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Financial Risk Management Conference

No Double Dip, Applying Lessons and Revenue Ideas

Bank finance pros packed this year's GBA Financial Risk Management Conference and were treated to an agenda full of practical information. On the economic front, chances for a double-dip recession are extremely low, according to Mercer University Economist Dr. Roger Tutterow. He pointed out significant challenges remain for Georgia's housing market, however, and that the damage to the state's real estate industry is why Georgia's economic recovery has lagged behind other states. A comprehensive list of lessons learned and how to apply those going forward was the takeaway from a presentation by Elaine Demarest, CEO, Demarest Strategy Group. A panel of bankers shared frank ideas about the state of the industry as well as how their banks are looking to increase revenues, specifically focusing on loans, margin and fee income, and deposit strategies. Panelists were Mark Tipton, CEO, Georgia Commerce Bank; Bartow Morgan, CEO, The Brand Banking Company; Bobby Heath, CEO, First American Bank and Trust; and Dennis Zember, CFO, Ameris Bank. Day two of the conference featured investment portfolio strategies, enterprise risk management techniques and asset/liability management issues that are important to examiners. Special thanks to SNL Financial for exhibiting and to sponsors, Angel Oak Advisory Services, SunTrust Robinson Humphrey and the Federal Home Loan Bank of Atlanta. Also, a big GBA thanks to the Asset/Liability Management Committee, chaired by Johannes Palsson, Angel Oak Advisory Services, for putting together such a strong program. With questions, contact Marybeth Jones, 404.420.2032.



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Small Business Credit Programs Coming

The Georgia Department of Community Affairs (DCA) is in the process of implementing three programs that will distribute about $48 million to private lenders to increase access to credit for small businesses. The funds come from The Small Business Jobs Act of 2010. Georgia's programs for distributing these funds were approved by the U.S. Department of Treasury Nov. 29, 2011, and the DCA has issued for comment its regulations about how lenders can access the programs. The three Georgia programs are the Georgia Capital Access Program (GCAP, $10 million), the Small Business Credit Guarantee program (SBCG, $17.8 million), and the Georgia Funding for Community Development Financial Institutions program (GA Funding for CDFIs, $20 million). Here is a link to the DCA website for access to a summary of the programs and the proposed DCA regulations. Comments are due by close of business Jan. 30. Please send comments by email to Brian Williamson at With questions for the DCA, contact Williamson at 404.679.1587, or Joanie Perry at 404.679.3173.


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Ask Your Representative to Support Exam-Relief Bill

We're asking members this week to send a note to your U.S. Representatives asking for their support of the Financial Institutions Examination Fairness and Reform Act (H.R. 3461). Lynn Westmoreland and David Scott are the only Georgia co-sponsors to date. The legislation -- introduced by Reps. Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.) and Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.) -- would ensure that banks receive timely examination reports, including full documentation of the information regulators used to make their determinations, and it would provide new standards for examinations. All GBA members can use the ABA grassroots communication system to send customized letters to their representatives. Please send a letter. For more information, contact Joe Brannen, 404.420.2026, or Elizabeth Chandler, 404.420.2027.


Moore Capito





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Appraisal Management Added to Strategic Partner Lineup

GBA has a new Strategic Partner, Valuation Management Group (VMG), as its preferred vendor of appraisal management services. VMG handles the entire appraisal process including approving the appraisers, managing the appraiser panel, handling the bid process for complex residential properties and commercial assignments, ordering environmental risk assessments, engaging the appraisers and performing a quality appraisal review. The appraiser panel can be either one comprised of appraisers your bank selects, appraisers on VMG's panel or a combination of the two. The Georgia Bankers Association Services, Inc. Board of Directors, comprised of bankers, approved the partnership after a year-long due diligence process. Here are some of the reasons why the GBA Services, Inc. Board felt VMG is a strong fit with GBA as a Strategic Partner:

  • VMG is a trusted partner already to a number of GBA members.

  • Appraisal management expertise is needed by many member banks as more and more banks have decided to outsource some or all of their appraisal requests.

  • VMG has been active with GBA, presenting to a number of our educational programs and attending the Annual Convention, our Credit Conference and other events frequently.

  • By doing business with VMG, you also support GBA's mission to be an advocate for Georgia's banks.

Here's a link to more information about Valuation Management Group. We encourage you and your bank to give Vicky Thompson, president and CEO, 770.373.5520, or Patrick McMillen, chief risk officer and senior vice president, 678.486.7495, the opportunity to talk to you about their appraisal management services and earn your business. See more GBA Strategic Partners here.


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Welcome 12 New Associate Members

Congratulations to the following companies that were approved for associate membership at the Jan. 11 GBA Board of Directors meeting:

Associate Members have played an important part of the GBA throughout our 120 years. Today, almost 200 businesses enjoy increased visibility and expanded marketing opportunities and banks have more options for top-quality, cost-effective products and services. Company descriptions and contact information are available on GBA's website, or contact GBA's Kenyetta Parks at 404.420.2035 for more information.


