|Home I GBA University I Member Services I Volunteers I Government Relations I Calendar of Events I Sept. 10, 2010|
FASB Fair-Value Comment Deadline Approaching
The GBA is drafting its comment letter opposing the Financial Accounting Standards Board's (FASB) proposal that would require banks to mark all financial instruments, including loans, at fair value on the balance sheet. Our view is that the mark-to-market proposal will further impair capital as well as make a bank's financial condition appear artificially worse during a bad economy and better during a good economy. These proposals will be damaging to Georgia's banks and economy, and are in direct conflict with recommendations of the international accounting community, which are based on an individual entity's business model rather than a one-size fits all approach. The deadline for comment is Sept. 30, and we encourage member banks to provide comments, as well. If you have specific examples of how the proposals would affect your bank or points you want to make sure we cover, please contact Elizabeth Chandler, 404.420.2027, or Joe Brannen, 404.420.2026. To comment to FASB by e-mail, write to email@example.com, File Reference No. 1810-100. Those without e-mail should send their comments to: Technical Director, Financial Accounting Standards Board, 401 Merritt 7, PO Box 5116, Norwalk, CT, 06856-5116, File Reference No. 1810-100. Here's a good example of a comment letter from Associate Member Sandler O'Neill and Partners, LP.
Bankers Flock to GBA Insurance Trust Seminar
An overflow crowd of bank HR administrators and HR professionals participated this week in the annual GBA Insurance Trust update seminar. Participants heard updated information about how the new healthcare reform legislation will affect banks and their employees, GBAIT's new Health Wellness, Case Management and Disease Management programs and a general update on all plans. Included in seminar materials was a summary guide about all the GBA and GBA Insurance Trust resources available to bank HR professionals. If you were not able to attend but would like some of the updated information, contact Susan Kelley, 404.420.1017, or Lee Belaus, 404.420.2013.
GBA Salary Survey Deadline Extended, Participation is Free
There is still time to participate in the 2010 GBA Salary Survey. Participation is free, and you can take the survey right now online. The survey is a valuable tool for bank executives and HR programs for determining and setting competitive compensation packages for hiring and retaining top talent. With your participation, we will be able to provide a strong sample of data from banks throughout Georgia. The results will be available in late-September. Participation earns you $200 off the price of the results and you will be entered in a drawing to win a $100 gift card. If you have questions, or would like a paper copy of the input packet mailed to you, contact Kenyetta Parks at 404.420.2035.
Georgia DBF Outlines Dodd-Frank Focus Areas
Provisions of the landmark Dodd-Frank financial services legislation have begun to get a closer look by state regulators. The Georgia Department of Banking and Finance has defined several areas of focus addressed by the Dodd-Frank Act in its August Financial Institutions Today publication. These areas include derivatives and how those apply to legal lending limits, preemption issues related to the Dodd-Frank statute allowing De Novo interstate branching, and the state regulatory ramifications of the requirement to remove any references to or requirements of reliance on Nationally Recognized Statistical Rating Organization (NRSRO) credit ratings in Federal regulations.
Georgia Peanut Bank Week Coming Up
Join the Georgia Peanut Commission and the Georgia Bankers Association in celebrating the “Official State Crop of Georgia” October 11-15 during Georgia Peanut Bank Week. This year’s theme, "Georgia Peanuts…Get You Sum,” is designed to link peanuts and banking and tie in the harvest season. For more information, contact Marcus Evans.
Fed Reports Slower Economic Activity in Atlanta District
Economic activity in the Atlanta Federal Reserve district slowed in July and August, according to the Federal Reserve’s latest Beige Book Summary of Commentary on Current Economic Conditions. Retailers reported a decrease in traffic and sales, and tourism was mixed. New and existing home sales slowed, and nonresidential real estate activity remained weak. Manufacturers reported that the pace of new-orders growth slowed. Banking credit conditions remained constrained and loan demand was weak. There was modest improvement in employment and payrolls, but most businesses preferred to increase hours for existing staff and making more temporary hires rather than hiring permanent employees. Read the report on the Fed’s Atlanta district here…
New Mortgage Refinance Program Targets 'Underwater' Borrowers
The Federal Housing Administration this week began its FHA Short Refinance Option to help borrowers who owe more on their home than their home is worth. The program contains a principal-reduction requirement for participating lenders as well as incentives to second lien holders. Originally announced in March, the Federal cost of these changes will be funded through the $50 billion allocation for housing programs under the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP). The program will offer non-FHA borrowers who are current on their existing mortgage and whose lien holders agree to write off at least 10 percent of the unpaid principal balance of the first mortgage, the opportunity to qualify for a new FHA-insured mortgage. Participation is voluntary and requires the consent of all lien holders. The homeowner must qualify for the new loan under standard FHA underwriting requirements and the property must be the homeowner's primary residence. In addition, the existing loan to be refinanced must not be an FHA-insured loan, and the refinanced FHA-insured first mortgage must have a loan-to-value ratio of no more than 97.75 percent and a combined loan-to-value ratio no greater than 115 percent. More details here.
