June 9, 2023  

Content is King for Upcoming Annual Meeting

The countdown to Colorado is on, with the GBA Annual Meeting set to begin next weekend. More than 400 members will be there when the meeting gets underway Sunday, June 18, at The Broadmoor in Colorado Springs. Here’s a glance at some program highlights in store for guests:

  • An economic update featuring a comparison of the Georgia and Colorado economies, and a unique short-term forecast

  • How to re-imagine your bank's ALCO approach

  • Retail focus: Live demos of banking apps that are changing the customer experience

  • CEO peer panel focused on lessons learned by CEOs relatively new to their roles

  • Closing session on leadership featuring Colonel Kurt Wendt, Director of The Center for Character and Leadership, U.S. Air Force Academy

  • Breakout sessions focusing on strategy and artificial intelligence tools

  • State of the Association address

  • Election of officers and installation of board members

  • Annual meetings and updates for the GBA Insurance Trust and GBA Retirement Services

  • Recognition of 50-year bankers

  • Special outings and fellowship.

Registrants should be on the lookout for emails about access to the conference app and other details from Kathy Friestad in the coming week. With questions, contact Kathy at 404.420.2024, kfriestad@gabankers.com. Get all the details here.


Back to top of E-Bulletin

Asset/Liability Management Committee Checks In

Liquidity, funding strategies, deposit competition and net interest margin management were among the issues discussed by our volunteer committee of bank CFOs at their meeting Wednesday in Macon. Led by incoming committee Chair Haynes Standard, First State Bank, Wrens, and incoming Vice Chair Holt Redding, South Coast Bank & Trust, Brunswick, the committee touched on market conditions and began planning the 2023 Financial Risk Management Conference. While each bank’s situation is unique, in general liquidity remains strong statewide, most reported good loan demand and there’s been increased pricing pressure on deposits. Customers with lower-rate loans that are being renewed at higher rates seem to be adjusting fairly well, although some are choosing to pay off those loans if they have excess cash. Several peer banker panels and other experts will cover these topics and more at the conference, which will be Nov. 2-3 at the Westin Buckhead, Atlanta. Be on the lookout for program details and registration information soon. The committee welcomed new members Eric Johansen, Exchange Bank, Rachel Marshall, The Citizens Bank of Georgia, Mark Denard, Pineland Bank, and Chad Hargrove, Classic City Bank. Thanks to outgoing Chair Donna Kelley, First National Bank, for her leadership during the 2022-2023 program year. With questions, contact Alison Moreau, 404.420.2034.



Back to top of E-Bulletin

GBA Comments on DBF’s Proposed Rule on Real Estate Loans for Credit Unions

This week we submitted a comment letter to the Georgia Department of Banking & Finance related to the proposed rules the Department issued for comment on June 1. The letter addressed changes to Rule 80-2-12-.02 relating to Real Estate Loans for credit unions. More specifically, the proposed rule would eliminate various loan-to-value limitations and maturity period caps for different types of real estate loans. The Department eliminated similar requirements applicable to banks several years ago. However, at the time of such action, banks were and continue to be subject to federal loan-to-value guidelines for different types of real estate loans, which largely preempt the state requirements. However, no such federal loan-to-value guidelines apply to credit unions’ real estate lending. With no federal loan-to-value requirements applicable to credit unions, we fear the proposed rule change creates an inequity in requirements applicable to banks versus those applicable to credit unions. Read the letter to DBF. We appreciate the opportunity to comment on the proposed rules. With questions, contact Elizabeth Chandler, 404.372.7893.


Back to top of E-Bulletin

GBA Signs on to Opposition Letter

Troubling Card Routing Bills Introduced: Speak Out

Illinois Sen. Dick Durbin is at it again, reintroducing a bill that would impose additional credit card networking requirements on banks with the goal of reducing interchange revenue. Earlier in the week we were among the state bankers associations nationwide that sent a letter to congressional leadership opposing the bill. And, when we visited Washington, D.C., in May, we explained to staff members for Georgia’s Congressional delegation why the Credit Card Competition Act is a bad idea. Even though the bill’s provisions are aimed at banks with assets of $100 billion or more, the practical impacts of this mandate on the largest issuers would fall on smaller issuers as well, likely making community bank credit card issuance uneconomical. This would be similar how the Durbin amendment to the Dodd Fran Act related to debit card network routing led to reduced card rewards, higher banking fees, increased fraud costs and no savings for consumers as retailers failed to pass on savings with lower prices. This Durbin bill did not advance in the 2022 Congress, but he’s lined up some bipartisan support for the version he reintroduced this week -- Sens. J.D. Vance (R-OH) and Peter Welch (D-VT). A companion bill in the House is cosponsored by Reps. Lance Gooden (R-TX), Zoe Lofgren (D-CA.), Jeff Van Drew (R-N.J.) and Tom Tiffany (R-WI.). Here’s an issue brief about why this is a bad bill. Please speak out against this bill and encourage your bank team members to do so, as well. Contact your member of Congress here.


