WASHINGTON, June 26 U.S. regulators will
discuss on Thursday guidelines for how private equity firms can
buy assets from troubled banks.
The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp will hold a board
meeting to discuss its "Policy on Investment in, or Acquisition
of, Failing Insured Depository Institutions," according to a
meeting agenda posted on Friday.
FDIC Chairman Sheila Bair has said she is comfortable with
the private equity deals the agency has struck so far for
failed banks such as IndyMac and BankUnited, but said there
needs to be a more structured process.
"We're going to be working on some generic guidance to help
provide clarity about ... nontraditional acquirers of banks
such as private equity, their appropriate role and how their
bidding process needs to be structured," Bair said last month.
"And the ownership structure needs to be maintained to make
sure they will be a source of strength for the bank."
Her comments were made after firms including WL Ross & Co,
Carlyle Group [CYL.UL], Blackstone Group (BX.N) and
Centerbridge Partners agreed to put up $900 million of capital
to rescue BankUnited FSB, a troubled Florida lender.
When a bank gets into significant trouble, the FDIC and its
primary regulator help structure a recovery process. If that
fails, the FDIC tries to find a buyer through a competitive
bidding process in an attempt to minimize the cost to the
federal deposit insurance fund.
Traditionally, the FDIC has looked to other banks to absorb
much of the failed institution. But the agency is increasingly
looking to other types of investors as the number of failed
banks continues to climb.
So far this year, 40 banks have failed, compared to 25 in
2008, and only three in 2007.
(Reporting by Karey Wutkowski; Editing Bernard Orr)