Media Mentions – August 1, 2014

August 4, 2014

Authored by: Bryan Cave

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

Jerry Blanchard in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Atlanta Partner Jerry Blanchard was quoted July 18 by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution on reasons behind the shrinking number of banks in Georgia. The state, which led the nation in bank failures stemming from the real estate bust, has seen an increase in the number of banks being bought up at a rate of about one a month as healthy banks grow through the acquisition of other healthy banks. Blanchard said the question on many bankers’ minds is, “Can you survive the recovery? It’s hard to make money.” Click here to read the full article.

Rob Klingler in American Banker

Atlanta Partner Robert Klingler was quoted July 1 by American Banker concerning the trend among trust-preferred creditors of telling deadbeat banks that they must negotiate repayment or be forced into liquidation. Trapeza Capital Management filed legal documents recently to force FMB Bancshares in Lakeland, Ga., into involuntary bankruptcy. Trapeza, which manages a collateralized-debt obligation containing FMB’s trust-preferred securities, said in its filing that it is owed $13.6 million in unpaid debt and interest. FMB is the second lender to face involuntary bankruptcy over unpaid trust-preferred dividends. “Involuntary bankruptcies send a clear signal that doing nothing does not appear to be a good strategy,” Klingler said. “When you’re in default and tell your creditors you can’t do anything, you’re asking for an involuntary bankruptcy.”

Walt Moeling in SNL Financial

Atlanta attorney Walt Moeling was quoted July 10 by SNL Financial regarding the increase in bank M&A in Georgia this year. These recent transactions are simply logical, said Moeling, who noted that acquirers today have excess capital and outstanding commitments to put those funds to work, and they often are looking to rationalize fragmented franchises. Moeling agreed buyers are becoming more assertive and attributed some of the increased confidence to the fact that potential sellers are sitting on firmer ground. “They’re picking up a much smaller amount of problem assets and so there is a willingness to be a little more aggressive in doing acquisitions and again that’s only logical,” he said.

John ReVeal and Courtney Stout in Directors Digest

DC Partner John ReVeal and Associate Courtney Stout authored an article for the July edition of Directors Digest, from Western Independent Bankers, analyzing the types of participants and potential risks of providing banking services to each type of participant in the virtual currency system. Their article focused in particular on those players that enable the systems to process transactions or handle the currencies for consumers and businesses. Click here to read their full article, “To Bank or Not to Bank Bitcoin – a Risk Spectrum.”

Judith Rinearson in Paybefore

New York Partner Judith Rinearson authored an article July 24 in Paybefore regarding New York’s proposed virtual currency licensing regulations, which have garnered much attention throughout the payments industry. “What’s interesting about the new regulations put forward for comment by the New York Department of Financial Services (NYDFS) … is how clearly they’ve been designed to address precisely and comprehensively all the concerns currently raised about virtual currency,” Rinearson wrote. “Now is the time for the industry to consider this newest and potentially extremely helpful development and submit comments regarding the Proposed Virtual Currency Regs.” Click here to read her article, which links to the proposed regulations in full.

Dan Wheeler on CoinDesk.com

San Francisco attorney Dan Wheeler was quoted July 24 on CoinDesk.com as part of a recap of Coin Congress. Held recently in San Francisco, the event brought together investors and startup members from the cryptocurrency industry to discuss hot topics – particularly the New York Department of Financial Services’ proposed plans to regulate digital currencies. Wheeler, who joined a regulation panel at the event, said not taking the issue seriously could be very problematic for bitcoin businesses not following the rules. “This is an area that the regulators are very good at,” he said. “They are very sophisticated in looking at ‘know your customer’ programs. And unfortunately there are consequences for not doing it right.” Click here to read the full coverage.

Dan Wheeler and Gus Schneider in Lending & Credit Digest

San Francisco Partner Daniel Wheeler and Phoenix Associate Gus Schneider authored an article for the July edition of Lending & Credit Digest, by the Western Independent Bankers Association, concerning how marijuana might affect a bank’s lending. With a split in state law regarding marijuana legalization, and sometimes contradictory or incomplete guidance from federal authorities, banks must exercise caution in originating loans and in handling unexpected news of a customer’s involvement with a marijuana business, they wrote. Click here to read their full article.