Nov. 10, 2023  

FRM Conference Sets the Stage for 2024

GBA member CFOs and finance team members loaded up on intel to help them plan for the coming year during our annual Financial Risk Management Conference last week in Atlanta. The program, planned by the GBA Asset Liability Management Committee, featured sessions and experts covering a full spectrum of finance topics essential for ensuring profitably run banks. Committee Chair Haynes Standard, First State Bank, served as the conference host and led the conference on the first day. The conference opened with a discussion of a variety of government guaranteed lending and investment opportunities presented by Mark Evans of Brean Capital. Committee Vice Chair Holt Redding, SouthCoast Bank, then led a panel discussion about funding alternatives. Panelists were Danialle Evans, OneSouth Bank; Eric Johansen, Exchange Bank; Brandi Pajot, Affinity Bank; Danny Capitel, Intrafi Networks; and Kevin Wyckoff, FHLB-Atlanta. A thorough discussion of fraud’s true cost to banks and some good ideas on mitigation strategies was next up, led by Terri Luttrel of GBA Strategic Partner Abrigo. Thursday’s programming wrapped up with a session about loan pricing and hedging strategies presented by Ed Kofman of SouthState Bank’s correspondent division. Friday began with an industry and advocacy update from GBA’s David Oliver, followed by a panel discussion about trends in regulatory exams. Panelists were Classic City Bank’s Chad Hargrove, Donna Kelley from First National Bank, and River City Bank’s Connie Mathis. Jonathan Hightower of the Fenimore Kay Harrison law firm moderated. The conference concluded with a session about balance sheet management best practices by Ryan Hayhurst of the Baker Group. Thanks to exhibitors Brean Capital, Intrafi Network and S&P Global Market Intelligence. Thanks also to the following sponsors. Platinum sponsor: The Baker Group PC. Gold sponsors: Brean Capital LLC and Raymond James & Associates. Silver sponsors: Carr Riggs & Ingram CPAs and Advisors, Empyrean Solutions, FHLBank Atlanta, ServisFirst Bank and Wiplfi LLP. See photos from the conference here.



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FHLB Report Released by FHFA

The Federal Housing Finance Agency this week issued its long-awaited review of the Federal Home Loan Bank system. We’ve got our sleeves rolled up and are working to review the variety of recommendations to gauge impact on members. The report includes ideas for enhancing FHLB’s liquidity mission, expanding its focus on housing and community development, adjusting membership requirements and more. Access the report here. Access a fact-sheet from FHFA here.


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Michelle Bowman

Fed’s Bowman Weighs in on Challenges for Banks from New CRA Rule

We’re still working to analyze and digest the impacts from the recent CRA Final Rule regulators released recently. It was interesting this week to read comments from Federal Reserve Board Governor Michelle Bowman detailing her concerns about the rule, as she was the lone dissenting Fed board member to vote against it. “First and foremost, the final rule applies the same regulatory expectations for small banks as it does for the largest banks,” Bowman said. “For example, a wide range of community banks—those with more than $2 billion in assets—are treated as ‘large banks’ under the final rule, forcing these banks to comply with the same CRA evaluation standards as a bank with $2 trillion in assets.” Read her remarks to the Ohio Bankers League here.


Related Webinar: New Final Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) Regulations – What Do They Mean for Your Bank? - December 6th


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CFPB Targets Non-bank Payment Providers

Looking to bring popular nonbank payment providers under similar rules and regulations as banks, the CFPB this week proposed a rule to allow the bureau to examine payment providers such as those providing mobile wallets and person-to-person electronic payments. The rule would allow the CFPB to ensure compliance with applicable federal consumer financial protection laws, and it would provide a more consistent regulatory framework between non-depository and depository institutions, the CFPB said. Read the proposed rule here.


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Credit Conference - Nov. 30 - Dec. 1, The Westin Buckhead Atlanta

Register by Wednesday, Nov. 15, for Discounted Pricing

We are just weeks away with a record crowd for the annual GBA 2023 Credit Conference hosted annually by GBA’s Credit Committee under the leadership of Michael Tesler, Ameris Bank, and Vice Chair Rebecca Abraham, Signature Bank of Georgia. Get all the details and register here.


We’d like to thank these Associate Members who are showing their support through sponsorship.