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Payments News

PayPal Going into all Home Depot Stores, Rolling out Card

Atlanta-based Home Depot is testing PayPal point of sale software in five stores, and PayPal plans to have its technology in place in all Home Depot stores by March, according to an American Banker article this week. The technology allows Home Depot customers to check out at stores by entering their phone numbers and PayPal PIN numbers, or by swiping PayPal cards, at the point of sale. PayPal is rolling out a card on a broad basis, too. The new card will not function like a normal debit card, according to the article. A user's name or account number will not be printed on it. Instead, the card will have encrypted data written to the magnetic stripe, used to provide access to funds by a link to PayPal. The moves are indicators that other payment providers, merchants and big retailers are continuing to press for alternatives to traditional card payment networks and processors, which could further erode bank non-interest income streams. We'll keep up with this trend going forward.


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SBA Now Cabinet-Level Post

President Obama has elevated the Small Business Administration to a cabinet-level agency. The move does not require Congressional approval, and SBA Administrator Karen Mills will attend cabinet meetings. The announcement came along with a proposal to merge the core business and trade functions of the Commerce Department, SBA, Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, Export-Import Bank, Overseas Private Investment Corp. and the U.S. Trade and Development Agency. The agency merger proposal would require Congressional approval. The move to streamline the bureaucracy follows last year's Government Accountability Office report detailing how different government agencies duplicate efforts. For example, there are 80 programs across four agencies that deal with economic development.


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Stress Tests Proposed for FDIC's Large Banks

The FDIC has approved a notice of proposed rulemaking implementing Section 165 of the Dodd-Frank Act. The proposed rule would require 23 state non-Federal-Reserve-Member insured institutions with assets over $10 billion to conduct annual stress tests. Of note in the proposed rule, it will take an estimated 2,000 hours for each bank to prepare the initial stress-test report required and 1,040 hours annually thereafter to comply. The FDIC says the stress tests are "a process to assess the potential impact of economic and financial conditions on the consolidated earnings, losses and capital of the bank over a set planning" horizon, taking into account the current condition of the bank and its risks, exposures, strategies, and activities. Read FDIC press release and the proposed rule.


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The History and Danger of Bank Bashing

The Jan. 7 issue of The Economist magazine had an interesting article about how banking and lending money is important to society and prosperity. The piece does so through examining the history and associated dangers to societies that have demonized their bankers in the past. It outlines the current critical tone toward banks and says, "But is the backlash in danger of going too far? Could fair criticism warp into ugly prejudice? And could ugly prejudice produce prosperity-destroying policies? A glance at history suggests that we should be nervous." Here's a link to the article.


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Hot Topic: Fair Lending Webinar Jan. 26

We've heard repeatedly from member bank compliance pros recently that compliance examiners have a renewed emphasis on Fair Lending laws and regulations. Banks are expected to have fair lending programs, including periodic reviews of lending practices and second reviews of denied applications. In addition, all loan personnel are expected to have annual training. This Fair Lending Webinar will provide a summary of fair lending laws, specific examples of unlawful discrimination and a description of the penalties and enforcement for non-compliance. Steve Moore with Bank Compliance Services in Avondale Estates will lead this webinar Jan. 26. Registration is $99 for the live session and $109 for the recording and materials if you are unable to attend the live session. Click here to register online. With questions, please contact GBA's Courtenay Pope at 404.420.2015.


NOTE: The Institute of Certified Bankers (ICB) is dedicated to promoting the highest standards of performance and ethics within the financial services industry. Fair Lending - "HOT" Examination Topic has been approved for 2 CRCM credits. This statement should not be viewed as an endorsement of this program or its sponsor.


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Register now for GBA's HMDA and CRA Workshop Feb. 2

Led by Steve Moore with Bank Compliance Services, Avondale Estates, this one-day HMDA and CRA Workshop is designed for compliance officers, loan officers and other bank personnel responsible for HMDA data collection and reporting. Topics to be covered include the changes from 2009, types of loan applications that are HMDA reportable, the regulatory consequences for non-compliance, "community development" loans and much more. Click here to register online. The seminar is Feb. 2 at Idle Hour Country Club in Macon. With questions or to register, please contact GBA's Courtenay Pope at 404.420.2015.


NOTE: The Institute of Certified Bankers (ICB) is dedicated to promoting the highest standards of performance and ethics within the financial services industry. HMDA and CRA Workshop has been approved for 5.5 CRCM credits. This statement should not be viewed as an endorsement of this program or its sponsor.


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Managing the Appraisal and Evaluation Process Seminar Feb. 8

Join  a panel of experts who will guide you through independence requirements and offer practical compliance strategies for appraisals. Learn about where the market is going, how to handle the appraisal process internally or externally, how regulations are changing and what you can do about it. The Managing the Appraisal and Evaluation Process Seminar is designed for Chief Credit Officers, Chief Risk Officers, Senior Lenders, Chief Appraisers and compliance professionals. Carl Streck and Josh McCabe with MountainSeed Advisors, along with Ron Neyhart, Managing Director, CB Richard Ellis, will lead this seminar. The seminar is Feb. 8 at Idle Hour Country Club in Macon. Registration is $195 for members. Click here to register online. With questions, please contact GBA's Courtenay Pope at 404.420.2015.


