Earlier this year, three of the largest banks failed in a sequence of events that was dubbed the Banking Crisis of 2023. With the passage of time, fears that the three failures could foreshadow further failures and deeper woes seemingly subsided, though a wave of banking institution downgrades in August 2023 briefly rekindled concerns. More recently, things have been quiet. Does that mean it is time to sound the all-clear signal? Perhaps, but there are signs out there suggesting continued vigilance may be in order.Continue Reading Checking in on the 2023 Banking Crisis
Over the course of several weeks from March to early May this year, three large U.S. banks failed in a sequence of events that has come to be known as the Banking Crisis of 2023. Fears arose at the time that the bank failures could become a contagion event across the banking industry. With the passage of time since the most recent failure, there seems to be a general perception that the banking crisis has subsided. But even though the situation may have calmed down, concerns remain that there could be more of the story to be told about the 2023 Banking Crisis. What should we be worried about, and what are the signs to watch for?Continue Reading Where Are We Now With the Banking Crisis of 2023?
After a run of several years where numerous banks failed each year, no banks failed in 2018, and only four failed in 2019. The low number of bank failures last year, and the absence of any bank failures the year before, clearly are signs that the economy is strong and the banking industry generally is profitable. But the banking sector is notoriously volatile and historically registers all of the economy’s ups and downs vividly. Is it possible that the current banking sector calm itself foreshadows trouble ahead? That is the question asked in a January 6, 2020 Wall Street Journal article entitled “Few Bank Failures Could Be a Warning Sign for U.S. Financial System” (here).
Continue Reading Few Banks Failed Last Year – Is That a Problem?
Want some good news? During calendar year 2018, there were exactly zero bank failures in the United States. Zero. Nil. Nada. Zilch. The last time there were no U.S. bank failures was waaaay back in 2006. Needless to say, a lot has happened since then. But the best part of all is that because of a strong economy, and because of the purifying effects of the financial refiners’ fire, the banking sector is as healthy as it has been in many years. Hugh Son’s January 10, 2019 CNBC article about the U.S. banks’ current healthy state can be found here.
Continue Reading Here’s Some Good News: No Bank Failures
The FDIC updated its website late last week to reflect developments in the professional liability lawsuits the agency filed in the wake of the wave of bank failures that followed the global financial crisis. The unmistakable impression from the agency’s update is that the FDIC’s failed bank litigation is winding down and in its final stages. At the same time, however, a different page on the agency’s website arguably conveys a different message. The agency’s website’s failed bank list shows that though the financial crisis is well in the past, there have been a noticeable number of bank failures this year, many of them involving sizeable banks — a development that is worth considering and keeping an eye on.
Continue Reading Though the Failed Bank Crisis is Over, Bank Failures Are Still Happening
As readers will recall, last week I published a post about the split verdict a Northern District of Georgia jury entered in the civil lawsuit the FDIC had filed against certain former directors of the failed Buckhead Community Bank. The verdict arose in one of the rare failed bank cases to actually go all the way to trial. In the following guest post, Robert Long Tod Sawicki, Elizabeth Gingold Clark and Lauren Tapson Macon of the Alston & Bird law firm discuss the Buckhead Community Bank lawsuit trial and verdict. Alston & Bird represents the defendants in the case. I would like to thank Robert and his colleagues for their willingness to allow me to publish their article as a guest post. I welcome guest post submissions from responsible authors on topics of interest to this blog’s readers. Please contact me directly if you would like to submit a guest post. Here is the Alston & Bird attorneys’ guest post.
Continue Reading Guest Post: Jury Applies Georgia’s Business Judgment Rule
On October 25, 2016, in one of the few failed bank lawsuits remaining from the bank failure litigation wave that followed the global financial crisis, and one of the very few failed bank lawsuits to go all the way to trial, a civil jury returned a verdict of $4.98 million in the Northern District of Georgia against several former directors and officers of the failed Buckhead Community Bank of Buckhead, Georgia. While the jury returned a verdict in favor of the FDIC as receiver of the failed bank on four of the loans at issue in the case, the jury found the defendants not liable for six other loans for which the FDIC sought recovery.
Continue Reading Failed Bank Litigation: Jury Returns $5 Million Verdict Against Failed Bank’s Former Directors
As we approach what will be the eighth anniversary of the peak of the global financial crisis, many of the effects of the crisis have subsided. But while the crisis and many of the worst of its effects have largely faded into the past, a number of litigated matters related to the crisis have continued to grind through the courts. Among other things, the wave of failed bank lawsuits – that is, lawsuits filed by the FDIC against the former directors and officers of banks that failed in the wake of the crisis – has continued to roll along. However, at this point, it looks as if the failed bank litigation has just about played out. Now that the litigation is winding down, it may be time take a retrospective look at the failed bank litigation wave.
Continue Reading As the Failed Bank Litigation Wave Winds Down, A Look Back
In the FDIC’s latest quarterly banking profile, the agency report overall reflects a generally healthy U.S. banking sector. However, problems may loom on the horizon at least for some banks. In addition, the statistics reflect significant changes that have changed the face of the industry just in the past few years. The FDIC’s Quarterly Banking Profile for the Fourth Quarter 2015 can be found here, and the agency’s February 23, 2016 press release about the report can be found here.
Continue Reading U.S. Banking Sector at Healthy Levels, But Do Problems Loom?
Following the recent bank failure wave, the FDIC filed liability actions against the former directors and offices of many of the failed banks, as detailed here. But the FDIC did not sue the former executives of every failed bank. Why did the FDIC sue the executives of some failed banks but not others? Was it because the failed banks the agency targeted had engaged in qualitatively different conduct? Or was it merely because the ones the FDIC sued had D&O insurance in force from which the agency could extract a monetary recovery?
Continue Reading Does the FDIC Target Only Failed Bank Directors and Officers That Have D&O Insurance?