  • Platinum Sponsor: Steve H. Powell & Company

  • Silver Sponsors: CRI - Carr Riggs & Ingram CPAs and Advisors, CSRA Business Lending, Mauldin & Jenkins, Point to Point Environmental and Wiplfi LLP.

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Leader Updates

Moving In, Free Market Challenge, Interchange and POTUS Polling

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

  • Population Trends: Georgia continues to be an attractive state for people looking to make a move. Of the people moving to Georgia in 2022, most were from other countries, and most from any other state were from Florida. We shared some other details and national migration trends.


  • Free Market Challenge: A recent blog post from the Georgia Public Policy Foundation properly frames legislation introduced in Georgia and Florida looking to bar interchange fees charged on the sales tax portion of a transaction as an attack on the free market system. We shared details. Combating this legislation again in 2024 will be an advocacy priority for which we need grassroots banker involvement.



  • Swing-State Polling: We shared some recent polling about possible Presidential election outcomes in key swing states. In Georgia, the poll shows former President Trump with a 49% to 43% advantage over President Biden.

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


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You Can Help BankPAC Reach Its Goal

This is the time of year that the BankPAC Board of Directors begins to wrap up the yearly fundraising campaign and we sincerely hope that this is on your radar if you and your bank have not yet contributed to the StatePAC and FedPAC. This important effort is key to making sure our industry’s voice is heard across federal and state levels of government. You can find the campaign materials on GBA’s website where you can easily download contribution forms for the GBA StatePAC and FedPAC and find a link to make an individual contribution online to the FedPAC. Thanks to the employees of Georgia Bankers Association, Joe Brannen, president & CEO, for their contributions to the GBA FedPAC this week. With questions, please call GBA’s Elizabeth Chandler at 404.372.7893 or Bo Brannen at 404.731.9886.


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Registration Now Open for Georgia BankPAC Sporting Clays Tournament

Planned and hosted by Leadership GBA’s Board of Directors, this event will be back at crowd favorite Old Hudson Plantation Feb. 8 in Sparta, and all proceeds will go to the Georgia state PAC*. Click here for more details and to register. There are registration options for two-person teams, individual shooters, as well as sponsorship opportunities. Contact GBA’s Kathy Friestad with questions.


* The GBA StatePAC contributes only to candidates running for state-level office such as the Georgia General Assembly, the Governor’s office and the Lieutenant Governor’s office.  Contributions can be made from an individual, from bank funds if you are a state chartered bank or from a national bank holding company if the contribution is made from funds other than those resulting from the operations of the national bank.

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Kristen Stogniew

Two Great BSA Programs


Convenient Peer Networking – Nov. 28, Virtual

Sign up now for virtual winter session! Grow your BSA network and connect with your peers. Kristen Stogniew of Saltmarsh, Cleaveland and Gund will be back to lead the group discussion and registrants can submit industry hot topics during the registration process to ensure those topics are covered. Get all the details and register here.


BSA Summit, Jan. 29 – Feb. 1, Peachtree City

You need the right skills and equipment to assess and maintain your bank’s BSA/AML/CFT and OFAC programs. Join us at GBA’s BSA Summit in Peachtree City at the Hilton Conference Center, Jan. 29 - Feb. 1. Facilitated by Kristen Stogniew, attendees can expect a deep dive into the world of BSA compliance through a variety of sessions. Register here and strengthen your BSA knowledge and practices.


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


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New Webinar, Registration Opening Soon!

Mastering Power of Attorney in Georgia Webinar – Dec. 14, 10 - 11:30 a.m.

Registration will open soon for an exclusive webinar tailored specifically to Georgia bankers, where we delve into the critical aspects of our Georgia’s Power of Attorney laws with attorney, John Willis of Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough LLP.  This webinar is a must-attend event for those with customer service or document review responsibilities within a bank. With questions, contact Aimee Corcoran, 404.420.2035.


