The Federal Reserve’s proposed supervisory guidance on corporate governance is a breath of fresh air that should encourage banking boards to focus on their core responsibilities and avoid blurring the distinctions between executive and non-executive duties. It is also a signal that supervisors intend to move away from the blunt “check-the-box” approach to corporate governance that has especially burdened banking boards in recent years. We applaud this rebalancing in supervisory approach.
The following comments on this positive development are offered in the hope that the guidance, when finalized and as implemented, will avoid an overly prescriptive, “one-size-fits-all” approach.
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The involuntary chapter 11 bankruptcy filing of American Bancorporation (“American”), commenced by a group of distressed debt investors holding American’s trust-preferred securities (“TruPS”), was upheld by the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Minnesota pursuant to an order entered on May 27, 2014. This development highlights the use of involuntary bankruptcy as the latest strategy by TruPS holders to increase their leverage and recovery in distressed bank holding company situations.
TruPS are deeply subordinated junior debentures issued to statutory trusts that in turn issue preferred securities. They were at one time a commonly used structure for financing bank … Read more