHQ is its national bank-job board. Other key benefits include: resume search access, regional and national reach for your open positions, frequent special offers and custom sales/coaching programs. Visit BankTalentHQ to learn more. See the open positions in Georgia here, or search regionally or nationally here.


GBA’s Career Paths for Bankers™ - GBA’s Career Paths for Bankers™ is the most unique, organized and easy-to-use career development resource available for bankers and banks. GBA’s pioneering career development resource is unlike any other in the banking industry. Click here to start mapping your banking career today.


Why do people choose careers in banking? Whatever their talents, interests and educational background, there is a career in banking for them. Here are few good reasons to share with folks you know.


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Members, Staff Top List of Gratitude

We were honored the Atlanta Business Chronicle gave GBA the opportunity to express our gratitude for members and our teammates in its Thanksgiving week edition. Here’s the full text of what Joe Brannen submitted, which was edited by the paper for publication.


“The list of things for which I’m grateful could fill up this newspaper, but I know I need to pare that down for everyone. Professionally, I am so thankful that I have the opportunity to represent the more than 50,000 women and men in Georgia who happen to be bankers. They thrive on serving and helping their customers become what they envision for themselves, their families and their communities. I’m also grateful for the team at the Georgia Bankers Association that mirrors the servant leadership model of our members as we provide resources for them. Personally, I give thanks that I’m blessed with good health, a vibrant, loving family and dear friendships that make life a joy.”


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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:


Atlanta - FHLBank Atlanta

FHLBank Atlanta announced this week it has awarded $18,723,850 through its members to help fund 40 affordable housing initiatives in 12 states and the District of Columbia as part of its 2021 Affordable Housing Program (AHP) General Fund. Collectively, these initiatives represent over $582 million in total housing development. Read more here.


Milledgeville - Exchange Bank

Exchange Bank and Georgia Military College have partnered to further the education of Exchange Bank employees. Starting Jan. 12, “GMC Exchange Bank Cohort” students will begin their first classes as they pursue both a college degree and a promotable career path. Read more here.



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Cochran - State Bank of Cochran

Our sympathies to the family, friends and colleagues of board member Leo Phillips, Jr., who died on Nov. 28. Phillips was co-owner of the Cochran Oil Mill and Ginnery and partner in the law firm of Phillips and Phillips. Read more here.


Columbus - Synovus Bank

The bank has appointed Tom Dierdorff as its new head of Corporate & Investment Banking (CIB), effective Nov. 29. The bank named Liz Wolverton as head of consumer banking and brand experience. In her expanded role leading this new banking segment, Wolverton maintains oversight for the company’s marketing, digital, analytics, and customer experience functions while also assuming responsibility for the branch network, consumer banking products and services, and mass affluent strategy and execution. Susan Pitts has been named as chief operating officer for the new consumer banking segment. Pitts is currently a retail banking executive. Read more here.


Greensboro - BankSouth

Our sympathies to former bank president Bobby Voyles and his family on death of his wife, Caroline, last week. Voyles was a longtime member of the GBA Insurance Trust Board of Directors as well as active in other GBA activities throughout his career. Their son, David Voyles, is president of Pinnacle Bank, Elberton, and is currently serving on the GBA Board of Directors. Read more here.


Loganville - Legacy State Bank

Executive Vice President and Chief Lending Officer Chuck Drexler has announced his retirement. Drexler joined the bank team in 2006 as a commercial lending officer and has served in his current role for the past three years. 


Rome - Greater Community Bank

Dwight Stout has joined the bank as senior vice president, lending officer. Stout previously served on the bank team since its beginning in 1996 to 2010, serving as president from 2005-2010. Read more here.


Suwanee - Quantum National Bank

Robert McLean has been promoted to assistant vice president, construction lender.


Thomasville - The First, A National Banking Association

John Everett has been promoted to executive vice president and regional president for the Georgia and North Florida markets. Will Davis has been promoted to market president for Thomasville.


Uvalda - Altamaha Bank

Our sympathies to the family, friends and colleagues of Kaye Goff, who died on Nov. 20. Goff worked for the bank since 1999 as a teller in the Uvalda branch. Read more here.


Macon - James-Bates-Brannan-Groover-LLP

Attorney Will Bennett has joined the firm’s Tax and Wealth Planning practice group. Read more here.


Washington, D.C. - American Bankers Association

Ken Clayton, head of the Office of Legislative Counsel and Policy Integration, will retire Jan. 1 after nearly 32 years with the Association.



Dierdorff Wolverton Pitts Voyles Drexler



Stout McLean Everett Davis Goff




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 Katina Prokos.

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