Back to top of E-Bulletin

Sam Warren

GBA Member Profile

Going to Great Lengths for Your Customers with Sam Warren

In reflecting on one experience that exemplifies being a banker, Sam Warren, vice president for Guardian Bank in Valdosta, recalls one occasion when a longtime customer called him late on a Friday afternoon. The customer had recently bought a vehicle for his daughter, and it was being shipped from Texas. The customer was on vacation and had learned the delivery was coming earlier than expected and he'd not be home when it arrived. The customer asked Warren if he could meet the delivery service, sign the invoice and pay for the delivery service in his absence. “Of course we accommodated his request. That’s the kind of customer service community banks are able to deliver,” Warren said. The South Group representative on the Leadership GBA Board of Directors shares about his unconventional path to a career in banking, the importance of the five C’s of credit, and a tattoo he now regrets getting in the latest GBA Member Profile.


Related: There's still time to register for the 2023 GBA Leadership Conference July 10-12 at the Ponte Vedra Inn & Club in Ponte Vedra, FL. Click here for all the details and to sign up.


Back to top of E-Bulletin

GBA Services, Inc., Board Meets for Updates about Strategic Partners and GBA Products and Services

The board overseeing the activity of GBA Services Inc. met this week to discuss the banking solutions offered by GBA Strategic Partners and direct from the association. Our thanks to the leadership over the last year from GBASI chairman John Barker, First Bank of Pike, Molena, and vice chair Greg Eiford, TC Federal Bank, Thomasville. The meeting featured an update from GBA partner EBS about its executive compensation and BOLI programs. The board also learned more about the two Public Deposit Collateral Pool Programs the GBA administers for the state of Georgia. Click here for our complete list of products, services and GBA-endorsed partners.


Back to top of E-Bulletin

FHLBank Atlanta 2023 Election of Directors

Federal Home Loan Bank of Atlanta has begun the election to fill certain directorships on its board of directors, including a member directorship in South Carolina, and two independent directorships. The term of the directorships to be filled in this election begins on Jan. 1, 2024, and ends on Dec. 31, 2027. Pursuant to the bank’s board-approved Equal Opportunity Policy Statement, which is available on the bank’s website, the bank encourages the consideration of diversity in nominating or soliciting nominees for positions on the bank’s board of directors. Individuals interested in being considered for an independent directorship who meet the independent director requirements must complete and return to the bank, by 5 p.m. EDT on July 10, 2023, the application and related forms that are available on the bank’s website. If you have questions, please contact Courtney Tobin, Senior Counsel and Assistant Corporate Secretary, at 404.888.5343 or ctobin@fhlbatl.com.


Back to top of E-Bulletin

Due Date June 30

Still Time to Participate in The Georgia Banking Compensation Survey

The survey data due date has been extended to June 30, and we encourage all GBA members to participate. The comprehensive survey report will deliver data on base salaries, salary ranges, short-term and long-term incentives, total cash compensation, and total compensation. Also, the report's in-depth policies and practices portion includes information on salary increases, merit increases, structure adjustments, outsourcing, turnover, and recruiting.


The survey schedule:

  • Survey Submission Extended Due Date: June 30

  • Survey Results Published: Week of Aug. 14

The report purchase price for participants is $595. The purchase list price for non-participants is $1,475. To participate, please contact Pearl Meyers' Rhonda Snyder at rhonda.snyder@pearlmeyer.com.


Back to top of E-Bulletin

Open for Comment: Key Community Bank Survey

We encourage members to take part in the second quarter community bank data survey by the Conference of State Bank Supervisors. Your input, and that of peers from around the country, is compiled into The Community Bank Sentiment Index (CBSI), which is a read on what community bankers think about the economic outlook. The full survey takes only about five minutes. The survey results will be released in July 2023. Take the survey here. For more information on the survey, visit the website: csbs.org/cbindex.


Back to top of E-Bulletin

New BSA Peer Group Summer Session Set for July 19 in Macon

Sign up now for our in-person summer session! Join us in Macon at Middle Georgia State University on July 19 from 10 a.m. to 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.