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IRS Announces Cost of Living Adjustments for 2024

The IRS recently announced the Cost of Living Adjustments for 2023, including retirement plan limit updates.  The maximum annual participant deferral limit for a 401(k) plan will increase from $22,500 to $23,000. The catch-up contribution limit for participants over age 50 will remain at $7,500. Please click here to see other retirement plan limits for 2024. We want to help you and your team members prepared for a financially stable retirement. GBA Retirement Services, Inc., an affiliate of Georgia Bankers Association, is available to help you review your bank's existing retirement plan. Benefits of the 401(k) plans offered through GBA Retirement Services include: competitive fees due to size of Master Trust, customized service from GBA staff, managed investment account solution for participants, flexibility and performance of investments, and added oversight by having American Trust Company as a Discretionary Trustee of each Plan in the Trust. Having a Discretionary Trustee in your plan helps to reduce the fiduciary liability your Plan Committee may currently be responsible for. Let us help you review your current plan and compare to what GBA Retirement Services can do for you! Please contact Mandy Richards at 678.549.4167 with questions or for assistance in doing a periodic review and comparison of your retirement plan.



GBA Retirement Services Annual 401(k) Training Seminar

The dates for the GBA Retirement Services Annual 401(k) Training Seminar are Dec 5 in Atlanta and Dec. 6 in Macon. HR administrators of banks or companies in the Trust may attend either session at no cost to you! We will cover plan administration, SECURE 2.0 Act, website demos, testing review, compliance updates, overview of investments, financial wellness tools, and review 2024 fee schedules. Is your plan not a part of our Master Trust? We invite you to also come and learn more about our services. Give us a call to find out how our program is helping thousands of Georgia Bankers be fully prepared for retirement. We promise you won’t be disappointed. Have questions? Contact Mandy Richards at 404.420.2025 for more information. Please click here to register for Atlanta or Macon.


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Registration Opening Soon!



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Make Plans to Attend 2024 Operations & Technology Conference

Join Georgia bank IT and operations professionals in Savannah Feb. 28 - March 1 at The DeSoto, Savannah, hosted annually by GBA’s Operations & Technology Committee under the leadership of Chair, Shan Venable, Altamaha Bank and Trust Company, Vidalia, and Vice Chair, Mindy Green, Citizens Community Bank, Hahira. Sessions will include:

  • Fraud Mitigation

  • Succession Planning

  • Leverage Your Next Core Contract Negotiation, David Saylor, Genesys Technology Group, LLC  

  • Phishing Protection Securing Azure AD with Conditional Access Policies, Eric Delgado, Safe Systems

  • Conversational AI and How to Leverage the Prompt

  • Evolving Expectations – The Next Digital Wave, Matt Herren, CSI.

Click here for all the information and to access registration.


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Compliance Alliance Question of The Week


Question: If a client withdraws a claim and we have provided them provisional credit, are we still required to comply with the notification and timing requirements if we will be debiting the provisional credit?


Answer: From the facts provided, the bank would likely want to consider completing its investigation and providing notice to the consumer of the outcome, as well as the debiting of provisional credit if the bank finds there was no error, to ensure that the consumer cannot reassert the dispute within the applicable window under Regulation E. See more below.


"1. Withdrawal of error; right to reassert. The financial institution has no further error resolution responsibilities if the consumer voluntarily withdraws the notice alleging an error. A consumer who has withdrawn an allegation of error has the right to reassert the allegation unless the financial institution has already complied with all of the error resolution requirements before the allegation was withdrawn. The consumer must do so, however, within the original 60-day period." Read more about this scenario.


Subscribe to Compliance Alliance's email newsletters for timely compliance updates and resources. Sign up for one of the live Compliance Alliance demos on Tuesday and Thursday afternoons to learn more.

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Registration Now Open!

IRA Merry-Go-Round, Feb.6 – Feb. 7, Macon, MGSU

Registration is now open for our GBA’s annual IRA Merry-Go-Round, Feb. 6 – Feb. 7, 2024 in Macon at Middle Georgia State University. Facilitated by Loni Porta, Director of Education, Convergent Retirement Plan Solutions, anyone even remotely involved in IRAs will benefit from this intensive training.  Whether you are looking to gain basic knowledge of IRAs, raise your comfort level, or sharpen your skills with the most up-to-date rules and regulations, the IRA Merry-Go-Round will cover it all.  Click here for more details and to register. Contact Aimee Corcoran with questions, 404.420.2035.


