Sept. 15, 2023  

Save the Date! - Ops/Tech Conference, Feb. 28 - March 1

Operations and Technology Committee Meets

Combating fraud, a variety of system and hardware update projects, Fed-Now adoption, efficiency initiatives, core conversions and even the challenges of building a new branch in a downtown historic district were among the topics discussed by the committee during its meeting Wednesday in Macon. Committee Chair Shan Venable of Altamaha Bank and Trust Company led the meeting. New members welcomed were Marshall Bunce, American Pride Bank, Kristy Harrell, First National Bank, and David West, BankSouth. The committee got off to a good start planning the 2024 Operations and Technology Conference, which will be Feb. 28-March 1 in Savannah. Look for details and registration information soon. With questions, contact Alison Moreau, 404.420.2034.



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Big Industry Win on CFPB UDAAP Case

Late last week a federal judge in Texas issued a sharp rebuke of the CFPB by granting summary judgment in favor of the industry in a challenge to the agency’s interpretation of its UDAAP authority. The judge’s ruling set aside the CFPB’s March 2022 interpretation in its exam manual of its UDAAP powers. Among the plaintiffs in the case were the ABA, the Texas Bankers Association, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and several others. The judge agreed with ABA that the CFPB clearly exceeded its statutory authority under the Dodd-Frank Act. In addition, the judge upheld ABA’s challenge to the exam manual on the grounds that it was the product of an unconstitutionally funded agency. (Texas is covered by an appellate court ruling, currently being appealed to the Supreme Court, that found the bureau’s funding violates the Appropriations Clause of the Constitution.) Read the court ruling here.


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Hurricane Idalia

South Georgia Regulatory Relief Guidance by FDIC

Members in South Georgia have been working hard to provide help to customers and communities hit hard by Hurricane Idalia. The FDIC this week released helpful regulatory relief guidance for banks in certain parts of South Georgia. The agency encouraged banks in these areas to work with borrowers through efforts including extending repayment terms, restructuring existing loans or easing terms for new loans. The agency also said it would consider relief from certain filing and publishing requirements. Read the guidance here.


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Leader Updates

Branch Preferences, Performance Gold Stars, Manufacturing and Career Academies

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

  • Brick-and-Mortar: We shared some interesting data published about consumer and business preferences to access brick-and-mortar branches. As the articles pointed out, the shift to the digital economy and the rise of online banking has made it easier and more convenient for most of us to do our banking online. However, there remains a strong need for physical locations to serve those who prefer in-person or those with limitations on digital access, among other reasons.


  • Performance Pride Points: We did a little more analysis on the FDIC’s release of bank performance through mid-year, focusing on how Georgia’s numbers bested national trends.


  • Manufacturing Boom: There’s been a sharp increase in investment in Georgia and other states on manufacturing capacity and infrastructure. We shared some details from the Fed and other analysts about what’s been termed a manufacturing “supercycle.” We also detailed a host of Georgia projects illustrating why U.S. manufacturing-related investors and others around the world think of Georgia as one of the best states to do business.


  • Georgia College and Career Academies: We spotlighted the Commodore Conyers College and Career Academy, known locally in Albany simply as the 4C Academy. The 4C Academy was in the news recently for a massive hydroponics greenhouse that’s been constructed on its campus. It is one of many Georgia College and Career Academies in all parts of the state. Agribusiness is one of the 13 pathways available at 4C. Examples of other pathways include drafting, construction, health care and mechatronics.

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


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BOLO for Fraudulent Checks

The Four County Bank has reported official checks bearing the bank's name with the routing number of 061112034 and account number ending in 7252 are being presented fraudulently. Remitter is Rachel Goines with address of 942 Iron Gate Blvd, Jonesboro, GA 30238 in the amount of $18,900.00. We ask that financial institutions contact the bank at 478.962.3221 to verify the authenticity of the items before cashing or negotiating. Contact Heather Johnson at 478.962.3221 or


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Mike Allen

New Facilitator, Mike Allen
Claim Your Seat at Senior Lending Officer Roundtables

We’re excited to announce a new facilitator for these popular peer learning and networking groups, and we’ve got seats available for new members in all four groups. Leading the tables this year will be Mike Allen of 3B’s Advisors. With 45+ years of banking/credit expertise and experience, Allen is among the most respected lending experts in Georgia. A passionate and dynamic instructor, he's president of the Graduate School of Banking at LSU Board of Trustees as well as a faculty member there. He's also a longtime member of the Georgia Banking School Board of Directors and faculty. These roundtables meet three times a year beginning in October in either Macon or Atlanta depending on your group. Demographics for the roundtables are senior-level officers in the lending area of the bank. If you would like to participate, let us know of your interest in a particular group and your CEO’s approval and we’ll work to place you in a group where there’s available space. We look at competitive overlap when adding new members, so placement is not guaranteed. However, we’ll make every effort to place as many as possible in each group while ensuring each group is small enough for effective dialogue. Upon placement decision, we’ll communicate to you details and official registration information. For those looking to join, get all the details and contact information here. With questions, reach out to Alison Moreau, 404.420.2034.


