May 12, 2023  

FDIC Announces Tailored Special Assessment to Cover SVB, Signature Bank (NY) Closures

Banks that benefited most from protection of uninsured deposits in the wake of the recent closures of two large banks will cover the majority of a special assessment by FDIC to recover costs of those closures, the FDIC said in its proposal out Thursday. Under the proposal, the base for the special assessment would be equal to a bank’s estimated uninsured deposits reported as of Dec. 31, 2022, adjusted to exclude the first $5 billion. “In general, large banks with large amounts of uninsured deposits benefited the most from the systemic risk determination," the FDIC said. "As proposed, it is estimated that a total of 113 banking organizations would be subject to the special assessment. Banking organizations with total assets over $50 billion would pay more than 95 percent of the special assessment. No banking organizations with total assets under $5 billion would be subject to the special assessment,” the FDIC said. The assessment would be collected starting with the Jan. 1, 2024, assessment period, for eight quarterly periods, or less if the costs are recovered sooner. The proposed rule provides opportunity for public comment for 60 days following publication in the Federal Register. Most Georgia-based banks will be exempt from the assessment. Get all the details of the proposal here. With questions, contact Elizabeth Chandler, 404.420.2027, Bo Brannen, 404.420.2014, or Joe Brannen, 404.420.2026.Read the proposed rule here.


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Georgia Banking School
Class of 2023

Congratulations to Banking and Compliance School Grads

It was a banner year for GBA’s two advanced bank management schools that wrapped up their 2023 terms in Athens last week. One hundred and seventy-one bankers participated in the week-long school session. Congratulations to the 39 bankers who earned their Georgia Banking School diplomas and the two bankers who earned Compliance School diplomas. There were 58 First Year banking school class members, 52 Second Year banking school class members, and 22 bankers participated in Year One of Compliance School.


GBA Chairman Rhodes McLanahan, First American Bank & Trust, gave a commencement address to the graduates of the Georgia Banking School.


“Remember that the knowledge, skills, and values you cultivate now will not only shape your professional journey but also influence the future of the financial industry. So be bold, stay curious, and always strive for excellence,” he said. “I want to close by congratulating you on graduating from the Georgia Banking School. The knowledge you have gained and the relationships you have formed will serve you well in your banking careers.”


List of Georgia Banking School Graduates

List of GBA Compliance School Graduates


Georgia Banking School Honors

Congratulations to Clare Easterlin, Queensborough National Bank & Trust Company, Louisville, for earning this year’s Graduate of Distinction honor. As Graduate of Distinction, Easterlin receives a first-year scholarship to attend the Graduate School of Banking at LSU next year. Congratulations also to honors graduates Brent Lowry, Colony Bank, Savannah; Chance Giddens, Wilcox County State Bank, Ocilla; Beth James, Queensborough National Bank & Trust Company, Augusta; and Chris Acker, American Commerce Bank, Bremen, who all finished in the top 10% of the class.


Clare Easterlin Brent Lowry Chance Giddens Beth James Chris Acker


Bank Executive Simulation Standouts

The major coursework third-year students must complete is the Bank Executive Simulation in which teams of students compete in leading fictional banks through a variety of strategic scenarios and changing market conditions. It’s a big honor to be the top team. There were two simulation competitions this year. Winners were:


Community A (Team 4)

  • Stephen Sparks, Commercial Banking Company, Valdosta

  • Cherish Wainwright, Georgia Community Bank, Roberta

  • Cole Pitts, First National Bank, Moultrie

  • Sara Mendoza, Durden Banking Company, Twin City

  • Steve Wells, First Peoples Bank, Pine Mountain

Community B (Team 3)

  • Chance Giddens, Wilcox County State Bank, Ocilla

  • Kristen Sheffield, Georgia Community Bank, Albany

  • Jamie Hall, F&M Bank and Trust Company, Manchester

  • Troy Poulin, The Claxton Bank, Claxton

  • Leigh Jordan, Queensborough National Bank & Trust Company, Sandersville

Community A Community B


Congratulations and thanks to the Georgia Banking School Board, the GBA Compliance School Board and the many bankers and educators that make the schools such a success! With questions, contact Alison Moreau, 404.420.2034, or Aimee Corcoran, 404.420.2035


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D.C. Visit Journal

Last week’s advocacy visit to Washington, D.C., the first since 2019, was a success by all measures. Representing the full scope of banking in Georgia were members from the GBA Board of Directors, GBA Public Affairs Committee, the BankPAC Board of Directors and the Leadership GBA Board of Directors.


