March 4, 2022  

General Assembly Full of Activity This Week

The state House and Senate committee and floor calendars were full this week of bills we’re monitoring on behalf of the industry. Bills ranging from joint and several liability to freedom to farm were on the agendas. We’ll publish our Legislative Update Friday after legislators adjourn for the week with all the details. Friday will complete Day 24 of the 40-day session. Legislators will reconvene next Tuesday and be in session Wednesday and Friday, with Thursday reserved as a committee workday.


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Advocacy in Action

Clayton Rotary Gets Scoop on Georgia Banking

Business and community leaders in the far northeast corner of Georgia got a good update on the banking industry Thursday, as GBA’s Joe Brannen was the guest of Rabun County Bank’s Greg Funkhouser at the Clayton Rotary Club. Brannen shared the latest facts and figures about banking in Rabun County, the statewide industry landscape, how banks are prepared to protect customers from cyberattacks and enforce sanctions on Russia, the latest on how fintechs and cryptocurrency are being integrated into financial services, and a look at the political and regulatory environment for banks and consumers. GBA often speaks to banker and business groups to share the story about banking beyond the headlines. Pictured from left: Brannen; Claude Dillard, Rabun County Bank; Theresa Talley, First American Bank & Trust; and Ashley Dillard, Rabun County Bank. Contact David Oliver, 404.520.6311, with questions.



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Russia Sanctions, Cyber Threats and Other Resources

We know member banks are being diligent about enforcing sanctions against Russian interests as well as shielding their banks from any possible cyberthreats related to the conflict in the Ukraine. Here’s a website with consolidated resources from all government agencies to help you and your bank with the latest information. There are links to the latest from the U.S. Department of the Treasury, the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, OFAC and the White House. Please let us know if your bank has any specific needs, issues or concerns. Contact Joe Brannen, 404.420.2026, or David Oliver, 404.420.2036.


Related: On March 17 from 2:30-4:30 p.m., the Cyber Warfare - What You Need to Know about the Ukraine/Russia Conflict webinar will cover current cyberwarfare tactics, understanding specific and current cyber attacks, top controls to mitigate cyber attack risk and more. Learn more and register here.


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Georgia’s Bank Deposits, Loans, Assets, Earnings up in 2021

Banks headquartered in Georgia closed out 2021 with strong performance momentum. The FDIC’s release this week of year-end and quarterly data shows Georgia’s 150 FDIC-insured banks earned net income of $1.9 billion in 2021, a 52.2% increase from year-end 2020. Loans were up 6.5%, deposits grew by 14.2% and total assets increased by 13.3%. Credit quality also remains extremely strong, with noncurrent loans and charge-offs declining from already low levels. The 144 Georgia banks classified by FDIC as community banks posted increased earnings for the year of $646.3 million, up 32.2%, also with good growth in loans, deposits and assets. “The industry’s performance in 2021 is a reflection that the state’s economy and the banking industry is successfully moving beyond the pandemic period,” said Joe Brannen, GBA president and CEO in a news release sharing our analysis to statewide media. “Georgia’s bankers fulfilled their mission to be true partners in helping their customers and communities maintain financial stability, providing access to credit to qualified borrowers, and supporting financial growth throughout the state.” Below are some specific highlights of the latest data. GBA’s analysis includes comparative performance of only the banks classified by FDIC as Georgia-headquartered banks at year-end 2021. As of June 30, 2021, FDIC reported an additional 42 banks chartered in other states were doing business in Georgia. Those institutions reported holding an additional $230.6 billion of deposits in Georgia.



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)




Total Risk-Based Capital Ratio
(No Cblr Electors)*





*Beginning March 2020, FDIC data does not include institutions that have a Community Bank Leverage Ratio election in effect at the report date.