HUD Injects $1 Billion to Relieve Lingering Strains of Foreclosure, GA to Get $50 Million
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) will soon disperse $1 billion to reduce negative effects stemming from the foreclosure crisis. Georgia's allotment of $50 million will be spread among 15 municipalities, including $18.7 million to the state. An article in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution earlier this week breaks down the remaining disbursement. The grants announced this week are the third part of HUD’s Neighborhood Stabilization Program and will provide targeted emergency assistance to state and local governments to acquire, redevelop or demolish foreclosed properties. Neighborhood stabilization grants can also be used to offer down payment and closing cost assistance to low- to moderate-income homebuyers. Read the full release from HUD here…
BankPAC Campaign Update
The officers, directors and staff of the following banks contributed to the GBA FedPAC:
For more information, please contact Elizabeth Chandler at 404.420.2027. Please see the BankPAC Update chart for year-to-date goals and contributions by group. StatePAC and FedPAC contribution forms are available here.
Georgia Banking School: Class of 2013 Early Registration Underway
Take advantage of the early registration rate of $1,525 by registering for the first year class of the Georgia Banking School by Dec. 31, 2010. Tuition includes lodging, breakfasts, lunches, textbooks, instruction and all class materials. The 2011 session is May 1-6. The school prepares first-level managers to effectively and profitably serve the public by developing a thorough understanding of banking practices, regulations and management principles. The school includes three intense one-week residence sessions at the University of Georgia and requires the students to complete home-study problems between sessions. The school provides a well-balanced curriculum featuring UGA faculty members, veteran bankers and other industry experts and specialists. For more details or to register, please call GBA’s at 404.420.2032.
It’s no secret that BSA/AML and OFAC compliance remain among of the highest-risk regulatory areas for banks. A bank’s level of compliance with BSA in regulatory examinations and independent reviews is critical to the institution’s overall success. This seminar will cover changes to the BSA Examination Manual that went into effect April 21, 2010, as well as other current topics relating to BSA/AML and OFAC programs that may come up in your next examination or audit. This one-day seminar will be held at Idle Hour Country Club Nov. 16 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. With questions or to register, please contact GBA’s Courtenay Pope at 404.420.2015.
Bank Trainers: Come Gather with Your Peers Sept. 29
Be a part of GBA-U’s Bank Trainer Peer Group Wednesday, Sept. 29, at the Georgia Bank & Trust Operations Center, Martinez. We'll have peer roundtables discussing training in multiple markets, conference call/web based training and how to create an accountable working environment. Our featured speaker will be Chris Dilorenzo, president, The James Paul Group, Duluth. Chris will address the constant challenges of how to recognize training opportunities through observations and interviews, product knowledge testing and post-training evaluations and measurements. With questions, please contact at 404.420.2034.
Regulators to Share Exam Focus Areas, Key Issues at President/CEO and Bank Counsel Conferences
Back by popular demand, a panel of experts from the FDIC, OCC, Federal Reserve Bank and the Georgia Department of Banking and Finance will be on hand at a joint session of the GBA President/CEO Conference and Bank Counsel Conference to share their insights into what community bankers can expect during their 2011 exams. Take advantage of this great opportunity to share issues and matters of concern. Be sure to bring your questions. Both conferences will be Oct. 3-5 at The Lodge at Callaway Gardens in Pine Mountain. There are still a few rooms at The Lodge. To reserve your room, please contact the hotel directly at 706.663.2281. With questions about either conference, contact GBA’s at 404.420.2010.
Dodd-Frank Act to be Discussed at Compliance Conference October 19-20
The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, Public Law 111-203; H.R. 4173, signed into law July 21, 2010 contains 16 titles that will have significant impact on the banking industry. Title X, covering about 500 pages of the legislation, creates the new Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection, the cornerstone of the regulatory reform effort. How will this change the industry? How will the Bureau be structured and staffed? What are the Bureau's new powers? Will UDAP be the new core of consumer protection? What will be the impact on product access and innovation? And, as compliance professionals, what do we need to be thinking about? Virginia O'Neil, Senior Counsel with the American Bankers Association will share her views on these questions and much more at GBA’s annual Compliance Conference. The conference is Oct. 19-20 at The Idle Hour Country Club in Macon. For more information or to receive a brochure, please contact GBA’s Marybeth Jones at 404.420.2032 or Susie McGehee at 404.420.2010.
The Top 10 Trends in Banking to be Featured at Marketing and Communications Conference
Join Bill McCracken, Synergistics Research Corporation, as he reviews the top 10 trends for banking in the next few years from the perspective of how marketing professionals should be preparing. These trends will include the latest about bank branches, checking accounts, debit and credit cards, ATM’s, online banking, auto lending and mobile banking. Also, these trends will touch on payments, social media and small business banking. This year’s Marketing and Communications Conference is scheduled for Oct. 26-27 at the Cobb Galleria Centre in Atlanta. For more information or to register, please contact Marybeth Jones at 404.420.2032.
