BankBryanCave.com

Main Content

Forming a Game Plan for TruPS

November 14, 2014

Categories

Forming a Game Plan for TruPS

November 14, 2014

Authored by: Ken Achenbach and Michael Shumaker

For the past 15 years, trust preferred securities (TruPS) have constituted a significant percentage of the capital of many financial institutions, mostly bank holding companies.Their ubiquity, both as a source of capital and as a common investment for banks, made them a quiet constant for many financial institutions. Even in the chaos of the Great Recession, standard TruPS terms allowed for the deferral of interest payments for up to five years, easing institutions’ cash-flow burdens during those volatile times. However, with industry observers estimating that approximately $2.6 billion in deferred TruPS obligations will come due in the coming years, many institutions are now considering alternatives to avoid a potential default.

Unfortunately, many of the obstacles that caused institutions to commence the deferral period have not gone away, such as an enforcement action with the Federal Reserve that limits the ability to pay dividends or interest. It is unclear if regulators will relax these restrictions for companies facing a default.

So what happens if a financial institution defaults on its TruPS obligations? It is early in the cycle, but some data points are emerging. In two cases, TruPS interests have exercised the so-called nuclear option, and have moved to push the bank holding company into involuntary bankruptcy. While these cases have not yet been resolved, the bankruptcy process could result in the liquidation or sale of the companies’ subsidiary banks. Should these potential sales result in the realization of substantial value for creditors, it is likely that we will see more bankruptcy filings in the future.

Considering the high stakes of managing a potential TruPS default, directors must be fully engaged in charting a path for their financial institutions. While there may not be any silver bullets, a sound board process incorporates many of these components:

Consider potential conflicts of interest.
In a potential TruPS default scenario, the interests of a bank holding company and its subsidiary bank may diverge, particularly if a holding company bankruptcy looms. Allegations of conflict can undercut a board’s ability to rely on the business judgment rule in the event that decisions are later challenged. Boards should be sensitive to potential conflicts, and may want to consider using committees or other structures to ensure proper independence in decision-making.

Read More

FDIC Criticizes Civil Money Penalty Insurance

In recent exam cycles, bankers have generally been no strangers to heightened scrutiny by FDIC examiners on a variety of topics.  In the past several months, the insurance policies carried by banks have been added to the list of potential hot-button items.

Specifically, FDIC examiners have begun to scrutinize bank insurance policies to determine whether the policies provide coverage for civil money penalties (“CMPs”) that may be assessed against bank officers or directors. If any bank insurance policies are found on examination to contain an endorsement extending coverage for CMPs to officers or directors, the FDIC is citing such policies as being in violation of Part 359 of the FDIC’s Rules and Regulations.

Part 359, among other things, prohibits banks and affiliated holding companies from making certain “prohibited indemnification payments.” These prohibited payments include any payment or agreement to pay or reimburse bank officers or directors for any CMP or judgment resulting from any administrative or civil action which results in a final order or settlement in which that officer or director is assessed a CMP, removed from office or ordered to cease and desist from certain activities. As a matter of public policy, this provision is designed to prevent banks from bearing the costs of penalties assessed against individuals for actions that could result in harm or potential harm to a bank or to the safety and soundness or integrity of the banking system more generally.

Part 359 explicitly permits reasonable payments by banks to purchase commercial insurance policies, provided that the policy not be used to pay or reimburse an officer or director the cost of any judgment or CMP assessed against him or her. However, Part 359 does permit the insurance paid for by the bank to cover (1) legal or professional expenses incurred in connection with such a proceeding and (2) the amount of any restitution to the bank, its holding company, or its receiver.

Read More

Timing of TARP Capital Infusions

November 23, 2008

Authored by:

Categories

Timing of TARP Capital Infusions

November 23, 2008

Authored by: Ken Achenbach

A representative of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta has informed us that the Treasury does not intend to process any applications for private companies until all public company applications have been processed.  As a result, we expect (and the Federal Reserve did not deny) that a December 31 funding date is probably a realistic expectation only for public companies at this point.  We hope that Treasury will begin to realize some efficiencies in the processing of closing documents, but December 31 is approaching rapidly.

To the extent that any privately-held clients may be expecting a potential TARP infusion to keep them “well-capitalized” at December 31, 2008, they may need to also be working on Plan B.

Read More

Federal Reserve TARP Capital Review for Public Member Banks

November 6, 2008

Authored by:

Categories

We are beginning to receive some indication of how the Federal Reserve will be reviewing TARP Capital Applications for public member banks.  As institutions begin to file applications in greater numbers, we believe the review process is starting to gel from a methodological standpoint (although the regulators still say they receive new guidance daily).  We have not yet had any indication as to how consistent this review methodology may be between regulatory agencies.

We understand that the review will generally consist of a 3-part process:

  • First, the regional director of applications risk will serve as an initial point-of-contact person who will review the application and any follow-up materials that may be requested.  The plan is for this initial review period to take approximately 3 days, although this time period could be extended, depending on the circumstances of a particular application and the volume of applications being processed.
  • Second, the application will be passed along to a 5-member panel.  This panel will review the application and make the decision as to whether an “invest” recommendation should be made to Treasury.
  • Finally, Treasury will make its ultimate investment decision, based in large part on the recommendation of the regulators.

The review process, from the filing of an application to an ultimate decision by Treasury to fund, may be completed in as little as 5-7 days, although this process could be drawn out considerably, based on the circumstances.

Read More
The attorneys of Bryan Cave LLP make this site available to you only for the educational purposes of imparting general information and a general understanding of the law. This site does not offer specific legal advice. Your use of this site does not create an attorney-client relationship between you and Bryan Cave LLP or any of its attorneys. Do not use this site as a substitute for specific legal advice from a licensed attorney. Much of the information on this site is based upon preliminary discussions in the absence of definitive advice or policy statements and therefore may change as soon as more definitive advice is available. Please review our full disclaimer.