Sept. 10, 2021  

State’s Banks Solid in Second Quarter Performance

The 156 FDIC-insured banks headquartered in Georgia through June 30 reported strong second quarter performance. Earnings were more robust than during the early pandemic period in 2020, and deposits, assets and credit quality all continued improvement. Georgia’s 149 community banks also performed well, with net income up about 41% during the quarter and 46% for the first six months of the year. “The performance during the first half of 2021 really gives a good snapshot of how well Georgia’s banks and the economy rebounded when compared to the effects of the early months of the pandemic last year. It’s a good reflection of the resilience of the industry and the ongoing trust and confidence business and families have in our FDIC-insured banks,” said Joe Brannen, GBA president and CEO in a release to statewide media about the results. Below are some specific year-to-date highlights of the latest data. GBA’s analysis includes comparative performance of only the banks classified by FDIC as Georgia-based banks as of the end of the second quarter 2021. There are an additional 42 FDIC-insured banks operating in Georgia whose performance numbers are reported in the state in which they’re chartered.



Georgia Banks


$ in 000s

Georgia Banks


$ in 000s

All Institutions-National


$ in 000s

Number of institutions reporting




Total employees (full-time equivalent)




Total assets




Total deposits




Total loans and leases




Net income




Noncurrent loans to loans




% of profitable institutions




% of institutions with earnings gains




Net interest margin




Return on assets (ROA)




Return on Equity (ROE)





Back to top of E-Bulletin

Keep Comments Flowing Opposing IRS Reporting Proposal

Thanks to members who took time last week to speak out against the onerous Biden administration proposal that would require banks to report to the IRS all gross inflows and outflows on financial accounts above $600. If you’ve not chimed in, please do so in the coming days. We need to keep up the volume on this advocacy effort, so use the simple online tool linked below for commenting. “Great system, making it easy for us to reply,” said Southeast First National Bank CEO Barry Hurley, who let us know he’d voiced his opposition to the plan. With questions, contact Joe Brannen, 404.420.2026, or Elizabeth Chandler, 404.420.2027.


Click Here to Oppose the IRS Reporting Proposal


Back to top of E-Bulletin

Statewide Deposits Jump 29.5%

The past year’s inflows of PPP funds and increased consumer savings continue to bolster bank deposits at banks in Georgia. The FDIC deposit market share report released Sept. 3 shows deposits at banks in Georgia were up 29.5% at June 30. Total in-market deposits were $371.3 billion compared to $286.7 billion a year before. Of the 198 banks serving the Georgia market on June 30, 156 were Georgia-based banks and 42 banks are from 18 other states. Access a pdf of the report here.


Back to top of E-Bulletin

GBA’s Advocacy Program Honored

State legislators and government relations professionals have again recognized GBA for its effective advocacy on behalf of members. GBA is the fourth-ranked business and trade association in James Magazine’s annual Top Lobbyist issue. “It’s an honor that GBA would be recognized, and I think that it simply shows how valued and respected our team of Elizabeth Chandler, Steve Bridges and Joe Brannen is by our elected leaders and their peers,” said GBA Chairman Luke Flatt, AB&T. Brannen and Chandler are also members of the magazine’s lobbyist hall of fame.


Back to top of E-Bulletin

Member Banks, GBA Featured in Business Publication

We love to see member banks featured for their efforts to serve their hometowns. The latest edition of Business View magazine carries spotlight stories about Planters First Bank and Georgia Community Bank. Planters First Bank CEO Mike Phillips notes the small business roots of the bank in its feature. “Our bank itself, if you think about it, is a small business,” Phillips says. “That puts us in the unique position of being able to provide counsel to other small businesses, which is part of our growth model.” In the feature about Georgia Community Bank, Chairman and CEO Lucie Beeley also focuses on the strong local ties upon which the bank is built. “We strive to be seen in the markets we serve,” says Beeley. “We serve all the customers of our community from those needing a small loan during Christmas, to large farm operating lines, to locally owned and operated businesses, and everyone in between. Because we are a community bank without layers of ‘corporate red tape,’ we are able to make decisions quickly and service our customers in a timely fashion.” The magazine also has a feature story about GBA, in which President and CEO Joe Brannen touches on the banking environment in Georgia and how GBA is a valued resource for members.


