Media Mentions – April 24, 2012

April 24, 2012

Authored by: Bryan Cave

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

Blanchard in ABA Banking Journal, Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Atlanta partner Jerry Blanchard authored an article April 13, in the ABA Banking Journal regarding recent cases that could spur review of “tried and true” loan contracts.  Blanchard gave an overview of the recent $75 million judgment against Delta Community Credit Union in Georgia.  Click here to read the full article.  He was quoted April 8 in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution regarding the FDIC’s decision to seek penalties against certain officials of failed Georgia banks in instances where alleged malfeasance, not failed strategies, led to the bank’s failure.  Speaking in general about failed bank litigation, Blanchard said he expects most cases to be settled  before ever reaching trial.  “Most failed Georgia banks collapsed because of betting too heavily on a housing and commercial real estate bubble that burst, not because of intentional wrongdoing,” Blanchard said.  Click here to read the full article.

Hightower in Bank Safety & Soundness Advisor

Atlanta attorney Jonathan Hightower was quoted April 2 in the Bank Safety & Soundness Advisor regarding plans by the FDIC to implement enforcement actions in Georgia, the effect of which would be to make public a number of previously unpublished consent orders from regulators demanding improvements at various community banks.  “The publicity of the orders at a time like this is unfortunate to say the least,” Hightower said.  “The public’s perception of a consent order can be much worse than the reality.  It’s troubling when a bank working successfully for a period of time gets new publicity for the same consent order.  The public perception may be that its ability to survive is in question.”

Klingler in Bank Safety & Soundness Advisor

Atlanta partner Robert Klingler was quoted April 2 in the Bank Safety & Soundness Advisor concerning the JOBS (Jumpstart Our Business Startups) Act.  The bill will impact community banks by dramatically increasing the number of shareholders a company can have before it is required to register with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) — which brings with it numerous costly and time-consuming reporting requirements.  “If passed, this could cause a significant number of community banks to reconsider whether SEC registration is an appropriate cost for their shareholders, and may enable a significant number of public bank holding companies to ‘go dark’ without engaging in a ‘going private’ transaction, while also increasing the possibility of larger institutions that may exceed the new 1,200 trigger considering a going private transaction,” Klingler is quoted as writing in a client alert.

Moeling in American Banker

Atlanta partner Walt Moeling was quoted April 13 by American Banker regarding the Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act, which President Obama signed into law earlier this month.  It allows companies to deregister from the Securities and Exchange Commission if they have 1,200 or fewer shareholders, compared to the previous threshold of 300.  Industry observers say more than 500 banking companies could take advantage of the change.  Moeling said deregistration could be a good thing for many banks.  “I’ve always considered the proxy statements for reporting companies to be a major impediment to getting information to shareholders,” he said.  “It takes too long and is artificial.  You have to be so cautious about what you say.”  Moeling said while the fighting might be juicier without SEC oversight, it won’t necessarily be nastier.”  I don’t think it will rise to the level of presidential campaigning,” he said.  “Even without the SEC review, it will still be fairly civilized.”