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Friday
Jul312015

Portland Trust Company Gets Green Light from State

It is not every day (or even every year) that a new financial institution is formed in Maine, but this month, the Bureau of Financial Institutions approved the establishment of a new nondepository trust company called Portland Trust Company.

Portland Trust Company is a subsidiary of Androscoggin Savings Bank in Lewiston, Maine, who will own 51% of the company, and the remaining 49% will be owned equally by James MacLeod and Amelia Kurtz.  The company was formed as a non-depository trust company, and the organizers plan to transfer their trust assets to the company.  Androscoggin plans to rebrand the trust and wealth management services to "create greater visibility and expand the availability of services into the Southern Maine market."  The initial board will be made up of 3 officers from the bank, and the 2 minority shareholders.

After two months of review and an opportunity for public comment, the Bureau's approval became effective on July 15, 2015.  A copy of the final order can be found here.

Thursday
Jul302015

Top 10 Training Programs for HR Professionals

Did you know?:

Verrill Dana provides many resources designed to keep HR professionals and business administrators up-to-date on the laws and regulations affecting their work and their company.

Seminars, Webinars and Client Alerts
Our Labor & Employment and Employee Benefits & Executive Compensation attorneys distribute e-alerts and host complimentary seminars and webinars. Recent topics have included:

  • Employment Litigation Session 1: What to Do When You Get Sued
  • The (F)riday (M)onday (L)eave (A)ct vs. Legitimate FMLA Leave
  • How Healthy is Your Wellness Program? Current Litigation and Legal Compliance
  • Whistleblowing and Retaliation: Legitimate Concerns or Marginal Performers Looking for Leverage?
  • Compliance for Employers of Any Size: What You Need To Know

Click here to receive these e-alerts and event invitations.

Blogs
Our blogs provide updates on trending legal issues affecting your employees and your workplace.

  • Benefits Law Update: Timely commentary on developments in employee benefits plans and executive compensation agreements.
    www.employeebenefitsupdate.com

    *Named a Top 10 Blog in Compensation and Benefits by HR Daily Advisor.
  • Taking Care of HR Business: A thoughtful (and often entertaining) resource for those interested in labor and employment law issues. 
    www.hrlawupdate.com

Training Programs
Our attorneys conduct on-site and/or virtual educational and training programs for executives, managers and supervisors. We cover diverse topics, which can be tailored to meet your needs.

Program topics for our clients have included:

  1. Anti-Harassment/Anti-Bullying Training
  2. How to Conduct Workplace Investigations
  3. How to Make Good Hiring Decisions and Avoid Costly Mistakes
  4. Common Mistakes Made by Supervisors and How to Avoid Them
  5. Managing Difficult Employees
  6. Reducing the Risk of Unlawful Terminations
  7. How to Win an Unemployment Hearing
  8. The ADA, FMLA and Workers’ Compensation: What Managers Need to Know
  9. The Do’s and Don’ts of Employee Evaluations, Performance Counseling and Other Forms of Documentation
  10. Union Avoidance

Click here to contact us about a training that meets your needs.

Tuesday
Jul212015

Financial Institutions . . . In the News

  • United Wholesale Mortgage expands interest-only loans availability to more customers.  (Portland Press Herald 6.24.2015)
  • Credit card fraud ring in Maine and New Hampshire have police looking for at least four suspects.  (WGME 6.24.2015)
  • Geoff Titherington becomes chair and Milda Castner, vice chair, of Kennebunk Savings Bank’s board of trustees.  (Fosters 6.28.2015)
  • Unemployment decreased in June, however, wages remain flat suggesting the economy has not fully recovered.  (Portland Press Herald 7.2.2.15)
  • Maine legislators pass stricter foreclosure protections for homeowners based on Bank of America Corp vs. Greenleaf.  (Reuters 7.1.2015)
  • Based on 2013 financial reports, Maine’s fiscal health is ranked 42nd in the nation.  (Portland Press Herald 7.7.2015)
  • Bangor Savings Bank and UNE initiate pilot program to engage students to take part in online and in-class coursework and on-the-job training.  (MPBN 7.9.2015)
  • Federal Reserve rates likely to rise this September as economy show signs of improvement.  (Central Maine 7.15.2015)
  • Largest U.S. banks required to keep capital at levels above industry standards to help prevent future taxpayer bailouts.  (Central Maine 7.21.2015)
Thursday
Jul162015

