Sept. 29, 2023  

Statewide Deposits Decrease Slightly

The FDIC deposit market share report released last week shows that banks doing business in Georgia held $341.6 billion of in-market deposits on June 30. That’s down about 3% from the $351.6 billion in 2022. There were 194 banks reporting deposits in Georgia, with 145 of those headquartered here, and 49 institutions from 19 other states reporting. See our map below. Note that the scale doesn’t allow for the numbers to show for the two banks in Delaware and one each in Connecticut and New Jersey. Access the full market share list here.





Total Change

% change

In-Market Deposits ($000)


















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Senate Committee Passes SAFER Banking Act

On a vote of 14-9, the Senate Banking Committee passed the Secure and Fair Enforcement Regulation Banking Act on to the full Senate. The bill would enable financial institutions to serve legitimate cannabis businesses in states where it is legal. GBA has been supportive of this measure for several years since Georgia legalized medical marijuana sales. Sen. Raphael Warnock, a member of the committee, voted against the measure. Warnock said he would support the bill were it, “paired with broader cannabis reforms that substantially address the issue of restorative justice.” The House has already passed a similar measure seven times, and this is the first real movement in the Senate. With questions, please contact Elizabeth Chandler , 404.372.7893, Bo Brannen, 404. 731.9886, or Joe Brannen, 404.401.0274.


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Program Highlights from High-Energy Conferences This Week

Our trio of executive level conferences took place this week, and the programming gave bank presidents, CEOs, accounting firm leaders and Bank Counsel section members lots of take-home intel. Rick Basinger, Northeast Georgia Bank, Lavonia, hosted the conference and chairs the GBA Community Bankers Committee. The general sessions for all three groups kicked off Monday with an economic update from Chris Low of FHN Financial. He noted that economic growth is accelerating and inflation is moderating. However, he cautioned that core inflation is falling more slowly, and the Federal Reserve is in “meeting-by-meeting” mode related to further rate hikes or beginning to cut rates. Jonathan Hightower of Fenimore Kay Harrison led a regulatory panel discussion that featured candid comments from Georgia Department of Banking and Finance Commissioner Kevin Hagler, FDIC Deputy Director and Chief of Staff John Vogel, and Trey Wheeler, Assistant Vice President, Supervision and Regulation, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta. Among the topics they covered were some behind the scenes reflections and lessons learned from the large bank closures in the spring. Monday’s sessions concluded with a deep-dive outlook for community bank performance by S&P Global Market Intelligence’s Nathan Stovall. Also on Monday, the Bank Accountant Section’s session was an open forum discussion of key issues for accounting pros. Bank Accountant Section Board Chair Rhonda Norris of Symphona and Vice Chair Eve Rogers of Crowe led the discussion. Participants shared experiences with CECL adoption and the levels of reserves they were seeing among their client banks. Reviewing and testing banks’ liquidity contingency plans and sources, eyes on bond valuations, and helping newer colleagues understand the effects of a changing rate environment and a potentially deteriorating credit cycle were top of mind conversations. See below for a summary of Monday’s Bank Counsel session. Tuesday’s general session opened with a CEO Panel discussion moderated by Morris Bank’s Spence Mullis. Panelists Heath Fountain of Colony Bank, Twig Haney of Bank of Madison and Jay Torbert from Southeastern Bank shared their experiences related to technology projects, liquidity and funding challenges, disaster recovery, loan and deposit strategies and talent retention and development. Chris Nichols from SouthState Bank shared an avalanche of ideas for tuning up strategies for success throughout the bank, and our closing session featured Lee Wetherington of Jack Henry giving an entertaining and insightful look at long-term trends bankers need to understand. The Bank Counsel session for the day was an overview of Georgia Case Law led by Brad Folsom of Moore, Clarke, DuVall & Rodgers. Click here to view the photo album from the conferences. Here are some scenes:





A huge thank-you to our event sponsors: American Bankers Association; Carr Riggs & Ingram, CPAs and Advisors (CRI); EBS; Elliott Davis; FHLBank Atlanta; Fenimore Kay Harrison LLP; First National Bankers Bank (FNBB); James Bates Brannan Groover LLP; Mauldin & Jenkins; McNair, McLemore, Middlebrooks & Co; Nichols Cauley & Associates; SentryHealth; Servis 1st Bank, Correspondent Bank Division; Symphona; Troutman Pepper; and Warren Averett, CPAs and Advisors.


