Oct. 28, 2022 

On the Road with Ag Bankers

We’ve had a great time this week with GBA’s Agriculture Committee members and other guests on our 2022 GBA Ag Farm Tour. We’ve visited a Statesboro-area citrus farmer, a major cold-storage facility for a Georgia-based import-export company and the Georgia Ports Authority's Garden City Terminal near Savannah. We also heard from the Honey Ridge Agricenter director who put agriculture education in every school in their district. Check back next week for a full de-brief.



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Compliance Conference Hits all the Highs

Georgia bank compliance pros gathered last week for their annual conference. The content, planned by the GBA Compliance Committee, covered all the major areas members need to keep their programs fresh and effective. The conference began with an overview of the major national regulatory focal points from Keith Barnett and Carlin McCrory of the Troutman Pepper law firm. That was followed by a deep dive into deposit hot topics from Emily Dent of Mauldin and Jenkins, and day-one finished with a crypto and cannabis issues update from Brad Rustin of Nelson Mullins. The Thursday program began with a helpful review of issues on which banks should focus based on recent independent reviews of their client banks by Dent and James Moore of Steve H. Powell & Co. Julia Gutierrez of Compliance Alliance shared updates to flood-zone compliance Q&As published by regulators, and the FDIC’s Gary Clayton did a two-hour session on key fair lending updates. The Thursday program concluded with Brad Washburn of Steve H. Powell & Co. sharing HMDA best practices. The conference concluded Friday with a highly interactive peer roundtable session led by BankSouth’s Jim Bedsole and United Bank’s Thomas Williams. And, Heritage Southeast Bank’s Pam Perdue outlined an in-depth overdraft study her bank did with helpful take-home ideas for members. Compliance Committee Chair Kirk Cavanah of Morris Bank led the conference, and Vice Chair Tabitha White of First State Bank of Blakely hosted the final day’s activities. See photos from the conference here. Special thanks to our exhibitors: Ncontracts, Sean Finney; CrossCheck Compliance, Molly Sudhoff; and Thomson Reuters, Brian Overson. Sponsors were Carr, Riggs & Ingram CPAs and Advisors, Mauldin & Jenkins, Warren Averett CPAs & Advisors, Wipfli, Ncontracts and Steve H. Powell & Co.



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Unbanked Households Continue Decline

The number of households in the U.S. and Georgia without bank or credit union accounts continued to shrink from 2019-2021. This is encouraging news, as it reflects the increase in participation in the nation’s banking system through the pandemic. According to the FDIC’s biennial National Survey of Unbanked and Underbanked Households released this week, nationally, only 4.5% of households were unbanked in 2021, and in Georgia 6.7% of households were unbanked. Both are the lowest numbers since the FDIC began its survey in 2009. In Georgia, the Atlanta MSA showed a very low rate of unbanked households at almost 2.4%. The safety, security and convenience of bank accounts were important through the COVID-19 Pandemic. “During the pandemic, consumers opened bank accounts to access relief funds and other benefits quickly and securely,” said FDIC Acting Chairman Martin J. Gruenberg. “Safe and affordable bank accounts provide a way to bring more Americans into the banking system and will continue to play an important role in advancing economic inclusion for all Americans. And, the survey shows usage of nonbank money orders, check cashing, money transfer, rent-to-own, pawn shop, payday loan, auto title loan and other nonbank services declined from 2017-2019." See all the details from the FDIC here.


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GBA BankPAC 2022 Campaign Update

GBA’s BankPAC campaigns have continued to bear fruit this week, and the BankPAC Board of Directors wants to remind you that your participation is key to all our success. We are happy to provide you with guidelines for contributions to the StatePAC (contribution may be from your state-chartered bank or holding company if a national bank) and the FedPAC (must come from eligible individuals – directors, officers and salaried employees.) Using a payroll deduction method for individual contributions is also a good option to consider. With questions, please call Elizabeth Chandler at 404.372.7893.


