May 5, 2023  

Scenes from D.C. Advocacy Trip

It was energizing for members to be back in Washington, D.C., for the first time since 2019 for an advocacy visit with Georgia’s Congressional delegation staff members and regulatory agencies. In meetings Tuesday through Thursday, members outlined their views about the key issues essential to a strong, competitive and profitable industry that serves the credit and financial services needs of Georgians. We’ll write up a full summary for next week’s issue, but here are some snapshots of our activities. See all the photos from the trip here.



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Jonathan McKernan

FDIC Briefing to Members Touches on Deposit Insurance Reform Study

It was timely that the FDIC released a report evaluating three options to reform the deposit insurance system on the eve of our member visit to Washington, D.C., which included a briefing from FDIC Director Jonathan McKernan. During the briefing Wednesday, McKernan characterized the proposal as a “fun read” for him, noting that the agency put together a significant outline for updating the deposit insurance system in a short period of time. McKernan was careful to not express a personal preference for any of the options detailed in the report at this time. Also in the briefing from FDIC was former Atlanta Region Director Doreen Eberley, who is now director of the Division of Risk Management Supervision. She stressed it is ultimately up to Congress to make any changes to coverages. The options outlined by the study are:

  • Limited Coverage: Maintains the current structure of deposit insurance in which there is a finite deposit insurance limit for all depositors and types of accounts. It includes the possibility of an increased, but finite, deposit insurance limit. Limited Coverage does not address the run risk from high concentrations of uninsured depositors, even with an increase to the deposit insurance limit.


  • Unlimited Coverage: Provides unlimited deposit insurance, effectively removing run risks but may strongly affect bank risk-taking, the level of deposit insurance assessments on banks and broader financial markets.


  • Targeted Coverage: Allows for different levels of deposit insurance coverage across different types of accounts and focuses on higher coverage for business payment accounts. Includes the possibility that some account types receive unlimited coverage while others do not. Targeted Coverage captures many of the financial stability benefits of expanded coverage while mitigating many of the undesirable consequences. However, one challenge would be the need to delineate between business payment deposits and other deposits.

During the briefing, McKernan, Eberley and Mark Pearce, Director, Division of Depositor and Consumer Protection, also discussed the general banking environment and a number of other key issues. Topics included the upcoming CRA reform proposal, expected later this year, their views on authorize positive, settle negative transactions that generate overdrafts, liquidity management and how examiners will look at unrealized losses in future exams in light of the recent high-profile bank closures.


“It was unique and refreshing to get a very candid briefing from top agency officials so soon after a significant report,” said GBA Chairman Rhodes McLanahan, First American Bank & Trust. “We appreciate them being with us and covering such a broad range of important issues.”


Read the FDIC Deposit Insurance Reform report here.


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A Look at This Year’s Banking and Compliance Schools

Here are some snapshots from Georgia Banking School and GBA Compliance School, which have been in session since Sunday in Athens. We’ll publish more details, graduate names and honors next week.



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Attention Attorneys!

Status of Important Cases - May 2023

The ABA Newsbytes Banking Docket for May 2023 is now available. Click here for the details of the status of important cases. (Each article contains a “Read more” link with access additional details on the issues, case summaries and links to related documents.)


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Speak up for National CSBS Community Bank Survey

We encourage member community banks to take part in the Conference for State Bank Supervisors' (CSBS) 2023 National Survey of Community Banks. Each year the survey informs critical research for the annual Community Banking Research Conference, which is jointly sponsored by CSBS, the FDIC and the Federal Reserve. This year’s questions focus on current bank conditions and emerging issues, including inflation, product service design and offerings, banking expenses and the future of community banking. Take the survey here. It takes approximately 20 minutes to complete, and the deadline to respond is June 30. All information collected is for research purposes only and will not be linked to any institution. This year’s conference is Oct. 4-5 at the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis and will be webcast live. Let’s make our Banking Commissioner Kevin Hagler proud with a big Georgia participation rate!


