Georgia Bankers Association History
To Wield a Mighty Influence
a hot Sept. 14 in 1892, representatives from 59 banks met at the Hotel
Lanier in Macon and formed what would become the Georgia Bankers
The meeting and the association came about because Georgia’s bankers saw
the need for the state’s banks to come together to create a trade
association that would represent their interests.
The bankers meeting that day read and adopted the constitution for the
GBA and elected Mills B. Lane, Sr., as the first chairman of the GBA.
At the time, Lane was a vice president at Citizens’ Bank of Savannah.
After the meeting, L.P. Hilyer, GBA’s secretary for its first 20 years,
wrote to all the bankers in the state inviting them to join the new
“The harmony and enthusiasm displayed by the large number present was
very gratifying and encouraging to those who had interested themselves
in the organization, and I think all members left most favorably
impressed, and with the determination to stand by the Association. Great
good can and will be accomplished by its agency, and all banks and
bankers in the state should become members. ‘In union there is
strength,’” he wrote. “The united bank officials of this State, assisted
by all the bank directors in the State, can wield a mighty influence.”
There were 92 charter members that joined during the association’s first
year. As banking and the state’s economy grew, so did the GBA.
As stated in its original constitution, the purpose of the Georgia
Bankers Association is, “The promotion of the general welfare and
usefulness of banking and the preservation of a sound banking system.”
This philosophy is as evident today in the works of the GBA as when it
was adopted that first day in 1892 in Macon.
GBA is the resource that empowers Georgia’s banks.