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in Session Three Days This Week
And at the federal level, Congressman Lynn Westmoreland successfully offered an amendment to the House Financial Services Committee calling for oversight on some of the FDIC practices, procedures and regulations. The full text of the amendment is in the e-Legislative Update.
at the Capitol
The GBA this week submitted an official comment letter to the Federal Reserve in response to its proposals to cap debit-card interchange fees. The Federal Reserve's proposed rule floats two alternatives for meeting the Dodd-Frank Act's Durbin Amendment to cap such fees, with each alternative capping the fees at 12 cents per transaction. This represents a 70-85 percent reduction in current rates, and a potential $14-billion loss of revenue to banks industry wide. "Members told us that banks of all sizes will be hurt if this rule is implemented as proposed," said GBA Chairman Rick Whaley, president and CEO, The Citizens Bank of Americus. "The 12-cent cap per transaction is far too low, it doesn't account for the cost of fraud protection and losses as required by Congress and sets a preference for PIN-based transactions. Merchants would get a windfall they're not required to pass on to their customers and, banks, in turn, will be forced to increase costs to consumers or reduce services and benefits. We simply don't think that was Congress' intent." We also signed on to a similar letter to Congress this week with national and state bankers associations urging it to intervene in the Federal Reserve's attempt to impose these rules. Please share your concerns with the Federal Reserve as well. You can access the online submission process for to the Federal Reserve here. Here's a link to our letter to the Federal Reserve for reference. Comments about the proposals are due Feb. 22.The rule must be finalized by April 21, and will take effect July 21. With comments or questions, contact Joe Brannen, 404.420.2026, or Elizabeth Chandler, 404.420.2027.
Derivatives and Municipal Advisor Proposals Need Member Attention
Please be aware of a couple of Dodd-Frank Act (DFA) actions going on that we could use member help with. We are working with others in the industry to ensure an exception for banks under $10 billion in assets for some reporting rules related to derivatives and swaps clearing requirements that are clearly intended to regulate large volume players in the derivatives market, not smaller institutions using swaps to hedge against commercial risk. The issue is being debated by the U.S. House Agriculture Committee. Georgia Reps. David Scott and Austin Scott sit on the committee. A background briefing paper from the ABA about the issue is linked here. It’s always better when we can use specific examples about how banks use a particular product or service to help the Congressmen understand that these are not evil things and don’t need a whole new regulatory scheme that adds costs or creates a one-size-fits-all model. Please let us know if you have examples we can share with our representatives. Also, the Securities and Exchange Commission has proposed a scheme that would extend to banks rules required in the DFA for the administrative registration of firms that provide advice to municipalities about the investment of the proceeds of municipal securities that are not brokerage of municipal escrow investments. We’re just getting our arms around this one as we’re certain Congress didn’t intend for banks to have to register a municipal investment advisor just because you have an account relationship with a local government. We’ll let you know as we learn more. Our thanks to the ABA for providing the background summary and talking points explaining the issue in more detail. With questions, contact Joe Brannen, 404.420.2026, or Elizabeth Chandler, 404.420.2027.
Bankers know the importance of being visible in your community demonstrating your commitment to helping people understand and manage their money. We've made a change to the name of our program that supports your efforts to better capture the broad-based financial education bankers offer. It's now called Leadership GBA's Financial Literacy Program (formerly known as PEP). We encourage bankers to visit your local classrooms and civic organizations and our resources can make that easy for you. For example, make plans now to participate in Career Day or National Teach Children to Save Day in your local schools. See the article below with details about participating in ABA's Teach Children to Save Day. Adult and senior members of your community also need your help with the latest financial literacy information. GBA has materials and brochures available to help you with your presentations. Topics include personal financial management, credit responsibilities, identity theft, the latest FDIC information and much more. And, we need your help to tell the story about how much commitment and effort our industry puts into helping people manage their money. Please take a couple of minutes to report your activities to us as Financial Literacy contacts in your bank. We compile the information and share it with legislators, journalists and others to demonstrate just how much our bankers put into ensuring the financial health of Georgians. If you would like to receive samples of these materials, please contact GBA's Jennifer Stevens at 404.420.2024. Get involved today!
New Assessment Base Ok'd , Proposed Compensation and Insurance Training Rules
The FDIC Board this week took three actions that merit attention. It approved a final rule that changes the assessment base from deposits to assets, adopts a new large-bank pricing schedule and sets a target size for the Deposit Insurance Fund. The changes will go into effect April 1 and will be payable at the end of September. Of note, the rule:
Here's a link to the FDIC release about the change and the full rule. The FDIC has issued revised assessment calculators to help banks budget for premiums under the new system. The other issues are a proposed rule that would restrict certain incentive compensation at banks with more than $1 billion in assets, and a proposed rule that would require bank employees who open accounts and/or answer deposit insurance questions to receive annual training on the basic principles of deposit insurance coverage. With questions, contact Joe Brannen, 404.420.2026, or Elizabeth Chandler, 404.420.2027.