“It was valuable for our group to be able to be back in D.C. in person this year,” said GBA Chairman Rhodes McLanahan, CEO of First American Bank & Trust Company, Athens. “Getting to sit directly across the table to talk to regulatory agency heads and leaders is something that’s unique for me and other members. The opportunity to have a direct conversation with them is really helpful for us to get our message across as well as to get a good sense of their mindset as they make decisions about supervision and regulation.”


In each briefing, we mentioned a host of key issues for Georgia’s banks, including the general strength of the state’s banking industry, views on the recent headline bank closures, FDIC insurance coverage reform, the new small business data collection rule, overdraft guidance related to authorize positive, settle negative transactions, CRA modernization and more.


“This trip is a signature part of GBA’s advocacy program. The interactions we have with leaders on this advocacy trip build relationships that help Georgia bankers and the industry,” said GBA Vice Chairman Brad Barber, president and CEO, First National Bank, Bainbridge. “Each banker can use these experiences to better advocate for our banks, customers and the communities we serve.”


There are other benefits for members, too, as peer relationships are strengthened.


“In addition to the meetings with regulators and others, building relationships with fellow bankers was invaluable. I strongly believe in the power of in-person advocacy, and I am grateful for the opportunity,” said Bill Hogan, Northeast Georgia Bank, Lavonia, who serves on the Leadership GBA Board of Directors.


“I genuinely enjoyed the D.C. trip with my colleagues and peers. It was an awesome experience standing together as an industry promoting our interests and expressing our concerns,” said David Voyles, president, Pinnacle Bank, Elberton. “I appreciate each agency taking the time to listen and hear from our Georgia bankers.”


Here’s a summary of other items from the key briefings.

  • CFPB: We met with Director Rohit Chopra. In addition to the concerns about the regulatory burden and operational complexity for new small business data collection rule compliance, we shared our opposition to the pending rule to limit safe-harbor for credit card late fees and asked for some clarity on overdraft rules. Related to the small business data rules, Chopra’s main point was that he and the agency had done what was required by the Dodd-Frank Act passed by Congress.


  • FDIC: We covered this briefing with Director Josh McKernan and other key staff members last week. Read that here.


  • OCC: We met with Beverly Cole, Senior Deputy Comptroller for Midsize and Community Bank Supervision, and Donna Murphy, Deputy Comptroller for Compliance Risk Policy. Cole shared some candid thoughts about social media’s role in the Silicon Valley Bank and Signature Bank closings. She also noted that while most of the headline focus has been on deposit outflows, her view is that more significant signs of stress in the industry would be if or when credit quality begins to decline. She encouraged banks to keep a careful eye on concentration risk.


  • Congressional staff: We spent time with staff members from Sens. Ossoff (D) and Warnock’s (D) offices, as well as staffers for Reps. Rick Allen (R-GA12), Buddy Carter (R-GA1), Drew Ferguson (R-GA3), Barry Loudermilk (R-GA11), Austin Scott (R-GA8) and Nikema Williams (D-GA5). Some of the key items we talked about with them were a request for their support of the Access to Credit for our Rural Economy Bill (ACRE), opposition to legislation requiring additional routing networks for debit card transactions, support of the SAFE Act to allow banks to have a relationship with legal medical cannabis companies in Georgia, and our opposition to ESG legislation that politicizes business decisions.

Here’s a look at the briefing packet that includes the agenda and issue briefs.


