March 24, 2023  

Industry status

Exclusive Member Situational Analysis Videoconference Detailed Industry Status

We appreciated a couple of our state’s top bank legal experts working with us this week to provide members with an outlet for a thorough update on the industry status nationwide and in Georgia. Thanks to Alston’s Mark Kanaly and Jonathan Hightower of Fenimore Kay Harrison for their insights and analysis during a videoconference call Tuesday with GBA members. During a discussion moderated by GBA’s Joe Brannen, Kanaly and Hightower detailed the specifics of the closures of Silicon Valley Bank and New York’s Signature Bank, and the actions regulators have taken such as the creation of the Bank Term Lending Program. They also shared general examples from their clients in managing the environment, regulatory outreach, operational actions, customer service efforts and investor communication. And, they discussed some early thoughts on longer-term effects on bank ALM practices as well as potential new or enhanced regulatory focal points such as deposit mix analyses, justification of portfolio management decisions and applications, especially those for M&A activity. With questions, contact Joe Brannen, 404.420.2026.


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Bo Fears testifies

DBF Testifies about Banking Stability to GA Senate Banking Committee

State Senators heard a reassuring message Tuesday from Bo Fears, the Deputy Commissioner for Legal Affairs at the Georgia Department of Banking and Finance. Georgia’s banking industry is strong and not burdened with several unique factors that led to the recent closure two non-Georgia banks and concerns about others, Fears explained during the meeting of the Georgia Senate Banking and Financial Institutions Committee. In particular, he noted the lack of tech-sector concentrations existing within Georgia-based banks, much lower levels of uninsured deposits and much less exposure to investments that have lost value as rates have risen compared to the banks that were closed or that have been under pressure. He also noted the relative strength within the industry in other key areas such as capital, liquidity and credit quality. In presenting the facts, Fears explained how the DBF has detailed information on all of the state-chartered banks it oversees, as well how they have been in regular contact with other regulators to monitor conditions closely at the regional and national level. The information he presented was clear, detailed and easy to understand. We appreciate his testimony to the committee. Access the testimony video here.


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Legislature Nearing Adjournment

The Georgia General Assembly has two days remaining in its 2023 legislative session. Legislators were in session three days this week and committees were busy reporting the final bills that will receive action this year. Bills GBA is monitoring on behalf our members were among those receiving attention this week. Those bills range from regulating telephone solicitations to venue for prosecuting elder abuse cases to authorizing Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy loans. Be looking for our Legislative Update being published Friday with more details. With questions, contact GBA’s EVP for Government Relations & Advocacy, Elizabeth Chandler, 404.420.2027.


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David Oliver on WSB-TV

GBA in the News

Sending a Message about Georgia Banking Stability

We’ve appreciated the opportunity to be an advocate for the industry by serving as a resource for journalists covering the latest industry news during the past week. It’s helped inform consumers and policymakers with factual information about the industry’s strength, liquidity and stability to ease concerns. Last Friday GBA’s David Oliver did a segment with WSB-TV’s Justin Farmer again emphasizing that the state’s banks are operating from a position of strength right now. And, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution also called on GBA as an additional source for its reporting on the detailed and helpful Senate Banking and Financial Institutions Committee testimony this week by Bo Fears, Deputy Commissioner of Legal Affairs for the Georgia Department of Banking and Finance. With questions, contact David Oliver, 404.420.2036, or Joe Brannen, 404.4202026.


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Senator Warnock Weighs in on Overdrafts Related to Recent Bank Closures

U.S. Sens. Raphael Warnock (D-GA) and Cory Booker (D-NJ) sent a letter this week to the CEOs of 10 banks urging them to pause overdraft and nonsufficient funds fees for those affected by recent bank closures. They also sent letters to regulators on the same topic. “We urge you to take action to assist Americans whose payments were delayed or missing in recent days as a result of the bank failures of Silicon Valley Bank (SVB) and Signature Bank,” the senators wrote. Read more about the letters here. This is not the first time Senator Warnock has spoken out on these programs. With questions, please call GBA’s Elizabeth Chandler at 404.372.7893.


