June 10, 2022 

Credit Unions Pulling a Fast One

The credit unions are close to getting something they’ve wanted a long time: expanded commercial lending ability and less restrictions on the communities they serve. A bill to give that authority, HR 7003, came out of the House Financial Services Committee on a party line vote with the backing of Committee chairwoman Maxine Waters (D-CA-43). Next up for the bill is the House Rules Committee to consider whether to include it in a larger package expected to be on the floor the week of June 13. A package of other bills could be included with H.R. 2543, the Financial Services Racial Equity, Inclusion and Economic Justice Act. This is just a power grab by the credit unions disguised as an economic inclusion opportunity. We’ve joined with our colleagues from around the country calling on the Rules Committee to not fall for the trick and to leave this misguided legislation out of the package the committee will send to the floor. A quick way for you to express your opposition to including the credit union bill in that package is to use ABA’s online portal to send your Member of Congress a letter. Click here to access the portal. “If Congress wanted to do something meaningful, they should subject credit unions to the Community Reinvestment Act to ensure they’re meeting the needs to the communities they already serve. Giving them expanded commercial lending authority has little to do with how they serve people of limited means, which is what they are already chartered to do,” said Rhodes McLanahan, CEO of First American Bank & Trust, Athens, who also serves as chairman of GBA’s Public Affairs Committee.


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Mandy Richards and bank CEO Donna Lott
with the Moultrie Bank & Trust team

GBA Retirement Services Welcomes New Members

GBA Retirement Services, Inc. is excited to welcome our newest member to the GBA Master 401(k) Trust: Moultrie Bank & Trust, Donna Lott, CEO. We have enjoyed meeting with employees as we prepare for them to join our program in July. We look forward to providing outstanding service for these plan participants in the years to come.


Some of the advantages of being part of the GBA Master Trust include:

  • GBA’s dedicated staff support as a primary resource and oversight of service providers.

  • American Trust Company as an investment manager and discretionary Trustee.

  • Reduced fees with high-quality service providers.

  • Ongoing investment education and retirement planning sessions for employees.

  • Personalized Managed Account Solution geared to each participant’s needs through the Unified Plan at no additional cost for participants.

We would love to do a plan review and show you why all of our members are pleased with the service and performance provided by GBA Retirement Services! Contact Mandy Richards at 404.420.2025 for more information about how GBA Retirement Services can help design or improve your retirement plan.


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Leader Updates

Voting Analysis, PPP Fraud Report and Cyber Incidents

Our series of regular email updates to CEOs, committee members and other key leaders continued this week. Topics included:

  • Crossover voting – We shared an interesting analysis of crossover voting by county around the state. In the recent primary, more than 37,000 voters who voted in the 2020 Democrat primary chose to vote in the 2022 Republican primary.


  • PPP Fraud Report – A PPP report out last week from the SBA OIG outlining the challenges inherent with the rollout, the number of tips about potentially fraudulent activity received by their hotline, and recognizing the work of bankers who filled out more than 21,000 suspicious activity reports. SBA may not have initially had fraud prevention measures built into the program, but bankers did their job using existing statutory guidance to report suspicious activity.


  • Cyber Incidents – A Verizon report looking at global cyber incident trends included data about the financial services sector. We included that detail and an overall summary for members.

If you’d like more information about any of those topics, contact Joe Brannen, 404.420.2026.


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The Breakers

GBA Annual Meeting Next Week

More than 420 bankers, Associate Members and family members will be attending the 2022 GBA Annual Meeting at the The Breakers in Palm Beach next week. We’re all set for an amazing event. The impactful program features a unique policy and economics update, a strategic planning session, a look at cryptocurrency and fintech trends, insights on serving, managing and hiring across generational demographics and peer perspectives from member bank CEOs and others. We’ll also hear the state of the association address by GBA Chairman Luke Flatt, and a closing session by the real-life subject of the classic Disney movie, The Rookie. We’ll elect and install new officers, recognize incoming board members and incredible careers in banking, and focus on a variety of technical issues in two breakout sessions. So, there’s plenty of business for sure, but members and families will also enjoy ample networking and peer connection time. Look for coverage and photos in next week’s edition. With questions about the meeting, please contact GBA’s Kathy Friestad at 404.420.2024


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FHLBank Atlanta 2022 Election of Directors

Federal Home Loan Bank of Atlanta (Bank) has begun the election to fill certain directorships on the Bank’s board of directors, including the member directorships in Florida, Georgia and Maryland, and one independent directorship. The Bank’s vendor, Survey & Ballot Systems, has emailed eligible institutions information about nominating candidates from Georgia for the board of directors, including the nominating certificate and the nomination deadline, which is 5 p.m. EDT on July 8, 2022. The term of the directorships to be filled in this election begins on Jan. 1, 2023, and ends on Dec. 31, 2026. Pursuant to the Bank’s board-approved Equal Opportunity Policy Statement, which is available on the Bank’s website, the Bank encourages the consideration of diversity in nominating or soliciting nominees for positions on the Bank’s board of directors. If you are an FHLBank Atlanta member, your participation in this nomination process is important and the Bank encourages you to nominate eligible candidates. Individuals interested in being considered for the open independent directorship who meet the independent director requirements must complete and return to the Bank, by 5 p.m. EDT on July 8, 2022, the application and related forms that are available on the Bank’s website. If you have questions, please contact Tina Carew, Corporate Secretary, at 404.888.8549 or tcarew@fhlbatl.com.


