Oct. 21, 2022 

GBA Supports FHLB System and Recommends Capital Adjustment

There are a couple of important news items this week related to the Federal Home Loan Bank System. GBA was pleased to be able to submit a letter in support of the Federal Home Loan Bank System and the Atlanta bank in particular, to the Federal Housing Finance Administration, the regulator of FHLBanks. As part of the FHFA’s initiative, The FHLBank System at 100: Focusing on the Future, this comment period comes after a series of listening sessions that FHFA held earlier in the year. We will continue to follow this effort and share the importance of the FHLB of Atlanta to so many of our members. With questions, contact Elizabeth Chandler, 404.372.7893, or Joe Brannen, 404.401.0274. Also this week GBA signed on to a letter with more than 70 state banking associations, the ABA and ICBA urging the Federal Housing Finance Agency to change the capital measure used by the Federal Home Loan Banks (FHLBs) to assess a commercial bank’s credit worthiness for the purpose of issuing advances. In the event that a bank does not meet the required tangible capital levels, it could be denied access to the FHLB advance system unless its primary regulator requests in writing that an advance be made or rolled over. FHLBs currently use tangible capital, but the letter argues using Tier 1 capital would be a better measure as defined by the Federal Reserve, FDIC and the OCC. "As the bank regulators have recognized, looking to tangible capital could create confusion and, in a rising interest rate environment such as today’s, incorrectly suggest that otherwise sound banks are not creditworthy for purposes of access to FHLB advances. This is particularly true for community banks," they said. Read the letter here.

 

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SBA Announces a Potential Expansion of 7(a) Lenders

We noted with interest this week an announcement that the SBA will issue a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) soon that could allow the expansion of non-depository lenders into the program. There is currently a minimal cap on those lenders such as fintechs or small business development companies. Bankers will recall that some of these lenders were eventually allowed into the Paycheck Protection Program, which fell under the 7(a) banner. Stated in a fact sheet from the agency, "The SBA's objective for this policy change is to grow the number of lenders that receive its loan guarantee, thus increasing small-business lending, particularly in smaller-dollar and underserved markets." We have a number of initial concerns and will be watching for this proposal to appear in the Federal Register so we may comment. With questions, contact Elizabeth Chandler, 404.372.7893, or Joe Brannen, 404.401.0274.

 

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46th Georgia Peanut Bank Week a Hit

Thank you to our friends at the Georgia Peanut Commission and all the GBA members who worked hard last week to promote the 46th-Annual Georgia Peanut Bank Week. Banks all across the state offered tributes to Georgia’s 4,000 peanut farm families. This year’s theme was “Georgia Peanuts: Accounting for Your Daily Health.” In 2021, Georgia farmers produced 52% of the peanuts grown in the United States. Peanuts were planted in 76 of Georgia’s 159 counties. To mark the occasion, more than 75 GBA members offered delicious peanut giveaways, contests and other fun activities throughout the week. Take a look at a few scenes below.

 

Altamaha Bank & Trust Bank of Newington Community Banking Company
of Fitzgerald
Durden Banking Co.

 

Georgia Community Bank South Georgia Banking Company Sunmark Community Bank

 

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Content Comes in Waves for Compliance Conference Attendees

We were thrilled to have a full house at this week’s GBA Compliance Conference that started Wednesday and continues through midday Friday. Check back next week for a summary of all that was covered and more photos.

 

 

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The winning team

Leadership GBA BankPAC Classic

Record-Breaking Crowd Raises Big Proceeds for GBA’s StatePAC

It was a beautiful day in Forsyth on Wednesday for Leadership GBA’s BankPAC Classic. A record crowd of almost 100 members were in attendance to help raise funds supporting GBA’s advocacy efforts. A special thanks to Leadership GBA Board Chair Candice Nanney, Peach State Bank & Trust for her leading the day’s program. The whole Leadership GBA board worked hard to help this year’s event break all previous PAC fundraising records. Nanney summed things up by saying, “I am so proud of our Georgia bankers for the tremendous turnout today. It was wonderful to see so many people tee it up in support of GBA's first-class advocacy work. The generous support of our GBA Associate Members and bank sponsors proved to be the difference maker for our record-breaking success; thank you to everyone who pitched in!”

