July_Aug 2020 GA Communities FIRST Magazine

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Official Publication of the Community Bankers Association of Georgia


Homegrown - Georgia’s Leading Industry Annual Convention

Bank Directors College PLUS: • Solutions for Success • Committee Chair Feature • Education Buzz


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F E AT U R E S July/August 2020

C B A S TA F F John McNair President & CEO john@cbaofga.com Lori Godfrey Executive Vice President and Chief of Staff, Government and Regulatory Relations lori@cbaofga.com Kristi Greer Senior Vice President Professional Development kristi@cbaofga.com


Community Banks and Agribusiness - A Perfect Partnership


Let’s Keep Georgia’s Financial Industry Going Strong


15 Solutions for Success

t h e l at e s t


COVID-19’s Impact on the Legislative Session

s pot l i g h ts


Lindsay Greene Vice President Member Services, Marketing and Communications lindsay@cbaofga.com

Homegrown: Georgia’s Leading Industry

13 Member Services Committee Chair: Mani Swarnam


Branch Security Cameras


The Low Down on Low Down Payment Mortgages

Tammy Maass Vice President, Accounting tammy@cbaofga.com

p ro f es s i o n a l d e v e lo p m e n t

21 CBA’s Annual Covention Agenda 22 Bank Directors College

Becky Soto Assistant Vice President Professional Development and LEAD Board becky@cbaofga.com

29 Education Buzz member services

35 Ready to Run 37

Connie Shepard Assistant Vice President Professional Development and Member Engagement connie@cbaofga.com

CBA’s Salary Survey

38 CBA’s Preferred Service Providers

s tay connected

Cassie Conklin Assistant Vice President Digital Strategy and Professional Development Marketing cassie@cbaofga.com

Lisa McNair Director of Finance lisa@cbaofga.com @CBAofGeorgia


@company/ cbaofgeorgia

Community Bankers Association of Georgia 1640 Powers Ferry Road SE, Building 28, Suite 100, Marietta, GA 30067-1425 (770) 541-4490 or (800) 648-8215 • Fax (770) 541-4496 | www.cbaofga.com • cba@cbaofga.com J u ly/ A u g u s t 2 0 2 0 | G e or g i a C o m m un i ti es F i rs t | 1


Community Banks and Agribusiness A Perfect Partnership

John McNair President & CEO Community Bankers Association of Georgia

The last several months have forced Georgian’s and all Americans to recognize and appreciate the many wonderful conveniences of modern life. Once such convenience- which has only around for less than 100 years - is the modern grocery store. Prior to the events of the last several months, like most Americans, I have taken for granted the ability to walk into a grocery store or restaurant and buy food. Because we really enjoy the freshest food possible - especially fruits and vegetables- Lisa and I are in our local grocery stores almost every other day. Obviously, over the past few months all of that was turned upside down; thereby, forcing the McNair family and the general citizenry to consider just how fortunate we are to have such easy access to food. In this issue of Georgia’s Communities First, it is our distinct pleasure to feature several community banks that provide needed funding and banking services to Georgia’s amazing agribusiness economy.

According to a 2018 white paper publication produced by the ICBA, while community banks only represent 17 percent of all U.S. bank assets, they provide roughly half of all agricultural credit from the banking sector and more than 60 percent of small-business loans. Further, community banks under $10 billion in assets provide nearly 75 percent of all banking industry ag loans. Those under $1 billion in assets extend about 52 percent of non-real estate loans and 57 percent of real estate credit to the farm sector. These are very significant and material statistics and when put into context of the past few months become even more meaningful. According to the SBA PPP statistics, the Agriculture, Forestry, Fishing and Hunting industry received over 135,000 PPP loans for just over $7.7 billion dollars. Since community banks were the primary suppliers of needed PPP loans, the importance of the local, community-based lender to the overall agriculture industry cannot be overstated.

Georgia’s farmers are amazing! Contributing close to $72.5 billion each year to the state’s economy, Georgia agriculture encompasses everything from broilers, beef cattle and pecans to food processing and agricultural education programs. The Peach State is home to 42,000 plus farms encompassing more than 9.5 million acres of land, each with an average size of 228 acres (Source- Farmflavor.com). Agriculture related products produced by our Georgia farmers are help feed and sustain people all over the world. Equally as significant is the vital role Georgia’s community banks play in making this all happen.

I hope you will enjoy reading and learning about our featured market segment this issue. If you are like me, I am sure your appreciation for some of life’s necessities has become magnified. The symbiotic relationship between community banks and agribusiness is a vital one that results in billions of people all over the world having access to high quality food. At CBA of Georgia, we are grateful for all of our farmers and agribusiness community banks that make all happen so seamlessly.

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Let’s Keep Georgia’s Financial Industry Going Strong

Ron Quinn President & CEO Peach State Bank & Trust, Gainesville 2019-2020 CBA Chairman

As we get full swing into the Summer following a very ever-changing Spring, with a pandemic that we have all been preparing for over the last twenty years, but never expecting that it would really occur, things are slowly getting back to more of a normal. Bankers around Georgia have worked together through tough unknowns to go above and beyond to serve our communities and help maintain jobs in numerous types of businesses and industries. Although our unemployment statewide is still over three times what it was pre-Covid-19, people are getting back to work, and companies are again beginning to hire new workers. The setback experienced in our State has caused our State government to take a hard stand to reduce our State budget across the board for all State agencies. These budget cuts are necessary to keep Georgia’s financial condition strong going into the future. We all have enjoyed the benefits of having a strong efficient ally in the Georgia Department of Banking and Finance over the past decade. I would urge all Bankers around our State to ask your legislators to continue to support our Department of Banking as they are being hit by an unforeseen pandemic and the loss of SunTrust Bank as our state’s largest financial institution. We have all been made better bankers and stronger banks since the

Great Recession from 2008-2010. The guidance we have all received over the last ten years from the Department of Banking and Finance will help to ensure that we are all better prepared as unknowns’ surface in the banking industry. We will begin to see a new norm in the examination process with virtual examinations. Let’s not forget the value of having a strong state regulatory body to keep the financial industry in Georgia strong. A strong banking system statewide will continue to bring new businesses to Georgia and keep Georgia as the best state in the USA to do business. On a different note, I hope everyone is making plans now to attend our Annual Convention this year at the Hilton Sandestin, September 24th - September 27th. The program line up will be one of the best in years with great speakers, and great educational sessions geared for your Directors and your entire management team. Also, some great social events throughout the convention and a strong finale on the beach after the Chairman’s Dinner on Saturday night. A special announcement will be coming soon, so be on the lookout. The convention will be a great opportunity to gather for some good fellowship, education, socialization and relaxation. Hope to see you there!

