March 31, 2023  

General Assembly Adjourns Sine Die

The 2023 session of the Georgia General Assembly has adjourned having completed the 40 legislative days as allowed by the Georgia Constitution. Congratulations especially to House Speaker, Rep. Jon Burns (R-Newington), and Senate President, Lt. Gov. Burt Jones (R-Jackson), for a successful year, their first as the presiding officers in their respective chambers. It was also a successful session for first-year chairman of the Senate Banking and Financial Institutions Committee, Sen. Carden Summers (R-Cordele), and returning chairman of the House Banks and Banking Committee, Rep. Noel Williams (R-Cordele). All GBA priority bills were passed as were dozens of others which GBA asked be amended or monitored because of their effect on the banking industry. “I especially want to recognize our advocacy team led by EVP for Government Relations & Advocacy Elizabeth Chandler. She and her colleagues Steve Bridges, Bo Brannen, Tripp Cofield and Joe Brannen spent hundreds of hours at the Capitol representing our interests. They mostly focused on legislation that helps move Georgia banking forward, but didn’t hesitate to engage on bills that would have hampered our efforts to serve the needs of our communities, families and individuals,” said GBA Chairman Rhodes McLanahan, CEO, First American Bank & Trust, Athens. Be looking for the wrap up edition of GBA’s Legislative Update shortly. We’ll be recognizing legislators statewide with whom we worked to ensure another effective session for our industry.

 

Jon Burns Burt Jones Carden Summers Noel Williams GBA's Advocacy Team

 

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CFPB Issues Small Business Lending Data Rule

As anticipated, the CFPB Thursday issued its final rule to implement collection and reporting of small business lending data as required by the Dodd Frank Act’s section 1071. According to the rule, institutions required to comply as “covered” institutions are those that originate at least 100 covered originations in each of the two preceding calendar years. For example, a financial institution is a covered financial institution for 2026 if it had at least 100 covered originations for both calendar year 2024 and calendar year 2025. There’s a three-tier, three-year structure for beginning reporting based on the number of transactions. Reporting for institutions with large numbers of originations is June 1, 2025, and the next tiers begin June 1 in each successive year. We’ll share more information and details as we analyze the specifics in the coming weeks. Read more details and access resources from the CFPB here.

 

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Leader Updates

More SVB-Related Analysis, Updated Stability Guide Resource, Fed Facility, Bank Performance

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

  • SVB Sold: We included information about FDIC’s sale of Silicon Valley Bank to First-Citizens Bank, Raleigh, NC.

 

  • Situation Analysis Recording Link: We shard a link to the recent videoconference we had for members with Alston’s Mark Kanaly and Fenimore Kay Harrison’s Jonathan Hightower.

 

  • Stability Guide: We distributed our updated guide on the stability of Georgia’s banking system for help in discussing the environment with customers and community leaders.

 

  • AOCI Losses: We provided some articles and a little bit of our take on how many stories in the media and by academics don’t or can’t paint an accurate picture of an individual bank’s position because they don’t have access to complete information like regulators do. For example related to estimates of uninsured deposits, the data does not show how deposits are structured to get higher levels of deposit insurance, whether they’re collateralized, or if they’re part of a reciprocal program.

 

  • Fed’s Bank Term Funding Program: We shared a power point from a recent webinar covering the program’s details.

 

  • Bank Performance: We noted the strength of the farm banking sector in the Southeast as well as how a number of Georgia Banks were recognized for strong performance in 2022.

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

 

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Congressional Hearings Shed Light on and Hints About Regulator Next Steps

The U.S. Senate and House banking committees held hearings this week to hear from financial regulators about their actions leading up to and following the closing of Silicon Valley Bank and Signature Bank. Testifying were Michael Barr, the Fed’s Vice Chair of the Board for Supervision, FDIC Chairman Martin Gruenberg, and Treasury’s Under Secretary for Domestic Finance Nellie Liang. Each emphasized the banking industry is strong and the two banks closed were outliers due to their unique business models. Barr and Gruenberg were peppered with questions about well-known risks that weren’t dealt with that led to the closures. Both regulators said internal reviews were being conducted with reports promised in April. Further recommendations could be forthcoming on stress testing, uninsured deposits, investment portfolio interest rate risk management, liquidity, and capital buffers. Gruenberg emphasized FDIC’s requirement to assess the industry for deposit insurance fund losses and was quick to point out, “FDIC has broad authority to structure a special assessment and will target it [the special assessment] to banks that benefited from this situation.” Congressional action will not be necessary to address most of the issues raised and we can expect the regulators to use the regular notice and comment process for rule changes. There was little consensus among committee members on legislative changes other than bipartisan comments for giving regulators more ability to claw back executive pay and bonuses in the event of a bank closure like those we saw three weeks ago.

