June 2, 2023  

Georgia Bank Q1 Performance Summary

Earnings, Assets, Loans Grew; Deposits Down a Touch

The 145 Georgia-based FDIC-insured banks earned slightly more than $532 million in the first quarter of this year, up 18.5% from the same period in 2022, according to the FDIC’s release of quarterly performance data. Loans grew by 11.2% and total assets were up by 4.2%. Deposits were down slightly, retreating by only 0.6%. There were four fewer Georgia-based banks reporting at the end of the quarter compared to first quarter 2022 due to completed merger and acquisition activity. Eighty percent of Georgia’s banks reported earnings gains for the quarter, and 95% were profitable. Metrics for net interest margin, noncurrent loans, charge-offs, return on equity and core capital were better than the national ratios. “Georgia’s banks and economy continue to show resiliency and strength, even during a rising-rate environment and a variety of other headwinds. Liquidity remains strong, credit quality is holding up and capital levels are solid, so Georgia’s banks remain well positioned to serve the needs of their customers and communities,” said Joe Brannen, GBA president and CEO.  Access the full FDIC release here.


  All Insured Institutions
March 31, 2023
$ In Millions
All Insured Institutions
March 31, 2022
$ In Millions
All Insured Institutions
March 31, 2023
$ In Millions

All Institutions

Assets Less Than
$1 Billion
All Institutions Assets Less Than
$1 Billion
All Institutions

Number of Institutions

145 129 149 133 4,672

Number of Employees

17,207 5,973 17,317 6,156 2,128,293

Total Assets

$153,996 $36,379 $147,836 $38,570 $23,719,547

Total Loans & Leases

$106,020 $21,505 $95,380 $20,743 $12,212,067
Total Deposits $128,493 $31,921 $129,315 $34,214 $18,742,486

Net Income (year-to-date)

$532 $144 $449 $104 $79,807

Net Interest Income

$1,338 $362 $1,070 $294 $175,741
Noninterest Income $286 $79 $353 $93 $85,988
Net Interest Margin 3.8 4.27 3.12 3.29 3.31
Net Charge-Offs to Loans & Leases 0.13 0.07 0.1 0.03 0.41
Percent of Profitable Institutions 95 95 92 92 96

Percent of Institutions with Earning Gains

80 82 43 41 67

Loss Allowance to Loans & Leases

1.18 1.55 1.15 1.58 1.66
Noncurrent Loans & Leases to Total Loans & Leases 0.47 0.46 0.46 0.59 0.75

Return on Assets

1.4 1.58 1.21 1.09 1.36

Return on Equity

14.93 16.04 12.12 10.43 14.42

Equity Capital to Total Assets

9.42 10.04 9.75 9.99 9.53
Leverage (Core Capital) Ratio 9.93 11.34 9.42 10.45 9.15


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Graduate School of Banking at LSU Completing 2023 Session

A big crowd of Georgia bankers has been on the Louisiana State University campus in Baton Rouge the past two weeks participating in the 73rd session of the Graduate School of Banking. The Georgia Bankers Association is among the 15 state bankers associations sponsoring the school, and Georgia has the fourth-largest contingency of students at the school. The Georgia Trustee on the Board overseeing the school is Ryan Earnest, president & CEO of First National Community Bank, Rome, and Georgia banker Mike Allen is completing a two-year term as school president. Seniors graduating from three-year, two-week resident sessions will have completed 10 home study projects and spent much of their final year participating in a bank simulation program. Peers elect class officers to represent their interests and provide feedback to the school’s administration and faculty. Among those from Georgia serving are Madison Lamb, Bank of Dawson, Shellman; Daniel Morris, First Southern Bank, Waycross; and Matthew McElveen, Merchants & Marine Bank, Roswell. Earnest and GBA’s Joe Brannen represented GBA at the school-sponsored reception earlier this week for all the students. Congratulations to the graduates, and best wishes for the freshmen and juniors as they complete their home studies in preparation for the 2024 session.



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Attention Attorneys!

Status of Important Cases - June 2023

The ABA Newsbytes Banking Docket for June 2023 is now available. Click here for the details of the status of important cases. (Each article contains a “Read more” link with access to additional details on the issues, case summaries and links to related documents.)


