Editor’s note: Each Monday, Talk Business & Politics provides “Money Talk,” a wrap-up of banking and financial news. ––––––––––––––––
SIMMONS FIRST COMPLETES ACQUISITION OF TENNESSEE BANK, ASSETS TOP $8 BILLION
Simmons First National Corp. on Friday (Sept. 9) completed its acquisition of Athens, Tenn.-based Citizens National Bank. The deal was previously announced in May 2016 and approval from Citizens National Bancorp, Inc. shareholders was received on Thursday (Sept. 8). With the completion of the acquisition, Simmons has approximately $8.1 billion in assets, $5.3 billion in loans, $6.5 billion in deposits and more than 145 locations across Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri and Tennessee.
Citizens National Bank will temporarily remain a separate bank and continue its operations as a subsidiary of Simmons until it is merged into Simmons Bank. The merger and system conversion is slated to occur on Oct. 21, 2016. Citizens President Jack B. Allen will join Simmons Bank as East Tennessee community president.
SEC HANDS OUT $22 MILLION TO WHISTLEBLOWER, PROGRAM AWARDS SURPASS $100 MILLION
The Securities and Exchange Commission recently announced the award of more than $22 million to a whistleblower whose detailed tip and extensive assistance helped the agency halt a well-hidden fraud at the company where the whistleblower worked. The $22 million-plus award is the second-largest total the SEC has awarded a whistleblower. By law, the SEC protects the confidentiality of whistleblowers and does not disclose information that might directly or indirectly reveal a whistleblower’s identity.
The largest whistleblower payout, $30 million, was awarded in 2014. The Securities and Exchange Commission’s awards to whistleblowers have surpassed the $100 million mark. The whistleblower program was established by Congress to incentivize whistleblowers with specific, timely and credible information about federal securities law violations to report to the SEC. Whistleblower awards can range from 10% to 30% of the money collected when the monetary sanctions ordered exceed $1 million.
FEDERAL AGENCIES ISSUE STUDY TO CONGRESS ON BANKING ACTIVITIES AND INVESTMENTS
The Federal Reserve Board, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency have released a report to Congress and the Financial Stability Oversight Council on the activities and investments that banking entities may engage in under applicable law.
Section 620 of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act required the federal banking agencies to conduct the study and report to Congress on the types of activities and investments permissible for banking entities, the associated risks, and how banking entities mitigate those risks. For the purpose of this study, banking entities include insured depository institutions and any company that controls an insured depository institution or is treated as a bank holding company under the International Banking Act of 1978. The study also covers any affiliate or subsidiary of such companies.
Each agency prepared the section of the report relative to the banking entities that it supervises. Each of the three sections includes a discussion of permissible activities, risk mitigation, legal limitations, and specific recommendations as required by the Dodd-Frank Act. To view the report, click here.