Contributing to the GBA StatePAC in the last week include the following banks:

  • Bank of Camilla, David Wright, President & CEO

  • Citizens Bank of Swainsboro, Milton Gray, President & CEO

  • Community Bank & Trust – West Georgia, LaGrange, Bill Stump, Director of Community Banking

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

  • River City Bank, Rome, Jamie Tallent, President & CEO

  • The Piedmont Bank, Peachtree Corners, Monty Watson, Chairman & CEO

  • Wells Fargo, Atlanta, Chad Gregory, Southeast Regional President

And, contributing to the GBA FedPAC are those eligible employees, officers, and directors from the following banks and companies:

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

  • Citizens Bank of Swainsboro, Milton Gray, President & CEO

  • Community Bank & Trust – West Georgia, LaGrange, Bill Stump, Director of Community Banking

  • Georgia Bankers Association, GBA Insurance Trust, Inc., and GBA Retirement Services, Inc., Atlanta, Joe Brannen, President & CEO

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

  • River City Bank, Rome, Jamie Tallent, President & CEO

  • South Georgia Banking Company, Tifton, Glenn Willis, President & CEO

  • SouthState Bank, Atlanta, Terry DeWitt, Community President - North Atlanta

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Order Now!

Time to Buy the Georgia Banking Compensation Survey

Our annual survey of Georgia Banking Compensation levels is available. The results can help your bank develop a comprehensive and competitive compensation package to address today’s tight labor market. This year's survey report represents:

  • 141 positions reported

  • Over 4,300 Georgia incumbents reported

  • 58 Georgia institutions

  • Policies and Practices Report with data on base salary programs and incentive plans.

The survey prices are $595 for participants and $1,275 for non-participants. Please contact Rhonda Snyder at rhonda.snyder@pearlmeyer.com for details and to order a report.


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Strong Credit Conference Agenda Set

Register now for the GBA Credit Conference coming up Dec. 1-2. With higher interest rates in play, now’s the time to gather with peers to discuss best practices and get the latest market intelligence. Kennesaw State University’s Roger Tutterow will give an economic update and John Hunt of MarketNsight will give a housing update. We’ll have a regulator panel with representatives from the Georgia Department of Banking and Finance, the FDIC, OCC and Federal Reserve. The second day will feature an ag update from state senator, seventh-generation farmer and candidate for Agriculture Commissioner Tyler Harper as well as an all-star economic development panel and a peer roundtable. Sponsors are Steve H. Powell & Company, Carr, Riggs & Ingram, CPAs and Advisors, CSRA Business Lending, Mauldin & Jenkins, LLC, Point to Point Environmental, Inc., Qualtik, ServisFirst Bank and Wipfli LLP. Get details and register here. With questions, contact Alison Moreau, 404.420.2034.


Tutterow Hunt Harper


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IRS Announces Cost of Living Adjustments for 2023

The IRS recently announced the Cost of Living Adjustments for 2023, including retirement plan limit updates. The maximum annual participant deferral limit for a 401(k) plan will increase from $20,500 to $22,500. The catch-up contribution limit for participants over age 50 will increase from $6,500 to $7,500. Please click here to see other retirement plan limits for 2023. We want to help you and your team members prepare for a financially stable retirement. GBA Retirement Services, Inc., an affiliate of the Georgia Bankers Association, is available to help you review your existing retirement plan. Benefits of the 401(k) plans offered through GBA Retirement Services include: competitive fees due to size of Master Trust, customized service from GBA staff, managed investment account solution for participants, flexibility and performance of investments, and added oversight by having American Trust Company as a Discretionary Trustee of each Plan in the Trust. Having a Discretionary Trustee in your plan helps to reduce the fiduciary liability your Plan Committee may currently be responsible for. Let us help you review your current plan and compare to what GBA Retirement Services can do for you! Please contact Mandy Richards at 404.420.2025 with questions or for assistance in doing a periodic review and comparison of your retirement plan.


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Two Lending Seminars with Fan-Favorite Speaker Coming Up

Cadence Bank EVP, Area Credit Executive for the Georgia and Florida Regions Mike Allen, a high-demand speaker, will present two popular lending seminars this fall at Middle Georgia State University in Macon. Click the links below for more information and to register.