 

After a beautiful day on the golf course, golfers gathered for a reception where the following winners were announced:  

  • First Place Team: Mark Faas, Point to Point Environmental; Ken Rivers, Butts County Commission; and Bill Donovan, John M. Floyd & Associates

  • Second Place Team: Fred Ethridge, CashTrans, and Mark Metcalf, Georgia Banking Company

  • Third Place Team: Sam Drennan and Jarrod Prickett, First American Bank & Trust

  • Putting Contest Winner: Trip Connor, Pinnacle Bank

  • Closest to the Pin: Jarrod Prickett, First American Bank & Trust

  • Longest Drive: Cole Pitts, First National Bank

 

 

Thanks to these member banks and associate members who showed their support of the StatePAC through sponsorship: Aubrey Thrasher, LLC, Banc Card of America, Bank of Dawson, Bank of Madison, Bank of Monticello, CashTrans, Citizens Bank of Americus, Community Banking Company of Fitzgerald, CSRA Business Lending, Elliott Davis, Fenimore Kay Harrison LLP, FHLBank Atlanta, First American Bank & Trust, First Bank of Pike, First National Bank, First National Bank of Decatur County, Flint Community Bank, Genesys Technology Group, Georgia Community Bank, Guardian Bank, Holmes-Shaw / PointeNorth Insurance Group, Liberty Technology, Mauldin & Jenkins, LLC, McNair, McLemore, Middlebrooks & Co, Metter Bank, Morris Bank, Northeast Georgia Bank, OinkChing Inc., Peach State Bank & Trust, Planters And Citizens Bank, Point to Point Environmental, Inc., Safe Systems, Securitas Financial Services, South Georgia Banking Company, Southern Bank Equipment & ATMs, Steve H. Powell & Company and The Piedmont Bank.

 

 * The GBA StatePAC contributes only to candidates running for state-level offices such as the Georgia General Assembly, the Governor’s office and the Lieutenant Governor’s office.  Contributions can be made from an individual, from bank funds if you are a state-chartered bank or from a national bank holding company if the contribution is made from funds other than those resulting from the operations of the national bank.

 

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The Leadership board meets

Leadership GBA Board Convenes

The 23-member board representing emerging bank leaders throughout Georgia met Thursday to share banking trends in their markets and discuss leadership development needs within banks. Led by Chair Candice Nanney, Peach State Bank & Trust, the Leadership GBA Board also mapped out association programming to help shape strong leadership throughout the industry. The group discussed goals for 2023, ideas for recruiting students for the Georgia Banking School April 30 - May 5 in Athens, encouraging more participation in Leadership GBA sponsored events including fundraising for the State and Federal BankPAC campaigns, and plans for the 2023 Leadership Conference, July 10-12, at the Ponte Vedra Inn and Club. Contact Kathy Friestad, 404.420.2024, with questions or ideas for Leadership GBA.

 

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Leader Updates

Time to Vote, More Polls, Customer Talking Points and Medicare Resource

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

  • Early/absentee voting. We encourage all members to vote in the upcoming general election. Early voting is underway and continues through Nov. 4. The Secretary of State’s office has a helpful page on its website that allows you to search early voting sites in each county. Click here to access that page for locations and times.

 

  • Republicans Lead Most Polls. We shared a variety of polls that show Republican candidates have leads in many of the key races. We also noted that polls should be taken with a grain of salt, election results will be determined by voter turnout.

 

  • Inflation / Interest Rate Talking Points. We shared a handy set of notes to help bankers answer questions about inflation, rates and efforts bankers are making as customers turn to them as trusted partners during uncertain times.

 

  • Medicare GBAIT Resource. We shared information about a resource for those covered by GBAIT plans that are Medicare eligible or for those covered who have someone they’re caring for that’s overwhelmed with all the decisions they have to consider when electing Medicare. GBAIT has engaged Transitions Benefit Group, a Georgia-headquartered company, to provide consulting services without additional cost to those covered by the Trust.

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

 

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Holloway

GBA Member Profile

Building Customer Relationships - Some with Four Legs - with Lindsay Holloway

Lindsay Holloway, assistant vice president, lending and internal audit at The Four County Bank, believes the best part of working in banking is building relationships with her customers and their, well, extended families. “You get to watch their family grow as well as their goats! Every spring I look forward to my customer bringing in a new ‘kid’ to hold,” she said. A member of the GBA Compliance Committee, Holloway discusses the most important lesson she learned in her first job as a pharmacy tech at Revco as well as the advice about customer service that bank President Amy Orr shared early on in her career that has made a profound difference in how she operates as a banker, her passion for well-done yard work and much more in the latest GBA Member Profile.