 

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HR Conference Covers the Waterfront

Motivation, leadership, workforce development, industry trends, legal issues and plenty of peer sharing were among the full-scope of HR-specific topics covered at last week's HR Professionals Institute. Lon Langston of Engaged Banker eXperience opened the conference last Wednesday with an engaging look at how HR pros can elevate their impact on their banks as leaders as opposed to just focusing on task execution. Next up was Tonya Parker from Wesleyan College with a practical session that focused on how members can lead their banks in fostering a culture of Community, Accountability, Respect, and Equity (CARE). On Thursday, GBA Insurance Trust’s Keri Brooks and GBA’s Joe Brannen shared updates on premium reporting and industry and advocacy trends, respectively. The FDIC’s Terry Lee presented about the agency’s Youth Connections Collaborative and how banks can be involved to strengthen workforce development, financial literacy and account access in Georgia. And the afternoon was spent in a lively peer roundtable session touched on a long list of challenges, successes and resources. Friday featured a briefing by Sgt. Eric Rooks, Gwinnett Police Department, about the latest techniques for protecting employees and customers if there’s a workplace violence event, and the closing joint session with our Marketing Conference attendees featured an inspiring session with lessons in entrepreneurship, how to maintain good work-life balance and serve as a mentor from Vera Stewart, a Southern cooking show host, entrepreneur, caterer, mail order aficionado, cookbook author and mentor. We appreciate the leadership of HR Committee Chair Terry Kennedy, Exchange Bank, and Vice Chair, Lance Whitley, Colony Bank in putting together such an impactful program. Also thanks to SentryHealth for sponsoring and exhibiting, and DoProcess for exhibiting at the conference as well. See scenes from the conference here. With questions, contact Aimee Corcoran, 404.420.2035.

 

 

 

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Beginning April 1: Data Collection for 2023 GBA Compensation Survey

Our annual data collection period for new edition of the Georgia Bank Compensation Survey will start April 1. The 2023 Survey, conducted in partnership with GBA Associate Member Pearl Meyer, provides the most detailed data on banking compensation and pay practices available today. The survey 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 compared to those banks that do not submit compensation data. The survey report will be available beginning Aug. 14, in time for most banks’ budget season. A participation email will be sent very soon for returning participants. If you’ve not participated previously and would like to, please email Rhonda Snyder at rhonda.snyder@pearlmeyer.com or Bo Brannen at bbrannen@gabankers.com.

 

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Marketing Conference Packs a Creative Punch

With a full house and new creative workshop added to the agenda, bank marketing pros benefited from a variety of high-level and detail-oriented sessions designed to help them in their roles at the bank during the 2023 GBA Marketing Conference & Creative Workshop. Financial Marketing Solutions’ Executive Creative Director Clark Hook led the group in creative exercises to jumpstart their inspiration at the first-ever Bankcreative Workshop last Wednesday. The first full day of the conference included Tonya Parker from Wesleyan College with her uplifting and energizing session on DEI in marketing, followed by the group’s first round of peer exchange discussion, where topics included vendor management, marketing platforms, compliance, evolution of marketing roles and responsibilities, community engagement, consumer education, customer outreach and ROI. United Bank’s Lori Tucker rounded out the Thursday morning agenda with her specific and detailed examples of crisis communications lessons learned. Attendees then got the chance to inspire each other with their best recent work during a robust show-and-share session. Deedra Hughes of the Hughes Media Digital Agency kicked off the Friday morning sessions with a fast-paced and comprehensive session on digital strategy, including info on SEO, tools to save time and how to evaluate the bank’s digital presence. And, Vera Stewart closed out the conference in her inspiring joint session with HR Professionals Institute attendees. We appreciate the leadership of Marketing Committee Chair Anna Jones, Pinnacle Bank, and Vice Chair Haley Barnes, BankSouth Mortgage, in putting together such an impactful program. Also thanks BOND.AI and Lincoln James Financial Marketing for exhibiting. See scenes from the conference here. With questions, contact Aimee Corcoran, 404.420.2035.

