Friday, December 2, 2016
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the-bank-accountJonathan and I convened after lunch (a delicious assortment of Taco’s) 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.

Friday, November 18, 2016
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the-bank-accountWe took a week off to allow the election results settle in a little bit, but Episode 3 of The Bank Account is now online.

In this episode, Jonathan and I discuss the effects the Trump rally has had on announced M&A transactions, a recent 363 bankruptcy auction whereby Home Bancshares emerged the winner of Bank of Commerce, and questions that anyone considering starting a de novo bank should be prepared to answer.

Two recent blog posts are also mentioned in Episode 3:

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.

Friday, November 11, 2016
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From time to time we hear from bank senior management that their board doesn’t seem engaged, or that they can’t get a sustained conversation out of their board.  Instead, board meetings consist of routine review of management reports, with motions, seconds, and unanimous adoptions of management recommendations without any meaningful discussion.  Years of bank board meetings can go by without a single dissenting vote recorded in the bank’s board minutes.  Regulators may being to question, perhaps correctly, that the board has merely become a rubber stamp for management, and that the board is merely “going through the motions” at each board meeting.

Over time, we have found one topic for which no board member can remain silent, and everyone (and I mean everyone) has an opinion.

What color should the bank’s new logo be?

Branch lobby carpet colors can also be quite effective, as can capitalization (grammar, not balance sheet, i.e. Fintech vs. FinTech),  a change in mascot or marketing gimmick, or minor tweaks to branch hours.

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Thursday, November 3, 2016
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the-bank-accountThey said we’d never get this far, but Episode 2 of The Bank Account is now online.

In this episode, Jonathan and I are joined by colleague Ken Achenbach to discuss the recent jury verdict in the FDIC vs. Loudermilk case and what impact it should have on community bank boards and committees.  We also discuss how board performance can be improved by focusing on strategic rather than individual management decisions.

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.

Monday, October 31, 2016
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the-bank-accountPrefer getting your banking law news via podcasts?  Need something to make your commute more informative?  Looking for a way to spend more time (at no cost!) with Jonathan Hightower or me?  Wondering what horror will be introduced to the world on Halloween 2016?

The inaugural episode of The Bank Account is online!

Please click on the link to subscribe to the feed on iTunes, Android, Email or MyCast. It is also in the review process for being added to the iTunes and Google Play searchable podcast directories. We’re also working on a home for it on BryanCave.com. Stay tuned (pun intended) for updates.

In episode 1, Jonathan and I summarize the bank M&A market for 2016, along with prognostications for what we believe we’ll see as we head into 2017.

Thursday, October 13, 2016
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Bryan Cave LLP recently served as counsel for amicus curiae California Bankers Association (“CBA”) and helped score a victory in an important California appellate case of great interest to the banking industry,  LSREF2 Clover Property 4 LLC v. Festival Retail Fund 1 357 N. Beverly Drive LP (Second District, California Court of Appeal case number B259937).

The trial court had ruled that the guarantor of a commercial loan was excused from performance on the grounds that the guaranty was a “sham,” structured by the lender to circumvent California’s anti-deficiency laws.  The guarantor essentially argued that there was no legal separation between it and the borrower because it was the borrower’s “alter ego,” and as support they identified evidence that the two entities failed to observe basic corporate formalities.  According to the guarantor, it should be excused from its obligations because it was essentially the same as the borrower, and thus protected by California’s anti-deficiency laws.

In its amicus brief, the CBA raised two principal arguments, both of which were adopted by the court of appeal in its published opinion reversing the trial court’s judgment in favor of the guarantor Festival Fund.

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Friday, June 5, 2015

It is with great pleasure that we announce that we have launched a new blog on consumer banking compliance issues.  Authored by Bryan Cave Partner, John ReVeal, the ConsumerBankingBlog provides commentary and perspective on new and proposed consumer compliance regulations, regulatory enforcement actions and trends, and the shenanigans of banking regulators.  With John’s unique, unfiltered, opinions, we think you’ll find the ConsumerBankingBlog to be very different from your typical banking compliance site.

John’s goal for the ConsumerBankingBlog is to foster discussion – an open exchange of ideas between readers and John.  Comments are strongly encouraged… subject to the site’s Rules for Comments, of course.  (We’re still lawyers, after all.)

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Monday, March 2, 2015
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May 4, 2015 – May 5, 2015
The Ritz-Carlton, Atlanta
181 Peachtree Street Northeast
Atlanta, GA  30303

Sponsor(s):  Hosted by Bryan Cave LLP, OTC Markets Group, Banks Street Partners, and Stock Cross Financial Services

Conference Description
We are pleased to announce the inaugural Financial Institutions Stock Liquidity Conference in Atlanta, Georgia.  The conference will begin with a cocktail reception on Monday evening, May 4th from 6:00 – 9:00 p.m., at the College Football Hall of Fame, where interactive and personalized tours will be offered to conference attendees.  The conference will continue on Tuesday, May 5th from 8:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m., with a full day of presentations and panel discussions that will explore the universe of liquidity options available to financial institutions and opportunities to access the capital markets.

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Monday, January 5, 2015
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Effective January 1, 2015, Bryan Cave LLP elected 14 new lawyers to partnership in the firm. Bryan Cave’s strength and depth in advising community banks is further enhanced by the election of Jonathan Hightower to the partnership.

UFDJonathan Hightower is in our Atlanta office and focuses his practice in financial institutions law, including corporate, regulatory and securities work. Jonathan regularly advises community banks and their boards of directors on their strategic plans, including sale transactions, strategic mergers and capital raises, as well as on complex regulatory issues. Recently, Jonathan’s active transactional practice significantly contributed to Bryan Cave’s position in SNL league tables for Financial Institutions M&A for 2014. He primarily represents small to mid-sized community banks, including S Corporation community banks and bank holding companies.

Thursday, January 2, 2014
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Drawing from diverse legal disciplines, Bryan Cave’s Retail Banking Team focuses on consumer compliance and contractual matters for banks and non-bank financial institutions. Whatever day-to-day legal assistance you need for consumer finance or banking services, we can provide prompt and accurate guidance.

We have many years of experience in all of the federal consumer banking regulation, and every day we work to stay current with the constantly changing regulatory environment. We will help you avoid the regulatory minefields. Our Retail Banking Team can assist your institution in all of the following areas:

  • Mortgage, credit card, retail consumer credit and other consumer lender licensing, disclosure, interest rate and fee, and consumer agreement reviews;
  • Consumer loan advertising reviews, including federal and state requirements and UDAP and UDAAP reviews;
  • Deposit account agreement reviews;
  • Deposit advertisement reviews;
  • Overdraft policies and disclosures;
  • Remote deposit capture agreements and policies;
  • Automated clearing house agreements;
  • Power of attorney interpretations;
  • Trust documents and trustee power reviews;
  • Individual Retirement Account transactions;
  • Prepaid card programs;
  • Check fraud assistance;
  • Online business banking and cash management; and, of course,
  • any issues arising under the Truth in Savings Act, Truth in Lending Act, Electronic Fund Transfers Act, Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act, or consumer privacy and data security laws and regulations.

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