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Landscape of the U.S. Banking Industry

(A print-ready version of this post is also available: Landscape of the U.S. Banking Industry.)

From 2006 through 2016, the number of insured depository institutions in the United States has fallen from 8,691 charters to 5,922, a decline of 2,769 charters or a 32% loss.  This headline loss number is worth talking about, but is neither news nor new.  The loss of charters is a frequent source of discussions around bank board rooms, stories from trade press, and chatter at banking conferences.  The number of insured charters has also been in steady decline, with at least 33 years of declining numbers.

However, a deeper dive into the numbers reveals some unexpected trends below the headline 32% loss of charters.

the-bank-accountNote:  We’ve also recorded an accompanying podcast for The Bank Account on the Truth About Industry Consolidation.  The podcast contains additional analysis to the numbers presented here, and is a useful addition, but not a substitute, to this content.  In addition to listening to this episode, we encourage you to 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.

Links to items mentioned in the podcast, or otherwise potentially of interest on the topic:

 

State of Banking Landscape as of December 31, 2016

As of December 31, 2016, we had 5,922 institutions with $16.9 trillion in total assets.

The four largest depository institutions by asset size (JPMorgan, Wells Fargo, Bank of America and Citi) hold $6.84 trillion in assets, or 40.5% of the industry’s assets.

There are 111 additional banks that have assets greater than $10 billion, holding $6.98 trillion.  That’s 1.9% of the total charters, holding 81.9% of the aggregate assets.

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Establishing a Sustainable Sales Culture

the-bank-accountWalt Moeling joined us on March 29th for the latest episode of The Bank Account with a lively discussion of bank sales tactics.  In this regulatory environment, banks need to balance growth goals with expectations for scrutiny of their sales tactics.  Regulators, investors, the press and consumers are all paying more attention to bank sales tactics.

While none of us hopes to be asked whether we “want fries with that?” as we conduct business with a bank teller, looking out for potential bank products that could benefit the bank’s customers presents an opportunity for both the bank and the customer to be better off.

You can also follow us on Twitter with Walt (kind of) at @MoelingW, Jonathan at @HightowerBanks, and me at @RobertKlingler.

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Georgia on my Mind: Changes in Banking Laws

the-bank-accountOn March 28, 2017, Jonathan and I sat down with Bryan Cave Colleagues Ken Achenbach and Crystal Homa in the latest episode of The Bank Account for a discussion focused on legislative changes in Georgia affecting banks, including modifications to Georgia’s business judgement rule and the Department of Banking & Finance’s Housekeeping Bill.

While the bills we discuss await the Governor’s signature (and subsequent effectiveness – July 1 for the business judgement rule change and 30 days after signature for the housekeeping bill), our team looks forward to the practical effect of these statutory changes.  As banking industry participants, we appreciate the efforts of the legislature to make Georgia an attractive state for banking.

As referenced in the podcast, we also encourage you to check out our prior The Bank Account episode about the role of bank directors post FDIC v. Loudermilk, and Crystal’s earlier post on providing banking services to minors.

You can also follow us on Twitter with Jonathan at @HightowerBanks, Crystal at @CrystalHoma and me at @RobertKlingler.  Ken cannot be followed on Twitter, as Ken’s thoughts cannot be limited to 140 characters.

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The Strategic Approach to Vendor Negotiations

the-bank-accountOn March 17, 2017, Jonathan and I sat down with Bryan Cave Partner Sean Christy in the latest episode of The Bank Account for a discussion of the FDIC’s Office of Inspector General’s Report on Technology Service Provider Contracts.  Before diving into the OIG report, Jonathan and I briefly discuss the potential impact on deposits with regard to the Federal Reserve’s latest increase in rates, the OCC’s draft supplement for fintech bank charters (and related BankBryanCave.com blog post), and the change in Federal Reserve policy lessening the examination of certain smaller bank mergers.

Sean is a partner in our Strategic Sourcing group, and has significant experience representing bank and other financial services providers in the negotiation of the their technology contracts.  In this episode, Sean helps us look at the key takeaways from the February 2017 FDIC OIG’s report on Third Party Service Provider Contracts with FDIC-Supervised Institutions.  Sean provides some practice advice for institutions as they approach negotiations with their service providers, and also breaks down some of the common issues identified in the report that he also regularly sees in the contracts he reviews.

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Riding the High Stock Price Wave

the-bank-accountOn March 7, 2017, Jonathan and I recorded lucky episode 13 of The Bank Account where we discussed the implications of stock prices, particularly in connection with bank mergers.  We note that the current levels of stock pricing in the banking sector appears to be driven by expectations for higher interest rates, tax reform, and regulatory relief, in that order of likelihood and importance.  We also note that if these expectations aren’t achieved, bank stock prices are likely to take a hit.

As mentioned on the podcast, Jonathan was recently quoted in an American Banker story on bank merger activity.

“We’re telling buyers to be aggressive and sellers to be thoughtful,” said Jonathan Hightower, a lawyer at Bryan Cave. “The potential for legislative changes, lower corporate taxes, higher rates and reform to Dodd-Frank … are already priced into bank stocks. There could be a pullback if any of those things don’t occur.”

Subsequent to recording, the American Banker also published an excellent look at increasing skepticism for the chances for meaningful regulatory relief.

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Selling Your Mission to Shareholders

Selling Your Mission to Shareholders

February 27, 2017

Authored by: Robert Klingler

the-bank-accountOn Friday, February 24, 2017, Jonathan sat down with our colleague, Kevin Strachan, to discuss ideas for banks to highlight community involvement in their shareholder meetings.  As mentioned during the podcast, I had the pleasure of judging the next generation of transactional lawyers at a LawMeets competition hosted by Emory Law School, but I enjoyed consuming this podcast as a listener.

Before diving into shareholder engagement, Jonathan and Kevin also comment briefly on the leaked Hensarling memo on version 2.0 of the Choice Act, and some of the “interesting” banking ideas expressed by Bruce Cahan, adjunct professor at Stanford University, on a recent American Banker podcast episode.

On this episode of The Bank Account, Jonathan and Kevin touch on some excellent examples of shareholder engagement, including:

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Roundtable on the Future of Retail Banking

the-bank-accountOn Friday, February 10, 2017, Jonathan and I sat down with our partners, Jim McAlpin, head of Bryan Cave’s Financial Services practice, and Dan Wheeler, head of Bryan Cave’s Fintech practice, to discuss the impact of financial technology on retail banking.  Like branching strategies, there isn’t necessarily one universally correct strategy with how community banks should address financial technology, but ignoring fintech completely is unlikely to be a viable long-term strategy.

On this episode of The Bank Account, Jonathan, Jim, Dan and I explore some possible approaches for addressing fintech, and relay some of the reactions that we’ve heard from successful community banks.

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Acquire or Be Acquired 2017 Takeaways

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

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

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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