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Georgia Department of Banking and Finance Issues Proposed Rules and Regulations

Pursuant to all applicable statutes, the Department of Banking and Finance issued notice of its intent to adopt new rules this week. A synopsis of the proposed rules and their purpose precedes each proposed rule. GBA has reviewed these proposed rules, and they are in line with our expectations. However, we always welcome member input and feedback should you identify a concern. Any comments are due on Monday, July 3, and clear instructions for doing so are included in the notice. With any questions, please contact GBA’s Elizabeth Chandler.


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Carl Pry

Next Week! Lenders, Compliance Teams Take Note

1071 Small Business Data Collection and Submission: Deep Dive and Operational Impacts - Webinar on June 6

We’ve got an upcoming webinar with all the details of the CFPB’s Final Rule on Small Business Lending Data Collection. The rule will require lenders to collect and submit to the CFPB data around small business loan applications by June 1 of each year. Fortunately, there is a transitioned implementation period, and when lenders must comply is based on how many small business loans they originate. That is but one of several important changes from the proposed rule. This rule will have a dramatic impact on small business lenders’ operations, and not just from an operational standpoint. There are significant cultural issues to address as well, as this will change how small business applications are collected and processed. Nationally recognized compliance expert Carl Pry will present the details and nuances of the new rule.


Who should attend: Anyone in the institution who is involved in small business lending, particularly the application part of the process needs this course. This could include commercial lenders, processors, front-line staff, commercial lending support staff, and related employees, as well as compliance professionals, auditors, risk managers and officers, and line of business managers. Also, executive management and even Directors would benefit from understanding the requirements of this extensive new rule.


Get details and register here.


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Beige Book

Inflation Eases; Housing Market Still Strong

Economic activity in the Southeast grew slowly in April and the first half of May, according to the Federal Reserve’s latest Beige Book. The main highlight from the report is that prices for goods and services are falling or are increasing less rapidly. Costs of some construction materials have fallen to pre-pandemic levels, and pressure to increase wages has slowed. However, low- and moderate-income consumers are still feeling financial stress from inflation as loan repayment delinquencies returned to pre-pandemic levels. Nonlabor costs continued moderating except one notable outlier: property and liability insurance premiums in coastal areas threatened by storms. Housing demand throughout the Southeast remained strong despite interest rate and price volatility. In commercial real estate, the industrial sector remained healthy, while office, multifamily, and some segments of retail slowed. Read more here.


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Leader Updates

Jobs, Babies, Debt and Water

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

  • Georgia Jobs: The statewide seasonally adjusted unemployment number remained at 3.1%, where it’s been since August 2022. We shared maps and some additional analysis. The lowest MSA unemployment rate is Gainesville at 2%, and the highest is Dalton at 4.1%.


  • Baby Names: Just for fun, and as a reminder that maternity medical needs are covered by GBA Insurance Trust health plans, we shared the 10 most popular Georgia names for newborns in 2022. Topping the lists were Noah for boys and Olivia for girls. We welcomed 149 babies to the banking families covered by the Trust in 2022.


  • National Debt: With all the focus on debt ceiling negotiations, we shared some historical insight into the national debt going back to 1977.


  • Water Case: The The U.S. Supreme Court last week released a landmark decision related to the Clean Water Act overturning and clarifying years of litigation and agency policy. We shared background, and a syllabus prepared by the Court’s Reporter of Decisions that explains what was at stake.

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


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Kristen Stogniew

First BSA Peer Group a Home Run

A big group of BSA professionals connected virtually with GBA's BSA Summit lead facilitator, Kristen Stogniew, for our inaugural BSA Peer Group meeting. Member input led to creation of this new program, which complements and builds on the in-depth annual BSA Summit program. With a focus on the account opening process and enhanced due diligence, attendees were able to dig in to details, ask lots of questions and share best practices.


Sign up now for our in-person summer session! Join us in Macon at Middle Georgia State University on July 19, 10 a.m. – 2: p.m., and grow your BSA network. Kristen Stogniew will be back to lead the group discussion and registrants can submit industry hot topics during the registration process to ensure those topics are covered. Get all the details and register here. With questions, contact Aimee Corcoran, 404.420.2035.


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Registration Open!

