Marked by fierce competition, economic turmoil, and aggressive regulation and supervision, the banking industry has faced unprecedented challenges in recent years. Buckley Sandler delivers regulatory, enforcement, transactional, and litigation counsel to federal and state chartered depository institutions and their holding companies. Our clients include banks of all sizes — global banks, domestic banks, regional and community banks, and specialty banks.
Buckley Sandler works with banking clients on regulatory applications and other formation activities. We are experienced in all areas of de novo charters, as well as with filings and approvals pertaining to the Bank Holding Company Act, Bank Merger Act, and Change in Bank Control Act. We are involved in corporate reorganizations (including going private transactions), and assist with new banking and nonbanking powers and the formation of bank holding companies. We facilitate meetings with federal and state regulators, and draft and review corporate documents and policies. We also assist banking clients with strategic activities that enhance or grow their business operations through mergers and acquisitions, stock repurchases, reverse stock splits, tender offers, proxy contests, stock acquisitions, and assumption transactions. In addition, we guide our clients through the acquisition of nonbank companies (such as insurance agencies and mortgage companies), public and private offerings, joint ventures, and entry into other banking and nonbanking activities.
The firm works with banking clients, including national and state chartered commercial banks, federal and state-chartered thrifts, and savings banks in complying with the laws and regulations governing their operations. Our experience includes advising on bank formation issues and de novo charters; routine filings, disclosures, and financial reporting; and reviewing, drafting, and implementing compliance policies and procedures involving all consumer protection and bank regulatory requirements. We work with our clients to maintain appropriate capital, reserve, credit rating, and corporate governance requirements (including those under the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, the Dodd-Frank Act, and other director and officer responsibilities), as well as to comply with payment system requirements and e-commerce laws and regulations. We also advise on mergers, acquisitions, divestitures, joint ventures, and outsourcing agreements, and navigate our clients through regulatory examinations, enforcement actions, litigation, and transactions.
Corporate governance standards as applied by the banking agencies have never been more demanding. We counsel bank boards and executive management on regulatory expectations and conduct reviews of corporate governance processes, working closely with boards, board committees, and executive management, and our lawyers make presentations to clients on the latest developments and provide recommendations on strengthening corporate governance practices.
The firm provides legal support for the design of executive compensation and benefits in conformity with bank regulatory expectations, including incentive compensation, and drafting equity compensation plans, changes in control provisions, and appropriate disclosures in securities filings and proxy statements.
Buckley Sandler assists banks and bank/financial holding companies in developing new products and services that are permissible as incidental or related to banking or financially-related in a manner consistent with regulatory expectations and risk management. We have assisted a number of banks entering the wealth management, trust, and insurance agency businesses, and with acquisitions of such companies.
Bank directors and officers are at greater risk of personal liability than other corporate directors and officers. They are subject to a variety of enforcement actions, including civil money penalties, restitution, and cease and desist orders and removals. If their bank fails, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) as receiver may sue them. Buckley Sandler supports the efforts of bank directors and officers to mitigate risk of personal liability through customized training and reviews of policies, processes, and practices to assure that bank boards and management are conducting business in a manner that will protect them from undue liability.
Our attorneys advise bank boards and management on protecting themselves against personal liability through D&O insurance policies, charter and bylaw indemnification provisions, and indemnification agreements with individual directors. Our team also defends against enforcement and civil actions filed by banking agencies and other governmental authorities. Members of our team include former bank regulators and experienced civil and criminal litigators, as well as the Executive Director of the American Association of Bank Directors, a nonprofit trade association representing the interests of bank and savings institution directors.
Our firm advises on the myriad issues that banks and their holding companies, directors, and officers face when confronted with a threat to their continued operations. We offer troubled banks comprehensive advice on complex regulatory, transactional, litigation, and personal liability issues, and work closely with investors to identify, negotiate, and close on investment opportunities with troubled institutions and their regulators. Our team defends matters involving the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC), Federal Reserve, Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Department of Justice (DOJ), and other regulatory and enforcement authorities. We help our clients navigate through internal investigations, and represent Chapter 7 trustees of insolvent bank and thrift holding companies through the Chapter 7 process. We are also involved in transactions and design strategies that help our clients increase capital levels and avoid or delay regulatory enforcement actions and receiverships. For banks operating under change in management or golden parachute restrictions, our attorneys assist institutions with regulatory requests to comply with approval requirements.