We also appreciate the generosity of the Federal Home Loan Bank of Atlanta, Balch & Bingham, ServisFirst and EBS for hosting hospitality events and sponsoring transportation. Thanks also to ABA for the in-depth briefing about national issues and communications strategy, as well as help with setting up agency visits. With questions, contact Elizabeth Chandler, 404.420.2027; Joe Brannen, 404.420.2026; Bo Brannen, 404.420.2014; Tripp Cofield, 617.909.9530; or David Oliver, 404.420.2036.


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President / CEO Conference Registration is Open

Community Bankers Committee Meets

Your association’s eyes and ears on community banking conditions around the state met this week in the form of the GBA Community Bankers Committee. Members of the committee gathered in Macon Thursday to share intel on the latest business and economic trends in their areas, views on deposit insurance reform, credit quality updates as well as updates on compliance and operational challenges. Led by incoming committee Chair Rick Basinger, Northeast Georgia Bank, Lavonia, the committee started crafting the program for the President and CEO Conference, which will be Sept. 24-26 at the J.W. Marriott Plant Riverside District in Savannah. Registration is open for the conference; details here. With questions, contact Kathy Friestad, 404.420.2024. Here are some scenes from the committee meeting:



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Brad Barber

Greg Eiford

Barber, Eiford Named to National Community Banker Advocacy Roles

We’re mighty proud of two GBA member CEOs have been named to the American Bankers Association’s Community Bankers Council. They are GBA Vice Chair Brad Barber, First National Bank, Bainbridge, and Community Bankers Committee Chair Greg Eiford, TC Federal Bank, Thomasville. Barber, Eiford and Oconee State Bank's Neil Stevens represented Georgia’s banks by attending the council’s semi-annual meeting last week in Nashville. Bankers had timely discussions on banking industry resiliency, including liquidity management, deposit generation and balance sheet management best practices; legislative priorities, including credit union competition, the Farm Bill and Access to Credit for our Rural Economy Act; and community bank innovation. Council members also shared strategies on improving employee recruitment, retention and engagement, and exchanged ideas on other important business and operational best practices. “Brad and Greg are strong voices for Georgia’s banks to this important group of their peers,” said Joe Brannen, GBA President and CEO. “They’ve got a good read on the key issues unique to Georgia as well as a knack for honing in on important things they learn from others on the council that they’ll be able to share.” ABA’s Community Bankers Council, which meets twice a year, is made up of approximately 100 bankers from across the country from institutions with generally less than $5 billion in assets. Members are appointed by the ABA chair.


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Bank Stock Short Sellers Get DOJ Attention

Concerns about inappropriate short-selling activity emerged last week as share prices for some regional banks that have relatively good performance metrics came under significant pressure. That trading activity has become an “area of interest,” for the Department of Justice, according to news reports. Short selling a stock is a trading strategy where an investor borrows shares of a stock from a broker, sells them on the market with the hope of buying them back at a lower price in the future, and returns them to the broker, pocketing the difference as profit. It is essentially betting against the stock's performance.


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Kevin Massey

Member Profile

How Bankers Rise to Meet Challenges with Kevin Massey

Georgia Community Bank Dawson Market President Kevin Massey has lived through two time periods during which he says the banking industry went above and beyond to help communities and customers. The first was during the COVID-19 pandemic with the rollout of PPP loans and the second was the aftermath of Hurricane Michael, which affected most of Southwest Georgia in 2018. “In both cases, we were tested as bankers but, in the end, we helped our communities come out stronger and more prepared for the next challenge,” Massey said. According to him, what makes the job of a banker special is seeing a customer excel or make a difference within the community and knowing that the bank helped or contributed to their success. A member of the Leadership GBA Board of Directors and GBA’s Ag Committee, Massey shares about being a third-generation banker, his dad’s advice that has stayed with him throughout his life and which driving habit is his pet peeve in the latest GBA Member Profile.