In yet another sign of growing concern about the powers of the newly created Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), Rep. Randy Neugebauer (R-Texas), has introduced a bill to move the CFPB from the Federal Reserve to the Dept. of the Treasury. Doing so would subject the bureau to the Congressional appropriations process that many feel is important to provide checks and balances to the bureau’s far-reaching powers. As currently structured, the bureau is automatically funded by a percentage of the money the Fed routinely returns to the government from operating profits. Those who set up the current funding process wanted to insulate the bureau from congressional oversight through the power of the budgeting process. That isn’t setting well with the new leadership in the House of Representatives who objected to the original funding mechanism, and the stage is being set for quite a battle. Stay tuned.
Federal bank and thrift regulatory agencies have proposed changes to reporting requirements for savings associations and savings and loan holding companies regulated by the Office of Thrift Supervision (OTS). The proposed changes include a move from quarterly Thrift Financial Reports to quarterly Consolidated Reports of Condition and Income, commonly known as Call Reports. Savings Associations would have to begin filing Call Reports with the March 31, 2012, report date, and file data through the Summary of Deposits with the FDIC, beginning with the June 30, 2011, report date. Provisions of the Dodd-Frank Act require the transfer of OTS functions to the OCC, the FDIC, the Federal Reserve Board and the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection on July 21, 2011. More details here...
According to a study from Boston Consulting Group new card regulations from the CARD Act, Durbin Amendment and Regulation E will, take away 29 percent, up to $25 billion a year, of the revenues that U.S. issuers, mostly retail banks, collect from retail card transactions. Furthermore, the new rules will likely open the door for more regulations. The consulting believes many issuers will:
Join Us for Strategic Planning at the Annual HR Institute
Tim O’Rourke, president & CEO, Matthews, Young - Management Consulting will deliver the keynote address at GBA's annual HR Institute. In the book, Good to Great, author Jim Collins talks about the importance of getting the right people on the bus, and the wrong people off the bus, before driving where you need to go. If you don’t know where you are going, any road will get you there and anybody can ride that bus. O’Rourke will discuss how a good HR strategy and implementation can attract the right passengers and mechanics, make the ride comfortable and, most importantly, help the driver decide where the bus needs to go. The HR Professionals Institute is March 16-18 at the Cobb Galleria Centre in Atlanta. The Renaissance Waverly Hotel is offering GBA members a special rate of $149. The rate is based on availability, so make your reservations early. Call the hotel at 770.953.4500. Register here. For more information, contact GBA’s Marybeth Jones at 404.420.2032.
Join Bill McCracken, Synergistics Research Corporation, as he reviews the top ten current trends facing bank marketing professionals and what they should be preparing for in the next few years. The focus will be in areas such as bank branches, checking accounts, debit and credit cards, ATM’s, online banking, auto lending and mobile banking. Also at the conference, we'll touch on payments, social media and small business banking. This year’s Marketing and Communications Conference is scheduled for March 17-18 at the Cobb Galleria Centre in Atlanta. Click here to register. For more information, please contact Marybeth Jones at 404.420.2032.
Organizations are increasingly relying on third-party service providers for a variety of technology-related services. Financial institutions outsource many areas of their operations to third-party vendors, including all or part of their business processes, key applications and technology infrastructure. Join Mike Morris, Porter Keadle Moore, LLP, as he covers the risk management process for evaluating and monitoring vendors. He will also cover the upcoming changes in third-party reporting that will impact the vendor management process. The Operations and Technology Conference is March 2-3, 2011 at the Cobb Galleria Centre in Atlanta. The conference brochure will be available soon. Click here to register. For more information, contact GBA’s Marybeth Jones at 404.420.2032.
The Southeastern Community Bank Symposium is March 23, Sign Up Today!
The Southeastern Community Bank Symposium scheduled for March 23 in Statesboro, will feature leading experts who will focus on the many issues facing the banking industry today. Some of the topics to be covered include:
Take advantage of the special pricing structure by registering several people from your bank for this event. The registration fee is $120 for the first attendee and $95 per person for each additional attendee. Click here to register. With questions, please contact GBA’s Susie McGehee at 404.420.2010.
This interactive one-day seminar will help you deal with the obstacles and challenges you face when conducting employee investigations. Some of the topics to be covered include:
GBA will host its Employee Investigations seminar scheduled for May 18, at Idle Hour Country Club in Macon. The registration fee is $225 per person and $175 for any additional registrants from the same institution. Amos Welch, CFE, CPP, vice president, regional manager of Corporate Investigations at BB&T, Atlanta, will lead the workshop. Click here to register. With questions, please contact GBA’s Courtenay Pope at 404.420.2015.