Buckley Sandler represents Chapter 7 trustees of insolvent banks and thrift holding companies in fulfilling their responsibilities to creditors seeking to recover their interests through the Chapter 7 process. We serve as special counsel to trustees in conducting and/or assisting in investigations concerning the financial affairs of the debtor holding company and the failure of its underlying bank or thrift. We assess and litigate claims against insiders and third-party advisors of the debtor holding company, and advise on investigations and litigation of avoidable transfers. We defend against government enforcement and civil actions naming or otherwise involving the debtor holding company. Our firm also handles similar matters for debtors in Chapter 11 proceedings.
David Baris, Margo H. K. Tank, and Lori J. Sommerfield Authored a Law360 Article, "ADA Compliance for Financial Institutions In The Crosshairs"
During the second half of 2016, numerous financial institutions of all sizes began receiving demand letters from plaintiffs firms representing disabled individuals and seeking settlements for violations of website accessibility standards related to Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act (...Articles
Recent attention in Congress on retail incentive compensation, goal-setting and cross-selling of consumer financial products and services is remarkable for its ferocity and its direction at banks and regulators alike. During a Sept. 20, 2016, Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs...Articles
Before the brouhaha over Well Fargo's sales practices unfolded, most bank boards would have thought those practices were the prerogative of management, with little if any input from the board. In recent years, incentive pay has been a hot regulatory, congressional, and industry topic for senior...Articles
On June 23, the Maryland Court of Appeals affirmed a lower court judgment holding that a non-bank entity assisting consumers obtain loans from an out-of-state bank and then repurchasing those loans days later qualifies as a “credit service business” under the Maryland Credit Services Business Act (...Articles
The U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday announced it will hear an appeal by two banks in a case that could define the reach of mortgage discrimination lawsuits under the Fair Housing Act. Bank of America and Wells Fargo are challenging the city of Miami’s lawsuit seeking to hold the banks responsible for...Articles
David Baris, Andrea Mitchell, and Lori Sommerfield co-authored the Practical Handbook on Fair Lending for Bank Directors and Executive Officers , published by the American Association of Bank Directors. Although the concept of fair lending has existed since the late 1960s, in recent years the...Articles
In the years following the financial crisis, the U.S. Department of Justice and the relators bar have aggressively used the False Claims Act to target banks and nonbank mortgage lenders and servicers, using increasingly creative theories of liability to hold these companies responsible for failing...Articles
SNL, The Banking Information Experts, in partnership with the Independent Community Bankers of America, has compiled the expertise of lawyers, accountants and consultants who specialize in bank chartering. The result is a single, definitive resource for bankers and advisers looking to enter the...Articles
Near the end of his tenure, Attorney General Eric Holder publicly raised the prospect of amending FIRREA—the Financial Institutions Reform, Recovery, and Enforcement Act of 1989—to increase the incentives for blowing the whistle on financial fraud. FIRREA is the federal statute the Department of...Articles
Jeremiah Buckley authored "The Compliance Officer Bill of Rights," which was published Monday, February 22, 2016 in American Banker . Regulators and prosecutors are under increasing pressure to bring charges not only against companies, but also against individual corporate officers. Compliance...Articles
On April 19, the OCC released a report detailing the results of an internal review that concedes the regulator’s oversight of a national bank’s consumer complaints and whistleblower cases was “untimely and ineffective” and that OCC supervisors missed or failed to address warning signs throughout...InfoBytes
On April 19, House Financial Services Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling (R-TX) announced that the Committee will hold a hearing to discuss the Financial CHOICE Act next Wednesday, April 26. Touted as a potential replacement for the Dodd-Frank Act, the proposed new law—which stands for C reating H...InfoBytes
Released earlier this month, the latest issue of the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas’ Quarterly Publication Financial Insights , takes a closer look at the causes behind a recent trend in community banks opting to change from a national to a state charter. As explained in the article—entitled...InfoBytes
