Colleagues, Fellow Professionals and Friends, 

Permit me to share a few thoughts about a town's name and the phrase -  "They separated here and went to other places..."

The City of Eufaula, Oklahoma began as Creek tribal settlement and trading post when some of the Tribe exchanged their land in Alabama for land in the Indian Territory under the Removal Treaty of 1832. The City - a small town, really - is named after Yufala, a Creek town on the Chattahoochee River in Alabama.  The town sits along the western shoreline of Lake Eufaula - Oklahoma's largest lake, formed out of the Canadian River just upstream from its confluence with the Arkansas River.  It's interesting that the "Creek" name was coined by Colonial settlors because the tribe lived near rivers and wetlands. The tribe's original name for themselves was the Muscogees. If you look at a map of Oklahoma, Eufaula is a short travel just to the south of Muskogee.

On January 21, 2016 (yesterday as I write this), a man walked into the Bank of Eufaula and shot and killed the bank's president  and wounded another bank employee. Being in our industry, this tragedy truly hit close to home, and inspired me to reflect on my time and memories working at ABS and with community banks across the country. 

That same day, before I heard about the tragedy in Eufaula, I looked at a few pictures that one of our associates was passing around of an ABS Christmas party from 20 years ago. Many of the faces, though younger, belong to friends still working at ABS. Some of the faces belong to folks no longer here. What is the connection between these two seemingly unrelated events?

"Yufala" means, "They separated here and went to other places."   To me,  Yufala is a metaphor for every place and all of life. You and your fellow associates work at Yufala and you live in Yufala. Separations in this life are inevitable. So  my friends and colleagues, let this tragedy be a reminder to us all to  appreciate the folks who are by your side today, wherever you may be working - before you say of them, or they say of you, " They separated here and went to other places." 

I hope this edition of  BankLine has many items of interest for you. 


James W. Bruce, III
CEO and General Counsel, American Bank Systems Jan_Spotlight
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Easily allowing managers to oversee staff needs and training, the system even lets employees access their own files to review, read updated policies and provide required information. Online forms such as W-4's, evaluations and absent reports can also be submitted through BankManager HR making it a convenient, timesaving resource.
Also, for added security, documents are stored and secured inside the database. BankManager HR integrates with the bank's email system to send emails to employees, whether requesting new or missing documentation or even to wish them a happy anniversary or birthday. 

I ndustry veteran and ABS' vice president and territory manager, Bill Martin is an expert in banking and superior customer service.
In his nine years with ABS, Bill has worked directly with many community banks across the country, experiences he says are the highlight of his work. Throughout his career, Bill has worked for both large and small corporations and through all of them, he says he believes ABS' quality of customer service is the highest. "I have never experienced any other company that has their can-do attitude and genuine desire to be helpful and get it right.  It is very uplifting to visit customers, no matter where in the country, and hear them praise the support they get from ABS," he explains.
Originally from Del City, Oklahoma, Bill has been an Oklahoma resident for his entire life. His great great grandfather even staked a claim for 160 acres of farmland during the 1889 Oklahoma Land Run.
Check out these recent posts to our Compliance Blog by our very own team of compliance specialists.
Compliance Conundrums 
By: Elva Coffey-Sears 
Posted January 18, 2016

By nature as much as necessity, compliance officers are accustomed to interpreting, implementing and monitoring compliance with complex regulatory requirements. New or amended regulations are not always black and white, but with the help of the analysis in the federal register, the commentary, examination procedures, compliance guides and other agency-issued resources, compliance is generally attainable. Even more challenging are the other situations generally not directly related to a new or amended regulation, which the compliance officer must resolve. For lack of a better term, we'll call these compliance conundrums and review three of the conundrums we are currently facing.  [Read More]

New Year, New Threshold Limits
By: Gina Ellis
Posted January 11, 2016

The asset threshold for determining applicability for Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA) reporting for 2016 remains unchanged at $44 million. Any financial institution located in a Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) with total assets of $44 million as of December 31, 2015 will be subject to HMDA data collection and reporting in 2016. However, there is a change for financial institutions located in Oklahoma with the addition of a new MSA in Enid, Oklahoma consisting of Garfield County. Financial institutions in this new MSA that meet the total asset threshold should begin collecting HMDA data for applicable applications received January 1, 2016. [Read More]

What You Need to Know About BankManager® AP
By: Benjy Cook
Posted January 7, 2016

Accounts Payable (AP) systems within the banking world are usually a generic part of the core/host system and are a necessary evil only the accounting department will ever understand - very rarely do they have deluxe features such as imaging or vendor management. However, these AP systems do have base functionality that includes writing checks, general ledger coding, reporting, etc.

BankManager AP has document imaging built within the system that allows all related vendor documents to be viewed in one place, and reports have hyperlinks to view checks and invoices directly within the report. Each IT vendor has specific documents that are tracked to insure that the policy for vendor management is strictly monitored and will automatically send letters or emails to each vendor with missing documentation. [Read More]

Banks Helping to Identify Suspects Behind Paris Attacks
By: Cody Roberts
Posted December 4, 2015

Every once in a while, a regulation is actually helpful. While Regulation Z would not fall into this category, the Bank Secrecy Act and its implementing regulations do.

A very recent example was shown in the wake of the recent Paris attacks. Evidently, Suspicious Activity Reports are being scrutinized to find connections to suspects in the attacks.

The article by Reuters at the link below further elaborates how the Bank Secrecy Act database has been extremely useful in understanding just who was behind this attack.  [Read More]  JAN_VAULT

Grandma's Spaghetti Sauce 
Provided By: Mikel Dunnagan, SVP and Chief Operating Officer
  1. Brown 1 1/2 lb. hamburger (or Italian sausage) with ½ an onion and 1 clove of garlic.
  2. Add 
    • 32 oz. tomato sauce
    • 12 oz. tomato paste
    • 2 cups water
    • 1 tsp. Italian seasoning
    • 1/2 cup dry parsley
    • 1 Tbsp. salt
    • 1 Tbsp. sugar
    • 1/2 tsp. pepper 
  3. Simmer all day in crock pot. 
  4. Serve over spaghetti. (I like to use "Grandma's Egg Noodles" (found in the freezer department) 

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