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Enrollment Opening Soon!



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401(k) Roth Catch Up Contributions for High Earners - Extended until 2026

The SECURE Act 2.0 retirement legislation was signed into law late last year. One of the provisions that was originally planned to be become effective in 2024 is the requirement that all catch up contributions made by anyone earning more than $145,000 per year be made as Roth deferrals, rather than pretax deferrals. The IRS recently announced an administrative transition period that will extend this requirement until 2026.


If your Plan does not allow Roth contributions, you may want to consider adding a Roth provision in the next couple of years to prepare for this change in 2026, but this extension allows plan sponsors more time to implement this change. Roth is a beneficial option for many plan participants since all after-tax Roth contributions grow tax free, including the earnings on those Roth deferrals. To read the full IRS guidance about this update, click here. If you are in the Master Trust and would like to go ahead and amend your Plan to allow Roth, please contact Mandy Richards. If you are not currently part of the GBA Master Trust and would like to learn more, please contact Mandy Richards at 404.420.2025 for more information or to request a proposal of services for your existing 401(k) plan.


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Last Call! A Few Seats Are Available

In-Person Lending Seminars Next Week

Two GBA lending seminars are next week in Macon with new speakers and fresh content. There's still time to sign up.

  • Business Cash Flow Analysis Seminar - Sept. 19
    Join Peter Faser of Truist, a faculty member of the Georgia Banking School, for an introduction and practical approach to business cash flow analysis. A highlight of the seminar is new and fresh casework to get the hands-on analysis needed to determine a borrower’s capacity to repay a loan. Learn more and register here.


  • Loan Documentation Seminar - Sept. 20
    Shannon Fortson
    , EVP, Chief Credit Officer of Pinnacle Bank, is the new leader for our Loan Documentation Seminar. He'll cover proper loan structuring and documentation techniques. Connect with peers and walk away with all the best tips and tools. Commercial loan officers, commercial loan personnel, loan assistants and closing specialists will benefit from this program. Learn more and register here.

Peter Faser Shannon Fortson


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President/CEO, Bank Accountant, and Bank Counsel Conferences

Continuing Education Credits Approved for Attorneys and Accountants

Good news for attorneys and accountants attending our upcoming President/CEO, Bank Accountant and Bank Counsel Conferences, Sept. 24-26 at the JW Marriott Savannah Plant Riverside District. The conferences have been approved by the Commission on Continuing Lawyer Competency (CCLC) for CLE credit under the Continuing Legal Education (CLE) program. Bank Counsel attendees will earn 5.5 total CLE hours when attending the Bank Counsel Conference sessions and the General Sessions. The conferences have been approved by the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA). Attendees of the Bank Accountant Conference qualify for 7.8 Continuing Professional Education credit in the area of Business Management and Organization, if they attend the entire conference (Bank Accountant session and the General Sessions). Click here to see the detailed agenda, to register and for hotel information.


A huge shout-out to our event sponsors: American Bankers Association; CRI Carr Riggs & Ingram, CPAs and Advisors; EBS; Elliott Davis; FHLBank Atlanta; Fenimore Kay Harrison LLP; FNBB First National Bankers Bank; James Bates Brannan Groover LLP; Mauldin & Jenkins; McNair, McLemore, Middlebrooks & Co; Nichols Cauley; SentryHealth; Servis1st Bank, Correspondent Bank Division; Symphona; Troutman Pepper; and Warren Averett, CPAs and Advisors. Contact GBA’s Kathy Friestad with questions, 678.523.6407.



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2023 Georgia Banking Compensation Survey Reports are Now Available

In conjunction with Associate Member Pearl Meyer, we are pleased to announce that the 2023 Georgia Banking Compensation Survey reports are now available. The reports allow you to make well-informed business decisions by providing reliable benchmarks based on compensation trends in the banking industry, your bank's asset size, and other market competitors.