 

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Beige Book

Worker Shortage Improving, Home Sales Falling

Economic activity in the Southeast expanded slightly from the middle of August through September, as a shortage of available workers eased somewhat, according to the Federal Reserve’s Beige Book out this week. Most employers said pressure to increase wages remained but had lessened in recent months. Although most Atlanta Fed contacts said they continued to raise pay to attract and retain workers, several contacts plan to make future pay hikes more targeted. And many indicated they will focus more on improving benefits such as flexible work arrangements, expanded healthcare coverage and more time off. Because labor costs make up a large portion of many businesses' expenses, wages are an important ingredient in inflation. As a result, Federal Reserve policymakers closely monitor wage growth as they pursue the central bank's twin mandate of stable prices and maximum employment. Read more here.

 

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Skill Building Conferences

Financial Risk Management and Credit Conferences Coming up

Learn the latest about key trends and network with fellow professionals at our fall conferences. Register now!

 

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Fall Seminars - Lending and Audit Focus

Quartet of Strong Seminars Coming Up

Register yourself of make sure key teammates participate in GBA’s fall 2022 schedule of seminars. Programs cover a range of topics. See below:

 

 

 

  • Dec. 9: Internal Audit Seminar, presented by Darren Shuster, Crowe, and Mike Thomas, Internal Audit, Fraud Prevention Consultant, at Middle Georgia State University, Macon.

 

Keusal Allen Shuster Thomas

 

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Enroll Now in 2023 Georgia Banking School, April 30 - May 5

Online enrollment is open for the 2023 session of the Georgia Banking School, which will be April 30 - May 5 at the University of Georgia Center for Continuing Education and Hotel in Athens. For more than 60 years, the school has developed generations of Georgia bank leaders who shape the industry in our state. It offers everything you want and expect from an investment in banker education, specifically preparing the next generation of bank leaders, building the pool of management-level talent in your bank, and connecting students to the most knowledgeable industry experts and a community of fellow bankers. The Georgia Banking School Board, led by Darron Burnette of Synovus, has been hard at work reviewing the curriculum and planning next year’s session. So, with budget season approaching, here are some action items to consider:

  • CEO action – Identify emerging talent and allocate budget so you can have a representative at each school

  • HR officer action – Take a look at specific development plans to identify candidates

  • Alumni action – Recruit your teammates or colleagues at other banks by sharing how the programs helped your career

  • Banker action – Enroll early as there is a limit on the number of first-year students we can have.

Georgia Banking School details and enrollment access here.

 

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Tuesday, Oct. 25 | 2-3 p.m. (Eastern)

Webinar: Cybersecurity Threats in 2022: What Bankers Need to Know

Ransomware attacks and demands are both growing. In this webinar, ABA Insurance Services’ Lisa Micciche and Sarah Cleves will explain how the banking sector has been impacted by these attacks and the steps to take to protect your institution. They will also suggest best practices to avoid wire fraud incidents, and then close with a discussion on the metaverse – what is it and how are some financial institutions getting involved? Hosted by American Bankers Association (ABA), agents and bankers are invited to attend this complimentary webinar. Click here to register.

 

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Compliance Alliance Question of the Week

 

Question: We require a customer letter for debit card disputes, and we need the letter to submit to our processor for their investigation. If the customer does not provide us with their letter, do we have to close the case with the customer on that 10th business day and give them final credit?

 

Answer: You are permitted to require the consumer give written confirmation of an error within 10 business days of oral notice. Read more here.

 

If the written confirmation is not provided you are still required to provide final credit if there was an error but you are not required to provide provisional credit when/if the investigation extends beyond ten days. Read more here.

 

You would not be required to immediately close the case and provide credit if you have not yet reached the determination that there was in fact an error.

 

Click to read more of the Compliance Alliance October Newsletter.

 

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GBA Endorses Abrigo’s Full Suite of Credit, Lending, and Portfolio Risk Products  

Over 2,500 community financial institutions currently rely on Abrigo's software to help maintain compliance, streamline the loan origination process, and transition to CECL. The GBA is pleased to announce its new endorsement of Abrigo’s full suite of credit, lending, and portfolio risk products to help members streamline loan origination, enhance credit analysis, and optimize their portfolio risk. GBA members can receive preferred pricing and incentives for Abrigo’s full suite of products through this endorsement including:

  • 15% discount on new software bundles list price.

  • Additional 5% discount per additional software bundle purchased (maximum of 20% additional).

  • Abrigo’s Special Assets Management Solution is included at no additional cost with the purchase of the Sageworks Platform & Sageworks Analysis bundles.

  • 2 free passes to Abrigo’s annual ThinkBig conference.