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A Look in on the HR Professionals Institute and Marketing Conference

A capacity crowd of bank human resources and marketing professionals as well as Associate Members are soaking up the details of all the latest trends in workforce management and bank marketing at our concurrent conferences this week. Here are a few scenes from the week so far. We’ll share a full debrief and more photos in next week’s issue. Thanks to GBA’s HR Committee led by Chair Terry Kennedy, Exchange Bank, and Vice Chair Lance Whitley, Colony Bank, as well as the GBA Marketing Committee, led by Chair Anna Grant Jones, Pinnacle Bank, and Vice Chair Haley Barnes, BankSouth Mortgage, for planning these great conferences. And, a huge thanks to SentryHealth for supporting the HR Professionals Institute through sponsorship.



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Farm Bank Lending in the South Increased by 12%
The 137 farm banks in the South region increased farm loans by 11.98% or $903 million from a year ago, rising to $8.5 billion in 2022, according to the annual ABA 2022 Farm Bank Performance Report. Agricultural production loans across the South rose 14.87% from a year ago, to $2.2 billion, while farmland loans rose by 11.00% to $6.3 billion. Nationally, farm loans were up by 8.1%. Access the full report here.


Georgia Ag Week Celebrates State’s Largest Industry

The Georgia Department of Agriculture designated March 20-26, 2023, as Georgia Agriculture Awareness Week. The week-long annual celebration highlights the people, communities and products that make Georgia nature's favorite state. The department commemorated the week with an Ag Week photo contest (submission deadline is March 26), Hands-On Garden Day, Lead the Way Tuesday, Ag Hero Day, Ag Literacy Day, Fork in the Road Friday, Buy Georgia Grown Day and Sip & Shop Local Sunday. Follow all of the Georgia Ag Week news with #GaAgWeek2023, #AgHero and #GeorgiaGrown, and there’s still time to participate in many of the celebrations and activities. Learn more here.


Tyler Harper

Related: Rural Development & Lending Conference, May 18-19

Register Today – Rural Development & Lending Conference

We’re honored that Georgia’s Agriculture Commissioner, Tyler Harper, will kick off this year’s Rural Development and Lending Conference May 18-19 at the King & Prince, St. Simons. Harper is a seventh-generation farmer, small business owner and former state senator. Additional 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 Thompson, Bank of Newington, and Vice Chair Matt Rushton, AB&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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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:

  • Last Call! 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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Nominations Sought for 2023-2024 Leadership GBA Board of Directors

The Leadership GBA Board of Directors will have three positions that will be open July 1. If you’re an active supporter and/or participant in Leadership GBA-related efforts and events, such as the annual Leadership Conference (participation required), our Leadership Roundtables, BankPAC Golf Classic and BankPAC Clay Shoot, and the Georgia Banking School, we invite you to nominate someone or self-nominate for one of these positions. The positions will be for a three-year term, July 1, 2023 - June 30, 2026. The three (3) board openings will be one representative each from the North, Central and South regions. Click here to see the GBA map identifying which towns/counties these groups include. To be eligible for consideration, candidates must:

A slate will be prepared by the Leadership GBA Board, and new Board members will be elected at the Leadership Conference, July 10-12, in Ponte Vedra, FL. Forms will be accepted through April 11. Click here for the nomination form. Contact GBA’s Kathy Friestad with questions.


Here’s a reminder of Leadership GBA's mission: Leadership GBA supports the advancement of career bankers by providing leadership development training, serving as a forum through which career bankers can network and exchange ideas, and assisting bankers in educating the public about banking, personal finance and careers in banking.