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2022 Operations and Technology Conference

Next-Generation Payments, Core Vendor and FinTech Relationships and Cybersecurity took Center Stage

Great ideas about how to use technology to get closer to customers and protect them were the key themes last week at the annual GBA Operations and Technology Conference in Savannah. With more than 100 members in attendance, the conference was a huge success under the leadership of GBA Operations and Technology Committee Chair Dana White of AB&T, and Vice-Chair Tracy NeSmith of Planters First Bank. The conference began with a comprehensive industry and advocacy update from GBA’s Joe Brannen. Next, Zach Duke with Finosec led a valuable peer discussion covering all the latest technology trends and hot topics. Shelby Montgomery of NContracts then covered the best ways to help teams adopt new software. Day 2 began with crowd and conference favorite Terri Sands of Secura Risk Management Zooming in for a look at next-generation payments technology. Trent Fleming then delivered the first of two sessions, a timely dive into the best ways to manage relationships with core vendors, focusing on reducing expenses and controlling costs. Fleming also closed out the second day, talking about operational efficiency and self-assessment. Other sessions on Day 2 included Gardiner Garrard of TTV talking about the importance of banks partnering with FinTechs in the digital age. Next, operations and Technology Committee members Jaye Eubanks of United Bank and Jim Stewart of Pinnacle Bank had a candid discussion for the audience about recent experiences with cybersecurity and GBA Marketing Committee member Dan Duchnowski of Planters First Bank discussed ways to market better on a smaller budget to round things out. The conference began on Day 3 with an audit panel moderated by Zach Duke, with panelists Tom Hinkel of Safe Systems, Matt Jones of TJS Deemer Dana LLP / IS Audits & Consulting, and Stephen Reyes of Saltmarsh, Cleaveland & Gund. Lon Langston, with Engaged Banker eXperience, concluded the conference with some secrets to great leadership. Thanks to all 19 GBA Associate Members who exhibited in the trade hall and our four fantastic conference sponsors, Wipfli, ServisFirst Bank, STS Group and United Bankers’ Bank.


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Compliance Committee Checks in for Planning

GBA’s committee of compliance pros gathered this week in Macon to compare notes on recent compliance-related trends within their banks and markets, and to begin planning the fall GBA Compliance Conference. Among the topics were how banks are handling any increased compliance work related to sanctions on Russia, ongoing efforts to combat fraud and comply with electronic fund transfer rules to protect customers, fair lending, flood insurance compliance and recent exam experiences. Morris Bank’s Kirk Cavanah led the meeting as the incoming chair of the Committee. The group got a good start on mapping out the program for the conference, which will be Oct. 19-21 at the Westin Jekyll Island. Be on the lookout for registration to open soon and details on the program as it comes together. With questions, contact Alison Moreau, 404.420.2034.


Cavanah leads the meeting

The GBA Compliance Committee in action

Bank of Alapaha's Jay Funderburke
shares his perspective


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Upcoming GBA Spring Conferences for Specialized Bank Pros

Sign up today for the following in-person learning opportunities for you and your area-specific peers.

With questions, contact GBA’s Alison Moreau.


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Beige Book

Stable Banking Conditions; Travel, Homes and Cars in High Demand

Economic highlights in the southeast from the latest Federal Reserve Beige Book include spikes in homebuying, continued strong demand for vehicles and optimistic manufacturing and tourism sectors. Banks reported stable conditions, with particular growth in credit card and other consumer loans. Labor markets remained tight, and supply chain challenges and labor shortages contributed to increased prices. Ag conditions were mixed, with no specific issues reported for Georgia agribusinesses. The USDA reported year-over-year prices paid to farmers in December and on a month-over-month basis, were up for corn, cotton, rice, soybeans, cattle, broilers, eggs, and milk. Read more here.


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10 New Spots Made Available!

Enroll Today! Limited Space Available for the 2022 Georgia Banking School

The Georgia Banking School is more than just the curriculum. It is learning the best from the business of banking and networking with peers from around the state of Georgia. As a reminder, we have limited space this year and slots are filling up fast. We've reached our original capacity with a strong class, but arranged for 10 additional spots for new students. The Georgia Banking School Board has worked hard on the curriculum, and this year’s on-campus sessions will cover the latest essential skill and trends for effective bank leadership. There's simply no better comprehensive program for emerging career bankers. Get Georgia Banking School details and enrollment access here. With questions, contact Alison Moreau, 404.420.2034.


