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Media Mentions – April 15, 2013

With attorneys and staff worldwide, Bryan cave attorneys are often quoted in the news.  Recent Media Mentions of Financial Institutions Group attorneys include:

Kristine Andreassen in PayBefore

DC Associate Kristine Andreassen was quoted April 2 by PayBefore concerning a new anti-money laundering rule under consideration that would require consumers to report when they transport prepaid cards, along with cash and other monetary instruments, with a value of more than $10,000 into or out of the country. Andreassen said the rule would be relatively easy to get around, as most incidents of prepaid cards being used for cross-border money laundering likely have involved cards that have little or no value when they cross the border but are loaded once they reach their destination. “[Regulators] are focusing on card balance, but anyone trying to launder money will quickly learn to send cards with a zero balance,” she said. “So the rule is only going to ensnare the innocent.”

Walt Moeling in American Banker

Atlanta Partner Walt Moeling was quoted April 15 in two American Banker articles. Moeling was quoted regarding the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency’s bid for more power to issue sanctions directly against independent contractors, who often are hired by a bank under an enforcement action. “To me, the whole thing about the consultants is just more scapegoating,” Moeling said. “I tell my clients all the time that I’m a consultant but I’m not a banker. I can’t run it. You’ve got to run it.” He also was quoted April 15 on the drop in the number of enforcement actions levied against banks. Banks “are not encountering the early stage ferocious regulators,” Moeling told the publication. In addition, Moeling was quoted April 1 by American Banker concerning the proposed Bank of Bird-in-Hand. Eighteen investors, many of them Amish, are asking regulators for the OK to open what would be the first de novo bank in the U.S. in more than two years. Moeling said as the economy improves, the banking climate will, too. “I say that because it always has, even though everybody said it never would,” he told the publication.  Click here to read the April 1 article.

Judith Rinearson on NBC’s Today.com

New York Partner Judith Rinearson was quoted April 17 by NBC’s Today.com on the rising popularity of prepaid debit cards. Proponents say they are a better way to manage your money and a smart alternative to checking accounts: With a prepaid card there’s no credit check, no minimum balance and you can’t spend more than you load on the card. However, some fear they may not provide the same level of protection against loss or fraud. “You get the same fraud protection as with any other debit card,” Rinearson explained, saying Visa, MasterCard, American Express and Discover all have zero-liability policies if the card is lost, stolen or misused.  Click here to read the full article.

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Media Mentions – January 2013

With attorneys and staff worldwide, Bryan Cave attorneys are often quoted in the news.  Recent Media Mentions of Financial Institutions Group attorneys include:

Kristine Andreassen in Paybefore News, Bank Safety & Soundness Advisor

DC Associate Kristine Andreassen was quoted Jan. 2 by Paybefore News on the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s (CFPB) announced delay in implementing new rules on international remittances. “The industry has known for the better part of a year that the compliance deadline for the rules was looming and hopefully they have some plans in place,” Andreassen said. However, for companies that might benefit from the deadline extension, it would be wise to send comments to that effect to the CFPB soon because the possibility exists that consumer advocacy groups might oppose a deadline extension, she noted. Andreassen also was quoted Dec. 31 in the Bank Safety & Soundness Advisor regarding new rules the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network might have in mind under its new director. “She’s trying to see how current regulatory obligations might be lessened – for customers and for financial institutions,” Andreassen said. “She’s interested in looking at where things are working well and where new regulations are needed, but she’s also talking about pulling back on some requirements, specifically those requirements that involve a lot of work but not a lot of benefit.”

Dan Wheeler in Directors Digest, BankDirector.com

San Francisco Partner Dan Wheeler authored an article in the January edition of Directors Digest, by Western Independent Bankers, regarding the advantages and disadvantages of interest rate swaps for community banks. “Many community banks are reluctant to consider interest rate swaps due to perceived complexity as well as accounting and regulatory burdens,” he wrote. “But, in a record low interest rate environment, the most desirable customers almost universally demand something that is hard for community banks to deliver: a long-term fixed interest rate. Large banks are eager to accommodate this demand and usually do so by offering such a borrower an interest rate swap that, together with the loan facility, delivers the borrower a net long term fixed rate obligation and the lending bank a loan with an effective variable rate.”  Click here to read the full article. Wheeler authored a similar article on this topic Jan. 15 for BankDirector.com.

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Media Mentions – September 28, 2012

With attorneys and staff worldwide, Bryan Cave attorneys are often quoted in the news.  Recent Media Mentions of Financial Institutions Group attorneys include:

Andreassen in Paybefore Update

DC Attorney Kristine Andreassen was noted as contributing to an article in the July edition of Paybefore Update concerning the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s proposed policy statement for disclosing consumer complaint information about financial products and services other than credit cards.  The bureau’s handling of a consumer complaint database for non-credit card products would closely mirror how it currently discloses credit card complaint data, a process that has drawn criticism. Among objections, the current credit card complaint database publishes “unverified claims” that name the banks, but not any specifics regarding the complaints.  Andreassen is a contributing editor to Paybefore.

