Bank of Nebraska fights for right to be sold to Iowa Credit Union | Credit Union Journal

A Nebraska bank is pushing back on a decision that stalled its plans to sell to a credit union.

The Nebraska Banking and Finance Department in December beaten down Premier Bank’s proposed sale of $395 million in assets in Omaha to the GreenState Credit Union of $8 billion in assets in North Liberty, Iowa.

The department ruled that the bank failed to provide evidence to support the legality of the deal.

But in a motion filed Jan. 14 in Lancaster County District Court, the Premier said the Banking Department ignored 90 years of Office of the Comptroller of the Currency precedent and practice that allowed purchases in the whole bank.

Prior to signing the agreement, counsel for Premier Bank and GreenState Credit Union consulted with the Nebraska Banking Department, which raised no objection to the authority of a Nebraska bank to engage in the transaction at that time, according to Chris Maher. , Chairman and CEO of Premier Bank.

“We believe the recent decision is an example of the Nebraska Banking Department bowing to political pressure from the Nebraska Bankers Association and therefore not allowing Nebraskas free and unlimited access to all financial institutions,” he said in an email.

Michael Bell, an attorney at the Honigman law firm in Detroit who represented GreenState in the deal, said the decision significantly reduced the value of Nebraska banks — and their shareholders, board and management should be furious .

“The powers of Nebraska banks have been stripped and their ability to sell has been significantly impaired,” he said. “The decision calls into question their ability to sell to anyone in buy-and-take form. Unfortunately, politics got in the way of common sense here and shareholders were harmed.

The Nebraska Banking Department’s decision is bad for Nebraska’s state-chartered banks, regardless of one’s view of the Premier-GreenState transaction itself, said David Routh, the attorney for Nebraska. Premier Bank.

“This challenges the parity between state banks and national banks operating in Nebraska. This allows the department to challenge OCC decisions and, in doing so, deny Nebraska state banks the same rights, powers and privileges possessed by national state banks,” he said.

Bell predicted that more than 25 offers involving credit unions buying banks could be announced in 2022.

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