Compliance Conference and HMDA Workshop - Oct 18-20, Jekyll Island

Your program, your choice! Planned by GBA’s Compliance Committee, the GBA Compliance Conference has two components this year. First is our pre-conference workshop, led by Brad Washburn, president at Steve H. Powell & Company, will focus solely on HMDA reporting. The traditional conference follows. Attendees have the option to register for both workshop and conference, conference only, or workshop only. Click here for all the details and to register. We’d like to thank these GBA associate members who are showing their support through sponsorship – Platinum Sponsor: Steve H. Powell & Company and Silver Sponsors: Mauldin & Jenkins, Ncontracts, Troutman Pepper and Compliance Alliance. With questions, contact Aimee Corcoran, 404.420.2035.


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Learn More About the VCO on this Week’s Banking Matters Podcast from GBA Partner Bankers Alliance

Today’s banking trends, topics and practical matters are what the Banking Matters Podcast is all about. Each week, host Dan Baker is joined by guests from around the country whose insights into banking regulation and compliance keep you better informed. We wanted to spotlight this week’s episode featuring Kelly Owsley, Virtual Compliance Officer at Review Alliance, as she explains the intricacies of the Virtual Compliance Officer (VCO) role. Kelly sheds light on the significance of communication in virtual and traditional banking settings. She also emphasizes the importance of flexibility, adaptability and the ability to pivot in the ever-changing compliance landscape and her role as a VCO. Additionally, she underlines the importance of having a strong compliance management system. You can watch or listen to the full episode here.


For more timely compliance updates and resources, subscribe to Compliance Alliance’s email newsletters. To learn more, sign up for one of the live Compliance Alliance demos on Tuesday and Thursday afternoons.

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Lee Wetherington

Lee Wetherington to Keynote at President/CEO, Bank Accountant, Bank Counsel Conferences

There’s breaking news this week that Lee Wetherington, senior director of corporate strategy at Jack Henry & Associates, will be the closing speaker at this fall’s President/CEO, Bank Accountant, Bank Counsel Conferences. The annual tri-conferences will be Sept. 24-26 at the JW Marriott Savannah Plant Riverside District. A Georgia native and strategist, keynote speaker and writer, Wetherington delivers keynotes nationwide, focusing on opportunities and challenges in fintech, payments, and digital banking. Wetherington notes, strategy is best done from the future backward, and in his keynote address, “Looking Ahead: Forces Shaping Banking Over the Next Decade,” he’ll address pressing issues such as what financial services (and financial institutions) will look like five or 10 years from now. Will the value of your charter increase or diminish over the short-, mid-, and long term? Will ongoing shifts in the nature of money be good or bad for banks and their customers? And what about AI? How will regulation, compliance and exams change? Don’t miss hearing from Wetherington and his long view on the future of banking and what opportunities and threats that future presents now, soon, and later. Register today by clicking here. The room block is filling quickly, so don’t delay in reserving your room. We’d like to thank our conference sponsors: American Bankers Association (ABA); Carr, Riggs, & Ingram, CPAs and Advisors; EBS; Elliott Davis; Fenimore Kay Harrison LLP; FHLBank Atlanta; First National Bankers  Bank; James-Bates-Brannan-Groover, LLP; Mauldin & Jenkins; McNair, McLemore, Middlebrooks & Co., LLC; Nichols, Cauley & Associates, LLC; ServisFirst Bank - Correspondent Division; Symphona; and Troutman Pepper. Contact GBA’s Kathy Friestad with questions.


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Looking to Simplify Your Construction Loan Process? GBA Partner Abrigo Can Help

15% Discount for GBA Members, Web Demo Scheduled June 27 @ 2 p.m.

A new software solution from GBA partner Abrigo lets Georgia banks manage the lending process for residential and commercial construction projects from any mobile device or computer. With over $70 billion in construction loans managed by lender clients on nearly 100,000 projects, this award-winning software automates workflows, detailed reporting, and audit trails for residential and commercial construction. In addition, Abrigo Construct eliminates complicated tracking in spreadsheets and paper files, improves efficiency and draw interest, and identifies potential risks. Other product highlights include:

  • Automated Calculations - reduce the risk of data entry errors by quickly calculating remaining budgets

  • Mobile inspections - quickly provide staff with the information needed to fund a draw request

  • At-risk loan alerts - identify at-risk construction loans faster and decrease the risk of overfunding.

Learn more about Abrigo Construct and mark your calendars for June 27 @ 2:00, when the Abrigo team will walk us through a full demonstration of their software solution. You can register here for that. In addition, GBA members receive a 15% discount. With questions, please contact Abrigo’s Eric Bartlett at Eric.Bartlett@abrigo.com.