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legal news and updates for cba members

Have a topic you would like to see covered in “General Counsel Corner?” Email us at generalcounselcorner @ jamesbatesllp.com


@ jamesbatesllp.com

William P. Horkan

Attorney (478) 749-9960


Michael N. White

Attorney (478) 749-9921


July/August 2020

Are You Properly Perfecting Security Interests in Undisbursed Crop Insurance Proceeds? By William P. Horkan and Michael N. White

Agriculture is big business in Georgia. The industry contributed $73.7 billion in output and 392,400 jobs to Georgia’s economy in 2017. But, everything from natural disasters to economic unrest also make it an industry fraught with risk. Farmers mitigate these risks in many ways. They manage micronutrients in their soil. They lease or purchase the most technologically advanced equipment that enables accurate and efficient land and crop management. And, many of them purchase crop insurance. Crop insurance in the United States was born out of the Great Depression. Congress enacted the Federal Crop Insurance Act in 1938. The purpose of the Federal Crop Insurance Act was “to promote the national welfare by improving the economic stability of agriculture through a sound system of crop insurance and providing the means for the research and experience helpful in devising and establishing such insurance.” Initially, the Federal Crop Insurance Act allowed only the Federal Crop Insurance Corporation to issue crop insurance policies and handle claims on those policies. In 1980, Congress amended the Federal Crop Insurance Act and authorized the Federal Crop Insurance Corporation to allow approved insurance providers to sell and service crop insurance policies to farmers. These policies are then fully reinsured by the Federal Crop Insurance Corporation so long as the approved insurance providers use the standard policy guidelines, including terms and conditions, established by the Federal Crop Insurance Corporation. Succinctly, crop insurance is highly regulated by the Federal government. Crop insurance covered 2.7 million acres and provided $1.6 billion in liability protection in Georgia in 2019. Georgia farmers paid $62.8 million for this insurance coverage and crop insurers paid out $158.9 million to cover crop losses in 2019. An additional $156.9 million in crop protection was provided to Georgia farmers through private crop-hail policies. Crop insurance is a valuable tool for Georgia agricultural lenders. However, there are pitfalls in the law which require caution. Georgia’s version of the uniform commercial code normally provides a properly secured lender with a claim to insurance proceeds before they are paid to the insured

borrower. This claim creates a duty in say, a property insurer, to exercise due diligence before making an indemnity payment directly to the insured. Thus, a lender can prevent a borrower from paying other debts or secreting the insurance funds before the lender is paid. But, the federal government’s regulation of the crop insurance program means that a lender cannot only rely on its usual loan documents to secure its interests in a borrower’s crop insurance proceeds. Specifically, language in the Federal Crop Insurance Act modifies the application of a security interest created via Georgia’s version of the uniform commercial code to crop insurance proceeds. A lender desiring to obtain a lien or interest in undisbursed crop insurance proceeds must procure an assignment form from the crop insurer. The lender should ensure that the assignment form is properly completed. It is important to note that the assignment is not effective until approved by the crop insurer. Finally, the lender must obtain a new assignment each year because each year constitutes a new crop insurance policy. This process is key to ensuring that a lender’s interest in crop insurance proceeds will not be defeated by another creditor. Accordingly, financial institutions should routinely evaluate their agricultural lending underwriting and due diligence policies and processes to ensure that proper perfection of the financial institution’s interest in crop insurance proceeds is perfected at the initiation of any loan, as well as on a yearly basis. Exceptions to policy for crop insurance financing statements and assignment forms should be noted and cleared as quickly as possible to ensure proper protection. As loss factors, such as hurricanes or economic downturns, are often unanticipated, this should be a priority to ensure sound loss mitigation. Crop insurance is a great risk mitigation tool for farmers and lenders alike, but care is required to ensure its efficacy when needed. For, as Justice Oliver Wendell Homes, Jr. said, “men must turn square corners when they deal with the Government.”


“General Counsel Corner,” a recurring column featuring legal news and information of interest to CBA members, is brought to you by James-Bates-Brannan-Groover-LLP. Visit us at GeorgiasLawFirm.com


COVID-19’s Impact on the Legislative Session And that is a wrap for the longest legislative session in Georgia history…40 days but the last day was not until Friday, June 26th. This legislative session was unique to say the least as legislators dealt with COVID-19, a Saturday session, riots, large budget cuts, elections mid-session, and debates on hate crimes, election laws, and gambling legislation. When the legislators returned to the Capitol on June 15, 2020, for Day 30 of the session, one thing was clear. Nothing was the same as it has been in the past. Hallways were shut off to anyone other than legislative staff, social distancing was enforced in both chambers with the House resorting to voice votes, and committee meetings being held by zoom. Lori Godfrey

Executive Vice President & Chief of Staff Government and Regulatory Relations

While the only legislation required by law to be passed each session is the State’s budget, there were a number of bills that popped up that had not been in play prior to the state of emergency related to COVID-19. One of those priorities related to providing a limit of liabilities for business and health care providers in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. SB 359 was assigned to the House Special Committee on Access to the Civil Justice System. Language from the original Senate bill was deleted and language was inserted into the bill to provide for these protections. A large and diverse group of small businesses, health care providers, and trade associations (including CBA) worked with legislations to come up with the language of this bill. The final bill was a result of numerous negotiations by all interested parties. While the bill may not be perfect, it was a huge step in the right direction. On June 25, 2020, around 10PM, the Committee passed the bill with the changes that had been made. On the final day of the session, the bill passed the House with a vote of 104-56, which was a vote mainly along party lines. The bill then went back to the Senate for them to agree or disagree with the changes that were made in the House. The Senate voted 34-16 to agree with the House substitute. Now, the bill goes to the Governor for signature. What does this bill mean for you and your banks? The Georgia COVID-19 Pandemic Business Safety Act (the “Act”) which provides businesses with certain protections against liability arising out of the “transmission, infection, exposure, or potential exposure of COVID-19.” For more information regarding the Act, together with a sample disclaimer for your review and consideration, click here. Now more than ever, it’s important for Georgia’s community bankers to have a strong voice and influence in the shaping of our industry. Please don’t hesitate to contact me or John McNair regarding any legislative issues your bank may have.

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SPOTLIGHT Chip Dorminy has been farming for 50 years. He is growing corn, cotton and peanuts this year. He is pictured here with 3 of his grandchildren (Abi, Ford, and Davis) and a few of their farm family pets.

With over $75 billion in economic impact every year, agribusiness is Georgia’s leading industry. With long growing seasons, a favorable climate, and over 9 million acres of operating farmland in the state, Georgia is prime for growing and producing valuable agricultural commodities. The state leads the nation in production of chickens, peanuts, pecans, blueberries, and rye. According to the Georgia Department of Economic Development, many companies – including Pilgrim’s Pride, Chick-fil-A, Coca-Cola, and Tyson – source their products directly from Georgia farms and operations. In this issue, CBA will showcase the monumental impact Georgia’s community banks play in agribusiness in the state. You will read about several banks as they discuss the lines of agriculture they support and learn about the challenges, opportunities, the future of Ag lending and also learn about the farmers themselves. Also, of importance, we asked how CBA can help support this valuable sector.