  • Nov. 16: Business Cash Flow Analysis
    An introduction and practical approach to business cash flow analysis, this seminar is designed for small business lenders, commercial lenders, and credit analysts/underwriters. This seminar will assist those bankers who originate and underwrite small business and commercial loans by providing a framework of how to approach the technical and non-technical components to analysis, develop an understanding of what the key points of interest are relative to various requests, and ultimately determine a borrower's capacity to repay your loan. Get all the details and register here.


  • Dec. 8: Loan Documentation
    Prevention of loan losses through the implementation of proper loan structuring and documentation techniques is the objective of this seminar. Topics covered will include background and review, identifying the borrower and collateral, evidencing the debt, attaching and perfecting the collateral, real estate specifics, residential construction lending and guarantees. Get all the details and register here.

Questions? Contact GBA's Aimee Corcoran, 404.420.2035.


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Enrollment now open!

Compliance School – Year 1: Building the Base

Compliance School – Year 1: Building the Base registration is open. The school will take place in Athens, from April 30 -
May 5. Year 1 of the GBA Compliance School examines the fundamentals required to ensure a solid compliance management program. Whether you’re new to bank compliance or have been in the profession for years, this training will allow you to examine your program to make sure there are no cracks in the compliance monitoring foundation. Just as with your home, routine maintenance is needed to ensure the structure can weather even the fiercest of storms. Compliance officers as well as anyone who has compliance responsibilities as a component of their job (loan compliance, deposit compliance, operational compliance, BSA compliance). The school will equip them with the knowledge necessary to evolve their skill so they can add value to their institution. Click here to learn more and register.


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The DeSoto

Registration now open!

2023 Operations and Technology Conference - Feb. 8-10, Savannah

GBA’s Operations and Technology Conference, Georgia’s flagship multi-day conference for bank operations and technology professionals planned by the GBA Operations & Technology Committee, covers the full spectrum of tech trends and operational issues including payments, vendor management, cybersecurity, innovation, fintech partnerships and more. The event provides participants the opportunity to network, share best practices and learn from nationally known experts in an away-from-the-bank environment to foster creativity and connections. Speakers/sessions confirmed so far include:

  • Keynote Speaker – Andre’ Kennebrew, Chick-fil-A

  • Kim Kirk, Queensborough National Bank & Trust Company, Inc.  – ABA Core Platforms Committee Update

IT officers, operations officers and anyone working in IT, technology and/or operations at the bank will benefit from attending. Get all the details and register here. With questions, contact GBA’s Alison Moreau.


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Why Banks are Embracing Loan Marketplaces as a Solution to Liquidity

by Simon Fisher, Digital Lending Manager, CSI

The pandemic created a unique confluence of events that affected the lending market. Bank deposit growth soared, with total deposits increasing more than double the pre-pandemic growth rate. In addition, many banks took a more conservative approach to lending, concerned about the potentially negative impact of the pandemic on employment and businesses. And consumers’ declining credit quality, paired with the still approaching CECL transition, forced institutions to provision for greater losses. As lending remains a primary revenue driver, many institutions are revising their lending strategy to generate yield for investors. Such strategies include looking to loan marketplaces for participations across the country. How does a loan marketplace work, you say? Click here to read more of Fisher’s summary. And be sure to check out the GBA-endorsed loan marketplace IntraFi Assetpoint below.


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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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Internal Audit Seminar - Dec. 9, Macon

On Dec. 9 at Middle Georgia State University in Macon, Crowe LLP Senior Manager Darren Shuster and Internal Audit, Fraud Prevention Consultant Mike Thomas will host GBA’s Internal Audit seminar. This seminar will be a practical, "hands-on" discussion of effective practices in auditing that will cover the following topics: auditing the lending function, auditing mortgage banking functions and recent trends in financial institution fraud. Register here to secure your spot. With questions, contact GBA’s Aimee Corcoran, 404.420.2035.


Shuster Thomas


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ERM vs. Vendor Management: What’s the Difference?