Back to top of E-Bulletin

Andrea Mitchell

Registration Now Open!

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

GBA’s Compliance Committee is excited to announce that Andrea Mitchell, managing partner, Mitchell Sandler, will deliver this year’s Washington Update during the conference. Based in Washington, D.C., Andrea specializes in regulatory compliance, mortgage regulatory, litigation and enforcement and fintech. Join us for this expanded program! GBA’s 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 the 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: Steve H. Powell & Company and Silver: Mauldin & Jenkins, Ncontracts, Troutman Pepper and Compliance Alliance. With questions, contact Aimee Corcoran, 404.420.2035.


Back to top of E-Bulletin

Compliance Alliance Question of The Week


Question: Can we reopen the investigation and reverse the credit if we obtain new information on a Regulation E dispute indicating that the transaction was authorized after the bank concluded its investigation and issued final credit?


Answer: Regulation E, unfortunately, does not contemplate reversing a final credit, even if new information comes to light after the disposition of the investigation. If the bank has already communicated to the consumer that the "final credit has been made" (or similar), attempting to reverse a final credit could invite increased regulatory scrutiny during an exam and/or audit since Reg E does not authorize this action. Read more here.


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

Back to top of E-Bulletin

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 at 2 p.m., 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.


Back to top of E-Bulletin

It’s Time for Summer Savings with GBA Partner ODP Solutions

Save more with these June coupons (valid at odpbusiness.com through July 10, 2023):

Click here for a complete overview of the GBA-endorsed Bank Purchasing Program. For more information, please email bank.opportunities@odpbusiness.com.


Back to top of E-Bulletin


Not Too Early to Save the Date!



Back to top of E-Bulletin

Employee Wellbeing Month Resources from GBAIT Wellness Partner

June is Employee Wellbeing Month, so if you’re looking for easy and fun ways to boost your wellbeing and celebrate with coworkers throughout the year, check out this poster from the GBA Insurance Trust’s wellbeing partner, SentryHealth. The GBA Insurance Trust provides health insurance and wellness plans for employees and their families at member companies. If you need one-on-one support, members participating in the Trust have access to covered virtual appointments with mental health care professionals and a variety of other health professionals, such as registered dieticians and personal trainers, through SentryHealth. Contact Lee Monroe and Jayn Lawson for information. If you are an employee of a participating member company and are ready to do something good for your health today, schedule an appointment at mysentryhealth.com or on the MySentryHealth app, available on the App Store or Google Play.


Back to top of E-Bulletin


Opening Deposit Accounts Online, TRID Hot Spots, Branch Manager Best Practices, 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.


Back to top of E-Bulletin

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.


Back to top of E-Bulletin

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:


Athens/Greensboro/Watkinsville - BankSouth

Bank team members recently volunteered with ESP (Extra Special People) making sandwiches for their camp.


Atlanta - First Horizon Bank

The bank sponsored Atlanta sports station 680 The Fan’s donation of baseball/softball equipment to Double Play ATL, an organization to help kids who want to play sports but lack the gear.


Greensboro - BankSouth

The bank recently awarded scholarships to at Elodie Johnson, who graduated top of her class at Nathanael Greene Academy, and Trilea Rhodes, who graduated from Greene Co. High School.




Back to top of E-Bulletin

GBA Newsmakers


Athens - Synovus

Debargia Cofer has joined the bank as retail market manager in Athens.


Atlanta - Bank of America

Tony Hilliard has been promoted to Georgia market executive at Bank of America Private Bank.


Augusta - Queensborough National Bank & Trust Company, Inc.

The Augusta Metro Chamber of Commerce and Augusta Magazine named VP, Commercial Loan Officer Stephen Bradshaw among the Top 10 in 10 Young Professionals to Watch in 2023. Read more here.


Perry - SunMark Community Bank

Brent Collins has joined the bank team as executive vice president and senior lender.


Rome - River City Bank

Penny Gargus has joined the bank retail team as a universal banker in its Rome office.


Rome - Synovus

Shane Walley will join the bank’s northwest Georgia community banking team as a commercial banker and market president in Rome.


Sardis - The Southern Bank

Kristi Eller has joined the bank as executive vice president and Chief Administrative Officer.



Debargia Cofer Tony Hilliard Stephen Bradshaw


Brent Collins Penny Gargus Shane Walley Kristi Eller



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.

Back to top of E-Bulletin