 

 

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Melissa Dasher

Member Profile

Safe Deposit Box Mystery Reunites Customer with Childhood Memories

Around 2013, SouthState Bank Director of Corporate Security Melissa Dasher was given a project to clean up unclaimed safe deposit boxes as part of a merger integration. One box contained Boy Scout memorabilia such as flags, badges and keepsakes that apparently were so important to someone that they rented a safe deposit box to store them. “I decided to track this person down to return his childhood keepsakes to him,” Dasher Said. After doing all sorts of research, she discovered the box owner didn’t live locally anymore; he had moved to New York. Dasher searched through the White Pages and eventually got in touch with the man, asking him several questions to verify that it was the right person. “I mailed him the contents of the box and later received a handwritten letter from him thanking me. He had actually forgotten about the safe deposit box (life goes on and people forget things), but it was very special and dear to him,” she said. Dasher, a member of GBA’s Security Committee shares about her philosophy to internal auditing that won her the respect of her colleagues early on in her career, a sweet story about a boy and his Beanie Babies when she worked at Hallmark during high school, and much more in the latest GBA Member Profile.

 

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Still time to register!

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

Join us on Jekyll Island for our annual Bank Security Conference in a couple of weeks. The agenda includes a special session about roles and responsibilities, the latest on ATM thefts and robberies, active shooter event tactics, elder fraud prevention, mail theft / check fraud trends and more. Planned by GBA’s Security Committee, programming covers the full spectrum of skills, best practices, latest trends, and good ideas for practitioners. This conference is planned for bank security officers and staff at all levels as well as anyone with security responsibilities at the bank. Click here for details and to register. With questions, contact Aimee Corcoran, 404.420.2035.

 

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New Georgia Banking Update Available

We’ve freshened up our Georgia Banking Update for members to use in preparing for community and advocacy talks. We’ve updated the basic facts and figures on banking in Georgia and included some notes on the stability of Georgia’s banking system. It also covers state and federal advocacy issues, industry consolidation, de novo formation, credit union acquisition of banks, and key business and workplace issues on the minds of bankers throughout Georgia. Here’s a link to the updated version, and note that it’s always available on gabankers.com: About > Publications.

 

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GBA Retirement Services Meeting Held Last Week

The GBA Retirement Services Board of Directors, chaired by Chuck Copeland, First National Bank of Griffin, held its quarterly meeting last week. The Board consists of nine bankers who oversee the employee retirement benefit program trusted by over one third of Georgia’s community banks. The Board meets regularly with the discretionary trustee and investment manager of the Trust, American Trust Company, to review the investments we offer and ensure we offer a top-notch, high quality, low cost 401(k) option for plans of all sizes. We are happy to report that 65% of plan participants in the GBA Master Trust are on track to retire with at least 70% of their income. The industry average is just 25% to 30% of employees on track for retirement. With assets of more than $230 million, being a part of the GBA Master Trust allows smaller plans, including plans of banks, associate members and bank clients, to gain buying power for an effective 401(k) solution for participants. We’d also like to recognize and welcome Maury Beasley, Georgia First Bank, Soperton, as the newest GBARS board member. If you would like more information or a proposal for 401(k) services, please contact Mandy Richards at 678.549.4167.

 

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Coming up soon!

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

 

Michael Gordon Nicole
Cunningham
Bill Curtis

 

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Free Webinar with GBA Partner Abrigo - April 25 @ 2 p.m.

Return To Basics: Asking the Right Credit Risk Questions

Some banks have begun taking a deeper look at their credit risk management framework recently. Are your credit policies up to date? Is your risk rating framework set up appropriately? What are the right questions to ask borrowers? Understanding credit risk and managing it appropriately is crucial for banks to ensure long-term sustainability. Join Kent Kirby from GBA partner Abrigo on April 25 for a free webinar covering topics like setting appropriate concentration limits, understanding your bank’s risk appetite and incentivizing employees to use the correct data for critical credit decision making. Kirby will also cover 10 questions to answer about your bank’s credit risk management framework. Click here to register. With questions, please contact Laura Wahl, 919.906.5649.

 

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

 

 

Josh Dasher Emily Strickland

 

 

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Loan Documentation Seminar, Middle Georgia State University, Macon

Learn the fine art of perfecting loan documentation for your institution at GBA’s Loan Documentation Seminar, April 26, presented by Mike Allen, fan-favorite faculty member for the Georgia Banking School. Mike will share the secrets of what’s needed to prevent loan losses through the implementation of proper loan structuring and documentation techniques. Click here for more information and to register. With questions, contact Aimee Corcoran, 404.420.2035.