Atkinson in American Banker

Charlotte partner B.T. Atkinson was quoted August 15 by American Banker regarding election year uncertainty, and how it is affecting M&A work.  “The election is more likely to come up in the more red states.  They are looking at the election with hope that things will get better, because they believe that it can’t get any worse,” Atkinson said.  “The current administration isn’t looking to do much about regulatory relief, and they hope that the new administration will.”  Atkinson noted that the Obama administration’s Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act, signed into law in April, has been a boon for many smaller banking companies that will no longer have to report to the Securities and Exchange Commission.  “The JOBS Act is tremendous because deregistering saves real money,” he said.  “That is one thing that has happened.”

Klingler in The Deal, Law360

Atlanta Partner Robert Klingler was quoted at length July 13 in The Deal and July 23 by Law360 concerning banks holding TARP funds and recent auctions by the U.S. Treasury of its stakes in these banks.  The Treasury on July 23 started an auction process involving the sale of preferred stock and subordinated debt positions it acquired in 12 banks as part of the Troubled Asset Relief Program, under which it invested $245.1 billion in 707 financial institutions.  The auction will be the fourth of its kind this year.  After the current sale, the Treasury still will hold positions in 325 banks.  Klingler told The Deal the preferred and sub-debt sale involving the 12 banks is happening now both because market conditions are right and because of the overarching idea that the government was never in the business of investing in private companies.  Political motives could be in play, too, he added.  “From a Washington outsider’s point of view, I think everything is political,” Klingler said.  “The fact that an election is rapidly approaching helps play into that.  The fact that the government has received a profit on the portfolio creates additional flexibility for them to say, ‘OK, let’s get out as soon as possible.'”  Click here to read the Law360 article.

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Media Mentions – March 23, 2012

With attorneys and staff worldwide, Bryan Cave attorneys are often quoted in the news.  Recent Media Mentions of Financial Institutions Group attorneys include:

Klingler in American Banker

Atlanta Partner Robert Klingler was quoted March 15 in American Banker regarding an agreement reached between the U.S. Treasury Department and Pacific Capital.  UnionBanCal has agreed to buy Pacific Capital for $1.5 billion in cash, with the Treasury getting about $165 million in exchange for its 11 percent stake.  That would be about 90 cents on the dollar of the bailout money the Treasury invested in Pacific Capital through the Troubled Asset Relief Program.  Klingler said the deal is probably a good one for the Treasury.  “The ability to recoup an investment that is stressed at its face value is extremely difficult,” Klingler said.  “If the bank goes into receivership, the Treasury is looking at pennies — and that might be generous.  So the Treasury has shown a willingness to strike a deal that makes it more likely for the company to either find new capital or someone willing to acquire it.”

Moeling in SNL

Atlanta Partner Walt Moeling was quoted March 8 by SNL Financial regarding the fact that the FDIC increasingly has asked those bidding on failed banks to up their offers in order to help stem losses to the deposit insurance fund.  The practice is called “the best and final round” and has been used in 14 failed-bank transactions since July 2011.  The best and final round of bidding is a case of the FDIC acting like a “businessperson,” Moeling said.  “They’re charged with getting the best price.  They’ve done this some all along.  I don’t think it’s truly exceptional but I think they’re very focused on the fact that they have a deposit insurance fund valuation issue here.”  Click here to read the full article.

Blanchard in Safety and Soundness Report

Atlanta Partner Jerry Blanchard was quoted extensively March 5 in The Safety and Soundness Report regarding Pearson v. Delta Credit Union.  Delta Credit Union in Atlanta was hit with a $75.4 million damage award in a lawsuit filed by a Florida developer.  The two sides disagreed over what various terms of the loan documents meant, including whether the promissory note in question constituted a demand note.  Commentators suggested that some of the problems could have been adverted by more artful contract drafting.  Blanchard pointed out that if a note is called a demand note but contains terms and conditions that more closely resemble a term note there is a substantial risk that a court might conclude the parties entered into a term loan rather than a loan payable on demand.

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Media Mentions – February 24, 2012

With offices all over the world, Bryan Cave attorneys are often quoted in the news.  Recent Media Mentions of Financial Institutions Group attorneys include:

Andreassen, Hester in Bank Safety & Soundness Advisor

DC Associate Kristine Andreassen and Atlanta Associate Barry Hester were quoted extensively Feb. 20 by The Bank Safety & Soundness Advisor concerning recently revised guidance from the FDIC that, among other things, attempts to keep unsteady community banks from taking too much payment processor risk. The revised guidance doesn’t contain anything “shocking,” but it does signal that payment processing will be a higher exam priority, Andreassen said. Hester confirmed that payment processors are increasingly approaching banks with offers that are too good to be true. “There are more legitimate payment processing systems and methods out there — a lot of excellent opportunities,” but banks need to take the time to properly vet these partnerships, he told the publication.