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Crime and Punishment

Repeat Offender Sentenced to Prison for Robbing Savannah Bank

Shawn Kelley, 45, from Baton Rouge, La., has been sentenced to more than 13 years federal prison after pleading guilty to a 2022 bank robbery in Savannah. Kelley was on state probation from a previous robbery when arrested. As described in court documents and testimony, Kelley walked into the Wells Fargo at 136 Bull St., Savannah, on Sept. 15, 2022, and demanded cash from the teller. After leaving with a substantial amount of money, Kelley walked to the bus station where Savannah Police officers found him in the bathroom changing out of the clothes he’d worn during the robbery, still in possession of the cash. Kelley pled guilty to the robbery. The case was investigated by the FBI and the Savannah Police Department, and prosecuted by Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Makeia R. Jonese, Assistant U.S. Attorney and Criminal Division Deputy Chief E. Gregory Gilluly Jr. Read more here.


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Carl Pry

Lenders, Compliance Teams Take Note

1071 Small Business Data Collection and Submission: Deep Dive and Operational Impacts - Tuesday, June 6

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


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


Get details and register here.


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Compliance Alliance Question of The Week


Question: Is it permissible to apply a new account hold to a U.S. Treasury Check?


Answer: A U.S. Treasury Check is a next-day item per Reg CC § 229.10(c)(1)(i) but the holds and exceptions work the same way with a Treasury Check just as they would for any other check, so a new account hold can be placed here. For treasury checks, the first $5,525 much be made available by the next business day and the rest no later than the 9th business day. Get more details 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.


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BSA Peer Group Coming Up

Inaugural BSA Peer Group Meeting, Virtual Session, May 31

Join GBA's BSA Summit lead facilitator, Kristen Stogniew, for our first ever BSA Peer Group meeting. We will be focusing on the account opening process and enhanced due diligence. Registrants can also submit industry hot topics during the registration process to discuss during the meeting. Get all the details and register here. With questions, contact Aimee Corcoran, 404.420.2035.


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GBA Partner Dart Appraisal Offers the Best Custom Appraisal Management Solutions

GBA-endorsed Dart Appraisal is committed to blending state-of-the-art technology and first-class service to deliver honest valuations quickly. And, you retain the ability to use your bank’s preferred appraisal panel. The GBA wants to ensure you and your mortgage customers can easily get to closing, and the GBA believes Dart Appraisal can help you do that. They offer a complete selection of commercial and residential appraisal products and a variety of alternate valuation solutions, including Fannie Mae’s new Value Acceptance + Property Data product. With questions, please contact John LaBriola at Dart Appraisal is a nationwide, independently owned and operated Appraisal Management Company with offices in Cobb County, GA.


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GBA’s Bank Record Retention Guide is Online with Over 75 Recent Changes

Featuring Bank Record Retention Quick Notes©, by Carl Pry

The GBA is proud to offer members the GBA’s Guide to Bank Record Retention, featuring Bank Record Retention Quick Notes©, by Carl Pry. It is designed to be a fast and easy-to-use reference for the most common types of customer records questions in a completely online format. Please note we do not have printed copies available for purchase. This guide is intended to help develop a simple, yet complete and understandable record retention program for your bank.


The Quick Notes© refer to federal or general industry practices in six broad topic areas: General; Deposits and Operations; Loans; Securities; Human Resources; and Tax. They also contain the available requirements of FinCEN, CFPB, OCC, NACHA, IRS, SEC, FDIC, FRB and other relevant state agencies.


Including over 75 recent changes, the current edition is streamlined to assist bankers at every level. Additions include new independent sections on both Trusts & Estates and Audit as well as numerous other updates throughout. We hope that you will find this to be a valuable resource to help your bank. Please contact GBA’s Bo Brannen at, to place an order.


Pricing (does not include sales tax)

  • One user login - $125

  • 2-5 unique user logins - $495

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Registration Opening Soon!

Compliance Conference, Oct. 18-20, The Westin, Jekyll Island

Registration will open soon for our annual Compliance Conference. Planned by GBA’s Compliance Committee, the compliance conference is for any compliance professional needing to sharpen their skills. 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 and Troutman Pepper. With questions, contact Aimee Corcoran, 404.420.2035.


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GBA Proudly Endorses Abrigo’s New Lending Solution for Community Banks

15% Discount for GBA Members, Web Demo Scheduled May 16 at 2 p.m.

