April 28, 2023  

Destination D.C. Next Week

With the Fed’s review of the Silicon Valley Bank closure coming out Friday, ongoing negotiations about raising the debt ceiling, several banking-related bills in Congress and a number of regulatory issues of importance, there’s lots on our plates to talk about next Tuesday through Thursday on our advocacy trip to Washington, D.C. We still want to hear from you about with any specific anecdotes about market conditions and real-world effects of laws and regulations of importance. We’ve got meetings scheduled with Sen. Raphael Warnock, staff members for Sen. Jon Ossoff,  staff members of our U.S. House delegation, CFPB Director Rohit Chopra, FDIC Director Jonathan McKernan and OCC Acting Director Michael Hsu. Attending as your representatives are bankers serving on the GBA Board, Public Affairs Committee, BankPAC Board and the Leadership GBA Executive Committee. If you haven’t chimed in with issues you want us to be sure and cover, please send a quick note to Elizabeth Chandler, 404.420.2027, Bo Brannen, 404.420.2014, or Joe Brannen, 404.420.2026.


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Matt Rushton

Member Profile

Why "No" Can Sometimes Be the Best Answer with Matt Rushton

When AB&T President Matt Rushton was 24 years old and just starting out in his banking career, he often spent time with three well-respected businessmen in his community. He eventually became part of their lunch crew. “I learned a lot visiting with them, but one piece of advice that was reiterated to me on numerous occasions was, “Sometimes the hardest thing to tell someone is ‘no,’ but it may be the best answer that they could ever hear.” As a young banker, at that point Rushton said “no” was not in his vocabulary; he was determined to say ‘yes’ to any and all requests, trying to do the most business he possibly could. “However, that advice stuck with me, and over the years, there were several instances where I found that ‘no’ was the best answer I could give, whether it was loan or deposit related. I’ve had numerous ‘no’ conversations with people who have turned out to be some of my best professional and non-professional relationships,” he said. The Vice Chair of GBA Agriculture Committee shares how he got a feel for the kind of varied tasks a banker may end up performing in his career, his love of Montana and the show “Yellowstone” and much more in the latest GBA Member Profile.


Related: Join us May 18-19!

Cows, Cotton and So Much More: Rural Development & Lending Conference

There is still time to register and attend the annual GBA Rural Development and Lending Conference, May 18-19 at the King & Prince, St. Simons. Agenda sessions will include: a livestock update, ag regulatory update, crop insurance, peanuts, a farm bill update and a cotton update. Thanks to the GBA Agriculture Committee, led by its Chair Rachel Thompson, Bank of Newington, and Vice Chair Matt Rushton, AB&T, for their work on the agenda. For more information about hotel and to register, click here.


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Action Alert

Urge Congress to Disapprove of CFPB’s Small Business Data Collection Rule

Join GBA and your fellow bankers in urging our delegation to support a Congressional Review Act resolution—introduced by Rep. Roger Williams (R-Texas)—to express disapproval of the CFPB’s recent Dodd-Frank Act Section 1071 final rule, which requires the collection and reporting of credit application data for small businesses, including women-owned and minority-owned small businesses. Banks and other lenders that make at least 100 small-business loans in each of the two preceding calendar years will be required to collect data on credit applications from businesses that make $5 million or less in gross annual revenue. Among other things, CFPB vastly expanded the reporting requirements from the 13 data points mandated in the Dodd-Frank Act to more than 80 data points, and bankers from across the country are voicing their support for this resolution. Contact your lawmaker here.


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Related: GBA Partner Compliance Alliance

Free Section 1071 Resources for Georgia Banks

Section 1071 is becoming one of the most talked-about federal regulatory topics in banking right now. GBA partner Compliance Alliance has published a webpage full of free community bank resources for GBA member executive teams, compliance teams and boards of directors to stay informed and work through this together. Because of the importance of this topic, Section 1071 Final Rule, Bankers Alliance is making this content available for anyone in the banking industry. If you get value from these resources and are not a Compliance Alliance member, but are interested in what a subscription can add to your compliance program please contact the Compliance Alliance membership team at 833.683.0701, or info@bankersalliance.org.