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Crime and Punishment

Carbon’s Copies Result in 11-Count Indictment

Jeremiah Carbon, 34, of Atlanta, was indicted April 18 for 11 counts of federal bank fraud and aggravated identity theft charges based on falsified money orders. According to U.S. Attorney Ryan K. Buchanan, the indictment, and other information presented in court, Carbon allegedly purchased, copied and returned more than 1,500 money orders, resulting in stolen funds of over $1.5 million between 2019 and 2022. He has also been charged with possessing a firearm as a convicted felon. Carbon allegedly devised a scheme to defraud banks by depositing hundreds of fraudulent money orders into multiple bank accounts to enrich himself and his co-conspirators. This case is being investigated by the U.S. Secret Service and prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Bethany Rupert. Read more here.


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New Peer Group Offering

Inaugural BSA Peer Group Meeting, Virtual Session, May 31

Our peer groups are growing! Join GBA's BSA Summit lead facilitator, Kristen Stogniew, for our first ever BSA Peer Group meeting. Focusing on the account opening process and enhanced due diligence, you are sure to walk away with the all the best practices in BSA compliance. Get all the details and register here. With questions, contact Aimee Corcoran, 404.420.2035.


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Still time to register!

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

Join us in St. Simons for the annual GBA Rural Development and Lending Conference, May 18-19 at the King & Prince. Sessions will include a livestock update, ag regulatory update, crop insurance, a peanut crop outlook, a Farm Bill update and a cotton update. Thanks to the GBA Agriculture Committee, led by its Chair Rachel Thompson, Bank of Newington, and Vice Chair Matt Rushton, AB&T, for their work on the agenda. For more information about the hotel and to register, click here. A huge thanks to Platinum Sponsor CSRA Business Lending and Gold Sponsor Point to Point Environmental. With questions, contact Alison Moreau, 404.420.2034.


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Elizabeth Graves

Coming up Aug. 10-11 – Women in Banking Conference

Session Highlight: How Prioritizing Your Mental Health Affects Your Entire Community

We’re excited to tell our women bankers, strategic partners and Associate Members about one of the great sessions coming your way at the Women in Banking Conference, Aug. 10-11 at Chateau Elan Winery & Resort in Braselton. With mental health being top of mind for so many individuals as they navigate their professional and personal lives, we’re excited that Elizabeth Graves, LCSW, mental health specialist with SentryHealth (formerly Wellview), will be on hand to discuss how prioritizing your mental health impacts not only you, your family,and your work colleagues, but your entire community. As a leader, sometimes the battle with stressors, good work/life balance and the struggle with perfectionism is a tough one. Graves will share how to manage those stressors and prioritize your mental health. You will learn how that will benefit you and those you lead. Don’t miss this session! Click here to see the conference website, register, see hotel reservation info, or to reserve your sponsorship. A huge thank you to our sponsors: Platinum Sponsor: BHG Financial; Gold Sponsor: McNair, McLemore, Middlebrooks & Co., LLC; Silver Sponsors: Carr, Riggs & Ingram, CPAs and Advisors; Elliott Davis; FHLBank Atlanta; Mauldin & Jenkins, LLC; Troutman Pepper; and Wipfli. Contact Kathy Friestad, 404.420.2024, with questions. 


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Related: SentryHealth Resources

Mental Health Awareness Month Resources from GBAIT Wellness Partner

May is Mental Health Awareness Month, so if you start to feel stressors start to creep in this month (or anytime throughout the year), check out this poster with six steps to take care of your mental health from the GBA Insurance Trust’s wellbeing partner, SentryHealth. The GBA Insurance Trust provides health insurance and wellness plans for employees and their families at member companies. If you need one-on-one support, members participating in the Trust have access to covered virtual appointments with mental health care professionals and a variety of other health professionals, such as registered dieticians and personal trainers, through SentryHealth. Contact Lee Monroe and Jayn Lawson for information. If you are an employee of a participating member company and are ready to do something good for your health today, schedule an appointment at or on the MySentryHealth app, available on the App Store or Google Play.


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Older Americans Month Resources

May is also Older Americans Month, an awareness program by the Administration for Community Living. There are a number of good resources you can tap in to as banks to celebrate, educate and serve older Americans in your community. These are free for all GBA members.


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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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2023 GBA Compensation Survey

Your Organization’s Employees Are Its Greatest Asset – Complete our Survey Before May 26

Employee compensation is typically a bank’s largest non-interest expense. How your bank compensates its most important asset has a significant impact on overall performance. The use of a high quality, independent salary survey should be a key component in your compensation strategy to help you attract and retain the best talent in your industry. The 2023 Georgia Bankers Association Compensation Survey was opened for participation on April 4. Survey participants receive a substantial discount over the non-participant price ($595 vs. $1,475).