Seminars: Get Key Updates about IRA’s, Collections, and Internal Audits
This fall, GBA-U will host the in-person seminars listed below. Be sure and check back for additional in-person seminars added to the GBA-U Calendar. For more details and access to registration information, check the Calendar of Events listing for any of the seminars you're interested in online at www.gabankers.com.
With questions or details please call or email GBA’s Courtenay Pope at 404.420.2015.
Webinars: Consumer Lending, Dealing with Garnishments, and IT Audit Highlighted
A GBA Webinar is a great way to quickly get training and skill updates you need right from the comfort of your bank or office. Check out these upcoming offerings. For more details and access to registration information, check the Calendar of Events listing for any of the webinars you're interested in online 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 password to see the information online. With questions, please call or email GBA’s Courtenay Pope at 404.420.2015
Here are the instructor-led AIB online classes offered in October. These courses are instructor-facilitated with weekly assignments and can be taken from your home or your office. 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.
· Analyzing Financial Statements*, 16 weeks, $505 (Oct 12)
· Commercial Lending, 16 weeks, $425, (Oct 18)
· Consumer Lending, 16 weeks, $425 (Oct 25)
· Financial Accounting*, 16 weeks, $505 (Oct 12)
· General Accounting*, 16 weeks, $535 (Oct 18)
· Introduction to Agricultural Lending, 8 weeks, $395 (Oct 12)
· Introduction to Trust Products and Services, 5 weeks, $275 (Oct 4)
· Law & Banking: Applications, 16 weeks, $485 (Oct 18)
· Law & Banking: Principles, 16 weeks, $485 (Oct 12)
· Principles of Banking Accelerated, 10 weeks, $355 (Oct 18)
There is still availability in the following AIB Online classes beginning Sept. 27. Register as soon as possible to secure a seat in the class.
· Economics for Bankers, 16 weeks, $425
· Money & Banking, 16 weeks, $425
· Principles of Banking, 16 weeks, $425
· Supervisor Certificate, 16 weeks, $695
Please see the for a complete listing or call GBA’s at 404.420.2034 with questions.
How to Evaluate Safe Harbor Options for 401(k) Plans
Is 401(k) testing limiting what your bank officers can contribute to your bank's 401(k) Plan? Plans that guarantee a 100 percent match up to 4 percent of compensation or a 3 percent non-elective contribution can be exempt from ADP/ACP discrimination testing and even exempt from top-heavy testing depending on different factors. Employees must be immediately 100 percent vested in all safe harbor contributions. The Master 401(k) Plan offered under GBA Retirement Services, Inc. is already set up to accommodate safe harbor plans. Anyone electing safe harbor options for 2011 must decide by early November to allow time for the required amendments and participant notices. Now is a good time to make final decisions about your plan design for 2011. Please contact Mandy Richards at 404.420.2025 for more information on safe harbor plans or for assistance in doing a periodic review and comparison of your retirement plan.
Great Benefit Programs for Your Bank
Since 1965, The Holmes-Shaw Agency has represented the GBA Insurance Trust and its members. Through those years, Holmes-Shaw has built a portfolio of products around the GBA Insurance Trust's core benefit programs, allowing member banks and their employees to enhance their benefit selections and cost effectiveness. Some of these products include:
This variety of products and services helps Holmes-Shaw meet each bank's unique needs. These programs are typically developed directly with insurance companies or through strategic partnerships, allowing Holmes-Shaw to bring the best options to its clients. For more information regarding The Holmes-Shaw Agency, please contact Bruce Shaw at 770.642.2150.
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Atlanta - State Bank & Trust
Bruce W. Rhodes has joined the bank as Senior Vice President and Director of Portfolio Management and Underwriting Support. Kevin Mathis has joined the bank as Senior Vice President, Commercial Banking Division. Diana Williams has been named Vice President and Branch Manager at the Bass Road Office.
Greenville – The Greenville Banking Company
Our sympathy to the family, friends and colleagues of Board Chairman Jimmy Hill, who died this week.
Macon – American Pride Bank
Corey Cargle has joined American Pride Bank as the Macon Branch Manager and Assistant Vice President.
Ringgold – Northwest Georgia Bank
Northwest Georgia Bank recognized a number of employees at a service awards dinner. Those recognized for 10 or more years’ service are: Mike Cloud, senior vice president-credit administrator (10 years), Tonya Plemmons, assistant manager-human resources (15 years), Bobby Hudgens, vice president-commercial lender (10 years), Darrene Crowe, items processor (10 years), Jeff Kovach, senior vice president & CFO (15 years), and Jamie Howard, account operations tech.
Savannah – The Coastal Bank
Gregory T. Marini has been promoted to vice president of business banking and market manager at the Godley Station office in Pooler, serving the West Chatham area.
Statesboro - Sea Island Bank, a Division of Synovus Bank
Kim Brannen and Sue Strickland have been named senior vice presidents. Brannen was also recently appointed by Gov. Perdue to the Georgia Commission for Service and Volunteerism