Nebraska judge upholds regulator’s decision denying CU-Bank acquisition

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A Nebraska judge has upheld a decision by the Nebraska Department of Banking and Finance to deny a bid to acquire $369 million Premier Bank in Omaha from the $7.9 billion GreenState Credit Union in North Liberty. , Iowa.

Premier Bank appealed the NDBF’s decision to Lancaster County District Court Judge Ryan S. Post, who ruled last week that the proposed transaction was not authorized under the generic law that allows state banks to have the same powers as national banks.

Premier Bank argued that one of the powers of federally chartered banks doing business in Nebraska is the power to sell substantially all of its assets and liabilities to a credit union. Premier, a state-chartered bank, claimed that if a national bank has that power, so does a state-owned bank.

But Justice Post sided with the NDBF’s argument that although the generic rule allows a bank’s board of directors or officers to exercise all ancillary powers necessary to conduct the business banks, there is no specific authority under the generic law to sell or buy a bank. assets.

“This Court agrees with the Hearing Officer (NDBF) that it is difficult to find in the statutes the power of a bank to sell substantially all of its assets as being a power incidental to the exercise of a banking business, since Premier is not going to continue the banking business, but rather terminate it,” Justice Post wrote. “In the absence of authority under federal law authorizing a national bank, on these facts, to sell substantially all of its assets and transfer substantially all of its liabilities to a credit union, this Court cannot conclude that the generic statute grants Premier Bank any such power.”

Last year, the Nebraska Bankers Association (NBA) opposed plans to sell Premier Bank to Iowa’s largest credit union. Lawyers for the bank and the NBA presented their arguments before NDBF Hearing Officer Jim Titus. In January, he rejected a request for the bank to be bought by GreenState.

Premier Bank CEO and Chairman Chris Maher and GreenState Chairman/CEO Jeff Disterhoft declined to comment on Wednesday, but said they could comment later this week.

On its website, the NBA speculated that Premier Bank may appeal the court’s decision and added, “Your NBA team will continue to work aggressively to level the playing field between cooperatives in credit subsidized by Nebraska’s taxes and banks”.

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