Back to top of E-Bulletin


Action Requested

FHLBank Atlanta 2021 Election of Directors

The Federal Home Loan Bank of Atlanta is conducting an election to fill two member directorships and one public interest independent directorship on its board of directors. An email inviting members to cast their ballots was delivered on Aug. 23. Eligible institutions in Alabama and the District of Columbia will vote to fill the member directorship in their respective state/district, and eligible institutions across FHLBank Atlanta’s footprint will vote to fill the public interest independent directorship. All elected directors will serve four-year terms that begin on Jan. 1, 2022. The FHLBank Atlanta board of directors has nominated the following individual for the public interest independent directorship:


Brian McLaughlin, president, Enterprise Community Development, Inc., Baltimore, Maryland


Your institution’s vote is important, and the bank encourages you to participate in the election. An independent director nominee must receive at least 20 percent of the votes eligible to be cast to be elected. The deadline for the bank to receive completed ballots is 5 p.m. EDT, Wednesday, Sept. 22.


If you have any questions about the 2021 director elections, please contact Tina Carew, FHLBank Atlanta deputy general counsel, at 404.888.8549 or


Back to top of E-Bulletin

IRA Advanced Update & Review Webinar - Sept. 22, Zoom Webinar Format

Feeling ‘insecure’ about the ‘SECURE’ Act and IRA beneficiary payouts? You are not alone! In the past year and a half, you have probably fielded many questions from your customers regarding the SECURE Act effective Jan. 1, 2020, quickly followed by the CARES Act in March 2020. While most of the CARES Act provisions have expired as of December 2020, there are still questions on the repayment of Coronavirus-Related Distributions (CRDs) taken in 2020. In this informational webinar, Patrice Konarik of Sunwest Training Corp. will go over the SECURE Act changes and other enacted rules in reference to future planning for your clients. Click here to register.


Back to top of E-Bulletin

The Ritz-Carlton Reynolds,
Lake Oconee

President/CEO Conference Session Highlight: The Role of the Branch in a Post-COVID World

We’ve got excellent content coming your way at the GBA President/CEO, Bank Accountant, and Bank Counsel trio of conferences, Sept. 26-28 at the Ritz-Carlton Reynolds, Lake Oconee. One session you won’t want to miss is “The Role of the Branch in a Post-COVID World.”  Presenter and former banker Steven Reider, founder and president of financial services consulting firm Bancography, says no other facet of the banking industry has been upended during the pandemic like branch operations. Reider, whose recent projects have included branch delivery, market entry and marketing strategies for retail, commercial, wealth and mortgage banking services, will examine what the future of branching might look like and recommend how bankers can reconfigure branch networks to maximize efficiency without sacrificing customer service. Space is still available at the conferences, and we continue to successfully manage a small rooms waitlist. Other nearby accommodations may be available through VRBO, Arinb or other rental services. Register today and email GBA’s Kathy Friestad to be waitlisted for a room.


Back to top of E-Bulletin

Make Plans Now to Use GBA’s Holiday Closing Decals in 2022. Juneteenth Federal Holiday Now Included

We’ve recently connected with the banks on our standing order list for Holiday Closing Decals to confirm each order. If you need to check the quantity or status on your bank’s order or if you want to place a new order, please contact Bo Brannen,, 404.420.2014. As an update, this year's set will include a new decal for the Juneteenth Federal Holiday on June 19. So, each set will now have 12 decals total, including a blank decal that can be used for inclement weather closings, etc.


GBA Holiday Closing Decals feature:

  • A unique decal for each holiday

  • Large 6"x 9" size to maximize visibility

  • No messy adhesive for easy removal and reapplication

  • All-weather durability

  • An extra, blank decal for unplanned closings like inclement weather.

Back to top of E-Bulletin

Karl Nelson

Spots available - Request a Seat!

Senior Lending Officer Roundtables

Does your bank have a seat at our Senior Lending Officer Roundtables? There are a few seats open for our 2021-2022 roundtable season. These roundtables meet three times a year beginning in October in either Macon or Atlanta depending on your group. Our Senior Lending Officer Roundtables, led by Karl and Eric Nelson of KPN Consulting, provide an in-depth look at all the latest issues a senior lending officer needs to understand to cultivate new business, evaluate risk and strongly support profitability. The unique peer connections forged from these well-organized roundtables can be essential.


Click here to request a seat and GBA will do everything we can to place you in one of our open spots. GBA places each member to avoid conflicting areas of coverage.


