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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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Bryan Cave Lawyers Briefing State Banking Associations on Basel III Proposals

In recent weeks, three Bryan Cave lawyers have briefed state banking association members on the impact the Notices of Proposed Rule Making regarding Basel III could have on banks of all sizes. On July 12, Jonathan Hightower presented via webinar to the Georgia Bankers Association. On August 16, Jonathan Hightower and B.T. Atkinson participated in a live seminar on Basel III presented by the South Carolina Bankers Association that also included presentations by Garry Rank of Elliott Davis, LLP and Jim Mabry of Keefe, Bruyette & Woods. The SCBA program also included a segment advising institutions on how to prepare a comment letter on the proposals for submission to their primary federal banking agency. On August 20, Michael Shumaker and B.T. Atkinson presented via webinar to the North Carolina Bankers Association. In all three programs, bankers were strongly encouraged to submit comments on the proposals by the October 22 deadline, citing specific examples of how the proposed rules could negatively impact their bank. Areas noted for potential comment included:

  • phase-out of trust preferred from Tier 1 capital for institutions having less than $15 billion in assets; 
  • appropriateness of the capital conservation buffer for banking organizations that are not systemically significant; 
  • inclusion of unrealized gains and losses on securities in common equity Tier 1 capital; 
  • whether the exclusion for bank holding companies having total assets of $500 million or less should be increased to $1 billion and include savings and loan holding companies; and 
  • the impact of the proposed risk-weighting of first and second lien mortgages on product availability and the anticipated burdens of implementation.

Links to related Financial Institution Letters:

FIL-25-2012:  Regulatory Capital Rules:  Regulatory Capital, implementation of Basel III, Minimum Regulatory Capital Ratios, Capital Adequacy, and Transition Provisions

FIL-27-2012:  Regulatory Capital Rules:  Standardized Approach for Risk-Weighted Assets; Market Discipline and Disclosure Requirements

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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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2011 Regulatory and Legislative Update

On February 18, 2011, Rob Klingler gave the 2011 Regulatory and Legislative Update for the annual Banking and Finance Law presented by the Institute of Continuing Legal Education in Georgia.  A copy of the slides used in the presentation is available online.

Jerry Blanchard served as the program chair and gave an update on recent case law developments.  BT Atkinson also moderated a panel on Bank Acquisitions and Mergers in Non-Loss Share Transactions.  The seminar will also be available on the ICLE’s website as an archived online course, and is eligible for 6 Georgia CLE hours, including 1 trial practice hour.

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Media Mentions – July 2, 2010

Recent media mentions of attorneys in Bryan Cave’s financial institutions practice include:

Atkinson in Virginian-Pilot
Charlotte Partner B.T. Atkinson was quoted June 7 by The Virginian-Pilot in Norfolk, Va., concerning private-equity firms that are investing in troubled banks. Hampton Road Bancshares, parent company of Hampton Road Bank and Shore Bank, recently announced that private equity firms will invest in the company. Click here to read the article.

Hester in American Banker
Atlanta Associate Barry Hester was quoted June 10 by American Banker on a controversial provision of the financial reform bill that would tighten capital restrictions on many banks, including those still participating in the government’s TARP bailout program. “It will immediately result in undercapitalization for a number of banks,” Hester said. “It would be like flipping the switch, where banks that are currently OK would suddenly need to raise more capital. It could be a disaster if it isn’t phased in to let people plan ahead.”

Klingler on thestreet.com, bailoutsleuth.com
Atlanta Associate Robert Klingler was quoted June 4 by thestreet.com regarding bank capital standards. Click here to read the article. He also was quoted that same day by bailoutsleuth.com on the Small Business Lending Fund, which is designed to inject $30 billion into small banks – defined as those with less than $10 billion in assets – with the idea that they will in turn lend money to small businesses.

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Media Mentions February 12, 2010

Media Mentions February 12, 2010

February 12, 2010

Authored by: Jeannie Osborne

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:

Atkinson in Winston-Salem Journal

Charlotte Partner B.T. Atkinson was quoted Feb. 3 in the Winston-Salem Journal on the Obama administration’s proposal to offer $30 billion in financing to community banks to help support the Small Business Lending Fund, which is aimed at creating jobs.

Klingler in Financial Times, Others

Atlanta Associate Robert Klingler was quoted Feb. 2 in the Financial Times on President Barack Obama’s pledge to direct $30 billion in repaid TARP funds to community banks, so they can beef up lending to small businesses. He also was quoted Feb. 3 in BNA’s Banking Daily on Obama’s pledge and Feb. 5 in the Memphis Business Journal describing why less than 10 percent of TARP recipients have paid back their TARP funds.

Moeling in Atlanta Business Chronicle

Atlanta Partner Walt Moeling was quoted Jan. 29 in the Atlanta Business Chronicle concerning First National Bank of Georgia, which was seized and sold to Community & Southern Bank, an investment group led by former bank regulator and noted turnaround specialist Patrick Frawley.

Strahlberg in ABA Bulletin

Chicago Associate Margo Hirsch Strahlberg was featured in an ABA continuing legal education bulletin for her part in the Jan. 28 ABA-sponsored teleconference on gift cards and rebates. Strahlberg’s presentation focused on consumer protection issues related to prepaid cards under both state and federal law. About 80 attendees registered for the event.

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