Are you looking to grow loans at your bank without unnecessary complexity? GBA partner Abrigo has a new Community Lending solution built specifically for Georgia’s community banks that is easy to learn, implement and use. The powerful software behind Abrigo’s Community Lending helps your team make fast, accurate and compliant loan decisions, allowing them more time to develop additional business relationships. With configurable role-based dashboards, a robust deal summary page and comprehensive built-in reports, Abrigo’s Community Lending is designed to ensure efficient loan growth.


Other product highlights include:

  • Consistent, guided workflows

  • Simplified implementation – 60-day max

  • Digital borrower interface

  • Collaborate with 54,000 financial professionals

Learn more about Abrigo’s Community Lending. And mark your calendars for May 16 at 2 p.m., when the Abrigo team will walk us through a full demonstration of their new lending solution. You can register here for that. In addition, GBA members receive a 15% discount. With questions, please get in touch with Abrigo’s Eric Bartlett at


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Loan Modifications, How to Manage Your ACH Origination Risk, Fair Lending Review, 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:


Atlanta - SouthState Bank

Members of our Treasury Management team volunteered their time at Atlanta Community Food Bank and their service helped produce 8,635 meals.


Blairsville - United Community Bank

On May 5, the bank celebrated Customer Appreciation Day across its footprint.


Hawkinsville - Planters First Bank

Planters First Bank team members participated again this year in the Senior Letter Tradition for the Class of 2023 of Hawkinsville High School. The letters will be distributed to the graduates during their senior week events.



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GBA Newsmakers


Cleveland - Apex Banking Company of Georgia

Apex Banking Company of Georgia, new community bank serving White County and surrounding areas, announced it is coming to Cleveland in the summer of 2023. The Apex Board of Directors named Ryan Tucker president and CEO.  Read more here.


Cordele - Planters First Bank

Chris Howe has been promoted to Chief Credit Officer. Read more here. Rusty Slade has been promoted to Chief Operating Officer. Read more here.


Griffin - United Bank

Jennifer Eavenson has been promoted to chief Human Resources Officer. Jaye Eubanks has been promoted to Executive Vice President. Thomas Williams has been promoted to Executive Vice President. Lauri Irvin has been promoted to Senior Vice President. Daniel Searcy, III, has been promoted to Senior Vice President.


Lavonia - Northeast Georgia Bank

The bank celebrated team member Margaret Ayers’ 79 years of uninterrupted service on May 10, exactly 79 years since she began working at the bank in 1944. Read more here.


Rome - River City Bank

Madison Wilder has joined the bank’s Wealth Management team as a financial representative. Read more here.


Sandy Springs - Signature Bank of Georgia

Four new team members have joined the bank’s commercial lending team. Melanie Kurn has joined the bank as Senior Vice President and Market Executive. Vince Ottone has been named Senior Vice President and Market Executive. Devon Nurre has joined the bank as Group Vice President and Senior Portfolio and Credit Support Officer. Debra Arnold has been named Assistant Vice President and Senior Commercial Loan Closer and Processor. Read more here.


Trenton - Citizens Bank and Trust

Our sympathies to the family, friends and colleagues of former President and CEO Fred Stephens, who died last week. 


Valdosta - The First Bank

Richard Welch has joined the bank team as Valdosta Market President. Read more here.


Warner Robins - Planters First Bank

The bank recently opened a new banking center in Warner Robins. Read more here.


Bloomington, MN - United Bankers’ Bank

Rich Jones has joined the boards of directors of United Bankers’ Bancorporation, Inc. and United Bankers’ Bank. Read more here.


Atlanta - Georgia Department of Banking and Finance

Our sympathies to Commissioner Kevin Hagler, his family and friends, on the death of his father this week. Read more here.



Ryan Tucker Chris Howe Rusty Slade Jennifer Eavenson Jaye Eubanks


Thomas Williams Lauri Irvin Daniel Searcy, III Madison Wilder Melanie Kurn


Vince Ottone Devon Nurre Debra Arnold Richard Welch Planters First Bank



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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