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Economic Outlook by GBARS 401(k) Investment Manager

As the market has continued to be volatile over recent weeks, many employees nearing retirement are still concerned about their 401(k) balances and how they can retire as originally planned. American Trust prepared a commentary that may be helpful in thinking about your portfolio. Click here to read the latest update based on current market conditions. The best way to weather storms like this is to maintain a long-term focus and keep a well-diversified portfolio.


If you would like GBA Retirement Services to assist with your bank's next plan review, we can provide a detailed fee and investment comparison of our 401(k) services to your current plan. Please contact Mandy Richards at 404.420.2025 for more information.


Related - New Website for GBA Retirement Services Participants

Members that have retirement plans through GBA Retirement Services have a new website to help monitor and manage their retirement saving options. This is part of a rebranding effort by American Trust as it has adopted the platform we’d been using with Unified Trust before the companies merged. The new site has a similar look and feel, with essentially all of the familiar features. Members received communication about the change and instructions for accessing the new site recently. The new website is However, if you use to login, you will be automatically redirected to the right place. The web address will also redirect you.


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Employee Benefit Selections are Easy and Affordable with Holmes-Shaw

The partnership between GBA and the Holmes-Shaw Agency was forged in 1965 when the agency began offering employee benefit solutions to community banks throughout Georgia. Recently, Holmes-Shaw, as a member of and through PointeNorth Insurance Group, LLC, has expanded its product offerings to include Property & Casualty products to all GBA Member Banks. Some of these products include:


  • Personal & Corporate Life Insurance

  • Individual & Group Medical Insurance

  • Short Term Medical Insurance

  • Individual & Group Dental Insurance

  • Group Life & AD&D Insurance

  • Individual & Group Long Term Disability Income Protection

  • Group Short Term Disability Income Protection

  • Individual & Group Long Term Care Protection

  • Individual & Group Cancer Insurance

  • Vision Insurance

  • Retirement Planning

  • Health Savings Accounts

  • Health Reimbursement Accounts

With questions or to learn more about how Holmes-Shaw can help your company enhance its benefit program, please contact Bruce Shaw, 770.642.2150.


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Community Banks 2.0: Build, Accelerate, Serve

2022 Community Bankers Conference hosted by S&P Global Market Intelligence

May 16–18, 2022, Four Seasons Las Colinas, Dallas, TX

The 2022 Community Bankers Conference, hosted by S&P Global Market Intelligence is back. Join S&P as they discuss what it takes to lead a high-performing bank now, and into the future. Through panel discussions, networking events, and one-on-one conversations, you’ll walk away with solutions for today and a vision for tomorrow. Discuss strategy, differentiation, and performance, while listening to in-depth presentations and talking with peers. In addition, celebrate the Top Community Bank Award winners and enjoy a unique opportunity to learn in a world-class location. Click here to learn more and access registration details.


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GBA Partner Dart Appraisal Offers the Best Custom Appraisal Management Solutions

Longtime partner Dart Appraisal is the GBA’s recommended independent Appraisal Management Company (AMC) for a number of reasons. Dart employs a dual approach to appraisal management - superior client service and advanced technology. They have designed both process and infrastructure to ensure strict compliance to all state and federal regulatory requirements as well as appraiser independence. Dart also utilizes innovative technology to manage appraisal orders in real-time while centralizing all appraisal communication. This commitment to sound appraisal management through the perfect blend of people and technology is unsurpassed, and is what continues to set Dart Appraisal apart from other AMCs. Let Dart get your bank’s appraisal management process on target. Visit to learn more, or contact Dart’s Michael Dresden at


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One-Day In-Person Trainings through April

In-person Seminars

All seminars will take place at Middle Georgia State University, Macon

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Stock up with Webinar Subscription Packages from OnCourse Learning

Save 10-30% with a subscription package

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


How much does your financial institution spend on training? With a webinar subscription package, we can help you greatly reduce that expense. With over 300 titles on our website, Bank Webinars is your one stop shop for all your webinar needs! The average financial institution spends thousands of dollars on every employee for training per year. We want to help you provide all the training your employees need at a fraction of that price. See our full calendar of webinars here.