Atkinson in Charlotte Observer

Charlotte Partner B.T. Atkinson was quoted Feb. 21 by The Charlotte Observer concerning the federal government’s desire to end the politically unpopular Troubled Asset Relief Program. The government cannot force banks to repay TARP funds early under the terms of the capital investments brokered at the height of the financial crisis. To extricate itself, the Treasury is considering selling its stakes to third parties or restructuring their terms. Atkinson said it is more likely that the government would sell its TARP stakes, possibly at auction. He said the Treasury could move forward as early as the third quarter.  Click here to read the full article.

Moeling in Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Atlanta Partner Walt Moeling was quoted February 19 in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution regarding the impact of the deteriorating economy on the small businesses and banks of Henry County, Ga.  Once among the nation’s fastest-growing counties, Henry is now the largest county in Georgia without a hometown bank.  All five locally owned banks failed during the economic downturn.

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Media Mentions – December 2, 2011

With offices all over the world, Bryan Cave attorneys are often quoted in the news.  Recent Media Mentions of Financial Institutions Group attorneys include:

McAlpin on BankDirector.com

Atlanta Partner Jim McAlpin authored the first in a series of articles concerning best practices of bank boards Oct. 25 for BankDirector.com. McAlpin said “there has never been a greater need for well-functioning, informed and courageous boards of directors of banks and bank holding companies. There has also never been a more important time for board members to keep in mind that their responsibilities can be boiled down into one simple goal: the creation of sustainable long-term value for shareholders.” This also was the lead article in the BankDirector November e-mail newsletter.  Click here to read the full text.  The second installment in the series will be published by BankDirector in early December.

Moeling in American Banker, Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Atlanta Partner Walt Moeling was quoted at length Nov. 17 by American Banker regarding the new perception businesspeople have toward serving on a bank board. “Most of them joined because it is one of the great clubs in an area and there is an opportunity to help people in your community. But after four years of foreclosing on your neighbors, watching your friends lose their jobs and seeing your investment lose its value, you’re done,” said Moeling, adding that banks still can find local people to serve, but those directors will have to be prepared to roll up their sleeves a lot. “The compliance burden is huge. Regulators are going to expect directors to be on top of things. The meetings will be longer and more detailed. It will be a lot more demanding than it ever was in the past and it is not going to be as much fun.” He also was quoted Nov. 7 in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution concerning the reasons for the failure of Decatur First Bank in Decatur, Ga. The bank’s quest for growth (it opened subsidiary banks in the mid-2000s in the once-booming Lake Oconee area, about 80 miles east of Atlanta) provided a windfall for a few years until the housing market crashed.

ReVeal on BankDirector.com

DC Counsel John ReVeal was interviewed for two videos now being used on the BankDirector.com Web site. One video focuses on the Bank Secrecy Act (BSA) and how violations are perceived today by regulators. The other, which outlines what a bank board should know about BSA, has become the group’s official training piece concerning BSA and is located in a password-protected section.  Click here to view ReVeal’s video on BSA and regulators.

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Media Mentions

Media Mentions

June 12, 2011

Authored by: Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner

With attorneys and staff worldwide, Bryan Cave often makes the news.  Recent media mentions of attorneys in the Financial Institutions group include:

Andreassen on Moneylaundering.com

DC Associate Kristine Andreassen was quoted June 7 by Moneylaundering.com regarding a report from the U.S. Senate Caucus on International Narcotics Control in which lawmakers criticize the U.S. Treasury Department for failing to adequately implement a portion of the Credit CARD Act of 2009. The lack of regulations governing the cross-border transportation of prepaid access products has hamstrung American efforts to combat Mexican drug-trafficking organizations, according to lawmakers. Andreassen said that the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) ultimately must decide whether to require individuals carrying prepaid access devices to declare the actual or potential maximum value the products have before crossing the border. “One of the issues FinCEN has to account for is cards that cross the border empty, and are then reloaded on the other side,” she said.

Moeling in Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Bank Investment Consultant

Atlanta Partner Walt Moeling was quoted May 27 in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution regarding Georgia Rep. Greg Morris, who has been fined $5,000 by federal bank regulators after he made overdrafts not allowed because of his role as a bank director. Moeling said it’s a relatively minor violation. “Director overdrafts seldom impose any threat to the safety and soundness of a bank,” he said. “Nonetheless they are clear violations and the regulators will act when they find repeat offenders.”  He also was quoted May 25 by Bank Investment Consultant regarding a growing group of acquisition-minded community banks, for whom fee-based businesses are looking like a more attractive way to bolster revenue than are traditional bank deals.