Content provided includes:


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New Peer Group Offering

BSA Peer Group Meeting, Virtual Session, May 31

Our peer groups are growing! Join GBA's BSA Summit lead facilitator, Kristen Stogniew, for our first ever BSA peer group meeting. Focusing on the account opening process and enhanced due diligence, you are sure to walk away with the all the best practices in BSA compliance. Get all the details and register here. With questions, contact Aimee Corcoran, 404.420.2035.


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How to Support Colleague Bankers and Police Officers in Louisville

Members have asked how to get involved in supporting bankers, police officers and their loved ones after the tragic shooting April 10 at Old National Bank in Louisville, KY. Here are four organizations to consider, which have also been supported by Old National Bank as well as our colleagues at the Kentucky and Indiana Bankers Associations:

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A Look in at Loan Documentation and ISO Seminars

GBA hosted two seminars for our members this week. On Wednesday, Mike Allen, a faculty member of Georgia Banking School, taught our Loan Documentation seminar, where attendees learned proper loan structuring and documentation techniques to prevent loan losses. On Thursday, information security experts Emily Strickland and Josh Dasher of Safe Systems explored the roles and responsibilities of an information security officer during our ISO seminar. Attendees also met Safe Systems CEO Danny Johnston. A big thanks to Safe Systems for sponsoring this seminar. See scenes from the events below. With questions, contact Aimee Corcoran, 404.420.2035.



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Cannabis Bill Re-Introduced in U.S. Congress

The SAFE Banking Act is once again up for consideration by national lawmakers. The bill, which has passed the U.S. House several times but never advanced in the Senate, would resolve conflicts in federal and state laws related to cannabis banking. Each chamber’s version of the bill has bipartisan backing. Sens. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) and Steve Daines (R-Mont.) introduced the Senate version, and Reps. Dave Joyce (R-Ohio) and Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.) are sponsoring the House version. We’ll be covering our support for the bill, along with many other issues, when we talk to staff members from the Georgia delegation on our trip to Washington, D.C., next week. With questions, contact Elizabeth Chandler, 404.420.2027, Bo Brannen, 404.420.2014, or Joe Brannen, 404.420.2026.


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Regulatory Roundup

LIBOR Sunset, Overdraft Guidance in the Spotlight

Bank regulators this week communicated about a couple of key items of which bankers should take note:

  • LIBOR Sunset: Federal financial regulatory agencies, along with state bank and state credit union regulators, issued a statement that the use of United States Dollar LIBOR (USD LIBOR) panels will end on June 30, 2023. The statement reiterates the agencies’ expectations that financial institutions with USD LIBOR exposure should complete their transition of remaining LIBOR contracts as soon as practicable. Read the interagency statement here.


  • Overdraft Guidance: The FDIC issued guidance about overdraft policies with respect to consumer compliance risks associated with assessing overdraft fees on a transaction that was authorized against a positive balance but settled against a negative balance (APSN). Institutions are encouraged to review their practices regarding the charging of overdraft fees on APSN transactions to ensure customers are not charged overdraft fees for transactions consumers may not anticipate or avoid. Read the FIL here.

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Save the Dates for BankPAC Fundraising Events!

Each year, the Leadership GBA Board of Directors hosts two fundraising events, the BankPAC Golf Classic and the Georgia BankPAC Sporting Clays Tournament. These events offer great opportunities to invite legislators, directors, customers and prospects to meet and mingle with your fellow bankers and other colleagues. Block your calendar now for these events:

  • 2023 Georgia BankPAC Golf Classic: Wednesday, Oct. 18, at the River Forest Club in Forsyth.

  • 2024 Georgia BankPAC Sporting Clays Tournament: Thursday, Feb. 8, at Old Hudson Plantation, Sparta.


Watch future Bulletins for a registration announcement. The proceeds from these tournaments are donated to the GBA StatePAC,* We look forward to seeing you! Contact GBA’s Kathy Friestad with questions.