By Michael Berman, founder & CEO, NContracts

Banking and the world of risk and compliance management are chock full of jargon, concepts, terms, and acronyms—and it’s not easy to keep it all straight. Let’s quickly break down two of the most-commonly mistaken and misused concepts: enterprise risk management (ERM) and vendor management. So, what’s the difference between the two? ERM is not just about managing risk. It’s about applying the knowledge gained through good risk management to make better strategic decisions and more effectively reach goals and objectives. ERM recognizes the connections between different elements of risk management and how they overlap. One of those pieces is vendor management. Why do so many people confuse ERM and vendor management? Click here to find out and read more from Berman’s latest post. Visit www.ncontracts.com for more helpful risk management resources.


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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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Compliance Alliance Question of the Week


Question: Is it a requirement to inform a customer that the draw period for HELOC is ending?


Answer: There is interagency guidance with respect to end-of-draw periods that indicates that end of draw notices should be given and we have a sample of this notice here. Examiners expect that you will have policies and procedures in place for managing HELOCs nearing their end-of-draw periods that are commensurate with the size and complexity of the portfolio. After the draw period ends, you will also need to continue to send periodic statements and you should review the loan agreement for additional notification requirements outside of regulatory requirements.


“Termination of draw privileges. When a consumer's ability to draw on an open-end account is terminated without being converted to closed-end credit under a written agreement, the creditor must continue to provide periodic statements to those consumers entitled to receive them under § 1026.5(b)(2)(i), for example, when the draw period of an open-end credit plan ends and consumers are paying off outstanding balances according to the account agreement or under the terms of a workout agreement that is not converted to a closed-end transaction. In addition, creditors must continue to follow all of the other open-end credit requirements and procedures in subpart B.” https://www.consumerfinance.gov/rules-policy/regulations/1026/interp-5/#5-b-2-i-Interp-2


Click to read more of the Compliance Alliance October Newsletter.


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BSA Critical Issues, Preventing Elder Fraud, Lending Hot Topics 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, kprokos@gabankers.com, and David Oliver, doliver@gabankers.com, or if your company would like to sponsor this content, let us know. Here's our latest installment:


Atlanta - Truist Bank

Truist Foundation this week announced the Atlanta Wealth Building Initiative as the top recipient of the inaugural Inspire Awards grant, a program inviting nonprofits that support Black-, Indigenous-, and people of color- (BIPOC) and women-owned small businesses across the country to submit innovative solutions to address the complex challenges facing small businesses. Read more here.

Dunwoody - Truist Bank

Bank team members recently volunteered at the Lighthouse Project event at the Dunwoody Nature Center.

Valdosta - CBC Bank

Bank team members recently joined with the Lowndes Associated Ministry People to serve the people of Valdosta in Greater Valdosta United Way’s “Day of Caring.”

Waycross - Waycross Bank & Trust

The bank recently hosted students from Heritage Homeschool Cooperative and taught them about banking.


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GBA Newsmakers


Atlanta - Colony Bank

Kristie McMahan has been promoted to director of commercial administration, senior vice president. Read more here.


Atlanta - United Community Bank

Eric Dunlap has joined the bank’s mortgage services team in Atlanta.


Bainbridge - First Port City Bank

Andy Ahn has joined the bank team as a teller.


Cordele - Planters First Bank

Chris Howe has been promoted to senior lending officer. Read more here.


Fitzgerald - Colony Bank

Colony Bankcorp, Inc., the bank holding company for Colony Bank, recently announced the appointment of Audrey Hollingsworth to the board of directors for both the company and Colony Bank, effective Dec. 1. Hollingsworth serves as vice president of People Services for Goodwill Industries of the Southern Rivers, a position she has held since 2018. Hollingsworth previously served as group executive and Chief People Officer at Synovus Financial Corporation. Read more here.


Sandy Springs - Signature Bank of Georgia

Charlie Brown has been named CEO of the bank, effective Nov. 1. Freddie Deutsch, the founding president and CEO of the bank, will become vice chairman.



McMahan Dunlap Ahn Howe



Hollingsworth Brown Deutsch



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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