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The OCC publishes monthly, in its publication Interpretations and Actions, corporate decisions that represent a new or changed policy, or present issues of general interest to the public or the banking industry. In addition, summaries of selected corporate decisions appear in each issue of the Quarterly Journal. In the third quarter of 2001, the following corporate decisions were of particular importance because they were precedent setting or otherwise represented issues of importance. The OCC's decision documents for these decisions may be found in Interpretations and Actions using the decision number at the end of each summary.

Mergers

On July 26, 2001, the OCC granted approval for Bank of Powhatan, N.A., Powhatan, Virginia, to undertake a reorganization pursuant to 12 USC 215a-2 and 12 CFR 7.2000(a). This is the first such approval by the OCC under this recently enacted amendment to 12 USC 215. This new section provides a streamlined process for national bank's to effect holding company reorganizations through an exchange of the bank's stock for cash or securities of a bank holding company. [Corporate Decision Letter No. 2001-21] On July 26, 2001, the OCC granted approval to Bank One, N.A., Columbus, Ohio, to merge two nonbank mortgage company subsidiaries into the bank under the authority of 12 USC 215a-3. This represents the first such approval by the OCC under this recently enacted amendment to 12 USC 215. This new section expressly authorizes the merger of a national bank with its nonbank subsidiaries or affiliates. The section was adopted to facilitate the ability of banking organizations to effect corporate restructuring between national banks and their subsidiaries and affiliates in the most efficient way possible, while preserving regulatory oversight by requiring OCC approval. [Corporate Decision No. 2001-22]

On September 18, 2001, the OCC granted conditional approval for National Bank of Daingerfield, Daingerfield, Texas, to purchase and assume certain assets and liabilities of the Daingerfield branch of Jefferson Heritage Bank, FSB, Denton, Texas. The approval requires National Bank of Daingerfield to comply with the agreement it signed with the Department of Justice. [Conditional Approval Letter No. 491 ]

On September 29, 2001, the OCC granted conditional approval for Blackfeet National Bank, Browning, Montana, to consolidate with Native American Interim Bank, N.A., Browning, Montana, with the resulting title of Native American National Bank, in order to facilitate the acquisition of Blackfeet National Bank by Native American Bancorporation, Denver, Colorado. In addition to the conditions imposed on any newly chartered national bank, the conditions of approval address issues concerning tribal sovereignty and the condition of the target bank. [Conditional Approval Letter No. 493].

Operating Subsidiary

On July 3, 2001, the OCC granted approval for Business First National Bank, Santa Barbara, California, to acquire E-Commerce Financial Services and establish it as an operating subsidiary. E-Commerce enables small business merchants to obtain a package of electronic services that allows the merchant to create Web stores and process electronic payments for purchases made over the Internet. [Corporate Decision No. 2001-18]

On July 27, 2001, the OCC granted approval for Zions First National Bank, Salt Lake City, Utah, to establish an operating subsidiary that will provide integrated, online information service for secure web-based document storage, retrieval and collaboration of documents and/or files containing personal information or valuable confidential trade or business information. [Conditional Approval Letter No. 479]

On August 17, 2001, the OCC acknowledged receipt of the after-the-fact notice by Metropolitan National Bank, New York, New York, regarding the bank's acquisition of Cashzone, LLC. Cashzone engages in general check cashing services and other activities permissible under 12 CFR 5.34(e)(5)(v). The OCC's letter authorizes only the specific activities described in the bank's notice and acknowledged by the OCC in its letter. The OCC's letter further advises the bank that neither it nor Cashzone is authorized to engage in "payday lending" activities or to enter into arrangements with third parties to provide "payday" type loans through offices or facilities operated by a third party. [Corporate Decision No. 2001-24]

On September 13, 2001, the OCC granted approval for Bank One, N.A., Chicago, Illinois, to establish a wholly owned operating subsidiary to furnish administrative, management and consulting services to unaffiliated real estate construction lenders and investors. The services will include: project feasibility, cost, contract, environmental and seismic reviews; appraisals; loan document preparation; collateral and construction phase completion monitoring; syndicated loan lead agent tasks; and, lender training on construction loan administration. This operating subsidiary will not perform credit analysis, make underwriting decisions or provide legal services relative to a given real estate project. [Corporate Decision No. 2001-27]

CRA Decisions

On July 2, 2001, the OCC granted conditional approval for European American Bank, Uniondale, New York, to merge into and under the charter of Citibank, N.A., New York, New York. The OCC received comments from 16 individuals and community organizations expressing concerns with the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) performance of Citibank, N.A. and of an affiliate, Associates National Bank. The OCC's investigation into those concerns disclosed no information that was inconsistent with approval under the CRA. However, the approval was conditioned upon Citibank providing the OCC with progress reports on the implementation of various consumer finance initiatives. [Conditional Approval Letter No. 476] On July 18, 2001, the OCC granted approval to merger applications of Firstar Bank, N.A., Cincinnati, Ohio; U.S. Bank N.A., Minneapolis, Minnesota; U.S. Bank N.A., Canby, Oregon; and, U.S. Bank N.A., MT, Billings, Montana. While the OCC did not receive any comments in connection with these applications, the OCC considered the comments received by the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System in connection with the related bank holding company merger and considered the Board's analysis. The OCC found that approval of the transaction was consistent with the Community Reinvestment Act. [CRA Decision Letter No. 109]

Copyright Comptroller of the Currency Dec 2001
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