* The GBA StatePAC contributes only to candidates running for state-level office 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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2023 GBA Compensation Survey

Your Organization’s Employees Are Its Greatest Asset – Complete our Survey Before May 26

Employee compensation is typically a bank’s largest non-interest expense. How your bank compensates its most important asset has a significant impact on overall performance. The use of a high quality, independent salary survey should be a key component in your compensation strategy to help you attract and retain the best talent in your industry. The 2023 Georgia Bankers Association Compensation Survey was opened for participation on April 4. Survey participants receive a substantial discount over the non-participant price ($595 vs. $1,475).


Key survey dates:

  • Survey Submission Due Date: May 26

  • Survey Results Published: Week of August 14

Please contact Pearl Meyer’s Rhonda Snyder at rhonda.snyder@pearlmeyer.com for instructions to complete this year’s survey.


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Advertising Opportunity

Membership Directory Taking Shape

The Georgia Bankers Association has partnered with E&M Consulting, Inc. to produce our Membership Directory. The publication will be available in print and digital formats. E&M will be managing the project, including advertising sales and layout/graphic design. They are highly professional and produce a high-quality publication, and we ask that you give them a moment of your time. E&M will be contacting all members about the advertising opportunities available. The publication will be mailed to every member – a great opportunity to promote and give your company additional exposure. If you have any questions or want to advertise, please contact an E&M sales associate at 800.572.0011 ext. 8005 or advertising@eandmsales.com. As always, your support is greatly appreciated!


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Roth Contributions as Catch Up Contributions in 2024

The SECURE Act 2.0 retirement legislation was signed into law late last year. One of the provisions that will become effective next year is the requirement that all catch up contributions made by anyone earning over $145,000 per year be made as Roth deferrals, rather than pretax deferrals. If your Plan does not allow Roth contributions, you may want to consider adding a Roth provision in the coming months to prepare for this change in 2024. In order for those over the compensation limit of $145,000 to contribute catch up contributions, the plan must allow Roth deferrals for all participants so that those can be contributed after-tax instead of pre-tax. For example, in 2023, the 401(k) deferral limit is $22,500 and the catch up limit for those over age 50 is $7,500 additional for a total of $30,000 a year. If these limits are still in place in 2024, this would mean someone earning more than $145,000 could could contribute $22,500 as pre-tax but must contribute anything over that as Roth. Roth is a beneficial option for many plan participants since all after-tax Roth contributions grow tax free, including the earnings on those Roth deferrals. To read more about how Roth deferrals work, click here. If you are in the Master Trust and would like to go ahead and amend your Plan to allow Roth, please contact Mandy Richards. If you are not currently part of the GBA Master Trust and would like to learn more, please contact Mandy Richards at 404.420.2025 for more information or to request a proposal of services for your existing 401(k) plan.


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GBAIT Members, Don’t Forget You Have 24/7 Free Access to Telemedicine

With pollen season in full swing, temperature fluctuations and the ongoing risk of COVID, common colds and other crud, here’s a friendly reminder that members covered by GBA Insurance Trust health plans have access to no-cost, 24/7 telemedicine services through SentryHealth. Telemedicine can help you and your family avoid doctor's offices, added costs and copays. In most cases, you will be speaking with a doctor within 10 minutes, and the doctor can send prescriptions to your pharmacy of choice. Call 877.293.9355, ext. 2 anytime for telemedicine services. More details here.


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Preventing Elder Financial Exploitation, HMDA and Its Data Points, Fair Lending Review and More

Here’s a sampling of upcoming webinars.

Want to see the full webinar schedule? Check out our webinar calendar for a full list of upcoming webinars.


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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 - Citizens Trust Bank

Bank team members recently spent the day volunteering for the Habitat for Humanity Brush for Kindness project.


Blairsville - United Community Bank

The bank recently raised $2,500 for the Full Bellies Foundation to help further its efforts to end childhood hunger.


Elberton - Pinnacle Bank

Bank team members recently participated in the Elberton Granite Association, Inc. golf tournament at Arrowhead Pointe Golf Course.