Back to top of E-Bulletin



Back to top of E-Bulletin

2021 BankPAC Campaign Continues to Make Strides

Since the BankPAC Campaign began earlier this summer, the BankPAC Board of Directors is pleased to see the progress so far and is working to build on this and last year’s record fundraising year. If you have not yet made a contribution to the StatePAC through your bank or from your eligible employees, officers and directors to the FedPAC, please take a look at those contribution forms on our BankPAC webpage for suggested giving amounts. Many thanks to these banks for their recent contribution to the GBA StatePAC:

  • Ken Hughes, President & CEO, Bank of Alapaha, Nashville

  • Scott Ewing, President & CEO, First Port City Bank, Bainbridge

  • Zach Johnson, President/CEO, FNB South, Alma

  • Jamie Tallent, President and CEO, River City Bank, Rome

  • John Hall, President & CEO, American Pride Bank, Macon

  • Al McKinnon, President & CEO, South Coast Bank & Trust, Brunswick

  • Walker Jordan, President & CEO, Bank of Monticello, Monticello

  • Chip Benton, President & CEO, Farmers & Merchants Bank, Eatonton

  • Spence Mullis, President & CEO, Morris Bank, Dublin

  • Ed Pope, President and CEO, F&M Bank, Washington

And to the following banks whose eligible employees, officers and directors recently made a contribution to the GBA FedPAC.

  • Frank Sutton, Chief Executive Officer, Securitas Financial Services, Nashville

  • Walt Jones, Associate, Balch & Bingham, LLP, Atlanta

  • G.W. Johnson, Chief Executive Officer, Durden Banking Company, Inc., Twin City

  • Rick Whaley, President & CEO, The Citizens Bank of Americus

  • David Durland, Georgia Division President, Renasant Bank, Albany

  • John Hall, President & CEO, American Pride Bank, Macon

  • Neal Bradley, President & CEO, The Citizens National Bank of Quitman

  • Luke Flatt, Chairman, President and CEO, AB&T, Albany

  • Palmer Proctor, Jr., Chief Executive Officer, Ameris Bank, Atlanta

  • Ed Pope, President and CEO, F&M Bank, Washington, Washington

  • Chuck Copeland, President & CEO, First National Bank of Griffin

  • Spence Mullis, President & CEO, Morris Bank, Dublin

  • Maury Beasley, President/CEO, The Bank of Soperton

With questions, please call GBA’s Elizabeth Chandler at 404.372.7893.


Back to top of E-Bulletin

Take a Swing at The BankPAC Golf Classic Oct. 20

Come and enjoy a day on the golf course with fellow bankers, colleagues, legislators, customers or prospects and support a great cause at the same time, the GBA StatePAC.* Leadership GBA’s 2021 BankPAC Golf Classic will be Oct. 20, at the River Forest Golf Club in Forsyth. All bankers, Bank Counsel and Bank Accountant section members, Associate Members and Strategic Partners are invited to play. Members are welcome to bring a non-member to participate. Golfers can sign up as an individual golfer ($175) a two-golfer team ($275), or a two-golfer team with golf hole sponsorship for $500. Click here to get signed up. If you don’t know who your second golfer will be, no worries – you can let us know later. Individual sponsorships are also available for $250 - $1,000 and are a perfect way for non-golfers to support the BankPAC. Contact GBA’s Kathy Friestad with questions. A shout-out to our event sponsors: Aubrey Thrasher, LLC, Cash Transactions, LLC, Citizens Bank of Americus, FHLB of Atlanta, First American Bank & Trust, Great Oaks Bank, Guardian Bank, Holmes-Shaw Agency, Point to Point Environmental, ServisFirst Bank. The Burke Group, The Piedmont Bank and United Bank.


* The GBA StatePAC contributes only to candidates running for state-level offices such as the Georgia General Assembly, the Governor’s office and the Lieutenant Governor’s office.  Contributions can be made from an individual, from bank funds if you are a state-chartered bank or from a national bank holding company if the contribution is made from funds other than those resulting from the operations of the national bank.


Back to top of E-Bulletin

Free Webinar for Members - Sept. 21

Banking & Cannabis: Lending, The Next Frontier

On Tuesday, Sept. 21 at 2 p.m. ET, join keynote panelist Tanner Daniel, vice president of congressional affairs for the American Bankers Association, and an impressively credentialed panel for the 90-minute live webinar “Banking & Cannabis: Lending, The Next Frontier." Co-sponsored by the Arizona and Colorado Bankers Associations, and the Ohio Bankers League, the webinar panel includes senior bank and cannabis regulators, executives of banks that have been providing services to the cannabis industry, and cannabis industry executives. The webinar will be moderated by Steve Lenn, banking and cannabis partner of Brennan Manna & Diamond, who has been involved in more than $2 billion of cannabis transactions which have included several hundred million dollars of debt financings. Our thanks to our colleagues at the Arizona Bankers Association for allowing GBA members to participate on a complimentary basis. Learn more and register here.