Key survey dates:

  • Survey Submission Due Date: May 26

  • Survey Results Published: Week of August 14

Please contact Pearl Meyer’s Rhonda Snyder at for instructions to complete this year’s survey.


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Advertising Opportunity

Membership Directory Taking Shape

The Georgia Bankers Association has partnered with E&M Consulting, Inc. to produce our Membership Directory. The publication will be available in print and digital formats. E&M will be managing the project, including advertising sales and layout/graphic design. They are highly professional and produce a high-quality publication, and we ask that you give them a moment of your time. E&M will be contacting all members about the advertising opportunities available. The publication will be mailed to every member – a great opportunity to promote and give your company additional exposure. If you have any questions or want to advertise, please contact an E&M sales associate at 800.572.0011 ext. 8005 or As always, your support is greatly appreciated!


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Cyber Regulatory Compliance, HMDA and Its Data Points, Fair Lending Review, CRA Essentials 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:


Bainbridge - First Port City Bank

In honor of Teacher Appreciation Week, the bank presented each local school with trays of cookies and donuts as a thank you to the teachers for all they do.


Cordele - Planters First Bank

Bank team members served lunch to middle and high school athletes of the Crisp County Track and Football teams in celebration of the end-of-school-year. Pictured at right are bank team members William Hurt, Tim Powers, Courtney Tomlinson and Kelly Laing.


Hawkinsville - Planters First Bank

Mike Williamson, the local Chaplain for Hawkinsville VFW Post 6077, came by the bank to collect retired American flags for proper handling. This flag donation box remains in the bank’s Hawkinsville bank lobby year-round for convenience in properly disposing of retired flags.


Savannah - Great Oaks Bank

The bank celebrated Teach Children to Save during the week of April 24-28 through local outreach to schools located near the bank’s six offices. Bank volunteers taught savings education in nine schools across Georgia, reaching 670 elementary children. Students in Bleckley, Effingham, Bryan, Bulloch, and Chatham counties learned the difference between needs and wants, the importance of saving, and responsible places to keep their money. Read more here.



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GBA Newsmakers


Anniston, AL/Atlanta - Southern States Bancshares Inc./Southern States Bank

Southern States Bancshares Inc. appointed current President Mark Chambers as CEO, effective April 28. Chambers, who is also the CEO of the company's banking subsidiary, Southern States Bank, will succeed Stephen Whatley, the founder and CEO of the company, who is retiring. Whatley will also retire from his position as chairman of the boards of the company and Southern States Bank. J. Henry Smith IV, who previously served as lead director, will replace Whatley on each board.


Lawrenceville - Embassy National Bank

Vaishali Joshi has joined the bank team as a senior vice president. Read more here.


Milledgeville - Exchange Bank

On April 20, Exchange Bankshares, Inc. held its annual meeting of shareholders, where the shareholders and directors of the company resolved to recognize and permanently document the contributions of bank director Melvin T. Couey to Exchange Bankshares, Inc. and Exchange Bank. Read more here.


Perry - Planters First Bank

Amie Jones has been promoted to banking center manager for the bank's Perry market.


Sandy Springs - Signature Bank of Georgia

Two new team members have joined the bank’s Client Engagement Center Team in Sandy Springs. Jayla Harris joined in January as teller support and services specialist. Ann Bingham joined the bank in April as deposit support and services specialist. Read more here.


Savannah - BankSouth

Luke Boyd has joined the bank as a business development officer and consumer lender for the Savannah market.


Atlanta - Mauldin & Jenkins

The accounting and advisory firm recently announced its expansion into the North Fulton community with the opening of its newest office in Alpharetta. Read more here. Additionally, Nick Rider, director in the firm’s Private Client Services practice, has accepted a nomination to sit on the Georgia Society of CPA's Board of Directors. He also received the Distinguished Member Award for his contributions to the GSCPA.


Washington, D.C. - American Bankers Association

Heather Trew has been named senior vice president for Bank Secrecy Act (BSA) and Anti Money Laundering (AML). Read more here.


Mark Chambers Stephen Whatley J. Henry Smith Vaishali Joshi Melvin Couey Amie Jones


Jayla Harris Ann Bingham Luke Boyd Nick Rider Heather Trew


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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