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Enroll Now for 2024 Georgia Banking School, April 28 - May 3

Online enrollment is now available for the 2024 session of the Georgia Banking School, which will be April 28 - May 3 in at the University of Georgia Center for Continuing Education and Hotel in Athens. For more than 60 years, the school has developed generations of Georgia bank leaders who shape the industry in our state. It offers everything you want and expect from an investment in banker education, specifically preparing the next generation of bank leaders, building the pool of management-level talent in your bank, and connecting students to the most knowledgeable industry experts and a community of fellow bankers. The Georgia Banking School Board, led by Darron Burnette of Synovus, has been hard at work reviewing the curriculum and planning next year’s session.


Georgia Banking School Details and Enrollment Access Here


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Now Available On Demand

Free Webinar with GBA Partner ABA Insurance - Cyber Trends and Claims

For anyone who missed hearing from GBA partner ABA Insurance last month about the trends in cyber claims over the last year, the session is now available on demand. Access the webinar recording. Topics covered include:

  • Cyber insurance pricing

  • Service provider exposure

  • C-suite liability and

  • BIPA and cyber claims from frequently reported claims to large dollar and unusual claims.

For questions about ABA Insurance’s professional lines, bond, cyber or P&C programs for banks, please contact Catherine Kopera at 216.220.1321 or


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Save the date!

Spring Programming at Middle Georgia State University in Macon

Save the date for our spring programs. Connect with your peers and gain the tools and expertise needed to excel in your role.

  • GBA’s Compliance Peer Group will meet on March 5. Attendees will discuss the industry’s latest hot topics and learn best practices to strengthen their bank’s compliance management program


  • Shannon Fortson of Pinnacle Bank will present the Personal Cash Flow Seminar March 5. Through a combination of lecture and casework, participants will learn how to calculate sources and uses of personal cash flow


  • Fortson will be back on March 6 to present the fan-favorite Loan Documentation Seminar. Learn what’s needed to prevent loan losses through the implementation of proper loan structuring and documentation techniques


  • Get the hands-on analysis training you need to determine a borrower’s capacity to repay a loan at the Business Cash Flow Seminar, March 7 with Peter Faser, a faculty member of the Georgia Banking School and momentum executive at Truist Securities.

With questions, contact Aimee Corcoran, 404.420.2035.


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GBA Associate Member Athens Cleaning Company

Best Ways to Keep Your Branches and Offices Clean During Cold & Flu Season

Over the next few weeks, we will share ten tips for keeping branches and offices clean courtesy of GBA Associate Member Athens Cleaning Company. Find the first four tips below. We’ll be adding more each week. With questions about any of these things, please contact Robbie Beck,, 706.799.3619, or visit

  • Make sure you or your high touch points are being wiped (light switches, door handles and desks).


  • Regularly dust off your light switches, outlets, and other small edges; look around the room for anywhere else that might collect dust. Dust can also be circulated through your heating and cooling systems by way of a dirty filter, so make sure to check those HVAC filters regularly.


  • Wash hands regularly. You can also add touch-free soap, paper towels, and sanitizer dispensers in the restroom, breakroom, and throughout the branch to reduce the chance of spreading germs.


  • Frequently clean and disinfect any high-traffic areas. Any time you have large groups of people congregate, whether for a meeting, office party, or conference, you should be diligent about cleaning and disinfecting afterward (or even during, if possible).

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No Travel Necessary, No Time Away from the Bank

A Full Harvest of Training for New Bankers

If you’ve got team members new to banking or just entering the workforce, we’ve got a host of good online training resources to help get them up to speed. There are more than 100 Banking Foundations courses and nine certificate programs are available for:

  • Tellers

  • Branch Managers

  • Universal Bankers and Customer Service Representatives

  • Small Business Bankers

  • Early Career Lenders and many others.

Check out the full Banking Foundations catalog here, which includes information about signing up. With questions, contact Alison Moreau, 404.420.2034.


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Commercial Loan Documentation, HR Basics for Supervisors, Wire Transfers: Staying Compliant and Avoiding Fraud Loss 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 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.


Save Big in Q4 with GBA Partner BankTalentHQ

Navigating the challenges of talent acquisition and retention is a daily task for banks. Beginning Oct. 1, bank employers can take advantage of 20% off a single 30-day job posting package with GBA partner BankTalentHQ. See the promo offer below for more information. Why post with BankTalentHQ?

  • Tailored Audience: The platform caters specifically to banking professionals, ensuring that your job post reaches the right people.