Perry - SunMark Community Bank

The bank hosted a wine stop at the Downtown Perry Wine Tasting April 21.


Soperton - Georgia First Bank

The bank recently celebrated its sixth Georgia First Bank Youth Leadership Class.


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GBA Newsmakers



Congratulations to the following for being named to the 2024 Leadership Atlanta class: Matt Keith, senior vice president of strategy and initiatives, Bank of America; Julie Hower, chief audit executive, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta; Richard Slaton, executive director, JP Morgan Chase; and Katherine Saez, Georgia regional president, Truist.


Atlanta - BankSouth Mortgage

In partnership with MobilityRE, the bank recently launched a new real estate agent mobile app that allows the bank’s real estate partners to provide a custom, co-branded home search app to their clients. Read more here.


Atlanta and San Francisco - Wells Fargo & Company

The company and the T.D. Jakes Group, which includes T.D. Jakes Real Estate Ventures, LLC (TDJREV), TDJ Enterprises (TDJE) and T.D. Jakes Foundation (TDJF), announced a strategic partnership to drive economic vitality and inclusivity in communities across America. Over the next 10 years, the partnership between these organizations could result in up to $1 billion in capital and financing from Wells Fargo, as well as grants from the Wells Fargo Foundation, with the goal of revitalizing neighborhoods, fostering economic opportunity and creating long-term change in communities most in need. The partnership marks the first of its kind in driving long-term transformational impact over the next decade. In 2022, TDJREV began purchasing nearly 100 acres of Fort McPherson, the historic former army base situated in enviable proximity to downtown Atlanta with plans to create an innovative community of commercial and residential space. The plans for this land include mixed-income housing with an array of living choices such as single-family homes, town homes and apartments positioned in well-designed neighborhoods with ample amenities aimed at enhancing the quality of life through healthy food choices, healthcare options and other wraparound services. Read more here.


Brunswick - South Coast Bank

The bank recently hosted a ribbon cutting for its new ITM at 475 Canal Road in Brunswick.


Columbus - Synovus Financial Corp.

Coca-Cola Company Vice President, Treasurer and Corporate Finance Stacy Apter has joined the company's board of directors. Read more here. Additionally, Alan Najjar, director of business development at Smith + Howard, has joined the Synovus Atlanta Advisory Board. Read more here.


Lawrenceville - Embassy National Bank

Eric Walker has joined the bank team as a senior vice president. Read more here.


Statesboro - the Former First Bulloch Bank/BB&T

Our sympathies to his daughter, Sally, as well as the family, friends and the former bank colleagues of Jimmy Hodges, who died this week. Hodges was GBA chairman in 1994-1995. Read more here.


Tupelo, MS - Renasant Bank

Rose Flenorl, manager of global citizenship at FedEx Corporation, has been elected to the boards of directors of the bank and holding company. Read more here.


Winter Haven, FL - SouthState Bank

Chris Kamienski has been named head of Consumer and Small Business Banking. Jordan Hallam has been promoted to director of Government Guaranteed Lending following the retirement of Mark Bryant this October. Mark C. Smith has been promoted to director of the Premier Private Client Group. Read more here.


Atlanta - GBA Insurance Trust/Retirement Services Trust

Congratulations to Jenny Cofield, wife of President and CEO Tripp Cofield and mom of Pinckney and Rex, on being named Teacher of the Year for the Morgan County High School in Madison. “Mrs. Cofield has done a phenomenal job in building community in her classroom and teaching her students to self-advocate,” said MCHS Principal Dr. Miki Edwards. “When students present a concern to her, she turns it into a learning experience where they gain real-world skills as they work to solve it. She is very passionate about her work, and we are fortunate to have her here at Morgan County High School.” Jenny is a special education teacher.



Matt Keith Julie Hower Richard Slaton Katherine Saez South Coast Bank


Stacy Apter Alan Najjar Eric Walker Jimmy Hodges Rose Flenorl


Chris Kamienski Jordan Hallam Mark Smith Jenny Cofield, family and students


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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