A regular electronic publication of the Georgia Bankers Association

www.gabankers.com

March 7, 2003

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GBA Banking Expo in Three Weeks
March has arrived and that means it’s showtime! GBA’s tradeshow is just around the corner. Banking Expo 2003 will be held on March 25-26 at the Cobb Galleria Centre in Atlanta and will feature over 90 exhibitors. On Tuesday, March 25, the Operations/Technology Committee, chaired by Susan Bly, Georgia Bank & Trust of Augusta, has invited Harold Brewer, CEO of Brintech, Inc. in New Smyrna Beach, FL, to open Banking Expo with his remarks and to moderate a panel of experts from banks and bank service companies sharing their insights on how to use technology to gain strategic advantage in the marketplace. Panelists include: Joe Evans, CEO, Flag Bank, Atlanta; Dan Blanton, CEO, Georgia Bank & Trust of Augusta; Bill Butler, CEO, Futurus Bank, Alpharetta; and Danny Johnston, CEO, Safe Systems, Alpharetta. On Wednesday, March 26, the committee has planned eight informative educational sessions to complement the exhibits.  These sessions will provide valuable information on hot issues including identity theft, income generation, funding alternatives, document imaging, customer relationship management, NACHA rules, small business development, and data security/confidentiality. “GBA’s show provides a combination of educational sessions along with a wide array of exhibits. You can’t get a better value anywhere for $25 per person, so don’t miss this great opportunity” says GBA Chairman Larry Kuglar. Please take advantage of the registration discount by bringing at least four (4) of your staff members to this event. If you have any questions, please call GBA’s Susie McGehee, Marybeth Jones or Edie Canales at (404) 522-1501! 

 

 

GAFLA Amendments Passed
The State Senate has passed the House version of S.B. 53, the amendments to the Georgia Fair Lending Act, and the bill is on the way to the Governor for his signature.  The bill contains all the changes recommended by the working group which consisted of the GBA, Community Bankers Association and the Georgia Credit Union Affiliates.  The bill passed the House on Tuesday.  “The legislature has acted responsibly in dealing with a complex and controversial issue thereby restoring stability to the entire mortgage market in Georgia,” said GBA Chairman Larry Kuglar, President of First National Bank of Polk County in Cedartown.  “We appreciated the bipartisan approach taken by the House and especially appreciate the intercession of Governor Sonny Perdue to encourage the Senate to adopt the House-passed bill.  Had the Senate not passed the bill yesterday, a conference committee would have been appointed and the issue would have been delayed for some time,” he concluded.  Click here for a summary of the changes in the bill.

FDIC Reform
A hearing was held this week by the House Financial Services Committee on legislation which would reform the FDIC.  GBA members have suggested several changes to the system such as raising the deposit limit; capping the amount of money in the BIF and SAIF accounts; and developing a mechanism to rebate excess reserves when the FICO Bonds are retired. The new bill would index the amount of coverage to inflation, merge the Bank Insurance Fund and the Savings Association Insurance Fund, increase coverage limits for municipal deposits, double coverage limits for individual retirement accounts and even out bank premiums to avoid sharp increases during times of recession. Last year the U.S. House of Representatives passed a somewhat similar bill, but was never acted on by the full Senate.  With the new bill indexing coverage rather than immediately raising it, there may be a better chance that the bill could pass this year.

2003 State Legislative Issues
Governor Sonny Perdue
Lt. Gov. Mark Taylor

Georgia House of Representatives

Georgia State Senate

Federal Legislative Issues
U.S. Congress
Legislative Updates
Legal Issues

Bankruptcy Reform Bill Introduced
Congress is not giving up on bankruptcy reform, something they have tried to pass for almost 10 years.  A bill identical to the bill passed by the House last year has been introduced which the GBA supports.

SBA Lifts $500,000 Loan Cap
Administrator Hector V. Barreto of the U.S. Small Business Administration has lifted a 5-month cap on SBA-backed loans and invited participating lenders to resume submitting applications for guaranteed loans up to the $2 million statutory limit.  The decision was made possible by President Bush's recent signing of legislation that allows the agency to implement its revised econometric subsidy model, which more accurately forecasts the actual costs of the 7(a) loan program.  The model will be applied retroactively to the beginning of the current fiscal year.  The econometric model, in combination with appropriation levels provided in the FY 2003 budget, will allow the agency to approve more the $9.4 billon 7(a) loans during the current year, plus $1.8 billon in STAR loans that have already been made.  The decision to lift the loan cap is effective immediately.