FFIEC Responds to Increased Cyber Threats With New Cybersecurity Assessment Tool 

The Federal Financial Institutional Examination Counsel (FFIEC) recently developed and released a Cybersecurity Assessment Tool in light of the growing number and sophistication of threats to financial institutions from cyber attacks. The tool is consistent with principles set forth in the now-familiar Cybersecurity Framework published by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) as well as FFIEC’s IT Handbook.

The tool assists management of financial institutions with analyzing the firm’s inherent risk for cybersecurity threats based on a number of factors, including the quantity and types of technologies and internet connections deployed, the role of online and mobile products and services offered, and what organizational characteristics demonstrate the firm’s security awareness and care or, conversely, vulnerability to cyber intrusion.

Each institution will rate differently based on its own threat profile and levels of inherent risk. Financial institutions have long taken security seriously due to the obvious liability concerns with loss or destruction of financial assets. But cyber risks present a unique vulnerability and financial institutions can no longer claim surprise or lack of awareness to the threat. Systematic and continuous risk management strategies are key to reducing risk and ultimately reducing liability should the firm suffer a breach.

How can lawyers help? Attorneys specializing in information security and risk management should be involved at every stage of risk assessment and mitigation, as well as crisis response. Cyber and information security responsibility should not rest exclusively with the IT department because it inherently involves issues of liability risk and standards of care.

Lawyers can help with integrating information security, privacy and employment policies with cybersecurity protocols and policies; establishing and maintaining incident response programs; analyzing the reasonableness of cybersecurity investments – or lack thereof – against the legal standards of care; reviewing and negotiating insurance policies; establishing and maintaining active third party vendor risk management systems including contract review; and ultimately responding immediately and effectively in the event of an information or cybersecurity incident to help manage the crisis and mitigate the damages.

Contact:
Rita Heimes, Counsel
Co-chair, Information Security & Risk Management Group
Verrill Dana LLP

Wednesday
Jul152015

FEMA Issues New Rules, Although Not A Watershed Moment 

Five federal regulatory agencies recently announced a joint rule that modifies regulations that apply to loans secured by properties located in special flood hazard areas. Flood hazard areas are delineated on maps issued by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and pertain to areas within the floodplain having a one percent or greater chance of flood occurrence in any given year.

The final rule requires regulated lending institutions, or servicers acting on their behalf, to escrow premiums and fees for flood insurance for any loan secured by residential improved real estate or a mobile home. The rules impact loans that are made, increased, extended, or renewed on or after January 1, 2016. Under a small-lender exception, certain lending institutions with total assets of less than $1 billion may not be required to escrow flood insurance premiums.

Additionally, the joint rule grants regulated lending institutions the authority to secure flood insurance coverage for a borrower with insufficient coverage and include the cost of the coverage in the outstanding loan. This type of coverage is known as “force-placed flood insurance coverage.” The rule also stipulates circumstances under which a lender must terminate force-placed flood insurance coverage and refund payments to a borrower. For example, if a borrower obtains a flood insurance policy that overlaps with a force-placed policy, the lender or servicer must refund any premiums paid by borrower for this overlap period.

Lastly, the rule includes a statutory exemption from the requirement to purchase flood insurance for a structure that is a part of a residential property if that structure is detached from the primary residence and does not also serve as a residence, such as a garage or barn. However, lenders may nevertheless require flood insurance on detached structures to protect the collateral securing the mortgage.

A copy of the final rule will be published in the Federal Register shortly, but an advance copy is available here.

If you have any questions about how your property may be impacted by FEMA’s new rules please contact Charlie Katz-Leavy or Mat Todaro.