Sullivan & Cromwell Discusses “Day One” Market Reactions to Bank Mergers

There has recently been a pick-up in bank merger and acquisition activity that likely reflects both the increased importance of scale in the banking industry, particularly in the technology area, and regulatory and legislative developments that reduce certain obstacles to approval of bank merger transactions.  Nonetheless, the immediate negative market reaction that has greeted the announcement of several recent mergers may discourage other banks from considering sensible consolidation transactions.  Not only purchasers, but sellers, may be reluctant to engage in transactions, notwithstanding their strong business and financial merits, if concerns over the “day-one” market reaction play an outsized role in … Read more

Sullivan & Cromwell discusses Proxy Access 2016

As companies prepare for the 2016 proxy season, the number of adopted proxy access bylaws has almost doubled in recent months and at least two new forms of proxy access shareholder proposals have appeared. On the company side, proxy access bylaws adopted since August 1, 2015 confirm the market trend toward a 3% ownership threshold, 3-year holding period, 20% nomination limit and 20-member group limit. Trends for ancillary provisions also have coalesced to a significant extent. On the shareholder-proponent side, James McRitchie, a frequent filer of shareholder proposals and advocate for the proxy access movement, has published two new forms … Read more

Sullivan & Cromwell discusses Senate Regulatory Relief Proposal: Banking Committee Chairman Releases Discussion Draft of “The Financial Regulatory Improvement Act of 2015”

Yesterday afternoon, Senate Banking Committee Chairman Richard Shelby (R-AL) released a discussion draft of “The Financial Regulatory Improvement Act of 2015” (the “Discussion Draft”). This proposed legislation would significantly amend certain aspects of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (“Dodd-Frank”), in particular the current regulatory framework for designating and regulating so-called systemically-important financial institutions, or “SIFIs.” In addition, the 216-page Discussion Draft would substantially broaden the Dodd-Frank safe harbor for “qualified mortgages” and includes a number of other notable provisions relating to the regulation of insurance companies, the structure and operation of the Federal Reserve System, and … Read more

Sullivan & Cromwell discusses FDIC Final Rule Issued to Align the Deposit Insurance Assessment System with Basel III Capital Rules

On November 18, 2014, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (the “FDIC”) published a final rule (the “Final Rule”) modifying certain elements of its deposit insurance assessment system for insured depository institutions (“IDIs”).[1] The Final Rule amends the FDIC’s 2011 revised methodology for determining insurance assessment rates both for large institutions and for highly complex institutions (the “2011 Assessments Rule”)[2]—the so-called “scorecard” method that is currently used to calculate assessment rates for these institutions. The Final Rule indicates that it is intended to align the deposit insurance assessment system for all IDIs—including advanced approaches banking organizations—with the standardized approach (the “Standardized … Read more

Sullivan & Cromwell discusses Concentration Limits on Large Financial Companies

[On November 5, 2014,] the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (the “Federal Reserve”) approved a final rule (the “Final Rule”) implementing Section 622 of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (the “Dodd-Frank Act”),[1] which establishes a financial sector concentration limit (the “Section 622 Concentration Limit”). The Section 622 Concentration Limit generally prohibits insured depository institutions, bank holding companies, foreign banking organizations (“FBOs”) that are treated as bank holding companies, savings and loan holding companies, other companies that control an insured depository institution, as well as nonbank financial companies designated by the Financial Stability Oversight … Read more

Sullivan & Cromwell discusses Additional Concentration Limits on Large Financial Companies

On May 8, 2014, the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve Board (the “FRB”) issued a notice of proposed rulemaking (the “Proposed Rule”) implementing the financial institutions concentration limit provision in new Section 14 of the Bank Holding Company Act of 1956 (the “BHCA”), which was added to that statute by Section 622 of the Dodd-Frank Act. Section 622 generally prohibits financial companies from consummating business combinations if, after giving effect to the consummation, the total consolidated liabilities of the resulting financial company would exceed 10 percent of the aggregate consolidated liabilities of … Read more

Sullivan & Cromwell on Dodd-Frank Stress Tests

[In May], the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (the “Federal Reserve”) issued summary instructions for the 2013 company-run, mid-year stress tests required by Section 165(i)(2)(A) of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (“Dodd-Frank”). Under applicable Federal Reserve regulations, bank holding companies with total consolidated assets of $50 billion or more are required to conduct these mid-year stress tests using company-generated baseline, adverse and severely adverse macroeconomic scenarios. For the 2013 mid-year cycle, however, only the 18 bank holding companies that participated in the Federal Reserve’s 2009 Supervisory Capital Assessment Program are required to conduct … Read more

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Sullivan & Cromwell discusses Foreign Banks and the Swap-Push Out Rule

Federal Reserve Issues Rule to Classify Uninsured U.S. Branches and Agencies of Foreign Banks as Insured Depository Institutions for Purposes of the Swaps Push-out Provision of the Dodd-Frank Act and Explain the Process for Obtaining Transition Period Relief

On June 5, 2013, the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (the “Federal Reserve”) issued an interim final rule (the “Interim Final Rule”) that places U.S. branches and agencies of foreign banks on an equal footing with U.S. banks with respect to the so-called “swaps push-out” provision of Section 716 of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act

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