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Financial Institutions...In the News

  • Maine Harvest Credit Project formed an expert panel to assist with creating a new credit union for farmers and food entrepreneurs.  (Central Maine 3.16.2017)
  • Savings accounts at financial institution generally remain low as federal rates increase for borrowing.  (BDN 3.15.2017)
  • A study of Maine’s state-chartered banks and credit unions report that foreclosure activity is the lowest in 8 years.  (Portland Press Herald 2.25.2017)
  • Skimming device found on ATM at Downeast Credit Union branch in Belfast.  (Central Maine 2.26.2017)
  • March stock split in announced for Bar Harbor Bankshares.  (Ellsworth American 2.23.2017)
  • Governor LePage proposes legislation to help elderly residences in foreclosure stay in their homes through reverse mortgages.  (MPAMAG 2.20.2017)
  • Norway Savings Bank has new domain name,, which will enhance online security and offer more protection against cybercrime.  (Mainebiz 2.16.2017)
  • Massachusetts area Better Business Bureau warns of new scamming tactic – Caller asks if they can be heard and then records voice of person saying “yes” to use at a later time.  (CBS News 1.20.2017)

Maine Bureau of Financial Institutions Issues 2016 Annual Report

On January 15, 2017, the Maine Bureau of Financial Institutions issued its Annual Report for 2016. The report is available here. According to the Annual Report, there were a total of 43 state-chartered financial institutions supervised by the Bureau. This included 19 banks, 12 credit unions, and 12 “limited purpose” purpose financial institutions – primarily non-depository trust companies.

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New England Council Releases Report on New England's Financial Services Sector

In January of 2017, the New England Council released its 38-page report entitled "The New England Financial Services Sector:  Around the Corner, and Around the World."  The report, which is based on 2015 data, can be found here.

The report focuses on the importance of the financial sector to New England's economy, including the banking sector, the insurance sector, and the asset management sector.  The report specifically notes that, even though New England represents 4.2% of the nation's population, the region's financial services sector represents 6.2% of the nation's employment in this sector and 8.3% of the nation's total wages in this sector.  The report credited the region's "ecosystem" as key to spurring growth in this sector, particularly the region's colleges and universities.

Within the region, the financial services sector is the 7th largest sector for jobs.  Total employment in the sector is 375,460 jobs with an average wage of $157,674.  This compares to average regional wages of $64,996 per job.

In the region's banking sector, there were 3,951 bank branches, 1,200 credit union branches, and $643 billion in assets.  With respect to savings banks in particular, three states in New England ranked in the Top 10 nationally in terms of deposits:  Massachusetts (1), Connecticut (2), and Maine (7).

With respect to the region's Fin Tech industry, the Report indicated that nearly $750 million had been invested in Fin Tech start-ups through early 2016.  The Report also included a detailed "spotlight" on the impact of Fin Tech on the region's banking industry.

Overall, the Report makes a clear case that New England's financial sector plays a critical role in the region's economy, and the sector plays an out-sized role in the country.


Financial Institutions . . . In the News

  • Maine Governor driving bill to block foreclosure action against Maine’s elderly. (PPH 1.29.2017)
  • Norway Savings Bank announces promotions of Dan Walsh, Janice deLima, Ian Pullen, Elysia Avery, and Donny Hinkley.  (Sun Journal 1.23.2017)
  • New jobs created by the finalization of the merger of Bar Harbor Bank & Trust and Lake Sunapee Bank Group.  (Mount Desert Islander 1.19.2017)
  • Elderly affected by tax foreclosure sales than other groups.  (Bloomberg BNA 1.19.2017)
  • Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, Jeffrey Fuhrer, anticipates that there will be three 0.25 percentage point interest rate hikes in 2017   (Mainebiz 1.17.2017)
  • Foreclosure inventory in Maine is among the highest in the nation at 1.7%.  (Mainebiz 1.12.2017)
  • People’s United Bank, N.A. and AARP Fraud Watch Network join forces to help protect against identity theft and scams.  (Yahoo Finance 1.12.2017)

New Basel III Rules for Loans to High Volatility Commercial Real Estate Projects

The 2016 Winter Business Edition of Best Lawyers includes an article entitled "Basel III and New Challenges for Lending to Commercial Development." The article, which is available here, was co-authored by Verrill Dana lawyers Mark Googins and Doug Britton. The article provides a brief overview of one component of the new Basel III rules, which the article describes as “a voluntary global regulatory framework” implemented in the US by the OCC, Federal Reserve Board, and the FDIC.

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