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How to Ensure Top-Notch Internal Audits; Seminar Feb. 16

Designed for internal auditors, audit committee members, operations officers, compliance officers and internal control personnel, GBA's one-day Internal Audit Seminar will cover the basic concepts related to community bank internal controls and internal audit techniques. Topics to be discussed include:

  • Essentials of risk-based auditing

  • Effectively managing the internal audit plan

  • Primary internal controls/audit techniques

  • Building an anti-fraud framework.

The seminar is Feb. 16, at Idle Hour Country Club in Macon. Registration is $225 for members and $175 for any additional registrations from the same institution. Mike Thomas with Crowe Chizek and Company, LLC will be the instructor. Click here to register online. With questions, call GBA's Courtenay Pope at 404.420.2015.


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Cool Off at 2012 GBA Annual Convention June 10-13, Asheville, N.C.

The planning process is well under way for GBA's 2012 Annual Convention scheduled June 10-13 at The Grove Park Inn in Asheville, N.C. In addition to hearing nationally known speakers and receiving valuable information about many of the hot issues facing bankers today, you will also have excellent networking opportunities to share ideas with your colleagues. Need added incentive? June temperatures are about 10 degrees cooler in Asheville than most of Georgia. A complete convention package will be mailed in March. Don't wait to make your reservations, though. GBA has reserved a block of rooms at The Grove Park Inn at a reduced rate of $239 per night for single or double occupancy. Reservations may be made by calling the hotel directly at 800.438.5800. Be sure to say you are with the GBA to receive this special rate. The cut-off date for reservations is May 8. After this date, all reservations will be subject to prevailing rate and space availability. Click here to register. With questions about the convention, please contact GBA's Susie McGehee at 404.420.2010.


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2012 Leadership Conference July 22-25, St. Simons

Plans are underway for Leadership GBA's Annual Leadership GBA Conference scheduled July 22-25 at The King and Prince on St. Simons Island. Leadership GBA's Executive Committee is planning a great program that will be timely and educational. Sessions will include an economic update, a CEO panel, an economic development panel, a legislative update and more excellent Leadership training. GBA has reserved a block of rooms at The King and Prince at a reduced rate of $209 to $229 per night. Reservations may be made by calling the hotel directly at 912.638.3631 or 877.543.6077. Be sure to say you are with the GBA to receive this special rate. The cut-off date for reservations is June 18. Click here to register. With questions about the conference or Leadership GBA in general, please contact GBA's Susie McGehee at 404.420.2010 or Jennifer Stevens at 404.420.2024.


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ACH Rules Update, Employment Law Challenges and Notary Public 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

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 contact GBA's Courtenay Pope at 404.420.2015.


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AIB Course Schedule

Analyzing Financial Statements, Supervisor Certificate, Consumer Lending among February Courses

Here are the instructor-led AIB online classes offered during February. 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.

Please see the AIB Online Course Schedule for a complete listing or contact GBA's Alison Moreau at 404.420.2034 with questions.

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How DDI's Electronic Lien and Title Can Help Your Bank

If your bank makes auto loans, you'll want to give Decision Dynamics, Inc. (DDI), a call. Its Electronic Lien and Title (ELT) product allows banks to start electronic vehicle titling with the Georgia Department of Revenue with no upfront costs. Banks pay only $5 per title, there are no hidden costs, support fees, software to install or monthly minimums. The ELT product helps banks in the auto lending arena save time and money. For more information about how Premier eTitleLien™ works, please contact Ann Gunning at 803.808.0117.


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Trust & Investment Management Services for Your Bank's Valued Customers

Reliance Trust Company, headquartered in Atlanta, is one of the largest independent trust companies in the country with more than $81 billion in assets under management and administration and a leading provider of personalized financial services for individual, corporate, and institutional clients. Reliance can add fee-based revenues through financial advisory services to individual and business customers, directors and bank employees. Services include:


  • Wealth Management and Personal Advisory Services

  • Separate Account Management

  • Money Manager Consulting

  • Trust and Fiduciary Services

  • Financial, Estate, and Tax Planning

  • Retirement Plans and Investments

  • Outsourcing Services to Financial Intermediaries.

For more information, contact Reliance's Mark Teichner at 404.965.7239 or GBA's Bogan Brannen 404.420.2014.


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Find a Job, Post a Job with GBA Job Bank

The Georgia Bankers Association offers free job posting resources for our member banks. These listings can be viewed online or through our bi-weekly print publication, the GBA Bulletin. Resume postings are also available. For more information, please contact Kenyetta Parks at 404.420.2035.


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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 David Oliver and Bogan Brannen.


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Atlanta – Reliance Trust Company

GBA Strategic Partner, Reliance Trust Company has added Stephen Bowden "Bo" Wilkins to its Wealth Management Division. Reliance's Retirement Strategies Group has named Danny Streiff to its National Account Sales team.


Savannah – The Coastal Bank

SVP Brian Smith has been promoted to Retail Banking Manager.


Washington D.C. – The Federal Reserve Board of Governors

The Federal Reserve Board last week announced the appointment of Jon Faust as special adviser in the Office of Board Members, effective January 17.




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