• Georgia ranks 14th nationally in gross receipts for farms with over $10.2 billion in gross farm receipts. This includes a value for crop production of 2.8 billion and a value for animals and products production of 6.05 billion. • In terms of Value of agricultural sector production, Georgia ranks 15th nationally with $10,229,739 in agricultural production, accounting for 2.5% of the nation’s total agricultural production. Source: USDA Economic Research Service; Farm finance indicators, state ranking, 2018. 6 | ww w. cbao fga.com | July / A ugust 2020

L-R Hamp Powers (Great Grandson), Ryne Powers(Grandson), Kobi Powers (Great Granddaughter), and Randall Odum (Grandather). Ryne took over his grandfathers farm and they are farming 1,600 acres of row crops, cattle, hay, poultry, and custom farming.

Gary Black, Georgia Commissioner of Agriculture

“While banking has changed in the last generation, one thing that has not changed is the importance of a strong relationship with your banker. Community bankers coach their customer’s children, teach their customer’s Sunday school class, and ensure that the same family has a mortgage and line of credit for their business. It is indeed a noble calling,” commented Georgia Agriculture Commissioner Gary Black. “Georgia’s community banks are the leading providers of credit and other vital banking services to the state’s treasured farmers. The importance of the symbiotic relationship between Georgia’s farmers and their local community banks cannot be overstated,” said John McNair, President & CEO of Community Bankers Association of Georgia (CBA). Stephen Lewis, Senior Lender at First National Bank of Coffee County, Douglas, and CBA Agriculture Committee Chair took a group of bankers last fall on a tour of a Premium Peanut and Coffee County Cotton Gin in Douglas. According to Stephen, the mainlines of agriculture his bank is involved with is poultry, cotton, peanuts, corn, timber, and blueberries. “Right now, cotton prices are weak. Peanuts, corn, and timber appear stable. Blueberry prices were slightly off, but yields were good this year.”

Community bankers tour Coffee County Cotton Gin in Douglas last fall.

Perry White, Vice President- Commercial Lender, Community Bank of Georgia in Baxley, primarily serves customers with timber, cotton, peanuts, corn, soybeans, tobacco, blueberries, pecans, blackberries, cattle, poultry, and pine straw. “Agriculture is suffering a depressed pricing environment, primarily due to trade challenges worldwide. Some of these areas of agriculture mentioned have been subsidized by the government to help support the pricing. With innovations in technology and support from Extension and chemical companies, there have been advancements that have enabled the farmer to operate more efficiently,” explained Perry. “Relationships with these farmers is the key part of Ag lending. Being able to sit down and work out a 2,3,5,10-year plan with your borrower on what your mutual goals are is a major part of what helps a farmer succeed,” said Perry. “There are hills and valleys of Ag Lending. There have been times when a farmer’s request gets turned down, but 12 months later that farmer comes back and thanks his banker for looking out for him, to help him see the risks that were involved. Communication between both parties are what makes for a great lending relationship.” Peanuts, cattle, and vegetable farming including watermelons are the leading lines of agriculture in Eastman, according to Jolene Carroll, President & CEO, Bank of Eastman. “Cotton performance is doing well, due to government support and cattle is having some issues due to supply chain problems,” Jolene explained.

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SPOTLIGHT In Fitzgerald, Community Banking Company of Fitzgerald President & CEO Corey Gibbs and EVP/Senior Lender Mark Turner shared what’s happening in their area of the state. According to Mark, most of the bank’s ag production loans are for peanuts and cotton and crop yields were good for the most part last year, but commodity prices continue to be low. Corey shared photos of two farmers who happen to be also be directors of the bank. “One has been in farming for 50 years and another for 45 years. Both men are very respected within the industry and well known,” said Corey. Scott Curry, President/CEO, First State Bank of Randolph County in CuthbertShellman, shared peanuts, cotton, corn, timber and beef cattle are the main lines of agriculture his bank finances as well as cover crops of wheat and rye during the winter months. Scott noted that their farmers and timber/logging customers are well-seasoned and performing well.

What challenges are these agribusiness customers seeing?

The biggest challenge bankers shared was weakening commodity pricing for a variety of reasons, but primarily trade issues. “Commodity prices are a challenge, as is the rising costs of production as related to fertilizers, pesticides, chemicals, etc. The lack of demand for ethanol has greatly hurt grain/corn producers this year, due to falling oil prices,” explained Scott Curry.

Mark Turner agreed that the main challenge is low commodity prices due to the trade tensions with China along with demand issues created by COVID 19. Perry White described challenges for Southeast Georgia farmers, “Depressed pricing due to trade issues. Labor shortages and hurdles trying to obtain the labor in a timely manner. One thing we are seeing is the delay of transitioning from generation to generation of farmers. With the suffering markets and increased input cost, the “Father” in the farming operation doesn’t want to turn the farming operation over to his son and watch him have an uphill battle from day one.”

The land of opportunity…

“Bankers are continually looking at ways to diversify such as investing in cotton gins, peanut buying points & shelling plants, and blueberry packing facilities,” said Stephen Lewis. “Farmers are looking into efficiencies involving technology to allow more precise practices for the operation. Precision Ag is gaining traction as a younger generation of

farmers is slowly becoming more involved in the day to day operations of farm management. On my blueberry farm, we are looking for more ways to be efficient with machine harvesting blueberries, while still maintaining a handpicked quality fruit. The cost and manpower for this harvesting is a fraction of what handpicking costs,” explained Perry White. In Eastman, Jolene Carroll noted that cannabis oil production is a significant opportunity. Scott Curry

• Community banks in Georgia made $2.6 billion in 24,738 farmland loans. • Community banks in Georgia made $909.8 million in 17,536 agricultural production loans. • Community banks in Georgia comprised 99% of the ag loan market (from banking industry). • Community banks made $112 billion in 943,320 farmland loans. • Community banks made $94.2 billion in 2,158,362 agricultural production loans. • 77% of farm loans made by banks in 2019 went to farm machinery. • Over one-third of bank agricultural loans were under $10,000. • Total employment within the Ag sector was around 2,320,000 (plus self-employed and unpaid family workers all four quarters) • The median hourly wage for Ag sector employees was $12.26 • Labor productivity within the Ag sector decreased by a constant 3 percent (2019). Source: FDIC Call Reports, Kansas City Federal Reserve Ag Finance Databook, and Bureau of Labor Statistics Productivity Studies for annual figures in 2019.

Checking out the watermelons at the family business in Eastman.

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shared “The de-regulation brought forth by the current administration has helped with regard to financial access, environmental constraints, and US jobs being brought back for use of our own commodities.”

Looking ahead: What’s on the horizon for Georgia farmers?

“With margins continuing to tighten each year, farmers will have to look at investing in vertically integrated facilities such as increasing their acreage, investing in cotton gins, peanut buying points & shelling plants, looking at different crops, and reviewing expenses to make sure they are getting the best return on the money they are investing in the crop,” said Stephen Lewis. According to Scott Curry, careful monitoring of commodity prices, the demand from the markets in the Orient and Europe, and competition from South America are on all on the horizon.

How can CBA help?

Each year, John McNair, President & CEO of CBA and Lori Godfrey, EVP, Government and Regulatory Relations at CBA, lead a group of bankers from across the state to Washington, DC to meet face to face with legislators. All bankers agreed that continued lobbying efforts and education for bankers are on the top of the list. “Continued lobbying efforts to ensure federal government maintains adequate crop insurance and price support subsidies in the farm bill,” stated Stephen Lewis, who met with legislators in DC on behalf of Georgia’s community banks in the past. Mark Turner noted, “Cotton farmers will again need subsidy payment help with low cotton prices. If the current cotton price does not increase substantially by this fall, farmers will need government payment support.”

