March 10, 2023

More Detail on Year-End Georgia Bank Performance

We’ve had some time over the past week to do some additional analysis on the FDIC’s data about how Georgia’s banks performed in 2022, and there are a couple of interesting trends of note. But first a little background. The FDIC’s tables it releases publicly look at all banks reporting for each particular period, so for year end 2022 there were 147 banks reporting and in 2021 there were 150 banks reporting. During the year, four banks reporting in 2021 were merged into other institutions not reporting in Georgia at the end of 2022, and one new bank, Moultrie Bank and Trust, began reporting. With the help of ABA’s Tyler Mondres in its Economics and Research department, we wanted to check out the results for only the banks reporting at year-end 2022 compared to the same group of banks reporting in 2021, plus the new entrant. Interestingly, total deposits for that group of banks increased by about 2 percent. The same was true for deposits at the 141 Georgia banks the FDIC classifies as Community Banks. Deposits for that group were up by 5%. There was also good growth in loans and assets, and credit quality was strong. Click here for a look at the comparison charts of key performance metrics.


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General Assembly Reaches Milestone

The Georgia General Assembly was in session well into the evening this past Monday, which was Crossover Day. Generally, the rules suggest a bill must pass one chamber at the end of Crossover Day to be considered by the other chamber the same year. GBA’s priority bills had already passed their chamber of origin, while others with which we had serious concerns were still being held in committees. However, several bills our advocacy team is monitoring on behalf of the industry saw action. Those bills ranged from improving the rules related to Subchapter S corporations to tax credits for first-time homebuyers to agricultural conservation easements. Legislators were in session through Thursday of this week completing Day 31 of the 40-Day session. Wednesday was partially reserved for the annual State of the Judiciary report delivered by Georgia Supreme Court Chief Justice Mike Boggs. Legislators are slated to be in session Monday through Thursday next week. Be looking for our Legislative Update being published midday Friday with details about all the goings on this week under the Gold Dome including details about GBA’s priority bill that passed the Senate Thursday and is awaiting the Governor’s signature. With questions, contact GBA EVP, Government Relations & Advocacy, Elizabeth Chandler, 404.420.2027.


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A Look at This Week’s Compliance Peer Group and Committee Meetings

A big crowd of member compliance pros got together this week in Macon to share best practices and common issues during our Compliance Peer Group meeting. Thanks to Sebrina Sweeney for moderating the meeting and keeping the discussion flowing. Members dove deep into the latest approaches to overdrafts and NSFs, handling fraud claims by customers who are scammed, and preparatory ideas for meeting the upcoming final rule requiring new small business data to be collected and reported. Also addressed were complaint monitoring procedures, board reporting formats, fair lending, TRID, HMDA and loan officer compensation. After the peer group meeting, the Compliance Committee met to kick start the planning for the annual Compliance Conference, which will be Oct. 18-20 at the Westin Jekyll Island. Incoming Committee Chair Tabitha White, First State Bank of Blakely, led the meeting, and the committee welcomed its newest member, Michelle Britt of SunMark Community Bank. Thanks to Morris Bank’s Kirk Cavanah for his service as committee chair during the current program year. All of our compliance education programs are thriving under the guidance of the banker-led volunteer committee and GBA Compliance School Board of Directors. With questions, contact Aimee Corcoran, 404.420.2035


Sebrina Sweeney facilitates
the peer group meeting
Latisha Brundidge, Talbot State
Bank, shares with the group
Tabitha White, First State Bank,
leads the committee meeting


Related: See below for information about Compliance Alliance, a GBA partner offering a full suite of compliance services.


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Want to Serve on a GBA Committee? Now’s the Time to Let Us Know!

It’s an exciting time of the year at the GBA! We’re looking to fill vacancies on our committees and boards for the 2023-24 program year that starts in July. If you’d like to share your talent, expertise and insight, now’s the time. Take a look at all the opportunities here, and click here to access the volunteer/nomination form. Respond by April 11. In mid-May, our GBA team will be in touch with everyone submitting a form. Have questions? Contact GBA’s David Oliver. Also, we’ll be glad to connect you to a current committee/Board member who can answer your questions.


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Beige Book

Modest Economic Growth, Solid Loan Growth Reported by Fed

Economic activity in the Southeast grew modestly in February 2023, according to the Federal Reserve’s latest Beige Book. The report said loan growth in the district was solid. While wage pressures persisted, labor markets showed slight improvement. Retail sales, auto sales, leisure travel and energy demand were strong, and business travel grew. Housing demand improved somewhat. Transportation and agriculture activity were mixed. Read more here.


