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OCC Moves Forward on Fintech Bank Charters

March 16, 2017

Authors

Dan Wheeler and Jonathan Hightower

OCC Moves Forward on Fintech Bank Charters

March 16, 2017

by: Dan Wheeler and Jonathan Hightower

Amid criticism from virtually every possible constituency, on March 15, 2017, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) released a draft supplement  to its chartering licensing manual related to special purpose national banks leveraging financial technology, or fintech banks. As we indicated in our fintech webinar discussing the proposal last December, the OCC is proposing to apply many conventional requirements for new banks to the fintech charter. While the OCC’s approach is familiar to those of us well versed on the formation of new banks, there are a few interesting items of note to take away from the draft supplement.

  • More bank than technology firm. Potential applicants for a fintech charter should approach the project with the mindset that they are applying to become a bank using technology
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Roundtable on the Future of Retail Banking

February 12, 2017

Authors

Robert Klingler

Roundtable on the Future of Retail Banking

February 12, 2017

by: Robert Klingler

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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Is the OCC on a Path to Greater Power?

December 6, 2016

Authors

Robert Klingler

Is the OCC on a Path to Greater Power?

December 6, 2016

by: Robert Klingler

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

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Reduce Potential ADA Liability by Making ATMs and Websites Accessible

October 25, 2016

Authors

Marcy Bergman and Merrit Jones

Reduce Potential ADA Liability by Making ATMs and Websites Accessible

October 25, 2016

by: Marcy Bergman and Merrit Jones

Banks and credit unions are among the most recent targets of a wave of demand letters and lawsuits alleging violation of the Americans With Disabilities Act of 1990 (the “ADA”). The most common allegations concern inaccessible ATMs and websites, despite the fact that the ADA and its implementing regulations do not yet address website accessibility.

Title III of the ADA prohibits discrimination against individuals “on the basis of disability in the full and equal enjoyment of the goods, services, facilities, privileges, advantages or accommodations of any place of public accommodation,” 42 U.S.C. § 12182(a), which includes banks and credit unions.

In 2010, the federal regulations implementing the ADA were revised, and expressly addressed ATMs for the first time. Banks and credit unions were given until March 2012 to become fully compliant, and most litigation targeted institutions that failed to comply by that date.

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Pointers for Bank Recipients of Demand Letters Asserting ADA Non-Compliance

October 18, 2016

Authors

Dan Wheeler and Jerry Blanchard

Pointers for Bank Recipients of Demand Letters Asserting ADA Non-Compliance

October 18, 2016

by: Dan Wheeler and Jerry Blanchard

Community banks have recently been on the receiving end of demand letters from plaintiffs law firms alleging that the banks’ websites are in violation of the Americans With Disabilities Act of 1990 (the “ADA”).  Interestingly, there are currently no specific federal standards for websites under the ADA. The Department of Justice (“DOJ”) is in the process of developing regulations for website accessibility, but has announced it will not finalize these regulations until 2018 at the earliest. Even so, the DOJ has emphasized that businesses should make websites accessible to the disabled. While the regulations are being developed, many businesses have been applying the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 Level AA with the understanding that the DOJ has made clear that it considers a website accessible if it complies with these guidelines.

When a bank receives a demand letter the first thing they need to do is hire counsel to advise them

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Banks and Marketplace Lenders Absorb a Blow

June 30, 2016

Authors

Dan Wheeler

Banks and Marketplace Lenders Absorb a Blow

June 30, 2016

by: Dan Wheeler

In a blow to banks and the marketplace lending industry, on June 27, 2016, the U.S. Supreme Court denied the petition by Midland Funding to hear the case Midland Funding, LLC v. Madden (No. 15-610).  That case involves a debt-collection firm that bought charged-off credit card debt from a national bank.  The borrower’s legal team argued that a buyer of the debt was subject to New York interest rate caps even though the seller of the debt, a national bank, was exempt from those state law rate caps due to preemption under Section 85 the National Bank Act.  The borrower won on this startling argument and the debt collector appealed to the Supreme Court.  The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (the regulator for national banks), the U.S. Solicitor General and various stakeholders in the banking and lending industries vigorously argued that the 2nd Circuit’s decision contravened established law.  The