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Crime and Punishment

Two-Time Bank Robber Pleads Guilty, Targeted Same Bank Location

Recently released from federal prison for robbing a local bank in 2013, Macon resident William Jeffrey Lowder, Jr., pleaded guilty this week to attempting to rob the same bank this year. Lowder faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison to be followed by three years of supervised release and a $250,000 fine. There is no parole in the federal system. According to facts presented in court, Lowder walked into the Truist Bank on Mercer University Drive in Macon at around 11 a.m. on Jan. 27. He approached a teller and handed over a note that read, “Money out the register, no dye packs, Sorry!” Lowder reached behind his back, which the clerk believed meant that he had a firearm, but Lowder did not have a weapon. When he was told that the clerk did not have a register, Lowder left the bank. An hour after leaving the bank, Lowder called his U.S. Probation officer to report his crime. The defendant was quickly taken into custody. The robbery was captured on surveillance cameras. Read more here.


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Login. Drag. Drop. Done. GBA Partner Bank Marketing Center Announces New Features

Marketing your bank just got easier. The team at GBA partner Bank Marketing Center is regularly making additions and improvements to provide your bank with the best marketing materials in the industry. New features in the design portal include direct posting and scheduling to Facebook and Instagram and other features that help you easily create your desired layout. Take a step-by-step tour of these new features in this video. Remember, too, no design software or advanced skills are needed. Banks can quickly and easily customize hundreds of pre-designed marketing templates in various ways. Once the custom design is complete, you can quickly and seamlessly send it to compliance for final approval. Sign up for a brief demo today, and remember GBA members automatically receive a 20% discount on their subscription contract.


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Virginia Heyburn

Learn More about Open Banking

Guest Article from Virginia Heyburn, EngageFi

Open Banking is, among other things, a technological innovation in financial services that may allow banks to create new revenue opportunities and reach new markets. In addition, open banking pushes the financial services industry forward by enabling community financial institutions to reach new consumers by expanding their delivery channel network through fintech partnerships. This is called embedded finance. Additionally, open banking may allow financial institutions to expand services for existing customers who are increasingly discerning and want more from their financial institutions. This is called embedded fintech. It is important to note that open banking may increase scenarios where customer data can be stolen as more and more data is shared between third-party companies and financial institutions. Bankers should become well-informed about these risks as they search for the best third-party partners to explore open banking advancements. Read Heyburn’s article here.


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Creating Exceptional Customer Service, TRID Hot Spots, SARs and Check Fraud 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:


Cochran/Eastman - Great Oaks Bank

The bank recently hosted customer and community appreciation cookouts in Cochran and Eastman.


Cordele - Planters First Bank

The bank recently showed support for local high school graduates by wearing the team colors of the Crisp County Cougars.


Statesboro - Queensborough National Bank and Trust Company, Inc.

The bank’s Statesboro branch recently hosted a lunch and learn event for business owners. BSA Officer Angie Morales discussed the latest in fraud trends and how to protect your business.



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GBA Newsmakers


Augusta - Colony Bank

Alan Rabun has been promoted to vice president, Augusta mortgage market leader. Read more here.


Chatsworth - First National Community Bank

The bank this week announced plans to open a full-service banking facility in Paulding County, within the city of Dallas, subject to receipt of appropriate regulatory approvals. Read more here.


Columbus - Synovus

The Family Office at Synovus was recognized at the annual 2023 Family Wealth Report Awards for Best Alternative Asset Manager, Best Multi-Family Office (Client Initiative) and Outstanding Chief Technology Officer/Chief Operating Officer for Michael Clark. The Family Office was also highly commended in the Best Multi-Family Office ($5-15 billion Assets Under Management) category. Read more here.


Duluth - Oconee State Bank

Kevin Jones has joined the bank as vice president, retail sales and business development officer.


Fitzgerald - Colony Bank

Senior Vice President and Chief Innovation Officer Christian Ruppe was recently recognized as one of the Innovators of the Year by American Banker. Read more here (subscription required).


St. Marys - Pineland Bank

Christy Clifford recently joined the bank in its St Marys location as office manager and lender. Read more here.


Tucker - Tandem Bank

Steven Smith has joined the bank as Chief Banking Officer.


Atlanta - CashTrans

Lee Bailey has joined the CashTrans consulting team.



Alan Rabun Michael Clark Kevin Jones Christian Ruppe


Christy Clifford Steven Smith Lee Bailey



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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