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Leader Updates

City of Buckhead, Marriage Rates, Farm Bill and Severance Agreements

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

  • City of Buckhead City: The measure to split Buckhead from the City of Atlanta failed last week. As background related to how the issue might have affected the banking industry, we shared a memo by Gov. Kemp’s Executive Counsel, David Dove, that had some important constitutional and statutory questions related to bonds and other key items.


  • Marriage Rates: We shared some stats on marriage rates as an issue for bankers to think about related to planning for products and services.


  • Farm Bill: Agriculture remains Georgia’s number one industry and our members are integral in funding much of its success. That leads us to closely follow the every-five-year reauthorization of the Farm Bill. We shared an overview of the issues in this year’s bill. Sen. Warnock is on the Senate Agriculture Committee, and Reps. David Scott (D-GA-13) and Austin Scott (R-GA-8) are on the House Committee on Agriculture. Austin Scott has been named the committee Vice Chair.


  • Severance Agreements: The NLRB has a new ruling affecting employers offering severance agreements. We shared an article from Associate Member firm Baker Donelson about the ruling.

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


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Still Time to Participate in Board of Directors Compensation and Governance Practices Survey

There is still time to complete the 2023 Board of Directors Compensation and Governance Practices Survey, a national survey offered in partnership with GBA Associate Member Pearl Meyer. In order to give banks time to complete the survey the due date has been extended to March 31. Please email Pearl Meyer’s Rhonda Snyder if you need your bank’s unique link to access the survey questionnaire. Compensation of directors is a critical element in the overall governance of any bank. The survey is a web-based questionnaire, covering Board of Directors and Committee composition and structure, including salary and benefits practices, governance practices, and other operational practices (including board evaluation, education, strategic planning and succession planning, etc.). The final survey report is available to participants for $695. The price for non-participants is $1,495. Contact Bo Brannen, 404.420.2014, with any additional questions.


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The King & Prince

Less than two weeks away!

Still Time to Register for Conferences for HR and Marketing Professionals

Bank HR and marketing professionals shouldn't miss these premier learning experiences that are less than two weeks away. The GBA HR Professionals Institute and Marketing Conference and Creative Workshop are coming up March 22-24 at the King & Prince, St. Simons.

  • HR Professionals Institute
    Planned by GBA’s HR Committee led by Chair Terry KennedyExchange Bank, and Vice Chair Lance WhitleyColony Bank, this year’s conference agenda includes a session on HR leadership, culture, new required employee reporting, a legal update, being prepared for possible workplace violence and more! Click here to see the full agenda and to register. Thank you to our sponsor, SentryHealth, formerly known as Wellview.

  • Marketing Conference and Creative Workshop
    Planned by GBA’s Marketing Committee, led by Chair Anna Grant JonesPinnacle Bank, and Vice Chair Haley BarnesBankSouth Mortgage, the Marketing Conference has a big crowd registered already. Introducing a new format, the Marketing Conference has two components this year – A pre-conference workshop will jumpstart the program and the traditional Marketing Conference will follow. Attendees have the option to register for both the workshop and conference, conference only, or workshop only. See the detailed agenda and register here.

With questions about either conference, contact Aimee Corcoran, 404.420.2035.


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Mike Allen

Lenders, Credit Analysts, & Underwriters – Don’t miss out!

Fan-Favorite Cash Flow and Loan Doc Seminars Coming Up Soon

Mike Allen, a faculty member of the Georgia Banking School with more than 40 years of industry experience, is presenting two fan-favorite seminars this spring. Get more info and register today for these seminars at Middle Georgia State University in Macon:

  • Personal Cash Flow Seminar - March 29
    Back by popular demand, Allen will cover the A-Zs of how to analyze personal cash flow and personal tax returns. This training will assist those bankers who originate loans as well as credit analysts and underwriters who want to get a clear picture of a guarantor’s cash flow to support loan requests.


  • Loan Documentation Seminar - April 26
    Learn the fine art of perfecting loan documentation for your institution at this seminar. Allen will share the secrets of what’s needed to prevent loan losses through the implementation of proper loan structuring and documentation techniques.

With questions about either seminar, contact Aimee Corcoran, 404.420.2035.


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Crime and Punishment

16 Defendants Indicted for Bank Fraud and Identity Theft in Stolen Mail Scheme

On Feb. 15, a federal indictment charged 16 individuals with a total of 112 counts of federal bank fraud and aggravated identity theft, alleging their participation in a stolen mail scheme in and around Americus and Florida amounting to more than $165,000. Jalen Tylee “Roscoe” Hill, 24, of Americus, is charged with 68 counts of bank fraud, one count of fraud in connection with identification documents, 42 counts of aggravated identity theft and one count of conspiracy to possess stolen mail. According to the indictment, Hill and others stole checks out of mailboxes around Americus and other locations in Georgia and Florida. Hill allegedly recruited his co-defendants via social media to cash the checks at various banks and used other people’s IDs to commit bank fraud on 14 occasions, and he also allegedly used the stolen identities of 28 people. Hill remains at-large, and the remaining defendants were taken into custody on Feb. 23. Read more here.