Legislature in Budget Recess
The General Assembly will be in a two-week recess beginning today to wrestle with the need to find revenues to balance the budget.  State agencies have been asked to come up with $90 million in cuts, but so far there has been no consensus on whether these cuts are enough.  The legislature will reconvene March 24 and expects to complete their work on April 16, one of their longest sessions in history.

 

Housekeeping Bill Passes Senate
The Banking Department’s annual housekeeping bill, S.B. 78, was passed by the Senate last week and is pending in the House Banks and Banking Committee.  The most significant feature affecting banks is the ability for banks to adopt a LLC corporate structure.  Click here for further details.

 

2003 Bank PAC Campaign
Many thanks to Pete Malone at McIntosh State Bank in Jackson who contributed to the GBA FedPAC.  The 2003 campaign will officially kickoff in April, but early contributions will be greatly appreciated given the great demand on the GBA PACs during the last election cycle.  Remember that state chartered banks can contribute to the StatePAC; individual officers, directors and salaried employees can contribute to the FedPAC; and national bank holding companies are encouraged to participate in the Political Education Fund. Please call Elizabeth Chandler at the GBA at (404) 420-2027 with any questions.

Calendar of Events
Schools
Conferences
Seminars
Events
American Institute of Banking
Leadership GBA
Personal Economics Program (PEP)
Internet Training

ABA eLearning Frontline Compliance Training
Compliance Training has never been more important than in today’s highly regulated banking industry.  Protect your bank by training your employees with short self-paced online classes.  These classes take between 15 and 60 minutes to complete.  Once you sign on to the course, you will have access and can review and refresh your memory for six months.  The following classes are expected to be available by June 2003:

  • Soldiers & Sailors Relief Act;

  • Fair Housing Act, National Flood Insurance Reform Act;

  • Expedited Funds Availability Act (Reg. CC);

  • Electronic Funds Transfer Act (Reg. E);

  • Truth in Savings Act (Reg. DD);

  • FDIC Deposit Insurance Regulations;

  • FIRA (REG. O);

  • Bank Protection Act;

  • Bank Bribery Act;

  • Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (Reg. C);

  • USA Patriot Act

  • Office of Asst. Control Regulations (OFAC);

  • Community Reinvestment Act (CRA); and 

  • American with Disabilities Act (ADA).

Special pricing packages are available that will allow as few as ten employees to take ten classes at the low price of $9.50 per class.  Training has never been easier or more affordable than with eLearning.  For information on how to enroll your employees, please contact GBA’s Edie Canales at (404) 420-2034. 

Bank Insurance Compliance Course
GBA is offering an ABA/AIB five-week online insurance compliance course.  This instructor-led online course starts April 7, 2003 and provides a fundamental understanding of the compliance issues in insurance transactions in a banking environment.  Participants in this class will learn how to avoid prohibited practices, act in compliance with federal and state regulations, and develop basic sales illustrations that comply with insurance regulations. They will also understand the perspective of regulators and their relationship to insurers. The course is designed for employees working in bank affiliated insurance units, compliance and bank marketing departments.  The cost of the 5-week course is $315.  For registration information, please contact GBA’s Edie Canales at (404) 420-2034.  

Georgia Banking School
There is still time to register for the first year class in the Georgia Banking School, which will be held on the University of Georgia campus May 4-9. The School is the premier school in the state for Georgia bankers to receive a well-rounded education in all areas of banking.  More than half the students at LSU’s Graduate School of Banking are graduates of GBA’s Georgia Banking School. The three-year school is essential for all Georgia bankers seeking to advance their careers.  Call Marybeth Jones at (404) 420-2032 for more information. 

HR Conference to Be Held in Savannah
GBA’s Human Resources Conference is one of the most anticipated educational opportunities for those who manage the HR function in their banks. This year’s conference will be held May 22-23 at the Marriott Riverfront Hotel in beautiful, historic Savannah, Georgia.  The theme for this year’s agenda is “The Ethical Workplace”.  Topics to be covered include the importance of a code of ethics, communication and implementation of the code of ethics, performance management, and selection.  Each session will be followed by table discussions or case studies.  Join colleagues for a reception and scenic riverboat cruise. For more information, contact GBA’s Marybeth Jones at (404) 420-2032. 

Insurance Trust, Inc.
Retirement Services, Inc.
GBA Services, Inc.
 