Hulin Reeves Jr. has been farming for 45 years. This year his crops are peanuts and cotton. He is pictured here with part of his peanut crop.


Committee Chair: Stephen Lewis First National Bank of Coffee County, Douglas CBA Liaisons: Lori Godfrey & Kristi Greer Committee Members: Mandi Boehringer Georgia Rural Investment Fund, LLC, Atlanta Faith Danforth Farmers & Merchants Bank, Lakeland William Hurt Planters First Bank, Cordele Ray Muggridge Bank of Camilla Lorrie Shaw Community Bank of Pickens County, Jasper Rick Tatum Northeast Georgia Bank, Lavonia Mark Turner Community Banking Company of Fitzgerald, Fitzgerald ​Perry White Community Bank of Georgia, Baxley Kent Wolfe Director at The University of Georgia Center for Agribusiness & Economic Development, Athens Tim Wynne Planters First Bank, Hawkinsville Georgia’s community bankers meeting with legislators on Capitol Hill

Scott Curry’s bank has participated in the ICBA Capital Summit numerous times and Scott suggested lobbying efforts to support to buy American products (raw materials AND finished goods) and price supports for American farmers to be competitive against foreign countries. Lastly Perry White said, “Updates via educational seminars, and farm tours are a great way for bankers to see what goes on in the daily life of agriculture. Lobbying efforts for farmers play a huge role to help them out. If we can help their cashflow by helping to provide financial assistance through subsidies in lieu of a stabilized marker then that will help the relationship with the banker as well.” “It is vitally important for community bankers and farmers to continue to join together to advocate for Georgia’s agriculture industry,” said John McNair. Mark Scanlan, Senior Vice President, Agriculture and Rural Policy at ICBA, encourages bankers to urge their Senators and members of Congress to cosponsor the ECORA (Enhancing Credit Opportunities for Rural America) Act, which puts banks on a more level competitive playing field with the FCS lenders by providing banks a tax exemption for income earned from farm real estate loans and for housing mortgages in communities up to 2,500 population. Bankers can access ICBA’s Be Heard website link to generate letters to Congress to help rural Americans get loans.

Bank of Eastman agribusiness customers based out of Rhine.

John McNair commented, “The ECORA legislation would further help community banks expand needed credit and other financial services to Georgia’s farmers.” J u ly/ A u g u s t 2 0 2 0 | G e or g i a C o m m un i ti es F i rs t | 11

90 YEARS: ONE MISSION. COMMUNITY BANKS.ÂŽ ICBA is the only organization that exclusively represents the interests of community banks through effective advocacy, best-in-class education, and constant innovation.

Shape the destiny of community banking. Join ICBA today.

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www.icba.org | info@icba.org | 866-843-4222


Meet CBA’s Member Services Committee Chair:

Mani Swarnam

With 11 standing committees, CBA offers member community banks a way to strengthen their association first-hand. The Committee Chair, along with committee members provide valuable feedback and guidance on the needs, challenges and opportunities of Georgia’s community banks. We are pleased to feature the chair of the CBA’s Member Services Committee, Subramanian (Mani) Swarnam, SVP Commercial Lending, Georgia Primary Bank, Atlanta. CBA invited Mani to participate in a Q&A so you can learn about his bank, how his role on the committee helps other CBA members, and more. How long have you been in banking? 21 years What makes your bank different? Helping clients sustain and grow their businesses by providing creative funding solutions in a responsive manner.

How does the Member Services Committee help CBA members? By providing pre-screened vendor and service provider options (through its Preferred Service Provider program) to add to the quiver of member banks in serving their stakeholders. The Member Services Committee also strives to give its member banks additional exposure to the latest/ evolving products and services within the industry including Fin-Tech, so our fellow banks and bankers can be on the leading edge instead of playing catch-up. Additionally, I encourage our member banks to contact us and talk to us about burning issues or challenges they are faced with in today’s banking industry landscape, which I sincerely believe our committee could explore solving for them. The Member Services Committee along with CBA’s leadership can also collaborate with CBAs of other states as well as ICBA to help identify solutions for member banks.

Mani Swarnam S VP, Commercial Lending Georgia Primary Bank, Atlanta CBA Member Services Committee Chair

Tell us about your hobbies or interests outside of work: Outside of the office, I enjoy spending time with family, playing golf and traveling. If you are interested in serving on CBA’s Member Services Committee, please contact Lindsay Greene.





Over 30 years of helping ag lenders compete by providing flexible low-cost financing and effective risk management tools. GET STARTED TODAY Bill Miller | 202.872.5549 bmiller@farmermac.com www.farmermac.com J u ly/ A u g u s t 2 0 2 0 | G e or g i a C o m m un i ti es F i rs t | 13



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Solutions for Success:

Customer Experience is the Real Competitive Advantage How does a tech-forward mindset correlate to long-term value for your customers? Customers are more likely to renew a relationship if their interactions with a company are fast and easy. This is especially true when it comes to technology solutions. From rapid onboarding to speed of integration to accessibility, effective processes are essential when delivering a positive customer experience.

The Solutions for Success series features timely issues and best practices from CBA Associate Members. CBA recently met with Matt Mingenback, Vice President at Fitech, to ask a couple of questions pertaining to multi-channel marketing. In an industry where technology is changing by the minute and a business environment in which contactless sales are becoming the norm, the ability to stand out from the competition is proving daunting, if not impossible, for many companies. One payment technology company, however, has built its business strategy around the customer experience and is leveraging its collective capabilities and strengths to drive revenue for its bank partners. Here’s how they are doing it. In a sea of payment providers, how can banks identify the technology partner to help them ensure success today and tomorrow? The WIIFM—What’s In It For Me—principle is as strong today as it’s ever been, but rather than focusing exclusively on your bank, look at the proposed value of the partner through the eyes of your customers. Are the products and services described important to them? Can your customers implement them quickly and easily? Are the solutions flexible and scalable to grow in lockstep with their business? Your payment technology partner should ask the same questions when identifying and investing in solutions for you. Community banks are more than a funding source for small businesses; they provide value- added services to help local businesses operate more efficiently and remain both competitive and relevant.

Fitech, as an example, offers multiple ways to set up a merchant account, including a digitally secure application that can be completed via email or a link embedded in your banking platform. Bank partners can pre-load customized pricing and program parameters so that merchants only need to add their demographic information to apply. Within 24 hours, merchants can be approved and begin accepting payments. Partners benefit from an equally effortless journey utilizing Fitech’s open API for a truly seamless software integration. And consumers can pay the way they want, whether that’s via a mobile device, digital wallet/ApplePay or online. Your merchants have enough details to manage; accepting payments shouldn’t be one of them. How do successful companies innovate? They collaborate. They communicate. And they cooperate; working together to generate ideas that become better, more inventive and satisfying solutions for their customers. Whether you’re adding merchant services to your portfolio or putting the pieces in place for the next big project, choose a technology partner that understands your business needs and focuses on the customer experience to give your bank a competitive advantage. Fitech, like the CBA, focuses on the interests of community banks exclusively. For help crafting your payment strategy and to learn more about the payment solutions that Fitech offers, please visit www.fitech.com.