Back to top of E-Bulletin

Compliance Alliance Spotlight

Providing Custody Services for Crypto Assets

By now, everyone has heard of cryptocurrency. We know that it is a digital or virtual currency that is secured by cryptography, making it nearly impossible to counterfeit or double-spend. One of the most defining features of cryptocurrencies is the fact that it is decentralized, rendering it theoretically immune to interference or manipulation by the federal government. Currently, most cryptocurrency regulations do not apply to traditional banking institutions. Aside from the BSA, many additional regulations apply more so to cryptocurrency exchanges than they do to banks. In regard to the other “backend” functions of cryptocurrencies, the OCC has issued a few interpretive letters to clarify what banks are allowed to do. Was this a change from previous policy and what does this mean for banks? To find out, read along here with GBA partner Compliance Alliance.


Compliance Alliance Question of the Week


Question: If we have an established escrow account for a borrower on a residential mortgage loan, upon paying off the loan, before we pay the pertinent insurance and taxes, do we refund any excess to the borrower?


Answer:  In general; yes. Once the loan is paid off, RESPA, § 1024.4(b)(1), requires refunding the escrow balance to the borrower within 20 days of payoff. Read more here.


Read more of this week’s timely update from GBA partner Compliance Alliance here.


Back to top of E-Bulletin


Compliance Conference - Oct. 20-22, St. Simons

Closing Session on Behavioral Science for Successful Collaboration

The GBA Compliance Conference is Oct. 20-22 at the King and Prince on St. Simons. The conference will conclude with Lon Langston, founder of Engaged Banker eXperience, giving his talk, “You’re Not The Bad Guy.” If you ever feel like you’re battling everyone in the bank, it doesn’t have to be that way. In this session, Lon will go over five proven methods from behavioral science for getting people to do what you need them to do and, at the same time, increasing your enjoyment of your work. This year’s conference begins at 12:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 20, and ends at noon on Friday, Oct. 22. Click here to access the event website for more information and to register for the conference. Contact Alison Moreau with questions.


Back to top of E-Bulletin

GBA Endorses Asset Auction Services of Swainsboro-based South Auction

GBA is pleased to endorse the auction services offered by Swainsboro-based South Auction. South Auction has held auctions all over the country. In business for over 20 years, they have become a trusted resource for banks, attorneys and individuals in need of auction services. South Auction can work with your bank to find creative solutions for bank-owned assets, and they can be a resource for your clients who may need to sell assets quickly to protect their equity in real property. To learn more about South Auction, click here. Contact South Auction’s Joe Lanier with questions at or 478.455.1861.


Back to top of E-Bulletin


Back to top of E-Bulletin

November Brings Lending Training

In-person and virtual courses



Back to top of E-Bulletin

Quick Instructional Videos

Retail Skills in the Spotlight  

ABA Training Shorts deliver practical, how-to instruction on specific issues in loan modification, marketing, flood insurance, and more. Add these easy-to-reference, quick learning bursts to your training library today. All GBA members may purchase these courses at the ABA member rate. This week’s focus is key retail banking skills.


Retail Courses (over 10 titles to choose from):

  • Body Language Basics – Part 1 & 2

  • Learning a New Language

  • Reading Body Language

  • Body Language Mistakes & Gender Differences

  • View All Training Shorts

Bankers are encouraged to purchase more than one course to build a library of accessible reference material on topics most relevant to their daily responsibilities. All courses are available for download through ABA’s learning management system. With questions, contact Alison Moreau, 404.420.2034.


Back to top of E-Bulletin

Join live or purchase a recording!

Upcoming Webinars from National Experts

Save 10-30% with a subscription package - details here!

See our full calendar of webinars here. 


Back to top of E-Bulletin



Back to top of E-Bulletin

Recruit, Retain and Develop the Best Bankers with GBA Career Solutions


GBA Job Bank - GBA will post open positions, free of charge, for GBA members. See the open positions in Georgia here. We will also post professional summaries for bank-job seekers on our Bankers Available page. To make the process easy and answer any questions, we've developed this Q & A. Please contact Katina Prokos, 404.420.2021.


