Federal regulators would be more inclined to use Oklahoma's new
interstate banking law, if it put out-of-state buyers and in-state
bidders on equal footing, according to Robert Clarke, the U.S.
Comptroller of the Currency.
"It's good to have the state law available," Clarke said, "but I
would prefer to see everyone bid on an equal basis."
The new law, signed May 7, gives Oklahoma banks a chance to match
bids by out-of-state financial institutions in the purchase of a
failed or failing Oklahoma bank.
"An out-of-state financial institution has quite an investment
involved in making a bid, so it's only natural that they are
reluctant to do that, if someone else can come along and beat it,"
Clarketold The Journal Record.
That's why federal regulators used the federal interstate banking
law, which originally expired at midnight July 14, to close the $1.6
billion First National Bank & Trust Co. of Oklahoma City and arrange
its sale to First Interstate Bancorp. of Los Angeles.
That transaction ruled out the expected first big test of
Oklahoma's new interstate banking law.
The state law has yet to be put to the test - despite a string of
six Oklahoma bank failures, including three in the past three weeks.
The Oklahoma Legislature rushed to get the interstate banking law
passed May 7 - in hopes it could be used to prevent the failure of
the Bank of Commerce in Tulsa.
The next morning, Bank of Commerce was closed at 9:30 a.m. because
of a run on deposits.
Oklahoma Banking Commissioner Robert Y. Empie blamed the news
media for causing the run. That touched off a debate on what
responsibilities banking regulators and the media have with regard to
informing the public about a bank's true condition.
Oklahoma's liberalized branch-banking law - also passed this year
- was used to reopen the failed Bank of Commerce on May 9 as a branch
of the First National Bank & Trust Co. of Tulsa, a subsidiaryof Banks
of Mid-America, the state's largest multi-bank holding company with
about $3.4 billion in assets on June 30.
The broader branch-banking statute also has been used in three
other bank acquisitions since early May, including two purchases in
the past three weeks:
- The First National Bank & Trust Co. of Norman, closed May 19
by the comptroller's office, was acquired as a branch by Liberty
National Bank & Trust Co. of Oklahoma City.
- The First National Bank & Trust Co. of El Reno, declared
insolvent Aug. 7, was reopened Aug. 11 as a branch of American
National Bank of Lawton.
- Citizens National Bank & Trust Co. of Oklahoma City, closed
Aug. 14 by the comptroller's office, was reopened Aug. 18 as a branch
of Liberty National Bank.
The First National Bank of Cordell - the third Oklahoma bank to
fail in a three-week period - has been liquidated. . .
- Holliday Mortgage Corp., a Tulsa-based mortgage banking firm,
has surpassed a loan servicing volume of $200 million. …