Matt Mingenback

Vice President, Sales FITECH

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A personal message from our President:

THE STS GROUP DIFFERENCE • Yearly Comprehensive Security Assessment. • Time-saving remote diagnostics. • One-of-a-kind research and development lab. • Security Connect Customer Portal. • Real-time service status notifications.


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Branch Security Cameras 5 Important Things to Know As a financial institution, your ​security features​’ effectiveness is a major priority. Branch security cameras not only protect your institution by deterring criminals and identifying thieves, but their presence in your building also plays a pivotal role in inspiring customer confidence and satisfaction. If you’re a bank, it goes without saying that you have branch security cameras – but do you know everything about them that you should? Here are five simple yet crucial questions to ask yourself as you get to know your branch security cameras. 1. Does your branch have the latest camera technology? This is a great place to start. The electronic security landscape is constantly evolving, so it’s important to be up on the latest and greatest available features. Some to look for include: • Motion tracking – This is important for all banks, but particularly for those that don’t have 24- hour onsite security. M ​ otion-sensing cameras​can track moving objects, offering 360°panning and rotation. If a robbery occurs after hours, this feature allows you to keep eyes on the intruder throughout the course of the incident and gives police more details about the culprit. • Megapixel Resolution – Older analog cameras produce poor quality footage and grainy images. With high resolution (up to 4K), you can acquire more forensic details when you zoom into the camera’s field of view. • Sensors for a wide range of lighting (including Night Vision) – New, key technologies include the ability to deliver color images in near-total darkness and advanced sensors that relay clear images in a variety of lighting situations. • Vandal- and weather-resistance – Today’s top-line security cameras include covers that are impactresistant, dust-tight, and waterproof.


4. Are you utilizing cloud video storage? Best practices among banks generally require institutions to store video footage for 90 days. Depending on the number of cameras you utilize and the resolution of those cameras, that can mean a lot of storage space. Storing your security footage in the cloud solves onsite hardware storage conundrums and allows you to connect multiple cameras from various locations. 5. Are your camera passwords airtight? Considering your passwords may seem basic and elementary, but statistics show that many passwords are easily hacked. It’s vital to take the time and make the effort to assign a unique, long, unobvious password to each individual camera. This process, while time-consuming and harder to track than assigning all cameras the same password, is much more reliable and offers greater protection. Utilizing security cameras is paramount in the financial industry. With so many options out there, it’s vital to have a ​knowledgeable partner​who understands today’s unique security challenges. STS Group​is that partner. C ​ ontact​STS Group today for a security consultation and get all of your surveillance and security questions answered by the best in the business.

Adam Swithin

Director of Sales STS Group Preferred Service Provider

2. Do your plants need pruning? Of course, you want the landscaping in front of your branch to look nice, but is it interfering with the motion sensors in your cameras? Simply cutting back vegetation around your security cameras can prevent many false triggers and save you the time and headache of dealing with multiple irrelevant security notifications. 3. Have you installed your security suite’s mobile app? This simple act can have major time-saving and convenience benefits. ​Mobile apps​allow you to view, playback, and capture still images on your smartphone or tablet. You can also use your digital device to search recorded videos from multiple cameras at the same time and view all your systems on one screen. Keeping tabs on your security cameras has never been easier or more personally tailored. J u ly/ A u g u s t 2 0 2 0 | G e or g i a C o m m un i ti es F i rs t | 17

The Low Down on Low Down Payment Mortgages Derek and Tonya are your typical couple in their late 20’s. They both work and together rent a small apartment in the city. The rent is crazy high, but they don’t feel like they have any other options. One night, Derek finished giving their beautiful 8 week old little girl a bottle. Once he put her to bed and sat down to eat dinner with Tonya, her phone dings with alerts from a real estate website showing there are new listings in their area. While they eat their burnt chicken from one of those gourmet delivery services, where they give you all the ingredients and you cook it, Tonya says, “We are running out of space here, Derek. I know we can afford the payment on these houses. Look at this one, it’s perfect!” Derek replied, “Yeah, but we only have $11,000 saved up and 20% down on most of these houses is almost $60,000. I don’t like squeezing in this tiny apartment or paying rent either, but we are going to be here for a while.” Despite the information-overload world we live in, this type of thinking is still commonplace. In fact, in a recent MBA survey roughly 57% of non-homeowners believed that their financial situation (including savings) was a deterrent in buying a home. Over the course of the last 10-15 years there have been many “first-time homebuyer” and “low down payment” mortgages available, but many of those have left the market postmortgage meltdown. So, what are potential borrowers to do? Turns out, that there are a handful of amazing lowdown payment mainstream mortgages still available that allow for zero to three percent down, depending on the product. Fannie Mae Home Ready and Freddie Mac Home Possible are two of the strongest options, both have a minimum down payment of three percent, and can carry reduced mortgage insurance! Additionally, veterans may still qualify for 100% financing for purchases. Live in a rural area? USDA mortgages can also be 100% financing!


out mortgages alone or feeling like a number with some lenders, potential buyers should turn to community banks for advice, guidance, and mortgage financing. The community bankers and community mortgage lenders that partner with me are some of the best in the business at presenting options, talking through decisions, and helping first-time or repeat homebuyers buy the home of their dreams. Knowledge on these options is second nature to many banking professionals and is something often taken for granted. For other bankers, this may be the first they’ve heard of such programs. Either way, last month was National Homeownership month and I challenge Georgia’s community bankers to continue to remind people in their respective markets that home ownership may not be as far away as they think. If you would like to know more about aforementioned types of mortgages, please feel free to reach out to me and I would love the opportunity to chat. Home ownership is the backbone of the American Dream and the foundation upon which most of the household wealth is generated in the United States. Let’s do all we can to make the dream happen and make Georgia better one home at a time.

Skip Willcox

Account Executive Crescent Mortgage Preferred Service Provider

Clearly, low down payment options are still available, but mortgage information is often difficult to sort through and can make a borrower go cross-eyed when educating themselves. To make the problem worse, mega-banks and online mortgage lenders don’t always provide borrowers with the information and guidance needed to make one of the biggest financial decisions of their lives. Enter, the community banker. Instead of figuring

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Travelers is delivering $4.4 million in dividends to qualifying policyholders. Are you in? If your bank is a Travelers policyholder, you’re currently enjoying outstanding Independent Community Bankers of America (ICBA) benefits. If you’re not, you might want to consider the following reasons why you should be insuring with Travelers:

Travelers ICBA Insurance program’s Policyholder Safety Group Dividend plan has been paid for 18 consecutive years. The most recent program year produced policyholder dividends of $4.4 million – for a total of nearly $65 million in dividends paid over the past 36 years. Industry-leading risk management solutions and insurance protection tailored to community banks. Financial strength you can rely on.