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Media Mentions – August 1, 2014

August 4, 2014

Authors

Bryan Cave

Media Mentions – August 1, 2014

August 4, 2014

by: Bryan Cave

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

Jerry Blanchard in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Atlanta Partner Jerry Blanchard was quoted July 18 by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution on reasons behind the shrinking number of banks in Georgia. The state, which led the nation in bank failures stemming from the real estate bust, has seen an increase in the number of banks being bought up at a rate of about one a month as healthy banks grow through the acquisition of other healthy banks. Blanchard said the question on many bankers’ minds is, “Can you survive the recovery? It’s hard to make money.” Click here to read the full article.

Rob Klingler in American Banker

Atlanta Partner Robert Klingler was quoted July 1 by American Banker concerning the trend among trust-preferred creditors of telling deadbeat banks that they must

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Media Mentions – April 25, 2014

April 25, 2014

Authors

Bryan Cave

Media Mentions – April 25, 2014

April 25, 2014

by: Bryan Cave

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

Rinearson in AFP Exchange

New York Partner Judith Rinearson authored an article on the future of bitcoin and virtual currency for the April edition of AFP Exchange magazine, by the Association for Financial Professionals. Her article was part of the publication’s annual payments issue. “Can virtual currencies be regulated in a manner that protects consumers, merchants, our payment systems and national security, while at the same time not ‘killing the golden goose’ through overly burdensome or unfeasible regulatory requirements?” Rinearson wrote. “I believe the answer is yes….However, such regulation should be imposed with a light hand and reasonable steps must be taken quickly.”

Shumaker in Bank Safety & Soundness Advisor

Atlanta Associate Michael Shumaker was quoted extensively April 14 by the Bank Safety & Soundness Advisor concerning top

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Media Mentions – January 31, 2014

January 31, 2014

Authors

Bryan Cave

Media Mentions – January 31, 2014

January 31, 2014

by: Bryan Cave

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

Rob Klingler in Bank Safety and Soundness Advisor

Atlanta Partner Robert Klingler was quoted Jan. 27 by Bank Safety and Soundness Advisor concerning an eagerly awaited amendment to the Volcker Rule, which will exempt most bank-issued Trust Preferred Securities (or TruPS). The interim final rule, however, does not exempt insurer or REIT-backed TruPS. Klingler said the exemption does not include insurer and REIT TruPS because the Collins Amendment didn’t either, and regulators modeled the Volcker exemption after the Collins Amendment. “They were looking to the Dodd-Frank Act itself for the statutory authority,” he said. “They used the Collins Amendment to form the basis for why they’re able to exempt [these TruPS]. They don’t have a statutory basis for excluding insurer-backed TruPS. They probably wanted to make sure the final rule wasn’t

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Media Mentions – October 4, 2013

October 4, 2013

Authors

Bryan Cave

Media Mentions – October 4, 2013

October 4, 2013

by: Bryan Cave

With attorneys and staff worldwide, Bryan Cave often makes the news.  Recent media mentions of Financial Institutions Group attorneys include:

Rob Klingler in Dow Jones Daily Bankruptcy Review

Atlanta Partner Robert Klingler was quoted Sept. 26 in the Dow Jones Daily Bankruptcy Review concerning what happens when TARP recipients file for bankruptcy. Congress authorized the U.S. Treasury Department to spend more than $200 billion nationwide as part of the Troubled Asset Relief Program five years ago. Overall, taxpayers profited from the program. But a review of the bankruptcies of TARP recipients shows that Treasury is likely to write off about $2.8 billion invested in banks now filing for bankruptcy. “Any time you make an investment, it’s a risk-reward exchange. The only way you get any reward is to take on risk,” Klingler said. “That means some of the investments aren’t going to work out, and some of the investments didn’t

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