GBA Strategic Partner BankTalentHQ - The central feature of BankTalentHQ is its national bank-job board. Other key benefits include: resume search access, regional and national reach for your open positions, frequent special offers and custom sales/coaching programs. Visit BankTalentHQ to learn more. See the open positions in Georgia here, or search regionally or nationally here.


GBA’s Career Paths for Bankers™ - GBA’s Career Paths for Bankers™ is the most unique, organized and easy-to-use career development resource available for bankers and banks. GBA’s pioneering career development resource is unlike any other in the banking industry. Click here to start mapping your banking career today.


Why do people choose careers in banking? Whatever their talents, interests and educational background, there is a career in banking for them. Here are few good reasons to share with folks you know.


Back to top of E-Bulletin

GBA Community Connections

We want to share all the good work GBA member banks, bankers, Associate Members and Bank Counsel Section members do to support their communities. Read all about the Community Connections our banks and members have below. Share your Community Connections by sending a brief paragraph and any photos of activities you have to us and we'll publish them at our earliest opportunity. Send information to Katina Prokos and David Oliver, or if your company would like to sponsor this content, let us know. Here's our latest installment:


Atlanta - Bank of America

Since 2017, the bank has awarded more than $1.7 million to the Atlanta-based Grove Park Foundation. This year, the bank has lent Chandra Haslem, a senior bank executive, to serve as the foundation’s COO through its professional development Leader on Loan program. Haslem’s salary and benefits are covered by Bank of America as she serves the 12-month contract to help lead valuable and measurable change within the organization. In the photo, Haslem tours the Grove Park neighborhood with the Bank of America 2021 student leaders Divine Madubike, Oumy Gueye, Minji Kang, Esther Ceballo and Jamal Sayid. Read more here.



Columbus - Synovus

The bank recently announced its 2021 Jack Parker Scholarship recipients. This year, 130 scholarships totaling $113,500 were awarded to children of Synovus team members across the company’s footprint. The funds are generated each year through team member donations and internal fundraising.



Peachtree Corners - Piedmont Bank

The University of Georgia Athletic Association and Piedmont Bank are joining forces as part of an innovative, multi-year partnership to spotlight and celebrate former student-athletes for their success and contributions as business leaders. The inaugural honorees of Piedmont Bank’s Arch Award will be announced during the fall. This award, the first of its kind, focuses on the honorees' stories and lessons learned in their time at UGA, on and off the field, and how they have applied them to succeed as leaders in business. Read more here.


Valdosta - Renasant Bank

The bank has donated $300,000 to the Georgia HEART Hospital Program, which will be divided into six separate $50,000 donations for rural Georgia hospitals including Phoebe Worth Medical Center in Sylvester, Southwell Medical Center in Adel, Appling Healthcare in Baxley, Jeff Davis Hospital in Hazlehurst, Effingham Hospital in Springfield and Piedmont Mountainside Hospital in Jasper. Read more here.



Back to top of E-Bulletin



Columbus - Synovus

Meredith Forrester has been appointed as executive vice president and chief audit executive.


Rome - River City Bank

Rebecca Gilliam has been promoted to vice president, director of marketing. Gilliam is a member of the GBA Marketing Committee. Sandra Mayo has been promoted to vice president, director of information technology. Read more here.


Savannah - Great Oaks Bank

John “Nick” Harty has joined the bank as Savannah market executive. Read more here.


Tucker - Tandem Bank

Our sympathies to the family, friends and colleagues of bank director Bill Kane, who recently died. Kane was chief credit officer of Mountain National Bank in Tucker for many years and CEO of Brookhaven Bank. Tandem Bank Chairman and CEO Charles DeWitt shared his thoughts here, and you can also read his obituary here.


Greensboro - BankSouth

Daryn Russell has joined the bank as Chief Banking Officer.


Boston, MA - S&P Global Market Intelligence, LLC

FDIC has chosen S&P Global Market Intelligence, LLC and three other companies to propose a pilot consisting of testing new reporting and analytical tools with a small group of FDIC-supervised institutions on a voluntary basis. This is the next phase of an ongoing Rapid Phased Prototyping Competition, which is designed to accelerate the adoption of modern technological tools to help financial institutions draw inferences from their data, and to improve structure, portability, and processing of data that may support more efficient operations and reporting. Learn more here. S&P Global's SNL Banker product is an endorsed GBA product.


Washington, D.C. - Office of the Comptroller of the Currency

Julie Blake has been promoted to director for banking relations, effective Oct. 25.



Forrester Gilliam Mayo Harty Kane Russell



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 Katina Prokos.

Back to top of E-Bulletin