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

Join us on Jekyll Island for our annual Bank Security Conference. Planned by GBA’s Security Committee, this year’s agenda is packed with the tools and knowledge needed to sharpen your skills as your bank’s security professional. Programming covers the full spectrum of skills, best practices, latest trends, and good ideas for practitioners. Content includes security officer roles and responsibilities, cybersecurity and technology trends, fraud and ATM security. This conference is planned for bank security officers and staff at all levels as well as anyone with security responsibilities at the bank. Conference speakers include:


Pete Stuart
Security Officer
Morris Bank
Mark Fellowes
Financial Forensic
Keith Speers
U.S. Postal
Josh Floyd
FBI Special Agent


Click here for details and to register. With questions, contact Aimee Corcoran, 404.420.2035.


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Coming Soon: Data Collection for 2023 Compensation Survey

Our annual data collection period for the new edition of the Georgia Bank Compensation Survey will start April 1. The 2023 survey, to be conducted in partnership with Pearl Meyer, will provide the most detailed data on banking compensation and pay practices available today. The survey annually provides compensation data for over 280 positions broken out by asset size and geographical region. We encourage all member banks to participate by submitting data to build the most comprehensive report possible. Participants get a 60% discount off the full price for those who don’t share information. The survey report will be available beginning Aug. 14, in time for most banks’ budget season. A participation email will be sent the first week of April for returning participants. If you’ve not participated previously and would like to, please email Rhonda Snyder at Read more details here.


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Registration Opening Soon!



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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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GBA Partner Dart Appraisal Offers the Best Custom Appraisal Management Solutions

Longtime partner Dart Appraisal is the GBA’s recommended independent Appraisal Management Company (AMC) for a number of reasons. Dart employs a dual approach to appraisal management - superior client service and advanced technology. They have designed both process and infrastructure to ensure strict compliance to all state and federal regulatory requirements as well as appraiser independence. Dart also utilizes innovative technology to manage appraisal orders in real-time while centralizing all appraisal communication. This commitment to sound appraisal management through the perfect blend of people and technology is unsurpassed, and is what continues to set Dart Appraisal apart from other AMCs. Let Dart get your bank’s appraisal management process on target. Visit to learn more, or contact Dart’s Michael Dresden.


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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.


Josh Dasher Emily Strickland


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Compliance Alliance Question of The Week


Q: Are banks required to provide a monthly statement to customers for DDAs even if there is no activity occurring?


A: Internal policy may require a monthly statement regardless of activity level, but Reg E requires a periodic statement for accounts to or from which electronic funds transfers can be made for each monthly cycle in which an electronic funds transfer has occurred. If there is no activity in a month then a statement is not required but a statement must be sent at least quarterly, so at least every three (3) months even if there is no account activity. Read more 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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GBA Schools

Act Fast: Limited Seats Available for First-Year Registrants

Our two major professional schools for bankers are proving as popular as ever this year. We’re approaching capacity, so don’t delay in registering if you want to attend. Here are the details:

  • When: April 30 - May 5

  • Where: UGA Center for Continuing Education and Hotel in Athens

Georgia Banking School. Since 1961, the GBA-sponsored school has been a highly effective resource for developing the leadership talents of Georgia bankers. Planned by the Georgia Banking School Board of Directors, the school’s mission is to prepare first- and mid-level managers to effectively and profitably serve the public. Here's what Ryan Martin, Senior Vice President and Savannah Market President at Truist and 2022 Georgia Banking School Graduate of Distinction, had to say about his school experience.


Learn More About Georgia Banking School Here


GBA Compliance School Year 1 – Building the Base. Planned by GBA’s Compliance School Board, the GBA Compliance School is a two-year program designed to give new and experienced compliance pros the tools necessary to build, monitor and maintain an effective compliance program. Year 1 begins this year, so don’t miss this opportunity to join this program and gain the fundamentals required to ensure a solid compliance management program.