To learn more, talk to your independent agent or broker or visit travelers.com.

travelers.com Travelers Casualty and Surety Company of America and its property casualty affiliates. Hartford, CT 06183 © 2020 The Travelers Indemnity Company. All rights reserved. Travelers and the Travelers Umbrella logo are registered trademarks of The Travelers Indemnity Company in the U.S. and other countries. CP-9143 Rev. 2-20

All property casualty coverages may not be available in certain areas; certain lines of coverage may not be eligible for dividend payout. Dividends are not guaranteed and are subject to the approval of the company’s board of directors.


Bank to the Future





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Bank Director’s College GET INTO THE DIRECTOR'S GROOVE. BANK DIRECTOR’S COLLEGE WILL BE HELD AT BANK TO THE FUTURE! Bank Secrecy Act, Anti-Money Laundering for Community Bank Boards Dianne Barton, President Performance Solutions Inc

After 50 years, compliance with the Bank Secrecy Act (BSA) continues to be a top priority of the regulators focusing on the bank’s safety and soundness. This begins and ends with the Board of Directors.

Modern Investment Management – What is the director’s role? Jim Reber, President/CEO, ICBA Securities

Community bank investment portfolios may seem to have changed little since the Great Recession, but that is a head fake. The actual securities that are available in 2020 are quite a bit different than a decade ago, and community banks have had to adapt.

Director Duties, Responsibilities, Risks & Liabilities with Covid-19

Philip Smith, Partner, Gerrish Smith Tuck PC, Memphis, TN Greyson E. Tuck, Attorney & Consultant, Gerrish Smith Tuck PC, Memphis, TN

This session will include practical advice on the fundamental duties and responsibilities for community bank directors in light of and after COVID-19, and how community bank directors can perform their duties in order to mitigate the risks associated with the position. 2 2 | ww w. cbao fga.com | Ju l y / A ugust 2020



John W. Sillay, Adams, Hemingway, Wilson & Rutledge, LLC, Macon, Georgia

Recap the lessons learned throughout the Director’s College in a roundtable-style discussion facilitated by John W. Sillay. Share wisdom among your peers and hear about the creative ways that your peers have addressed the issues keeping bank directors and executive management up at night. Provide feedback which will be used in building out the CBA’s upcoming [semi-annual] Director’s Roundtables.


Celebrate a Lifetime of Service Will you or someone at your bank be celebrating a milestone this year? Let CBA help you celebrate!

Community Bankers Association of Georgia (CBA) is proud to honor bankers who have reached a significant milestone in the banking industry with the Lifetime Service Awards. CBA pays tribute to bankers reaching a milestone of 30, 40 or 50 years in the community banking industry. The presentation will be made during the 52nd Annual Convention & Mini-Trade Show. The 2020 deadline to submit honorees is Friday, August 28, 2020. As part of the recognition, honorees receive a commemorative plaque, and CBA will feature the honorees in various CBA publications, as well as provide a press release. Honorees with 50 or more years of service also receive a customized gold and diamond lapel pin. If you or someone in your bank is celebrating 30, 40 or 50 years of service as a banker during this calendar year, please contact Lindsay Greene, (770) 541-0376, or visit CBA’s website. J u ly/ A u g u s t 2 0 2 0 | G e or g i a C o m m un i ti es F i rs t | 23


Bank Contract Negotiators Core Evaluations Renewal Negotiations Online & Mobile Evaluations Card Portfolio Profitability

Bank technology consulting that pays for itself. Visit | genesystg.com 2 4 | ww w. cbao fga.com | Ju l y / A ugust 2020

Call | (770) 729-4140

Email | info@genesystg.com









Board Appreciation Reception & Dinner Co-Sponsors


Financial Institutions Group

Thursday Night Desserts and Coffee, 90 Second Demo: Saturday

Friday Deli Lunch

Bottled Water

Friday Cash Prize

Saturday Promo Items

In-Room Gifts

Ribbon Sponsor & Selfie Station Convention App & Introducing Pete Smith Photo Booth Friday Video Message Saturday Entertainment Co-Sponsor

Bonfire Co-Sponsor

Daily Costume Prizes

Friday Promo Items & 90 Second Demo: Friday Saturday Video Message Mini-Trade Show Cash Drawing, Convention T-shirts & Charging Station


For more information on sponsorships, please contact Lindsay Greene at (770) 541-0376.

Bonfire Co-Sponsor Convention WiFi – Fri/Sat

Convention Totes

Name Badges

Thursday Night Hosted Bar Co-Sponsors

Chairman’s Reception & Banquet Co-Sponsors

90 Second Demo: Saturday Introduce David Salyers Saturday Entertainment Co-Sponsor

Saturday Entertainment Co-Sponsor

Saturday Breakfast & Saturday Breaks

Friday Breakfast

Convention Signage

Convention Gift

Saturday Entertainment Co-Sponsor

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High-performance tools. For high-performance community banking. With QwickRateÂŽ, your bank can access tools and services that larger banks have long enjoyed. Community banks all over Georgia count on us for non-brokered CD funding and investing, performance analysis and regulatory tools. Now they can also stem credit losses with our loan review and credit risk management tools. Contact Melissa Wallace today to learn more and sign up for your 6-month free trial of QwickAnalyticsÂŽ.

Premier online source for non-brokered CD funding and investing

Powerful online analytics and regulatory tools that every bank can afford

High-tech risk management tools and cost-effective loan reviews that drive down credit losses

Schedule a private tour of our solutions at www.qwickrate.com. Sign up for 6 months of free access to QwickAnalytics at www.qwickrate.com/cbaofga.

Melissa Wallace 678.797.4062 melissa.wallace@qwickrate.com 2 6 | ww w. cbao fga.com | Ju l y / A ugust 2020

800.285.8626 www.qwickrate.com



ACG • Ameris Mortgage • Ascensus • ATM Response • Banc Consulting Partners • Bankers Healthcare Group BFS Group • CashTrans • CBIZ • Crescent Mortgage • DeNyse Companies • Eclipse Brand Builders EconoCheck • FITECH • Genesys Technology Group • Gulf Coast Business Credit • Harland Clarke Holtmeyer & Monson • ICBA Securities • Intercept Consulting Group, Inc. • Kasasa • Pentegra Point to Point Environmental • Progressive Communications • Promontory Interfinancial Network • QwickRate SBA Works • SHAZAM • STS Group • Travelers • Vsoft Corporation • Warren Averett • WebMobile Fusion

Are you taking advantage of CBA’s Digital and Online Interactive Directory?

Access CBA’s 2020 Georgia Financial Directory anytime/anywhere. With two versions, accessing member information has never been easier. The contains information on banks, holding companies, Preferred Service Providers, Associate Members and more. The directory is password protected, so please contact CBA if you need your login credentials. Once you access the directory, please see bookmarks in upper righthand corner. Looking for the interactive version – click on the right side of the Members Only Green Menu for specifics on accessing. Anyone in your bank or business can access!!

Access your copy now! J u ly/ A u g u s t 2 0 2 0 | G e or g i a C o m m un i ti es F i rs t | 27

The reasons to trust us with your SBA lending really stack up.