Please join us for the GBA-U’s Bank Trainer Peer Group on May 19, at Idle Hour Country Club, Macon. Our guest speaker for this meeting will be Chris DiLorenzo, president of The James Paul Group, Duluth. Join Chris as he helps you address the ongoing effort to recognize training opportunities through observations and interviews, product-knowledge testing and post-training evaluations and measurements. We will finish up with an open forum discussion about topics provided by your peers. Click here to download a registration form. With questions about the meeting, please contact GBA’s Alison Moreau at 404.420.2034.
about Income Taxes, New Account Documentation and Loan
With questions or details please call GBA’s Courtenay Pope at 404.420.2015.
Webinars: Notaries, Call Reports and Reg. Z among Highlighted Offerings
A GBA Webinar is a great way to quickly get the training you need right from the comfort of your office. Here’s a sample of upcoming offerings. Check the Calendar of Events for any webinars you're interested in at www.gabankers.com.
All webinars are live and allow time for questions and answers. The $255 registration fee gives you access to one web site “seat,” one telephone site license and all handout materials. If you can’t attend the webinar, you may buy the audio CD, handout materials and a password to see the information online. With questions, please call GBA’s at 404.420.2015.
Here are the instructor-led AIB online classes offered during March. All you need is a computer, printer and Internet access. (Classes with an asterisk * require Microsoft Excel Software.) Please register two weeks in advance to secure a seat in the class.
There is still availability in the following AIB Online classes offered February 28. Please register as soon as possible to secure a seat in the class.
The revised GBA Guide to Bank Record Retention will ensure compliance with state and federal retention requirements, and save your bank the cost associated with keeping records longer than necessary. This guide and manual will aid your bank in developing a complete, workable and understandable record retention program that is vital to the bank’s daily routine. Appropriate record retention policies are considered a safe and sound business practice because these policies assist in regulatory compliance and provide guidelines your customer’s can count on should their bank records be subpoenaed. If you already have a record retention policy, you will still want to purchase the newly revised version to ensure your policy is current. The cost of the newly-revised edition is $325.00 plus tax and shipping. Order your copy today by clicking here. With questions, contact GBA’s Kenyetta Parks at 404.420.2035.
Here's a link to a good resource about balance sheet reconciliation, provided by GBA Associate Member, Accume Partners. Independently prepared reviews of balance sheet reconciliations are an effective control measure. Accume’s article emphasizes the importance of reconciliations, provides some best practices and reminds auditors of the essential steps to consider during an examination. Our thanks to Accume Partners for sharing these tips with our members.
The GBA-sponsored insurance program managed by ABA Insurance Services, Inc. is a bank-owned mutual insurance company managed by a board comprised primarily of bankers. It was created in 1987 to address a lack of available insurance coverage for banks at a reasonable price and to be a stabilizing force. Since inception, the program has insured over 4,000 banks. In addition, the program has declared $71.5 million in distributions to ABA member policyholders. The Insurance Program is specifically designed for banks to provide the Financial Institution Bond and Directors and Officers coverage, as well as all other bank specific coverage such as Internet Banking Liability, Excess Deposit Bond and Combination Safe Depository. For more information, please contact or Jason Faulkner with ABA Insurance Services Inc. at 800.274.5222 or Hayward McEver, McEver & Tribble, Atlanta, at 404.949.3825.
Decision Dynamics Inc. (DDI), is the supplier of the Premier eTitleLien™ product, a leading web-based computer program that enables lienholders to exchange lien and title information with the Georgia Department of Revenue Motor Vehicle Division and the South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles, thus eliminating the need to obtain paper titles for vehicle and mobile home collateral management. When liens are released, a paper title is mailed to the owner (or designated name/address) by the appropriate titling agency. Premier eTitleLien™ provides a number of additional services, including: electronic request for a paper title, electronic generation of title application forms, Lien Alert Processing, VIN verification, and VIN valuation. For more information, please contact DDI’s Ann Gunning at 803.808.0117.
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Columbus - Columbus Community Bank
Gary Ledbetter has been named President of the bank.
Ringgold - Northwest Georgia Bank
Congratulations to Wes Smith, Chairman & CEO, who will celebrate 40 years of service to Northwest Georgia Bank and over 45 years in the industry this month.
Stockbridge - The First State Bank
President David Gill has recently been named as Henry County's 2010 Citizen of the Year by the Henry County Chamber of Commerce.
Atlanta - Morris, Manning & Martin, LLP
Nicole Ibbotson has joined the firm’s Financial Institutions Team.