BankNews Jan. 2015

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Former CFO of Bank of America Barred for 18 Months From Serving as Officer or Director of a Public Company

April 25 – New York Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman has announced a $7.5 million settlement with Bank of America Corporation’s former Chief Financial Officer, Joe L. Price, regarding the bank’s actions as it sought in 2008 to merge with Merrill Lynch & Co. Despite its top executives’ specific knowledge of mounting losses at Merrill Lynch that were forecast at more than $9 billion, Bank of America failed to disclose that information to shareholders prior to their vote on the proposed merger. The Attorney General also alleged that the bank’s former CEO, Kenneth D. Lewis, and Price misrepresented to shareholders the impact that the merger with Merrill would have on Bank of America’s future earnings.

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Leading PIN Debit Networks Form New Company

Dec 12 – Ten leading PIN debit networks in the United States have formed a new company, Debit Network Alliance, to provide a structure for the governance, deployment and implementation of the EMV debit standard. The goal of this collaborative effort is to help facilitate the adoption of an interoperable EMV standard for debit payments in the U.S. through a common governance structure that fosters regulatory compliance, equal access and ability to innovate for all debit networks, routing choice for merchants and portability for issuers.

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Database of Private-Company Information Now Available for Free to Bankers From Sageworks

Oct 16 – Sageworks, a financial information company that provides risk management solutions to banks and credit unions, has announced that it will make its database of industry statistics on privately held companies available for free to all banking professionals in the United States.

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Wilbur-Ellis Company Acquires Blue River Ag Supply in Wisconsin

July 22 – Wilbur-Ellis Company, a leader in crop production technology and the distribution and marketing of plant protection, seed and nutritional products, has acquired the assets of Blue River Ag Supply LLC, located in Edgerton, Wis. The company also acquired the assets of G & G Spray Service Inc., as part of the purchase. The location services customers spanning from Southern Wisconsin to Northern Illinois and will now be part of the Wilbur-Ellis Great Lakes operations.

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Premium Standard Farms Changes Company Name to Murphy-Brown of Missouri

May 21 – Premium Standard Farms LLC, a unit of Smithfield Foods Inc. (NYSE: SFD) hog production subsidiary, Murphy-Brown LLC, has changed its name to Murphy-Brown of Missouri LLC, effective immediately. 

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Fed Approves Final Rule for Determining When a Company is Predominantly Engaged in Financial Activities

April 4 – The Federal Reserve Board has announced approval of a final rule that establishes the requirements for determining when a company is “predominantly engaged in financial activities.” The requirements will be used by the Financial Stability Oversight Council when it considers the potential designation of a nonbank financial company for consolidated supervision by the Federal Reserve.

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BancVue Acquires Equipment Leasing Company

April 2 – BancVue, creator of Kasasa and a provider of innovative products, dynamic marketing and data-driven consulting services to community financial institutions, has announced the strategic acquisition of BancLeasing, a pioneer in providing financial institutions with highly competitive equipment leasing programs.

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Wilbur-Ellis Company Acquires Chester Farm Service Corp. in South Dakota

March 26 – Wilbur-Ellis Company, a leader in crop production technology and the distribution and marketing of plant protection, seed and nutritional products, has acquired the assets of Chester Farm Service Corporation. Located in Chester, S.D., Chester Farm Service has been providing seed, seed treatment, fertilizer, plant protection and custom application services to local farmers for more than 40 years.

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Private-Company Sales Growth Down Significantly Over Past 12 Months

Sept 14 – The rate of annual sales growth among privately held U.S. companies is slowing significantly, according to new data from Sageworks Inc., a financial information company. Average annual sales growth for private companies has slowed to around 5.4 percent currently from nearly 11 percent in January and from around 8 percent a year earlier, according to the Sageworks Private Company Indicator, a real-time measure based on financial statements filed in the most recent three months.

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NCR Acquires Cash Cost Optimization Software Company

Sept 10 – NCR Corporation (NYSE: NCR) has acquired Transoft International Inc., a global leader in cash cost optimization software for financial institutions and retailers. NCR will integrate Transoft’s software and SaaS-based product suite and employees into its Financial Services line of business in order to strengthen NCR’s existing cash management offering, eventually bringing financial institutions and retailers a unique and compelling integrated cash management solution. Terms of the deal are not disclosed.

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