Profit from people you can trust. Our SBA expertise helps you maximize your community bank’s earning potential. Our team becomes your team, managing and simplifying every step of the process, from loan packaging and closing, to securitization and sale, to portfolio servicing. All at no net cost to you. Learn how your bank can earn 7-10% premiums on the sale of SBA/USDA loan guarantees.

Talk to us today. 800.340.7304 www.holtandmon.com

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Education Buzz


How To Invest in your Online-Virtual Learner? In-person or Virtual Training? What is best for my team? Webinars, in-person training, hands-on training, virtual training are all different and provide a variety of learning opportunities. As you support your staff development, the learning environment is a huge piece to effective learning. At CBA of GA, we continue making enhancements to our offerings while striving to provide learning environments that support the banker’s learning style. When your employee is participating in a virtual course, what can fellow team members do to support the online learner? 1. Set up a quiet location to connect to stable internet connection. 2. Provide a computer that has a camera and microphone so they can engage with the facilitator.

Kristi Greer

Senior Vice President Director of Professional Developent Community Bankers Association of Georgia

3. Be respectful of their time away. Pretend they are away at a venue and not in the office. And avoid interruptions.

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Considering BOLI for your bank? Considering Supplemental Benefits to attract and retain top talent?

Already have BOLI/Benefits? Request a free, independent audit of your BOLI/Benefit plans!

BFS Group, a leading expert in the BOLI industry, is a national firm with an exclusive focus on community banks. BFS Group supports the management of all BOLI portfolios with the primary goal of providing unparalleled customer support, increasing the bank’s bottom line, increasing shareholder value and funding meaningful benefits for all bank employees. BFS Group is directly appointed by all major BOLI carriers which enables us to design BOLI portfolios that can be tailored to the bank’s specific goals and objectives. We are also endorsed by the CBA of Georgia, as well as many other state and national banking associations throughout the country.

John Gianacaci Regional Managing Director (609) 915-9168 jgianacaci@bfsgroup.com

Already have BOLI? Request a free, independent BOLI audit from BFS Group.


Community Bankers Graduate from CBA’s 2nd Annual Compliance Officer Boot Camp Eighteen bankers from across Georgia graduated with a comprehensive insight on working effectively as a compliance officer and incorporating compliance in all staff roles. Attendees enjoyed the hands-on learning format that included applicable tools which can be immediately used in daily job responsibilities. Our bankers came to a safe-learning environment in-person at Jekyll Island and some participated virtually using our STREAM technology.

“The Compliance Officer Boot Camp is the first and only of its kind,” said Hamilton. “ProBank Austin is proud to be at the forefront of this hands-on educational experience for staff from all areas of the bank. Compliance is every bank employee’s responsibility every day. Partnership, collaboration and networking are keys to compliance success and the Compliance Officer Boot Camp sets that foundation.” Yes, CBA of GA will make plans to offer the Compliance Officer Boot Camp again.

J u ly/ A u g u s t 2 0 2 0 | G e or g i a C o m m un i ti es F i rs t | 31

CBIZ Offering CBA members tailored programs to minimize risk and manage employee services Customized Insurance & Risk Management

mitigates key industry exposures including board liability, M&A, cyber, contracts, Fintech and fast-changing technologies

Benefits, Payroll & HRIS

simplifies human resources management process with single-source access to your employee data

Retirement Plan Services

provides solutions to help manage your plan

For more information contact: Kris St. Martin, Bank Services Program Director 763.549.2267 | KStMartin@CBIZ.com

CBIZ Banking Practice www.cbiz.com/Banking


A Case for Universal Bankers By: Dianne Barton, President of Performance Solutions, inc. (PSi)

Why should a bank consider and implement universal banking? Go stand in any retail branch lobby, count the customers and you will find the answer. Today’s retail branch is a valuable delivery channel and customer touch point that is rapidly declining. The strategy for retail brick and mortar banking must be revisited. Customer expectations and increased technology are impacting retail banking. As described in a recent article by The Financial Brand, “According to research from CACI, the typical consumer will visit a bank branch just four times a year by 2022. Currently, consumers are averaging around seven visits to a branch per year. In the next five years, CACI estimates that 88% of all interactions will be mobile.” So why would a customer ever have a reason to come into a retail bank? Day-to-day banking transactions will be increasing automated through technology. Quite simply, financial advice (to open an account, apply for a loan, etc.) and problem solving will continue to be the primary interface with the customer. In revisiting and transforming the retail branch, there are numerous considerations. One of the key considerations is the retail banking team. No longer can a bank afford the luxury or expense of siloed banking (teller line, new accounts, or consumer lending). How will a financial institution be able to make the limited customer visits a

memorable experience that is productive and profitable for both the customer and the bank? One viable solution is the universal banker. In a nutshell, the universal banker role is a hybrid of the traditional teller and the personal banker. And, in some instances, the consumer lender. So, how does a financial institution begin the process for transitioning to universal bankers. A quick caution. Each financial institution has a culture and a history that needs to be respected and preserved. There is no magic dust in that branches are different sizes, have different customers, have different team members with different work history and skill sets. Some branches are better suited for universal banking as are some retail team members are better suited to be universal bankers. Recruiting, staffing, employee onboarding, universal banker certification, and scheduling of higher skilled team members are just a few of the major challenges for any financial institution considering universal banking. Which leads to be obvious, some team members are not suited to be universal bankers. Ultimately, having skilled team members that can help customers with “tellering”, new account servicing, and consumer lending benefits both the customer and the financial institution. Retail banking is ever changing and to remain static could lead to extinction. Ultimately it is about the customer experience. The retail banking team IS the linking pin to making the retail bank transformation successful.

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Products. Education. Guidance.

42 + 30

speaking engagements in 2019 years of community banking service

Balance sheet management can be complicated. Finding a team that can help your community bank learn and grow every step of the way doesn’t need to be.

Learn more from the professionals community banks trust. Visit us at icbasecurities.com or contact us at 800-422-6442. 3 4 | ww w. cbao fga.com | Ju l y / A ugust 2020

Institutional investors only. Members FINRA/SIPC.


Ready to Run

Jim Reber

After a lag, prepayments are primed to take off. If you are inclined to read bond analysts’ research reports, eventually you’ll chance upon some commentary that addresses the performance of mortgage securities. To many of the uninitiated, which I pointedly state do not include community bankers, mortgage-backed securities (MBS) are an abstract collection of investments that have long maturities and a volatile series of principal paydowns. They seem to require a lot of effort and are only marginally tethered to the housing finance market in general. But not so fast: Further analysis reveals that community banks have a higher weighting of their investments in the mortgage sector than at any time in the past. So, MBS must have some kind of appeal, and tellingly, it’s with financial professionals. The qualitative features that are attractive to community banks include: • cash flows that complement the loan portfolio • ability to modify price risk profile efficiently • high degree of liquidity • outstanding credit quality What’s not to like? Well, in the 2020 interest rate environment, the total lack of control over prepayments. In fact, this year may set new standards for refinance activity. Let’s see what the near future for MBS may look like and try to develop a game plan to insulate against unwanted cash flow. WHERE WE’VE BEEN A good place to start is to look back a decade or so ago, to see if we’ve been to these current secondary market levels yield levels before. The answer is close, but no. The required rate for a new conforming mortgage to be worth par to Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac, also known as the Commitment Rate, is closely tracked by mortgage lenders. For example, if the Commitment Rate is 2.5%, a lender can make a 3.25% loan to a borrower, keep 25 basis points (0.25%) for servicing income, pay the agency about 50 basis points (0.5%) for its guarantee fee and deliver the net coupon at par. Back in late 2012, the lowest the 15-year Commitment Rate hit was 2.07%. Not coincidentally, prepayments on all coupons of MBS spiked and peaked about 60 days later. The elevated refinancing activity continued throughout the first half of 2013. The second half of the decade saw some general stability in the mortgage market and reasonably steady cash flows from mortgage securities. No so today.