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Hot Topics for Bank Counsel Section Members Covered

In one of our sessions at the Bank Counsel Conference, a panel of legal experts led a discussion about current and emerging legal issues for banks. Committee Chair Lee Bagwell, Colony Bank, moderated, and the panelists were John Willis of Nelson, Mullins, Riley & Scarborough, Bret Thrasher of the Aubrey Thrasher firm, and Melinda Davis Lux of United Community Bank. Davis Lux provided the following summary of the topics to share with members.

  • Fraud – Check fraud, email compromise and instant payments all present significant challenges. Banks are trying various options to protect their customers, and fraud detection technology solutions can help. Cases are starting to emerge that clarify a bank’s ability to shift UCC fraud liability to customers by agreement - for example when a business customer declines to use fraud prevention solutions provided by the bank.


  • M&A – Bank M&A slowed drastically in 2022 as rising interest rates and recession fears made it difficult to value loan portfolios and potential loan losses. There’s too much uncertainty to predict exactly when more traditional levels of M&A activity will return.


  • Asset Quality – Whether or not asset quality starts to deteriorate, it’s always a good idea to brush up on the basics. Review loan documents early and ensure liens are properly perfected. Beware of actions that can give rise to lender liability claims in an environment where banks tighten credit and refinancing may no longer be an option.


  • Cyber – Recent breaches like MOVEit showcase the importance of cyber preparedness and third-party risk management. Counsel can help clearly define data and breach-related responsibilities and liability in vendor agreements.


  • Deposit Insurance Reform – There’s a lot of support for expanding deposit insurance coverage. Reform could entail increasing the $250,000 coverage limit (per depositor per institution), increasing the limit for business operating accounts (which are harder to break up into multiple accounts), or other options. These changes would require an act of Congress. No one thinks there’s political will for reform to happen soon.

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Welcome GBA's Newest Associate Members

GBA Associate Membership is offered to individuals and organizations that want to do more business with banks as clients. These members also provide invaluable support to GBA's activities and programs throughout the year through attendance, sponsorships, exhibits and shared expertise. Be sure to get to know them and thank them for supporting the GBA. You can get information about any of GBA's Associate Members by using the Associate Member search function on our website. For more information, contact Bo Brannen at or 404.420.2014.


Donnelly Penman & Partners

Mr. Andrew Christians,

Grosse Pointe, MI


DPP provides comprehensive corporate finance advisory services to both public and private companies, including merger and acquisition advisory, capital raising, and general financial advisory services such as fairness opinions and valuations. They are committed to precise execution, long-term relationships, and providing innovative solutions for clients, which has led to more than 320 successful transactions since inception. FINRA licensed broker-dealer and a member SIPC firm.


ECS Southeast LLP

Ms. Megan Pittman,

Savannah, GA


Environmental Consulting, Geotechnical Engineering, Construction Materials Testing, and Facilities Engineering.



Mr. Joe Daniel,

New York, NY


ModernFi operates a deposit network that enables ALCOs to manage their deposit base with power and precision. Through ModernFi, banks can exchange deposits with other institutions to provide extended FDIC insurance to clients and improve balance sheet composition, sweep deposits off balance sheet to improve performance and condition ratios, and source stable, cost-effective funding on demand.



Mr. Alec Duncan,

Covington, LA


Netchex offers businesses a comprehensive, web-based suite of payroll, human resource and benefit administrative services backed by dedicated support specialists. This combination of comprehensive solutions, dedicated support and flexible offerings helps you easily manage employee information and simplify your entire payroll process.


Sugar Creek Capital, LLC

Mr. Paul Lynch,

Atlanta, GA


Sugar Creek Capital, founded in 2004, is a multi-state tax credit syndicator. Their guaranteed tax credit portfolio offers flexible investment options in Georgia and other states on a single or- multi-year basis. Their portfolio provides reliable tax planning and tax mitigation solutions, as well as alternative investments for CRA consideration.



Mr. Patrick G. Blanchard, Jr.,

Norcross, GA


Truelio is a full-service agency that delivers growth-inspiring technology transformation, brand experience and digital marketing solutions. Truelio works with brands like Barclay's, Citi and Chase Bank.



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Attention Bank Marketing Pros

GBA’s Marketing Peer Group Meeting is Back!

Bank marketing officers, marketing personnel and anyone with marketing responsibilities within the bank should make plans today to join their peers at Middle Georgia State University in Macon for the 2023 Marketing Peer Group Meeting. Designed exclusively for bank marketing professionals, this event offers a full day of learning, sharing and networking that will elevate your bank's marketing strategies. You’ll share insights, strategies, and challenges in the ever-evolving world of financial marketing. Don’t miss this opportunity to gain fresh perspectives on your bank marketing role and build valuable connections within the industry. Registration includes lunch. Click here to register. With questions, contact GBA’s Aimee Corcoran, 404.420.2035, or Katina Prokos, 404.420.2021.