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Policies & Procedures Workshop

Bank Security Conference, April 12-14, The Westin, Jekyll Island

Planned by GBA’s Security Committee, the Security Conference agenda will provide bank security professionals the tools necessary to execute their bank’s security program. During the Policies & Procedures Workshop, attendees will gain the tools needed to respond to a bank robbery and/or false alarm, manage frontline protection and clean desk policies, and understand the security officer’s role and responsibilities. This popular workshop is led by committee members, Pete Stuart, Morris Bank, Jenn Whitmire, Pinnacle Bank, and Brian Frederick, Altamaha Bank & Trust. Bank security officers and staff at all levels as well as anyone with security responsibilities at the bank is invited to attend. Click here for details and to register. With questions, contact Aimee Corcoran, 404.420.2035.


Pete Stuart Jenn Whitmire Brian Frederick


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Get More Peace of Mind this Year with a Membership in GBA’s Compliance Alliance

A trusted partner community bankers can rely on with resources for the entire team, Compliance Alliance constantly monitors the needs of bankers to adapt and provide the most sought-after tools for banking compliance. Membership covers both consumer and regulatory compliance, allowing your bank to easily handle any situation that comes your way. Participating in one of their free live demos is the best way to learn about member benefits. Check out all upcoming live demo dates here, and get a guided tour of the Compliance Alliance website to introduce you to all the benefits of membership. With questions, contact GBA’s Bo Brannen, 404.420.2014, or Brittney Stacey, 512.776.0713.


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Call Report Seminar, April 19 in Macon

Sign up for our next Call Report Seminar April 19 at Middle Georgia State University, which will be presented by Mauldin & Jenkins’ experts, Michael Gordon, Nicole Cunningham and Bill Curtis. These experts will equip you with practical techniques and resources to improve your overall call reporting process. With questions, contact Aimee Corcoran, 404.420.2035.


Michael Gordon Nicole
Bill Curtis


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Employee Benefit Selections are Easy and Affordable with Holmes-Shaw

The partnership between GBA and the Holmes-Shaw Agency was forged in 1965 when the agency began offering employee benefit solutions to community banks throughout Georgia. Now, Holmes-Shaw, as a member of and through GBA-endorsed PointeNorth Insurance Group, LLC, has expanded its product offerings to include Property & Casualty products to all GBA member banks. Some of their products include:


  • Personal & Corporate Life Insurance

  • Individual & Group Medical Insurance

  • Short Term Medical Insurance

  • Individual & Group Dental Insurance

  • Group Life & AD&D Insurance

  • Individual & Group Long Term Disability Income Protection

  • Group Short Term Disability Income Protection

  • Individual & Group Long Term Care Protection

  • Individual & Group Cancer Insurance

  • Vision Insurance

  • Retirement Planning

  • Health Savings Accounts

  • Health Reimbursement Accounts


With questions or to learn more about how Holmes-Shaw can help your company enhance its benefit program, contact Bruce Shaw, 770.642.2150.


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Information Security Officer Seminar - April 27 in Macon

The regulatory mandate for the Information Security Officer can be exhausting…where to begin? Join us for the Information Security Officer Seminar on April 27 at Middle Georgia State University to get your questions answered! IT security experts Josh Dasher and Emily StricklandSafe Systems, will explore the exam expectations for information security and the skills an ISO needs for success. Thank you to our sponsor, Safe Systems. With questions, contact Aimee Corcoran, 404.420.2035.


Dasher Strickland


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Randy Griffin

Rural Development & Lending Conference, May 18-19

Georgia’s Meat and Poultry Processing and Supply Chain Issues

Registration is open for the GBA 2023 Rural Development and Lending Conference May 18-19 at the King & Prince, St. Simons. Randy Griffin, president of CSRA Business Lending, will discuss Georgia’s new Meat and Poultry Processing Facility Loan Program designed to assist in the expansion of more local processing options for Georgia’s cattle and livestock producers. We will also discuss other USDA initiatives targeted at this problem and how SBA and other state programs can assist in this effort to create a more resilient and reliable meat and poultry supply chain to America’s consumers. Georgia will play a critical role long term in the supply of beef, pork, and poultry to the country. Other 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 Agricultural Committee, led by its Chair Rachel ThompsonBank of Newington, and Vice Chair Matt RushtonAB&T, for their work on the agenda. Plan to get registered and secure your hotel reservation today. For more information about hotel and to register, click here.