President & CEO ICBA Securities

2.5% for several months, and its 15-year cohort has hovered in the 1.7% range. This means that 30- and 15-year loan rates around 3% and 2.375% respectively could be sold into the secondary market at or near par. And here’s the kicker: Mortgage lenders have not yet rushed to be the cheapest on the block. Lender surveys indicate that conforming loan rates have stayed at least 50 basis points (.5%) more than the Commitment Rates after accounting for servicing and guarantee fees. A combination of factors, including resource limitations and the—understandable—quest for fee income, have kept the loan rates relatively high compared to Fannie’s secondary rates. FIRST IN ITS CLASS In mid-June, there was a unicorn sighting in the MBS market: A 15-year Fannie Mae MBS with a 1.5% coupon. It was the first in history with a coupon that low. If Commitment Rates remain anchored where they are now, there will be more to follow. Given the rush by many community banks to remain more or less invested, since overnight rates appear to be destined to remain near zero for some time, the prices on these low coupon MBS are in the 102 range. While that may be a challenge for some investors, at least these pools should have relatively muted refinance profiles. If the mortgage lending community eventually throws in the towel regarding pricing discipline, there will be a bunch of recently originated loans that will be in the “drop zone.” At the end of the day, there are really only three strategies that provide much hope in the way of prepayment protection: 1. MBS with very low borrowers’ rates 2. pools comprised of loans with low outstanding balances 3. securities such as DUS (Delegated Underwriting and Servicing) bonds or Freddie K’s that have defined prepayment penalties. Some combination of these can help stabilize the cash flows in your community bank’s bond portfolio. Prepayments that walk, not run, will likely be a desirable trait for investors in 2020.

WHERE WE MAY BE GOING As of this writing, we are at truly historic required rates. The Fannie Mae 30-year Commitment Rate has been well south of J u ly/ A u g u s t 2 0 2 0 | G e or g i a C o m m un i ti es F i rs t | 35

Looking for this type of reaction from bankers?

CBA sponsorships work! Contact Lindsay Greene today for your customized package.


Almost 80 million personal identities were exposed by the financial industry in 2019.


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Announcing Plans for 2020 CBA Salary Survey Free for Participating Member Banks! ​ BA has teamed up with Warren Averett to deliver the 2020 Annual Salary Survey. C The survey is now open and all participating banks will receive a complimentary copy. The survey closes on August 10th and the final copy will be available on September 1st. In addition to salary and benefits on numerous bank positions, this year’s survey will also include: • Geographic segmentation of the results to provide clearer views of how different regions pay their employees • Additional HR and Benefits questions to answer the questions that new recruits are asking (PTO, Healthcare, Benefits) • COVID-19 specific questions to address the circumstances that employers are in • Benchmarking data from other sources to supplement how any given position is paid

2020 COMMUNITY BANKERS SALARY SURVEY Free for participating CBA Member Banks. CLICK HERE to learn more

Click here for more details.



We often begin relationships with traditional tax or audit services, but clients quickly realize we can offer so much more. By listening to your needs, we connect you with our experts to help accomplish what’s important to you. From technology solutions and wealth management to transaction advisory services and executive recruiting, it’s time to take a closer look at Warren Averett and all we have to offer. Let’s Thrive Together.


| www.warrenaverett.com

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Harland Clarke Christine Ahlgren | christine.ahlgren@harlandclarke.com | (678) 500-5330

ICBA Securities Jim Reber | jreber@icbasecurities.com | (901) 762-5884 Independent Community Bankers of America Scott Brown | scott.brown@icba.org | (334) 328-5731

James Bates Brannan Groover LLP Dan Brannan | dbrannan@jamesbatesllp.com | (404) 997-6023 SHAZAM Alex Jernigan | jjernig@Shazam.net | (229) 220-0064 PLATINUM LEVEL

Warren Averett Heather Clark | Heather.Clark@warrenaverett.com | (205) 769-3489 GOLD LEVEL

ATM Response Tony Webb | twebb@atmresponse.com | (770) 855-2989

BFS Group John Gianacaci | JGianacaci@bfsgroup.com | (609) 915-9168 CBIZ Kris St. Martin | kstmartin@cbiz.com | (763) 549-2267

Crescent Mortgage Skip Willcox | swillcox@crescentmortgage.net | (478) 357-4441 FITECH Matt Mingenback | mmingenback@fitech.com | (316) 518-8850 Genesys Technology Group, LLC David Saylor | david@genesystg.com | (770) 729-4139

Point to Point Environmental Mark Faas | mfaas@p2penvironmental.com | (678) 565-4435 Ext 151 Promontory Interfinancial Network Danny Capitel | dcapitel@promnetwork.com | (770) 630-6796 STS Group Chris Nelson | cnelson@stsgrp.com | (205) 567-3613

Travelers Diana Baker | dcbaker@travelers.com | (678) 317-7882 Wipfli/PKM Mary Boortz | mboortz@wipfli.com | (715) 858- 6677


ACG Phil Winn | Phil.Winn@acgworld.com | (678) 458-9899​

Eclipse Brand Builders Michael Smith | msmith@eclipsebrandbuilders.com | (678) 890-1140

Executive Insurance Agency, Inc. Ryan Sower | ryan@executiveinsuranceagency.com | (770) 474-2355 Holtmeyer & Monson Arne Monson | amonson@holtandmon.com | (800) 340-7304

Kasasa Ryan Busenitz | Ryan.Busenitz@kasasa.com | (678) 595-0625

QwickRate Melissa Wallace | melissa.wallace@qwickrate.com | (678) 797-4062 BRONZE LEVEL

AgoraEversole Craig Eversole | craig@agoraeversole.com | (601) 366-7370

Bahr Consultants, Inc. Hank Bahr | hank@bahrconsultantsinc.com | (865) 694-6098

Interested in becoming a Preferred Service Provider? The Preferred Service Provider packages offers Associate Members the option of upgrading to package of your choice. A few benefits include early access to advertising, exhibiting and sponsorship opportunities, simplified budgeting and of course – increased exposure! All packages are reviewed by CBA’s Member Services Committee. To learn more, please contact Lindsay Greene at 770-541-0376. 3 8 | ww w. cbao fga.com | Ju l y / A ugust 2020

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