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Compensation Survey

Chime in by June 24 to Save Big on Compensation Survey

Help build a better resource by participating in this year’s Georgia Banking Compensation Survey. The deadline for data submission is June 24. Banks that provide data also save more than 50% off the full price of the survey. With inflationary pressure and a tight labor market influencing compensation plans, this year’s Georgia Banking Compensation Survey is as important as ever. Please take part in this important benchmark for banker salaries in Georgia. Get more details here. Contact GBA’s David Oliver at doliver@gabankers.com or Pearl Meyer’s Rhonda Snyder at rhonda.snyder@pearlmeyer.com to participate.


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Save the date!

Compliance Conference – Oct. 19-21, The Westin Jekyll Island

We invite all with compliance responsibilities to join us at The Westin Jekyll Island, Oct. 19-21. We are finalizing the agenda but have confirmed the following sessions and speakers:

  • Fair Lending, Gary Clayton, fair lending examination specialist, Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC). 

  • Crypto and Cannabis Overview, Brad Rustin, partner, Nelson Mullins.

  • Washington Update, Keith Barnett, partner, and Carlin McCrory, associate, Troutman Pepper

  • Other topics will include: Flood compliance, HMDA, a general roundtable discussion, and an auditor and compliance officer panel discussion.

Registration will be opening soon, but go ahead and mark your calendar and plan to join us. With questions, Contact GBA’s Alison Moreau.


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GBA Partner Compliance Alliance

Statement of Specific Reasons: Still a Requirement of Adverse Action Notices

Banks have more data available than ever before to aid them in making lending decisions. Some banks choose to rely on computer software help them in making these decisions. Some of these computer software models use complex algorithms that are not well understood by anyone but the developer, leaving banks with credit decisions without supporting reasons. The CFPB recently published a circular reminding financial institutions that no matter how the bank arrives at the decision to deny an application, the requirement of the Equal Credit Opportunity Act (ECOA / Regulation B) to provide the applicant with either a statement of specific reasons or a disclosure of the applicant’s right to a statement of specific reasons still applies for denied applications. Click here to read more from the June Compliance Alliance newsletter and visit www.compliancealliance.com to learn more.



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GBA Partner Abrigo

New Podcast Episode: Commercial Real Estate Lending: Best Practices, Trends, and Regulations

For banks across the country, commercial real estate (CRE) remains an important part of the loan portfolio as they pursue growth. However, with rising interest rates and inflation as well as the ongoing impact of the pandemic on office space, it’s important to keep an eye on the market and the inherent risks this type of lending presents. In this recent episode of Ahead of the Curve: A Banker's Podcast, Rob Newberry from GBA partner Abrigo discusses how CRE is being impacted by the current economic conditions and gives some tips on what to keep in mind when lending in this space. In the episode, Newberry will also discuss:

  • The state of the CRE lending landscape

  • Best practices related to management reporting and stress testing

  • Current regulatory expectations, including climate and environmental

Click here to give it a listen.


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Loan Doc, SAR, BSA, Robbery and HR Upcoming

Here’s a sampling of upcoming webinars.

See the full slate of upcoming webinars here.


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


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 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’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:


Louisville - Queensborough National Bank & Trust

The bank hosted the inaugural Group Cycle fundraising ride to benefit Paceline and the Georgia Cancer Center.


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Cordele - Colony Bank

Jeffrey Hester has been promoted to Cordele market president. Amber Herrington has been promoted to commercial banker, vice president.


Fitzgerald - Colony Bank

Bank President and CEO Heath Fountain was featured in Georgia CEO about the growth the company has experienced over the past few years and how leaders communicate with team members to keep them informed. See the video here. Leslie Ehlers has joined the bank as vice president, director of marketing. Steven Bernaski has joined the bank as president of marine and RV lending and senior vice president.


Sardis - Southern Bank

Allen Robinson has joined the bank as senior vice president of residential mortgage. Read more here. Russ Williams has joined the bank as senior vice president of upstate commercial lending in its Greenville, SC, market. Read more here.



Hester Herrington Fountain Ehlers



Bernaski Robinson Williams



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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