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2023 BankPAC Campaign On Target, Online Contributions Available

The 2023 BankPAC campaign again enjoyed a successful week, which is key to making sure our industry’s voice is heard across federal and state levels of government. The GBA StatePAC has reached 56% of its goal and contributions are at 48% of the FedPAC goal. Please consider your contributions to the two funds if you have not done so already. 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. Members of the GBA BankPAC Board very much appreciate your participation. With questions, please contact GBA’s Elizabeth Chandler, 404.372.7893, or Bo Brannen, 404.731.9886.


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South Georgia Community Bank Symposium

Heirs Property Overview Part of Compelling Program

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. One of our sessions will be a look at Georgia's Heirs Property Law Center and the impact of heirs property on communities throughout Georgia. Heirs property refers to a home or land that passes through several generations without a legally designated owner, resulting in ownership divided among numerous individuals or entities as tenants in common. The center estimates that Heirs property in Georgia represents $47 Billion in "Frozen Equity." This is a statewide issue affecting rural and urban areas. Other sessions will be:

  • 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

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


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GBA Partner Abrigo

Food for Thought: A Policy on Credit Exceptions

Too many credit exceptions can cloud risk. A thoughtful policy on credit exceptions can address many factors that can lead banks to diverge from loan policy and miss signs of potential trouble. One of the many benefits of a policy on exceptions is that it is self-contained. When a change is made, it stays in that policy. Read more in a recent blog post from Kent Kirby with GBA partner Abrigo. Kirby’s three takeaways, listed below, are covered in helpful detail. Visit to learn more.

  • Credit exceptions should be an indicator of risky behavior but are too frequently cited without real merit.

  • A credit exception should be specific, have a well-defined risk justification, and include details on clearing it.

  • A credit exception policy should spell out what one is, when it can be used, and how to clear it.

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Kristen Stogniew

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

The How’s and Why’s of Third-Party Relationships

Inherently, third-party relationships come with significant risk. Not to worry! We’ve got you covered at GBA’s annual Compliance Conference. Kristen Stogniew of Saltmarsh, Cleaveland, and Gund will lead a session on the June 2023 Interagency Guidance on Third-Party Relationships. You will be ready, willing, and able to answer the call when an innovative opportunity comes knowing on your bank’s door with this session. Don’t miss out – register today!


Led by Chair Tabitha White, First State Bank of Blakley, and Vice Chair Lindsay Holloway, The Four County Bank, Allentown, GBA’s Compliance Committee would like to thank these GBA 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.


Related: Stogniew will also facilitate our upcoming BSA Summit Jan. 29 - Feb. 1 at the Hilton Conference Center, where attendees will get equipped to ascend to new heights in their BSA/AML/CFT and OFAC compliance programs. Register here and secure your spot!


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Anti-phishing Campaign #BanksNeverAskThat Launches Monday

ABA’s award-winning anti-phishing campaign #BanksNeverAskThat will begin its fourth year on Oct. 2, at the start of Cybersecurity Awareness Month. This year, will feature an interactive quiz and Scam City game, which will allow visitors to the site to test their scam-spotting skills. The campaign is also offering many of its toolkit resources in Spanish, along with a Spanish language website. Registration is free for all banks, and registered banks will get access to all campaign materials. Click here to register. Questions? Email


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Compliance Alliance Question of The Week


Question: Can I issue an access device off of a HELOC?


Answer: While not prohibited, there are some risks to keep in mind. The main federal compliance issue is that debit cards issued for HELOCs are generally considered "credit cards" for Regulation Z purposes, subjecting them to the Regulation Z credit card provisions. 


Regulation Z's Commentary to 12 CFR 1026.2(a)(15)-2(ii)(C) states that "if a line of credit can also be accessed by a card (such as a debit card), that card is a credit card for purposes of §1026.2(a)(15)(i)", meaning that the debit card falls under Regulation Z's definition of "credit card". Read more about the cited regulation.


Further, in accordance with 12 CFR 1026.12(d), since the debit card would be a "credit card" under Regulation Z, the bank would generally lose its right of offset under the regulation. Read more about the cited regulation.


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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Bank Finance Pros, Join Us!