This year's survey reports represent:

  • 71 Georgia banks; 202 Southeast-based banks

  • Over 5,800 incumbents reporting in Georgia; over 29,000 incumbents in the Southeast

  • 167 positions reported in Georgia

  • 268 positions reported in the Southeast

  • Policies & Practices Report with data on base salary programs and incentive plans

Pricing for the survey reports:

  • $595 – Participants

  • $1,475 – Non-Participants

Pearl Meyer emailed all participants with instructions for purchasing the 2023 survey reports. If your organization did not participate and would like to buy the report or if you have not received a purchase email, please get in touch with Pearl Meyer's Rhonda Snyder at


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Brad Rustin

Compliance Conference & HMDA Workshop, Oct. 18-20, Jekyll Island

Looking at the Past to Predict the Future: 2023 Enforcement Actions

Join us at this year’s GBA Compliance Conference in Jekyll Island. Planned by GBA’s Compliance Committee, led by Chair Tabitha White, First State Bank of Blakely, and Vice Chair Lindsay Holloway, The Four County Bank, Allentown, attendees can expect a jammed packed agenda. Our closing session will be presented by fan favorite, Brad Rustin, Nelson Mullins. During this session, Rustin will look back at recent enforcement actions and discuss what banks can do to avoid these setbacks along with what they should do in the future to meet and exceed the expectations and requirements set forth by the regulators.


Get all the details and register here. Attendees have the option to register for both workshop and conference, conference only, or workshop only. 


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

  • Platinum Sponsors: American Bankers Association and Steve H. Powell & Company

  • Silver Sponsors: Carr, Riggs, & Ingram, CPAs and Advisors, Compliance Alliance, Mauldin & Jenkins, Ncontracts and Troutman Pepper.

With questions, contact Aimee Corcoran, 404.420.2035.


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Regional Banking Symposium to Zero in on South Georgia Oct. 12

Join GBA and Valdosta State University's Harley Langdale Jr. College of Business Administration for the South Georgia Community Bank Symposium Oct. 12 on the VSU campus. Experts will address key banking challenges and opportunities to collaborate with the university and its students. It’s a great event for learning and networking for all bankers. Confirmed sessions include:

  • Economic Outlook with Dr. Elvan Aktas, Professor of Finance, Valdosta State University

  • Credit Conditions/Concerns with Stewart Thigpen, CEO, Steve H. Powell & Co.

  • Regional Economic Development Panel with Moderator Tiffany Holmes, Director of Center For Rural Prosperity, Georgia Chamber; and Panelists Jason Dunn, Executive Director, Fitzgerald Ben Hill Economic Development Authority; Jana Dyke, President & CEO at Albany-Dougherty Economic Development; and Scott Purvis, Community Development Manager, Georgia Power

  • Valdosta State University Update and Initiatives of Interest to Bankers

Refreshments and lunch will be provided. Click here to access the event website with everything you need to know.


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Compliance Alliance Questions of The Week


Question: A loan to purchase and renovate a dwelling to flip it for resale is not subject to HMDA reporting, correct?


Answer: If the loan is temporary and is designed to be replaced by permanent financing by the same or another borrower afterwards, it could potentially fall under the temporary financing exception below. That said, generally flipping a dwelling for resale will not be considered temporary financing as there are generally not plans to replace the loan with permanent financing at a later date.


Question: For 1071 purposes, if a business does not have a single individual owner with at least a 25% equity interest, do banks need to continue exploring the chain of ownership until they uncover ownership by natural persons just as they do with beneficial ownership requirements?


Answer: "A 'principal owner' is an individual who directly owns 25% or more of the equity interests of a business. Thus, an applicant will have no more than four principal owners and may not have any principal owners if no natural person directly owns 25% or more of the equity interests of the business," says the Small Business Lending Final Rule Executive Summary. So, per this definition you do not need to drill down any further with 1071, while with beneficial ownership you would need to continue reviewing the ownership structure until you find individual owners.


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


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Financial Risk Management Conference - Nov. 2-3

Session Highlight: Funding Alternatives

Holt Redding, South Coast Bank & Trust, Brunswick, and vice chair of the GBA Asset/Liability Management Committee will moderate a panel discussion on funding alternatives at the 2023 GBA Financial Risk Management Conference. The panel will focus on how community banks can use all their funding sources to maximize their currently liquidity needs or concerns. Real-world experiences will be shared from community banking peers as well as funding sources representatives on how they managed and helped manage liquidity over the past 12 months. Discussion will also cover advice from recent examinations as well as provide unique ways to obtain funding that are accessible to everyone in the room. Panelist are Brandi Pajot, Affinity Bank; Danny Capitel, IntraFi; Kevin Wyckoff, FHLB; Danialle Evans, OneSouth Bank; and Eric Johansen, Exchange Bank.