Learn More About the GBA Compliance School Here


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Food as Medicine Video Library Now Available from GBAIT Wellness Partner

Food plays a very important role in our lives, often defining our social interactions and affecting how we feel, mentally and physically. This National Nutrition Month, GBA Insurance Trust’s wellness partner, SentryHealth, launched its Food as Medicine video library with resources developed by the SentryHealth team of registered dietitians. You can get started by watching an introduction to Food as Medicine and then dig into healthy recipes, how to read and use nutrition labels, and much more. Don’t forget to check back in as SentryHealth continues to add new videos to the library. The GBA Insurance 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 and Google Play.


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Fair Lending for Frontline Staff, New Compliance Officer Training 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,, and David Oliver,, or if your company would like to sponsor this content, let us know. Here's our latest installment:


Dublin - Morris Bank

The City of Gray Fire Department recently received a check for $11,019 from the Morris Bank Community Foundation for their car seat community safety project. The donation will allow the department to buy 50 new car seats and bases to serve Jones County families during times of need.


Milledgeville - Exchange Bank

Friday, March 17, was Senior Retreat Day for Jones County High School. Bank Ambassador Tracey Lowe volunteered at two sessions sharing financial literacy information with the students.


Watkinsville - Oconee State Bank

The bank recently launched its charitable foundation, The Remarkable Foundation, and will host a public launch event in April. The foundation's mission is to provide financial assistance to nonprofit organizations for the implementation of services and programs that enhance and mark the quality of life for all people in the communities served by the bank.



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GBA Newsmakers


Atlanta - Georgia Banking Company

The bank has been awarded a Top Workplaces 2023 honor by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Read more here.


Eatonton - The Peoples Bank

Our sympathies to bank President Chuck Haley, his family and friends on the death of his mother, Faye Haley, last week. Read more here.


Hawkinsville - SunMark Community Bank

Our sympathies to the family, friends and former co-workers of Thomas Leonard Arnold, who died March 18. Arnold was former president and CEO of SunMark Community Bank.


Lawrenceville - Embassy National Bank

Brad Day has joined the bank as president. Read more here.


Loganville - Legacy State Bank

Cher Jeffares has joined the bank as banking officer, mortgage and consumer loan specialist. Keith Prather has joined the bank as Monroe market president.


Macon - Oconee State Bank

The bank is opening a new location on Mulberry Street in downtown Macon this April. Amy Gibson, Robby Redmond and Lesley Anne Tanner will head up the new Macon Financial Center. Read more here.


Macon - OneSouth Bank

The bank recently hosted a ribbon cutting for its new location at 498 Poplar Street in downtown Macon.


Pine Mountain - First Peoples Bank

The bank was named 2023 Small Business of the Year at the Annual Harris County Chamber of Commerce. Pictured left to right representing the bank are Steve Wells, Charles Sweat, Jessica Larson, Casey Smith and Walker Curtis.


Raleigh, NC - First Carolina Bank

The bank recently announced a new partnership with BMTX, Inc., a financial technology company and a subsidiary of BM Technologies, Inc. Both companies have entered into a Deposit Processing Services Agreement for a partnership in which the bank will be the exclusive provider of deposit accounts for customers of BMT’s BankMobile Higher Education Program, subject to regulatory approval. Read more here.


Thomasville - Thomasville National Bank

Carla Milam has been promoted to vice president. Danniell Slocumb has been promoted to vice president. Jamie Parramore has been promoted to Human Resource Officer.


Watkinsville - Oconee State Bank

Pam Lewallen has been promoted to treasurer. Jamie McFalls has been promoted to vice president of information technology. John Davis has joined the bank as EVP, Chief Innovation and Technology Officer.



Georgia Banking
Brad Day First Peoples Bank Cher Jeffares Keith Prather


Amy Gibson, Robby Redmond
and Lesley Anne Tanner
OneSouth Bank First Carolina Bank


Carla Milam Danniell Slocumb Jamie Parramore Pam Lewallen Jamie McFalls John Davis



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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