To learn more, please contact Abrigo’s Laura Wahl, laura.whal@abrigo.com, 919.906.5649. Stay tuned for more details about upcoming GBA member-exclusive demos of these Abrigo solutions.

 

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IntraFi® Assetpoint® Connects Buyers and Sellers of Bank Assets

IntraFi® Assetpoint® is a single point that connects buyers and sellers of bank assets locally, regionally, and nationally. IntraFi Assetpoint can help you build valuable connections by providing personal introductions to banks that have identified themselves as having complementary loan interests. Learn more about loan purchase programs below that can help you meet your balance sheet and profitability goals.

IntraFi Assetpoint is brought to you by IntraFi® Network. Please contact Danny Capitel, 703.292.3476, to learn more.

 

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Webinars

Compliance 101, BSA Critical Issues, Preventing Elder Fraud, and More

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.

 

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:

 

Brunswick - SouthCoast Bank

The bank recently presented Mattie's Mission, a local non-profit childhood cancer organization, with a donation from proceeds collected during its September drive to help fight childhood cancer.

 

Cornelia - Traditions Bank, a division of Rabun County Bank

Chazz Hopper, a customer service representative at the Traditions Bank office in Cornelia, recently read to a group of classes during Georgia Pre-K week at Fairview Elementary School in Habersham County.

 

Macon - Oconee State Bank

The bank recently sponsored a local football game in its new market of Macon. Macon Market SVP Robby Redmond and the bank’s Macon team came out to support the Ace Gryphons football team at last Friday’s game.

 

Rome - Greater Community Bank

The bank recently became Rome’s first corporate partner of Extra Special People, Inc. (ESP Rome) with a $10,000 contribution. Read more here.

 

Tallahassee, FL - TC Federal Bank

Each quarter, bank team members raise funds for a local deserving organization through the Jeans for Charity program. This quarter, they donated to Nims Middle School in Tallahassee, FL.

 

Tifton - Synovus

Synovus recently partnered with the Stafford School of Business at Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College to present a recent three-session “Here Matters” financial literacy workshop for ABAC students. Read more here.

 

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GBA Newsmakers

 

Atlanta - CoastalStates Bank

The bank announced it will be opening a new Atlanta location in mid-November 2022 at 2841 Akers Mill Road SE, Atlanta, GA 30339.

 

Atlanta - Georgia Primary Bank

Congratulations to President and CEO David Coxon, board Chair Boyd Petit and the entire team celebrating the bank’s 15th anniversary this week.

 

Bainbridge - First National Bank

Sierra Pearson has joined the bank team as a customer service representative.

 

Bainbridge - First Port City Bank

Logan Browning has joined the bank team as a teller.

 

Cochran - Citizens Bank of Cochran

Matt Fordham has been promoted to executive vice president/Senior Credit Officer.

 

Columbus - Synovus Bank

The bank recently announced additions to its leadership team in its expanding corporate and investment banking line of business. Alan Grantham has joined the bank team as managing director, debt capital markets and credit products, and Max Thompson has joined the bank team as managing director and group head, healthcare services. Read more here.

 

Dublin - Bank of Dudley

Congratulations to Clift Crews for his 50th anniversary in banking. The bank recently held a community-wide event celebrating the milestone. Crews is shown below receiving a certificate recognizing his anniversary from GBA President & CEO Joe Brannen accompanied by board Chair Beth Vaughn and bank President Sam Beall. “Clift was a second-year student at the Georgia Banking School when I joined GBA in 1980, so we’ve grown up together. He’s always been a helpful resource for his industry knowledge and has frequently attended GBA events. He’s also announced his retirement at year end, so best wishes on that next journey,” Brannen said.

 

Elberton - Pinnacle Bank

Lina Cook has joined the bank team as a mortgage banker.

 

Forsyth - Bank of Dudley

On Monday, the bank hosted an opening event for its new Forsyth branch located at 48 North Jackson St.

 

Milledgeville - Colony Bank

Shawn Mercer recently joined Colony Financial Advisors, a financial advisory practice of Ameriprise Financial Services, LLC, as senior vice president and financial advisor. Read more here.

 

Statesboro - Colony Bank

The bank recently announced the addition of Judd Skinner as Statesboro market president. Read more here.

 

Watkinsville - Oconee State Bank

Selena Ruth has been named executive vice president, Chief Human Resources Officer. Read more here. The bank also recently hosted a launch event for Remarkable Mortgage, its new mortgage process for current and future clients.

 

 

Pearson Browning Fordham Beall, Brannen, Crews and Vaughn Cook

 

Mercer Skinner Ruth Oconee State 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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