  • High Visibility: Partnering with 40 state banking associations across the country and the American Bankers Association, BankTalentHQ works collaboratively to promote your postings and attract talent to the industry.

  • Easy-to-use: With its user-friendly platform, posting a job and tracking applicants is easy.

To redeem your savings, visit, create an employer profile, and enter the code SAVE20BTHQ at checkout. Or, if you would like to set up a meeting with a member of the BankTalentHQ team to learn more, please email




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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 - Ameris Bank

The bank sponsored the 20th-annual Atlanta Out of the Darkness Walk, which aims to support those affected by suicide, raise awareness and raise funds for AFSP.


Atlanta/Athens - The Piedmont Bank

The University of Georgia Athletic Association and The Piedmont Bank are honoring three former student athletes for their exemplary achievements in business after their athletic careers. In its third year, The Piedmont Bank’s Arch Award showcases the continued achievements of former bulldogs who’ve parlayed their academic and sports experience and applied them successfully to their professional careers. The 2023 Arch Award were recognized on Dooley Field at Sanford Stadium on Nov. 4 during the Missouri game.


Columbus - Synovus Bank

The bank sponsored the 2023 Fountain City Classic, a HBCU tradition since 1945.


Donalsonville - Georgia Community Bank

The bank recently contributed $175,000 to Donalsonville Hospital through the Georgia HEART Hospital Program in the largest Georgia Heart donation the hospital has received since the program’s inception in 2017. Read more here.


Loganville - Legacy State Bank

Bank team members raised $174 during October for United Way of Walton County through its Casual Change For Charity program.


Moultrie - First National Bank

The bank sponsored the Skills Challenge competition in partnership with JCI Construction, where construction students from across Southwest Georgia showcased their skills and innovation.


Savannah - TC Federal Bank

The bank’s Savannah team sponsored the annual Make-A-Wish Cornhole Tournament last month. The Make-A-Wish Georgia organization grants the wishes of critically ill children.


Warner Robins - SunMark Community Bank

The bank recently presented its October Casual Cause donation to 21st Century Partnership. The bank collected items for military care packages for deployed military members from Robins Army Base. They also filled out thank you cards for their dedication to service.



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GBA Newsmakers


Atlanta - Signature Bank of Georgia

On Wednesday, the bank celebrated its 18th anniversary of serving clients in metro Atlanta.


Atlanta - Synovus Bank

Vikram Ramani has joined the bank as Chief Information Officer.


Cochran - The Citizens Bank of Cochran

Darci Maxwell has joined the bank as a teller.


Elberton - Oconee State Bank

The bank recently held a grand opening event for its new Elberton Financial Center. Holten Bradshaw has been promoted to senior personal banker there.


Greenville, SC - Southern First Bank

Stacy Fetterman has joined the bank as Chief Compliance Officer and Senior Vice President.


Hawkinsville - Planters First Bank

The bank received the Main Street Community Spirit Award on Nov. 2 at the 2023 Annual Main Street Meeting. Hawkinsville Market President/Sr. Vice President Tim Wynne and Sr. Vice President Bobbie Clemons accepted the award on behalf of the bank.


Louisville - Queensborough National Bank & Trust Company, Inc.

Freda Jackson and Cody Creswell were both recently promoted to banking officers. Jackson and Creswell work in the bank’s Operations Department. Read more here.


Macon - American Pride Bank

Bank team member Belinda Marquez recently graduated from Leadership Macon.


Perry - Planters First Bank

Haley Williams has joined the bank as a teller in its Perry branch.


Watkinsville - BankSouth

Erica Greene has been promoted to Director of Loan Operations.


Watkinsville - Oconee State Bank

Trent Stevens and Alina Bradea Pop have been promoted to personal bankers. Allee Howard has been promoted to deposit operations specialist. Macie McCannon has been promoted to senior deposit operations specialist.


Atlanta - Dart Appraisal

The company is celebrating its 30th anniversary this week.



Vikram Ramani Darci Maxwell Oconee State Bank Holten Bradshaw Stacy Fetterman



Planters First Bank Freda Jackson Cody Creswell Belinda Marquez



Haley Williams Erica Greene Trent Stevens Alina Bradea Pop Allee Howard Macie McCannon



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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