 

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Registration Now Open!

 

 

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GBA Schools

One Month Away – Still Time to Register

We are excited about the 175 bankers that will be on site in Athens for our two major professional schools. The experience is a once in a lifetime opportunity to learn not only about banking, but banking in Georgia and build relationships with peers across the state.

 

GBA Compliance School is a two-year program, so don’t delay, this is the year to begin work building the base for your compliance career. We’re approaching capacity with First Year Banking School, 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

Learn More About Georgia Banking School Here

 

Learn More About the GBA Compliance School Here

 

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Brian Bolt

Register today!

Rural Development & Lending Conference - May 18-19 on St. Simons

We’re excited to have Dr. Brian G. Bolt, Livestock Specialist with the Clemson University Cooperative Extension Service at this year’s Rural Development and Lending Conference May 18-19 at the King & Prince, St. Simons. Bolt is a nationally recognized livestock expert with more than 20 years of complete industry experience from conception to consumption as well as legislative, advocacy and producer relationships/services experience. He is going to talk about market trends in the beef industry. 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 the hotel and to register, click here. With questions, contact Alison Moreau, 404.420.2034.

 

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Compliance Alliance Questions of The Week

 

Question 1. When purchasing loan, do we need to collect a beneficial ownership form? If so, is collecting after the loan is purchased acceptable?

 

Answer 1. Guidance suggests that for purchased loans, banks are required to ensure that the institution or broker that originated the loan complied with the applicable CIP requirements but the bank does not necessarily need to perform this themselves after the purchase has been completed: 

 

Question 2. Are loan participations purchased from third parties and loans purchased from a car dealer or mortgage broker within the exclusion from the definition of “account” for loans acquired through an acquisition, merger, purchase of assets, or assumption of liabilities?

 

Answer 2. Yes, this exclusion is intended to cover loan participations purchased from third parties and loans purchased from a car dealer or mortgage broker. If, however, the bank is extending credit to the borrower using a car dealer or mortgage broker as its agent, then it must ensure that the dealer or broker is performing the bank’s CIP. See the CIP Final Rule here.

 

Thus, subject to any internal guidelines providing otherwise, these will often be subject to the exclusion above. As always, to avoid implicating any UDAAP/UDAP and/or Fair Lending considerations, a bank will want to ensure that it is treating similarly-situated borrowers consistently, across the board in performing CIP/beneficial ownership on these purchased loans.

 

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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Webinars

Five Best Practices for Reg E Disputes, 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, kprokos@gabankers.com, and David Oliver, doliver@gabankers.com, or if your company would like to sponsor this content, let us know. Here's our latest installment:

 

Atlanta - Citizens Trust Bank

The bank sponsored a recent Heritage Hike hosted by the Atlanta Area Council and Boy Scouts of America. Scouts, leaders, families, and Atlanta community members enjoyed a day of hiking and learning as they celebrated Atlanta's rich civil rights history.

 

Dublin - Morris Bank

The Morris Bank Community Foundation recently presented a grant check to members of the Shamrock Animal Welfare League.

 

 

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GBA Newsmakers

 

Athens - First American Bank & Trust Company

Chelsea Colclough has joined the bank as EVP, Chief Financial Officer

 

Atlanta - Renasant Bank

Castro Monreal has joined the bank’s Atlanta team as branch manager and assistant vice president at its Peachtree Road location in Buckhead.

 

Greenville, SC - United Community Bank

The bank recently revealed its updated corporate logo designed to represent the bank's 70-year history of customer service and its culture of caring. Read more here.

 

Hawkinsville - SunMark Community Bank

Kim Nguyen has joined the bank’s Houston Lake branch teller team.

 

Savannah - Renasant Bank

Kristi Davis has joined the bank’s Savannah team as commercial relationship officer and vice president.

 

Tampa and Pensacola, FL - Saltmarsh, Cleaveland & Gund

The accounting firm has been included in Accounting Today’s list of regional leaders. This is the fifth consecutive year that the firm has been recognized as a regional leader for achieving double-digit growth over the past year. Read more here.

 

 

Chelsea Colclough Castro Monreal United Community Bank's new logo Kim Nguyen Kristi 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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