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Acquire or Be Acquired 2017 Takeaways

February 3, 2017

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the-bank-accountJoining everyone else, we offer our takeaways from BankDirector’s 2017 Acquire or Be Acquired Conference, but we think we might be the first/only podcast recap of AOBA! Bryan Cave’s head of Financial Services, Jim McAlpin, joins Jonathan and me in a free ranging discussion of the conference in Episode 10 of The Bank Account.

Specific topics include some thoughts on KBW’s opening remarks, comments on the investor panel and keynote speech from US Bank’s Richard Davis, a discussion of the future of community banks and fintech, and a recap of the M&A simulation run in connection with FIG Partners at AOBA. We also get in a few Super Bowl LI predictions, in expectations that our hometown Atlanta Falcons will Rise Up!

Please click to subscribe to the feed on iTunes, Android, Email or MyCast. It is also now available in the iTunes and Google Play searchable podcast directories.

You can also follow-us on Twitter for updates between podcast episodes @RobertKlingler and @hightowerbanks.

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Pinnacle Financial’s Acquisition of BNC Bancorp

January 24, 2017

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Our new podcast recording studio features fake palm trees and an oaken barrel (off camera), neither of which likely materially impacts Episode 9 of The Bank Account.  Nonetheless, Jonathan and I enjoyed the change in scenery as we discussed the just announced $1.9 billion merger of Pinnacle Financial Partners, headquartered in Nashville, Tennessee, and BNC Bancorp, headquartered in High Point, North Carolina.

In addition, we recorded the episode with a new microphone.  Unfortunately, I’m not sure the new microphone makes us sound any smarter, but it definitely improves the sound quality!

In anticipation of our presentation of a bank merger simulation at Bank Director’s Acquire or Be Acquired Conference this coming weekend, Jonathan and I spend this episode walking through the details of the transaction and looking at what signals it may send to future transaction activity in the Southeast generally, and North Carolina specifically.

the-bank-accountPlease click to subscribe to the feed on iTunes, Android, Email or MyCast. It is also now available in the iTunes and Google Play searchable podcast directories.

You can also follow-us on Twitter for updates between podcast episodes @RobertKlingler and @hightowerbanks.

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Lift-Outs: The Rules of the Game and Playing to Win

January 17, 2017

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the-bank-accountStraight from the heart of the “crime infested” fifth Congressional District of Georgia, Jonathan and I managed to safely convene for a discussion on lift-outs of bank employees in Episode 8 of The Bank Account.

Lift-outs offer a potential M&A-lite approach to further growth, and when done correctly, can result in a win-win-win for the hiring bank, the affected employee, and the bank the employee is leaving. Among the topics discussed, we cover the practical and legal approaches to attracting lift-out opportunities, as well as defending recruiting by competitors.

Please click to subscribe to the feed on iTunes, Android, Email or MyCast. It is also now available in the iTunes and Google Play searchable podcast directories.

You can also follow-us on Twitter for updates between podcast episodes @RobertKlingler and @hightowerbanks.

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Walt Moeling Joins The Bank Account

December 28, 2016

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Walt Moeling Joins The Bank Account

December 28, 2016

Authored by: Robert Klingler

the-bank-accountJonathan and I were joined by the godfather of banking law, our Senior Partner, Walt Moeling for Episode 7 of The Bank Account.

Enjoy Walt’s thoughts on where the banking industry is headed in 2017, what he sees as the biggest concerns today, what one regulatory change he would make if given carte blanche power to improve the system, and a prediction on the number of community banks in the future.

For nearly 50 years, Moeling has been with Bryan Cave and its predecessor firm in Atlanta, Powell Goldstein. Moeling has counseled financial institutions on corporate governance matters, operational and regulatory issues, capital and acquisition strategies, board disputes and dissident shareholders, as well as other strategic decisions.

Moeling has served on the board of the Georgia Bankers Association (GBA) for many years and occupied the role of GBA’s general counsel. He has also been appointed as a state deputy attorney general in Georgia and neighboring Alabama over the course of his career to deal with particularly complex banking matters.

Please click to subscribe to the feed on iTunes, Android, Email or MyCast. It is also now available in the iTunes and Google Play searchable podcast directories.

You can also follow-us on Twitter for updates between podcast episodes @RobertKlingler and @hightowerbanks.

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OCC’s New FinTech Charter

December 19, 2016

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OCC’s New FinTech Charter

December 19, 2016

Authored by: Robert Klingler

the-bank-accountJonathan and I were joined by Ken Achenbach for Episode 6 of The Bank Account in which we discuss the OCC’s newly announced special purpose charter for FinTech companies.

Among the topics covered in this discussion are how we view the OCC’s announcement, how existing banks may want to look at the announcement, and the largest challenge that we think may emerge for FinTech companies entering the banking space.

Unfortunately, the highlight of this episode… me completely cracking up during Jonathan’s introduction… will have to wait until a later blooper reel.  It was early enough in the recording that we decided to start over.

Please click to subscribe to the feed on iTunes, Android, Email or MyCast. It is also now available in the iTunes and Google Play searchable podcast directories.

You can also follow-us on Twitter for updates between podcast episodes @RobertKlingler and @hightowerbanks.

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Fraudster Beware: Your Scheme Could be a Federal Crime if it Involves a Bank

December 14, 2016

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Normally, a scheme to defraud another individual would be a state crime, prosecuted and sentenced at the state level (leaving aside use of U.S. mail or wires). To be convicted of the state crime of fraud usually requires proof of some combination of a false statement or representation and an actual intent to defraud.

On December 12, 2016, in a remarkably unpretentious opinion by Justice Breyer, the U.S. Supreme Court, in Shaw v. United States, U.S., No. 15-5991, resolved a circuit split by ruling that such a scheme can also constitute federal bank fraud, even if there was intent only to defraud the individual, not the bank itself.