Financial Risk Management Conference - Nov. 2-3, Atlanta

Join Georgia bank CFOs and other finance professionals in Atlanta Nov. 2-3 at The Westin Buckhead for the annual GBA 2023 Financial Risk Management Conference. Hosted annually by GBA’s Asset/Liability Management Committee, the conference features sessions including an economic update by Ryan Hayhurst of The Baker Group, a banker panel discussion about recent regulatory exams to be moderated by Jonathan Hightower of Fenimore Kay Harrison, a session about loan pricing and hedging by Ed Kofman of SouthState Bank, a session on optimizing opportunities in government guaranteed investment and lending programs by Mark Evans of Brean Capital, a session on combating the true cost of fraud by Terri Luttrell of Abrigo, and a panel discussing funding alternatives moderated by Holt Redding of SouthCoast Bank & Trust. 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 and Raymond James & Associates

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

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Check Out the Agenda for 2023 GBA Credit Conference

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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Save the Date for These 2024 Events

Registration will open soon for these 2024 events. Mark your calendars now and stay tuned for registration announcements!

  • Feb. 28-March 1 - Operations & Technology Conference, The DeSoto, Savannah

  • March 20-22 - HR Professionals Institute & Marketing Conference, The Westin Jekyll Island

  • April 10-12 - Security Conference, The King & Prince, St. Simons

  • April 28-May 3 - Georgia Banking School & GBA Compliance School, UGA Conference Center & Hotel, Athens

  • May 16-17 - Rural Development & Lending Conference, The King & Prince, St. Simons

Check out GBA's Calendar of Events for all upcoming dates.


Related: GBA Associate Members can secure their sponsorships and exhibitor booths for next year now. Access the 2024 Sponsorship and Exhibit Kit here. Email GBA’s Kathy Friestad,, to request a call or meeting.


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Lending 101, Strategic Planning for Your Community Bank, Revamp Your New Teller Training Program 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:


Bainbridge - First Port City Bank

The bank donated $2,500 to the Alzheimer's Association.


Blairsville - River City Bank

The bank recently donated $3,000 to the Union County Quarterback Club for the 2023 Panther’s football season. Blairsville Market President Scott Nanney presented the check to Union County Quarterback Club’s Joseph Goble.


Johns Creek - American Commerce Bank

The bank’s Johns Creek team recently presented a financial literacy session to young adults in Lionheart WORKS, a vocational training program for young adults with autism and other neurodevelopmental differences, preparing for and supporting them in the workforce.


Milledgeville - Century Bank and Trust

Bank team members assembled Blessing Bags at Northridge Christian Church. The bags were filled with non-perishable items that provide at-risk kids with a balanced meal on the weekends.


Vidalia - Altamaha Bank & Trust

The bank recently hosted its second-annual Fraud Forum for senior citizens. Shan Venable, Chief Technology Officer, as well as a forensic accountant from the FBI presented to almost 90 people.


Warner Robins - SunMark Community Bank

The bank recently sponsored the pregame meal for the Houston County High School football team.


Watkinsville - First American Bank & Trust

The bank recently donated $10,000 to the Oconee County Sheriff’s Office.


Watkinsville - Oconee State Bank

The bank recently donated bacon and pimento cheese sandwiches to the Oconee County Georgia Sheriff's Office.



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GBA Newsmakers


Dublin - Bank of Dudley

HR Manager Cheryl Winfrey was selected as one of the Leadership Dublin-Laurens County Class of 2023-2024.


Griffin - Georgia Banking Company

The bank's newly renovated Griffin branch recently hosted a ribbon cutting, re-grand opening events and customer appreciation day.



Our sympathies to the family, friends and former colleagues of past GBA Board Member Mike Bowen, who died recently following a decade-long battle with Parkinson's disease. He worked with the Metter Banking Company before it was sold to BB&T. Read more here.


Milledgeville - Exchange Bank

Stacey Keaton has joined the bank as assistant vice president and mortgage loan officer. Read more here.


Richmond Hill - Great Oaks Bank

Senior Vice President John Hodges was selected for the 2024 Leadership Bryan Class by the Richmond Hill-Bryan County Chamber of Commerce.


Savannah - Carver State Bank

On Sept. 22, the bank’s documentary, "Financial Freedom For All: Robert James and Carver State Bank" was featured in the Morehouse Human Right's Film Festival.


Watkinsville - BankSouth

Noah Huggins has joined the bank’s Watkinsville team as a relationship manager.


Cheryl Winfrey Georgia Banking Company Carver State Bank



Stacey Keaton John Hodges Noah Huggins



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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