GBA Retirement Services Update

For Sale
Modular bank building: 2100 sq. ft. (35x60). Six offices with dual customer service areas, operations area, employee lounge/bathrooms, and teller work area. New teller line with matching check desk, new carpet, upgraded security system with new cameras and monitor.  Office security system with new cameras and monitor. Office fully furnished with Hann desks, credenzas, bookshelves and Lazy Boy executive and side chairs. Available mid-February. Total price $150,000. Contact Chuck Barnes or Kent Sanford at SouthBank, (770) 592-4474.

Piedmont Community Bank will have a 1,600 sq ft modular bank unit available in late May 2003.  Unit is complete with cameras, VCR, alarm system, teller counter, drive-in window, vault, night drop, etc.  Price negotiable.  Can arrange for delivery and setup.  Call Mickey Parker at (478) 986-5900.

Some of the Services Available
Through GBA Services, Inc.

GBA Services, Inc. is governed by a board composed primarily of community bank presidents who look for the best products and services available.  They do the due diligence for you and you can rely on their efforts.  For more information on any of these services, please contact Renee Valdez at (404) 420-2036.

Welcome New Participant
The Board of Directors of the GBA Insurance Trust, Inc. welcomes to the Trust Oglethorpe Bank, Brunswick, Laura Cross, CEO.  This firm joins more than 275 community banks and associate members in this unmatched member benefit.  Please call GBA’s Susan Kelley at (404) 420-2017 for more information.

Clarke American Introduces New Online Branch Ordering Solution
Checks and related accessories available through ConnectionPoint™
Clarke American, a leading provider of checks and check-related services, contact center services and direct response marketing solutions, unveiled its newest online branch ordering solution, ConnectionPoint, in November 2002.  This innovative check and accessory ordering application provides Clarke American’s financial institution partners with a redesigned and simplified ordering process for their branch employees.

ConnectionPoint supplies branch employees a more dynamic and user-friendly experience when placing orders for their accountholders.  ConnectionPoint offers online, real-time order entry and an enhanced order verification capability to reduce errors associated with the ordering process. In addition, the application contains a Business Product ordering experience complete with commercial product recommendations to assist in retaining and attracting a growing business account holder segment. Clarke American partners also have the opportunity to co-brand the online ordering Web site with their financial institution’s logo and company colors.

Clarke American provides checks and check-related services, contact center services and direct response marketing solutions for the financial services industry. Clarke American, a recipient of the 2001 Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award, will be exhibiting at GBA’s Banking Expo 2003.  For more information, please contact Clarke American’s Steve Garrett at (770) 754-1420 or GBA’s Renee Valdez at (404) 420-2036.

Clarke American will be exhibiting at GBA’s Banking Expo, Booth # 326

Albany, Albany Bank and Trust
Whitney Herndon has joined the bank as Marketing Coordinator.  La Donna Urick has been promoted to Director of Human Resources; Debbie Wood to Loan Officer; Leslie Murphy to Banking Officer; and Tanya Bullard to Assistant Banking Officer.

Atlanta, Porter Keadle Moore, LLP
Deborah Sessions has been appointed to the Board of the Possible Woman Foundation International.

Decatur, Decatur First Bank
David Senior has been promoted to Executive Vice President/Senior Credit Officer.

Gainesville, Gainesville Bank & Trust
Bill Poitevint has joined the bank as First Vice President and Operations Manager; Shade Storey as Assistant Vice President and Branch Manager; and Stacye Morgan as Banking Officer and Internal Auditor.

Marietta, Southern National Bank
Steven L. Holcomb has been elected President and Chief Operating Officer.

Smyrna, Community Bank of the South
Wes Smith has joined the bank as Commercial Lending Officer.

Springfield, Citizens Bank of Effingham
Harry H. Shearouse has been appointed Chairman of the Board and Michael T. Lee President and Chief Executive Officer.

Uvalda, Altamaha Bank & Trust
Dwayne Creamer has joined the bank as Vice President and Branch Manager of the Hazlehurst branch.

Join Our Email Distribution List
A bonus of getting the e-Bulletin and e-Legislative Update is the number of links that are included. This is a great way to keep your key employees informed of significant industry information, trends and events. We do not disclose email addresses and only use them for internal communication purposes. Bankers from any member bank can be added to the email distribution list by sending an email containing the name and email address of each individual to GBA’s Lydia Thomas. 

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