On April 4, outgoing Federal Reserve Governor Daniel K. Tarullo presented his departing thoughts on the Fed’s response to the “worst recession since the Great Depression.” In his speech, Tarullo discussed the Fed’s initial post-crisis regulatory response and how it addressed the “too-big-to-fail”...InfoBytes
On March 24, the Federal Reserve System released the 2015–2016 combined annual audited financial statements for the Reserve Banks and Board of Governors (Board) for the years ended December 31, 2015 and 2016 ( 27-FMIC-B-002 ). The report—conducted by an independent auditing firm and reviewed by the...InfoBytes
OCC Issues Consent Order to U.S. Branch of International Bank, Requires Development of BSA/AML Program
As previously reported in InfoBytes , on March 17 the OCC released its list of enforcement actions taken in February against national banks, federal savings associations, and current and former affiliated individuals. Among those actions is a consent order issued on February 13 against a U.S...InfoBytes
On April 5, the FDIC published its monthly list of state nonmember banks recently evaluated for compliance with the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA). The list reports CRA evaluation ratings assigned to institutions in January 2017. Monthly lists of all state nonmember banks whose evaluations have...InfoBytes
House Financial Institutions and Consumer Credit Subcommittee Examines Transparency in the Financial Regulatory System
On March 6, the House Financial Institutions and Consumer Credit Subcommittee held a hearing to consider the need to increase transparency in the financial regulatory system and examine opportunities for reform. According to a committee memorandum, the purpose of the hearing was to examine both (i...InfoBytes
On March 31, the FDIC released a list of enforcement actions taken against banks and individuals in February 2017. Among those listed was a February 14 stipulated order imposing a $70,000 civil money penalty against an employee of a California bank (Respondent) for allegedly engaging or...InfoBytes
On March 28, the House Subcommittee on Financial Institutions and Consumer Credit held a hearing that examined recent trends in lending and how the current regulatory climate impacts the availability of credit for consumers and small businesses. According to a memorandum issued prior to the hearing...InfoBytes
Daniel P. Stipano Receives Leadership Award From Association of Certified Anti-Money Laundering Specialists
The Association of Certified Anti-Money Laundering Specialists (ACAMS) awarded Buckley Sandler partner Daniel P. Stipano the 2017 AML/CTF Leadership in Government award at the ACAMS moneylaundering.com 22nd Annual International AML & Financial Crime Conference on April 4, 2017, in Hollywood, FL...Press Releases
WASHINGTON, DC (January 3, 2017) – BuckleySandler LLP, a premier financial services, government enforcement and litigation law firm, announced today that former Deputy Chief Counsel for the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC), Daniel P. Stipano has joined the firm as a Partner in its...Press Releases
Buckley Sandler Client Hometown of Homestead Banking Company Announces Agreement to Merge With and Into Center State Banks, Inc.
Buckley Sandler client Hometown of Homestead Banking Company (“Homestead”), the parent company of 1st National Bank of South Florida, announced on October 27, 2015 that it will merge with and into CenterState Banks, Inc. for cash consideration of $19.1 million. 1st National Bank of South Florida...Press Releases
Buckley Sandler Client Delmarva Bancshares, Inc. Completes Merger and Acquisition of Easton Bancorp & Subsidiary
Buckley Sandler client Delmarva Bancshares, Inc., the parent company of 1880 Bank, announced on July 15, 2015 the completion of its acquisition of Easton Bancorp and its subsidiary, Easton Bank & Trust Company, through the merger of Easton Bank with and into 1880 Bank. As a result of the merger...Press Releases
Buckley Sandler client Delmarva Bancshares, Inc. announced on May 1, 2015 that they have entered into definitive stock purchase agreements with investors to sell 1,148,255 shares of its common stock at $6.00 per share and 1,185,079 shares of its Series B Convertible Perpetual Preferred Stock at $6...Press Releases
Buckley Sandler Provides Legal Support for Delmarva Bancshares, Inc.'s Acquisition of Easton Bancorp, Inc.
Buckley Sandler client Delmarva Bancshares, Inc. announced on Tuesday, March 31, 2015 that it has agreed to acquire Eastern Bancorp, the parent company of Easton Bank & Trust Company, for $8 million in cash. Upon completion of the acquisition Easton Bank & Trust will be merged into 1880...Press Releases
Our Bank Counseling & Compliance Team
Recent Blog Posts
April 21, 2017
Banking Regulator Admits to Flaws in Supervision of Community Banking Sales Practices
April 21, 2017
House Financial Services Committee to Discuss the “Financial CHOICE Act” at April 26 Hearing
April 21, 2017
Dallas Fed Explores Reasons Why Community Banks are “Flipping to State Charters”
April 13, 2017
Departing Federal Reserve Governor Offers Final Thoughts
April 7, 2017
Federal Reserve System Releases Audited Financial Statements for 2015 and 2016