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Nutrition Month Resources from GBAIT Wellness Partner

March is National Nutrition Month, and one great way for members participating in the GBA Insurance Trust to be focused on better nutrition is to take advantage of covered services through SentryHealth and schedule a virtual appointment with a registered dietitian or health advisor. They can help you with weight loss tips, meal planning and recipe ideas, chronic condition support and much more. The Trust provides health insurance and wellness plans for employees and their families at member companies. 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 or on the MySentryHealth app, available on the App Store or Google Play.


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Ross Bernstein

Best-Selling Sports Author Ross Bernstein to Close Leadership Conference

We’re excited to announce that best-selling and award-winning author Ross Bernstein will be the closing speaker at this summer’s Leadership Conference, July 10-12 at the Ponte Vedra Inn & Club in Ponte Vedra, FL. Bernstein has written nearly 50 – yes 50 – sports books. Bernstein’s program is all about the DNA of what makes champions in sports so unique and how that relates to business. His session, “The Champion’s Code: Building Relationships Through Life Lessons of Integrity and Accountability from the Sports World to the Business World,” is based on his book series in which he interviewed more than 1,000 professional athletes and coaches that all had one thing in common — they were all members of championship teams. Bernstein’s mission is to get our emerging leaders to think differently about how they can raise their games to the next level. Don’t miss this! Click here to explore the conference website, register, see hotel information, or reserve your exhibit booth or sponsorship. Make your hotel plans soon, as this is a very popular conference and summertime is the busiest time for resort properties. A huge shout-out to our sponsors: Presenting Sponsors: CSRA Business Lending and Point to Point Environmental; Gold Sponsors: CRS Data; FHLBank Atlanta; Fenimore Kay Harrison LLP; First National Bankers Bank; ServisFirst Bank; Steve H. Powell & Company; Silver Sponsors: Holmes-Shaw Agency - A Member of the PointeNorth Insurance Group; McNair, McLemore, Middlebrooks & Co., Inc.; Troutman Pepper and Wipfli. With questions, contact GBA’s Kathy Friestad, 404.420.2024.


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How to Create an Engaged Workforce, Avoiding Check Fraud Liability, 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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Registration Opening Soon!



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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:


Cordele - Planters First Bank

Cordele Bank Team Members Brandie Ward and William Hurt recently read to Crisp County School students for Read Across America.


Dawson - Georgia Community Bank

The bank’s Albany, Dawson and Lee County teams staffed a water and snack station during the Combos Marathon in Albany on March 4. The annual event, which is a qualifier for the Boston Marathon, hosted more than 850 participants.


Milledgeville - Century Bank & Trust

The bank recently donated $7,803 to John Milledge Academy (JMA) through the Georgia GOAL Scholarship Program. Pictured are bank President/CEO Derek Williams, JMA Headmaster Clint Humphrey and bank Vice President Brian Robinson.


Rome - River City Bank

The bank recently donated $500 to Union County High School’s DECA students to support them competing in the upcoming Career Development Conference in Orlando, FL, in April.


Rome - River City Bank

The bank awarded Destiny Gibson of Union County High School with the 2023 Star Student Award. Pictured with Gibson from left are: Branch Manager Eric Collins, Relationship Manager Tammy Collins and Universal Banker Austin Pattee.



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GBA Newsmakers


Atlanta - Hyperion Bank

Susan Battle has joined the bank as senior vice president and director of SBA lending. Read more here.


Lakeland - Farmers & Merchants Bank

The Federal Reserve Board of Governors recently terminated its consent agreement with FMB Bancshares, Inc. after nearly 14 years. Read more here in American Banker (subscription required).


Louisville - Queensborough National Bank & Trust Company

Jeff Karafa has joined the bank as Chief Financial Officer. Read more here.


Sandy Springs - Coastal States Bank

Kathie Pike has joined the bank as Sandy Springs team leader.


Sylvania - Farmers and Merchants Bank

Angie Johnson and Beth Scott both have been promoted to vice president.


Watkinsville - Oconee State Bank

Debra Schumacher has joined the bank as vice president, SBA loan closing specialist.


Savannah - Small Business Assistance Corporation

The U.S. Small Business Administration has approved the Small Business Assistance Corporation (SBAC) for delegated authority for the Community Advantage (CA) loan program. SBAC now has in-house authority to approve CA loans up to $350k. Read more here.



Susan Battle Jeff Karafa Kathie Pike Angie Johnson Beth Scott Debra Schumacher



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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