The case stemmed from Shaw’s successful efforts to defraud a bank customer of more than $300,000. Shaw was convicted of violating 18 U.S.C. § 1344(1) which makes it a federal crime to “knowingly execut[e] a scheme . . . (1) to defraud a financial institution.” Shaw argued that to prove fraud it is necessary to show intent to defraud and he had no intent to defraud the bank – and, in fact, the bank did not lose any money. The Supreme Court affirmed a 9th Circuit opinion that no such proof was necessary to establish the federal crime of bank fraud, on the ground that a bank had a property interest in the use of the money deposited by its customers, even if the bank ultimately suffers no financial loss.

Read more about the broader impact on criminal law enforcement on BryanCave.com.

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To Deposit or Not to Deposit: a Question for Fintech Charters

December 7, 2016

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The fintech industry has justifiably greeted the OCC’s announcement of a national fintech charter with optimism. But one area where we have seen significant confusion is the possibility of the fintech charter being granted without deposit insurance, and the implications thereof.

Background.  On December 2, 2016, OCC Comptroller Thomas Curry announced that the OCC is planning to take applications from fintech companies wishing to obtain a special purpose national bank charter.  These banks would be national banks with the same privileges and obligations as traditional full-service national banks, but with specialized business plans and that may or may not choose to have deposit taking authority.

In his remarks, Comptroller Curry expressed his excitement about the great potential to expand financial inclusion and reach unbanked and underserved populations.  At the same time, clearly recognizing that there are some industry players that are worried about new sources of competition from fintech banks, or that these new banks might otherwise have unfair advantages, Curry took great pains to seek to alleviate those concerns in his remarks and in the OCC’s white paper on the proposal.

Curry acknowledged that it will be difficult for the agency to determine the requirements to charter a fintech bank because of the “diversity of approach” among fintech companies. He noted that, for example, a payments model would be different than a marketplace lending one. However, he said that the OCC is a “firm believer in tailored innovation” and has the existing framework to evaluate these issues in the chartering process.  Consistent with existing OCC regulation, the white paper states that a special purpose bank that conducts activities other than fiduciary activities must conduct at least one of the following three core banking functions: receiving deposits, paying checks, or lending money.

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Is the OCC on a Path to Greater Power?

December 6, 2016

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bankthinkIn a recent American Banker BankThink article, Partner Dan Wheeler explores the possibility that the OCC could rise in stature, while the other banking regulatory agencies fall out of favor.  By largely staying out of Congress’ scrutiny and taking a lead on fintech regulation, Dan argues that the OCC is well positioned to obtain greater chartering and regulatory responsibility under a Trump administration.

Some regulatory agencies, such as the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and Federal Reserve Board, appear ripe for more congressional criticism and even curbs to their authority under the incoming Trump administration. But one may be in relatively good position to have its authority expanded: the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency.

The OCC has stayed under the radar and avoided the political backlash aimed at other regulators while also emerging as a new leader in the fast-growing area of fintech regulation. The OCC’s focus on innovation and its largely pristine image among lawmakers could lead to greater chartering authority and — if the CFPB continues to lose favor — more responsibility to oversee consumer rules.

Continue Reading Dan’s position, OCC Could Gain Power as Other Agencies Fall Out of Favor, on AmericanBanker.com.

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The Financial CHOICE Act

December 2, 2016

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The Financial CHOICE Act

December 2, 2016

Authored by: Robert Klingler

the-bank-accountJonathan and I convened after lunch (a delicious assortment of tacos) to record Episode 4 of The Bank Account.  We focused on The Financial CHOICE Act as a potential roadmap for the potential bank regulatory reforms under the Trump administration.

The Financial CHOICE Act represents the the Republican’s 2016 proposal to reform the financial regulatory system.  While Republican’s regulatory reforms may vary next year based on the change in administration (and the process of going from a proposal to enacted legislation is likely to create further changes), the Financial CHOICE Act represents a good starting place in looking at potential upcoming reforms.  In this episode, Jonathan and I discuss the following aspects of the Financial CHOICE Act:

  • A Dodd-Frank Regulatory “Off Ramp” for Well-Capitalized Institutions;
  • CFPB Reforms;
  • Durbin Amendment and Volcker Rule Repeal;
  • Proposed Civil Procedure Changes; and
  • Community Bank Relief.

Please click to subscribe to the feed on iTunes, Android, Email or MyCast. It is also now available in the iTunes and Google Play searchable podcast directories.

You can also follow-us on Twitter for updates between podcast episodes @RobertKlingler and @hightowerbanks.

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Data Dilemma

November 28, 2016

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Data Dilemma

November 28, 2016

Authored by: Robert Klingler

the-bank-accountIf you missed it as you returned for seconds (or thirds) during Thanksgiving week, Episode 4 of The Bank Account, Data Dilemma, is now online.

In this episode, Jonathan and Ken Achenbach discuss the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, with a focus on the CFPB’s recent announcement that it would be investigating data sharing of financial records and the CFPB’s decision to appeal the ruling that the CFPB director may be removed without cause by the President.

As mentioned by Jonathan, I’m absent from last week’s podcast I was cruising the Caribbean on the Disney Dream.  Unlike Jonathan, I’m certain that I would rather be cruising than recording a podcast… and my kids are even more certain!  I’m sure if we were to ask Jonathan’s kids, they would have preferred a Disney cruise to Episode 4.

Please click on the link to subscribe to the feed on iTunes, Android, Email or MyCast. It is also now available in the iTunes and Google Play searchable podcast directories.

You can also follow-us on Twitter for updates between podcast episodes @RobertKlingler and @hightowerbanks.

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