Rinearson in Franchise Law News

New York Partner Judith Rinearson authored an article in the current edition of Franchise Law News with tips on how to avoid the legal traps of promotional certificates. A spate of class-action lawsuits claim that the short expiration dates popular with “Groupon-like” gift certificate programs violate applicable laws. “Just because you are compliant with federal law, don’t think you are off the hook,” she cautioned. “With care in structuring these programs, and with good, clear disclosures in all marketing materials, these Groupon-like gift certificate programs can be a true win-win for both consumers and retailers.”

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Media Mentions

Media Mentions

May 13, 2011

Authored by: Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner

With attorneys and staff worldwide, Bryan Cave often makes the news.  Recent media mentions  include Kristine Andreassen of the Financial Institutions Group in PayBefore News:

DC Associate Kristine Andreassen was quoted April 21 in PayBefore News on the recent settlement agreement approved with AT&T concerning its advertisement of rebate-related prepaid cards. Plaintiffs accused AT&T (formerly Cingular) of making misleading and unfair advertisements by displaying cell phones as discounted or free after rebate when, in fact, the rebate was distributed post-sale via a network branded prepaid card with limited terms for usage. Andreassen told the publication that this settlement should serve as another reminder of the importance of clear and conspicuous disclosures for all parties involved in rebate card programs. “Merchants using prepaid cards to distribute rebates aren’t usually thought of as having their own disclosure obligations, but clearly, they do,” she said.

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Media Mentions – August 20, 2010

With attorneys and staff worldwide, Bryan Cave attorneys often make the news. Sometimes media mentions highlight the firm’s involvement with notable clients, sometimes the individual accomplishments of attorneys and staff. Recent media mentions of attorneys in the financial institutions practice include:

Klingler in American Banker

Atlanta Associate Robert Klingler was quoted Aug. 4 by American Banker regarding the charges against Rep. Maxine Waters, and whether those charges might be of use to banks denied TARP funds. An ethics panel report alleges Waters may have broken rules when she helped a trade group arrange a meeting between then-Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson and executives of OneUnited Bank, an institution with financial ties to her husband and huge losses from the takeovers of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Klingler said the government had a uniform standard for deciding TARP investments – essentially awarding funds to institutions that could prove their viability – and no one ever expected the system to be perfect. “We understand that the process will sometimes result in wrong outcomes,” he said, adding that those who believe they were treated unfairly could use the Waters investigation for “rhetoric” at best. “I don’t know that it is rhetoric that necessarily the public is happy with. Generally, the public is opposed to TARP. So hearing a bank whine about not getting TARP isn’t going to get the American public riled up.”

Moeling in National, Regional Publications 

Atlanta Partner Walt Moeling was quoted in the August edition of US Banker on the moves being made by community banks to boost their capital ratios. “In this kind of market, the most successful banks that deal with their problems don’t just take one approach, they pull out the playbook,” Moeling said. “My most successful clients have cut expenses, sold branches, consolidated charters, disposed of nonbank activities.” Click here to read the full article. Moeling was quoted Aug. 10 by American Banker (reprinted by Bank Investment Consultant online) concerning a push of stock offerings expected this fall from community banks, particularly via private placements rather than public offerings. Click here to read the article. In addition, he was quoted Aug. 2 in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution regarding JPMorgan Chase & Co., which plans to open 10 new bank branches across the northern metro Atlanta area by the end of the year. Eight currently are under construction. Click here to read the article.

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Media Mentions January 15, 2010

Media Mentions January 15, 2010

January 15, 2010

Authored by: Robert Klingler

With attorneys and staff worldwide, attorneys in Bryan Cave’s financial institutions practice often make the news. Sometimes media mentions highlight the firm’s involvement with notable clients, sometimes the individual accomplishments of attorneys and staff. Recent media mentions include:

Andreassen, Rinearson in Business Lawyer

New York Partner Judith Rinearson and DC Associate Kristine Andreassen co-authored an article in the November issue of the ABA’s The Business Lawyer on the impact of state money transmitter licensing laws on prepaid payment products.

Garrett in MarketWatch

Kansas City Counsel Karen Garrett was quoted Dec. 23 by MarketWatch on a bill before Congress that would require big banks to pay into a $150 billion fund to be used to dismantle a failing bank thought so big or so interconnected that if it collapsed suddenly it would threaten the economy’s stability. The piece was picked up Dec. 27 by McClatchy News Service.

Klingler on National Public Radio

Atlanta Associate Robert Klingler was interviewed Dec. 29 on National Public Radio regarding bank failures, with a particular focus on Georgia banks.

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