The Asset/Liability Management Committee, under the leadership of Chair Haynes Standard, First State Bank, Wrens, and Vice Chair Redding has lined up an outstanding agenda for Conference, Nov. 2-3 at The Westin Buckhead Atlanta. Get all the details and register here.


We’d like to thank these Associate Members who are showing their support:

  • Platinum sponsorship: The Baker Group PC

  • Gold sponsorship: Brean Capital LLC

  • Silver sponsorship: Carr Riggs & Ingram CPAs and Advisors; FHLBank Atlanta; ServisFirst Bank and Wiplfi LLP.

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Cal Evans

Credit Conference - Nov. 30 - Dec. 1

Get the Scoop on the Latest in Commercial Real Estate Credit

We are excited to have Cal Evans, senior director, Market Intelligence & Analytics, Synovus Bank, at the 2023 GBA Credit Conference discussing current challenges and opportunities in commercial real estate credit. During this session, Evans will discuss current capital market activity in an elevated rate environment, cap rate trend analysis and forecast, sector overview with a heightened focus on office and multifamily - the two sectors facing the most regulator and investor scrutiny - and projections for 2024 in the industry.


The GBA Credit Committee, under the leadership of Michael Tesler, Ameris Bank, and Vice Chair Rebecca Abraham, Signature Bank of Georgia, has finalized the agenda for the Conference, Nov 30-Dec 1 at The Westin Buckhead Atlanta.


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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BSA Summit, Jan. 29 - Feb. 1, 2024, in Peachtree City

Registration is open for GBA’s BSA Summit in Peachtree City at the Hilton Conference Center, Jan. 29 - Feb. 1. Facilitated by Kristen Stogniew of Saltmarsh, Cleaveland & Gund, attendees can expect a deep dive into the world of BSA compliance through a variety of sessions. Register here and secure your spot! Contact Aimee Corcoran with questions, 404.420.2035.


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The Rapidly Evolving Cyber Threat Landscape, Strategic Planning for Your Community Bank 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:


Athens/Clayton - BankSouth

Bank team members recently visited the Food Bank of Northeast Georgia to help fill bags with necessities for a donor event.


Atlanta - Ameris Bank

For Suicide Prevention Week, bank teammates and the Ameris Foundation helped raise funds for suicide prevention by participating in the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention’s Virtual Walk. Together, they were able to donate a total of $20,000.


Bainbridge - First Port City Bank

The bank recently donated $1500 to the Bainbridge High School FFA.


Lawrenceville - Oconee State Bank

During August, bank team members participated in a donation drive for the Special Needs School of Gwinnett. Earlier this week, employees presented the items to the kids and Special Needs School of Gwinnett team at their offices.





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GBA Newsmakers


Cleveland – Apex Banking Company

Congratulations to Marc Greene, chairman, Ryan Tucker, president and CEO, and the whole team at Apex Banking Company, which hosted a grand opening for its newest branch last week.


Elberton - Pinnacle Bank

Lee Garrett and Bronson Lavender have been promoted to regional presidents. Read more here.


Gainesville - Pinnacle Bank

Neal W. Booth, Sr. has been promoted to North Regional Credit Officer and county executive of Hall County, GA. Read more here.


Macon - American Pride Bank

Congratulations to President and CEO John Hall who has been nominated for a three-year term on the American Bankers Association Board of Directors. Hall has previously served on the ABA’s Community Bankers Council, Government Relations Council, and is the current state membership chair. He was GBA’s 2018-2019 Chairman. Read more here.


Sandy Springs - Signature Bank of Georgia

Alisha Nasse has joined the bank as Market Executive and Senior Vice President. Read more here.


Tampa and Pensacola, FL - Saltmarsh, Cleaveland & Gund

The firm was recently named one of Accounting Today’s 2023 Best Firms to Work For and a Top 200 U.S. Accounting Firm by INSIDE Public Accounting. Read more here.


Lee Garrett Bronson Lavender Neal Booth John Hall Alisha Nasse Saltmarsh, Cleaveland & Gund
Apex Banking Company


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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