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2022 GBA Compliance School to Teach Masterful Strategic Compliance Management

This year’s session of the GBA Compliance School (May 1-6 at the University of Georgia in Athens) builds on a student's basic foundation by providing practical applications for overseeing individual lending, deposit and operational regulations as well as for your overall compliance management program. Students will learn how to maintain an on-going, proactive compliance management program and provide additional tools to put in your toolbox that will help to protect against the potential storms, but it is also an opportunity to develop peer networks that are vital to navigating through compliance challenges and obstacles.


Who should attend? This session, designed by compliance pros on the GBA Compliance School Board, is perfect for those who attended Year 1, those who previously graduated from a GBA Compliance School and experienced compliance officers looking for continuing education credits. GBA will apply for CRCM credits through ABA.


GBA Compliance School: Details and enrollment access 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:


Albany - Renasant Bank

In partnership with the Georgia GOAL Scholarship Program, the bank donated $75,000 to 3 non-profit schools - Cornerstone Christian Academy, North Cobb Christian School and The Lionheart School.



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Albany - AB&T

Brad McEwen has been named senior vice president of branch banking and brand execution.


Augusta - Pinnacle Bank

The bank recently announced its expansion into Augusta this year with two new full-service branches. On Feb. 25, the bank celebrated the ribbon cutting of its new branch at 375 Furys Ferry Road in Martinez, its first full-service branch in the Augusta area. By the end of 2022, another location will open in Grovetown. Read more here.


Columbus - Colony Bank

Senior Vice President George Luttrell was recently interviewed by Columbus CEO about the bank's recent expansion in the region and the process for getting a commercial loan. See the video here.


Forsyth - Persons Banking Company

Persons Banking Company has entered into a definitive agreement to be acquired by Robins Financial Credit Union, Warner Robins. Read more here.


Marietta - Capital City Bank

On Wednesday, the bank broke ground on its newest location, near Marietta Square. The bank will open a new branch and lending office this year across from the intersection of Roswell and Meeting streets. Read more here.


Memphis, TN - First Horizon Bank

Toronto-Dominion Bank is buying First Horizon Corp. in an all-cash $13.4 billion deal that would create a top-six bank in the U.S. by assets, the two companies announced on Monday. First Horizon Bank’s President and CEO Bryan Jordan is expected to join Toronto-Dominion Bank as vice chair once the deal goes through and would report to Chief Executive Officer Bharat Masrani.


Sandy Springs - Signature Bank of Georgia

Maria Lawson has joined the bank team as senior vice president and managing director of government guaranteed lending. Read more here.


Savannah/Atlanta - SouthState Bank/Atlantic Capital Bank

SouthState Corporation announced this week the closing of its acquisition of Atlantic Capital Bancshares, Inc. through the merger of Atlantic Capital with and into SouthState. Immediately after the merger, Atlantic Capital's subsidiary bank, Atlantic Capital Bank, N.A., merged with and into SouthState Bank, N.A. Read more here.


Warner Robins - Planters First Bank/Eclipse Brand Builders

On Feb. 28, the bank broke ground on a new branch office in Warner Robins. The bank partnered with GBA Associate Member Eclipse Brand Builders to manage the design and construction of the new branch. Read more here.


Birmingham, AL - HC3

GBA Associate Member HC3 has acquired Jonesboro, AK-based AutoMail and DOC (Document Output Center), positioning HC3 as the leading provider of statement and critical communications services for financial institutions and other regulated industries. The acquisition closed on March 1. Read more here.



McEwan Pinnacle Bank Luttrell Lawson Planters First 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 Katina Prokos.

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