Local Banks Maintain Securities Offerings to Customers

By Titus, Nancy Raiden | THE JOURNAL RECORD, October 23, 1990 | Go to article overview

Local Banks Maintain Securities Offerings to Customers


Titus, Nancy Raiden, THE JOURNAL RECORD


By Nancy Raiden Titus Journal Record Staff Reporter Through its capital markets investment banking department, Liberty National Bank & Trust Co. has offered securities to its customer base for many years.

``We have a full-service investment banking department,'' said Bernard P. Hall, senior vice president and manager of the investment banking department. Hall said the department, which has been in operation for about 40 years, makes Liberty probably the largest dealer bank in the state.

The department consists of two traders and 11 sales people. One trader specializes in government bills, notes, bonds and government agency securities like Government National Mortgage Association (Ginnie Mae) or Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corp. (Freddie Mac). The other trader specializes in municipal bonds from school boards, cities, counties or universities, he said.

The customer base of the department includes downstream financial institutions, such as small banks or credit unions, government agencies, city treasurers, foundations, corporations and individual customers.

Hall said the law limits the scope of the bank's dealings in the area to fixed securities.

``We can't deal and underwrite municipal revenue bonds. We can buy and sell them for our customers on an `as agent' basis. We can't do underwriting.''

Hall said he would like to see an expansion of regulations that would allow the bank to become involved in the entire bond process from originating to underwriting to trading. He would like to have the power to deal with the corporate entity to negotiate the deal, create the deal and complete the public sale of the issues.

If that were allowed, Hall said he would be better able to take advantage of the areas of expertise on his staff and could get into the more profitable levels of the business.

He said he would like to see Congress ``amend (the) Glass-Steagall (Act) to expand investments for all dealer banks, not just on a piecemeal basis,'' as is the current policy.

``If Congress amends Glass-Steagall, it would help all of us.''

While Glass-Steagall prohibits involvement in the equity business, Hall said the act is silent on the issue of banks offering bonds.

He said he would like to see Congress expand the ability of banks to deal in securities and to broaden the types of securities banks can offer. …

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